April 5, 2022-Trip to the Masters

(click for today's pictures)

Let's see where to begin our day. Last night when we went to bed, we were pretty sure that we might not just get to see any little bit of Augusta National at all. However, the rain was steadily being pushed back throughout the night, and by the time we woke up, it didn't look like the rain would start until around 1.

Robby and I slept well last night except it was rather quiet in our room. We are used to a fan and never even thought about a noise machine. It didn't matter though because we must have been tired since even though it was silent in our room, we slept just fine.

We woke up a little bit after 6 and started getting ready. Before 7, we were downstairs, and Robby was talking to the front desk. There was still no solution except his card had been charged for both rooms-1200. Yikes, he is fairly confident they will get it straightened out though it will be probably be a hassle.

The Wilsons were downstairs as well so we headed on towards Augusta National. There was a bit of traffic, but soon we were parking with about 5,000 other cars. It was parking like you were at Disney World-everything was very well organized and efficient.

We said goodbye to our phones (you can't bring them in), grabbed our rain coats (we knew we were going to need them), and followed the masses of people. The walk to get in was probably near a half mile. Then they stopped the people in groups and would only let a group through at a time. There were probably about 3 of those stops before we made it into the gates.

Then we walked and walked some more-we could tell that we were now in the golf course area because the grounds were beautiful, but there was still some walking to do before we made it to the course. We stopped a few times to take pictures of different things and walked around a good bit of the course.

Now, don't tell anyone, but other people seemed to know where we were and what hole we were at-I knew none of those things. I don't even think that I have ever been to a real golf course before so there were lots of new sights for me.

Getting around the course was even interesting-sometimes you had to cross the fairway to get from one place to another. After seeing all of the major stops and people, including Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson, Mike Weir, and some other people that Robby is telling me which I don't know how to spell their names), we sat for a bit near hole 16.

After the golfers teed off, the crowd started shouting "skip." I had no idea what was happening, but they wanted for the players to skip their golf balls on the water and up onto the green. We saw two sets of golfers stop and do this-the crowd was super into it shouting "yes" and "aww" if they didn't make it.

One group's caddys even skipped the balls across the water. Of course this caused the crowd to really get excited. And really, it was probably the most exciting thing of the day for me.

We knew the rain was coming so after seeing this we went to the gift shop. There were probably about 500 people in front of us in the line  (seriously not kidding) along with another 500 people in the building shopping (again, never seen anything like it.) The line to get in was organized like a Disney line.

Once we were let into the store, it was still crazy. Not horrible crazy, but fun crazy. I kept having to repeat to myself that Robby was wearing red. Remember no one has any phones so we had already established a meeting place with the Wilsons, but just keeping up with Robby in the store was a challenge. 

When we did check out, there were at least 40 people checking people out so even though the lines everywhere were long, they all moved fast. We bought our few things-oh, and the prices were expensive, but not crazy. They were what I would expect to pay.

The man in front of us spent 900 dollars on his purchases. Nine hundred! And his bag wasn't even full at all. Just about everyone in the place had a bag of merchandise, and I guarantee you that not many people at all left that store without spending less than 100 dollars.

After we finished our shopping, we met up at our meeting tree. Then we headed to the food concession stand. Again, it was Disney-esque. So many lines, so many people working, so much food ready to go. Robby had a bbq sandwich which he really liked, I had a chicken salad sandwich which was pretty good, and we split a pimento cheese. Now, the food prices for our sandwiches were 1.50 or 3-I guess that is kind of their thing: keeping the food prices low. That made it fun for sure.

We were eating and heard the bull horn followed by the announcement-storms coming, lightening and rain, courses closed, seek shelter. We were expecting this, but it did happen a bit earlier than we thought. It wasn't raining yet, but we guessed it was coming.

We waited for a bit and then joined the masses on the shuffle to the car. We did stop at a practice green to watch the golfers a bit more. Now, by this time there were signs everywhere saying that the course was closed, but the golfers continued to practice. We stayed until one man did come and shut them all down and made them finish.

That is when we decided to move on to the car. By this time, I decided that I might should have gone to the bathroom. However, the only bathroom on the way out was already closed. Speaking of bathrooms-large, clean, workers. The guys went to the bathroom once today and had to find the end of the line where a man was holding a sign-like at an amusement park for a ride. The man moved along and stayed with the crowd of men joining his bathroom line. It was quite the sight-and I don't believe that Shannon had a line at all in the ladies' room. Anyway, we missed the bathroom opportunity, and that wasn't good.

That wasn't good because we waited about an hour in the parking lot trying to inch out along with everyone else. Also, there wasn't much cell service either because all 50,000 of the other people in the parking lot had just picked up their phones too after not having them all morning (and the 50,000 number is legit-they say that they have about 50K on practice days and 40K on game days.)

We did make it to the car just as the rain started to sprinkle. By the time that we made it out of the parking lot, the rain was doing more than sprinkling. It was pretty messy for the rest of the day. We did stop pretty soon after getting on the road for a bathroom stop, but then it was just rain and more rain.

There were quite a few bathroom stops. Robby had to go so badly once that we pulled off just for him. The closest gas station had an outside bathroom with a man changing clothes in it-needless to say it was an awkward situation for Robby. We did eventually find him a bathroom before we drove the 10 more miles to our next stop-Sams.

This was more just to walk around for a little bit since we needed to stretch our legs. Then it was on to Buccees in Leed, Alabama. By this time the rain had mostly cleared, and it was fairly smooth sailing. In Buccees, we didn't really buy any food and just mainly walked around.

In Birmingham, we stopped for pizza at Slice. It was a very good stop-Robby and I had chicken bbq which we both liked. Then it was back in the car towards our hotel in Tupelo.

I haven't really heard too much from the kids today-school work for all, Reagan and Anderson had Comm Central. They managed to grab themselves some Sonic as Reagan took Anderson to Raymar to work for a little bit this afternoon. I know that there has been some playing outside this evening so I am sure that they are all good and worn out tonight.

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