Doug turned 50 on February 17th. We had fun parties and celebrations with his family and mine whilst we were in the States. A year ago I decided that the best present I could possibly give Doug would be a trip to the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. This is a dream destination for most golfers and since there are no public tickets available, it's quite a coveted event. So, I knew that in order to make this happen I needed a contact, an insider if you will and so my search began.
I contacted everyone I knew who worked for large corporations to see if they any access. Those pathways dried up. My folks had gotten to go years ago and my dad checked the source that helped them. No luck. I was pretty much giving up when a college friend and her husband happened to be in Stockholm last summer. I met them for lunch and in the course of the conversation, the Masters and the fact that they've been several times came up. I decided to lay my request out there for them. They got excited about my desire to surprise Doug with tickets for his 50th birthday!
Then in October of last year, out of the blue one day I got an email from my friend telling me that they had 2 tickets for us for Thursday and Friday if we wanted them!!! This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and so even though our plans for the long sabbatical were in place, I also knew that passing on this was the wrong thing to do. I took the plunge, bought plane tickets and reveled in my excitement. Doug wouldn't know for months. It was very hard keeping it a secret!
In the meantime, these friends of ours helped us with logistics, invited us to play golf over the weekend and basically shared my joy in an amazing way. I only told my father that I had secured the tickets as I didn't trust anyone else to keep the secret.
Finally, at his surprise birthday party in January with family and friends gathered around, I showed him a DVD of photos of him and us that in the end revealed that on April 8th and 9th, he would be at Augusta National watching the Masters live. It was a great moment in our lives and he was so thrilled and surprised and grateful.
Now, it's the night before we leave. I am going to see South Carolina and this part of Georgia for the first time in my life. The spring bloom there is supposed to be amazing and since it snowed in Stockholm today, that sounds really appealing right now!
Of course, in the meantime, the Tiger Woods scandal broke and the fact that he is making his public debut at the Masters is remarkable. We'll be there when he returns to golf!
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our friends in South Carolina who we are spending the weekend with for helping us make the connection to the members of Augusta National who graciously sold us their tickets for only the face value of the tickets.
I have been able to give Doug the dream gift of his life through the kindness of many, some who I have never met, who wanted us to enjoy this opportunity.
I am thrilled and so is Doug. The taxi comes at 5.00 a.m. to take us to the airport. By 5.00 p.m. South Carolina time we'll be landing in America once again. Thursday morning we'll be waiting at the gates of Augusta National to enjoy what I'm sure will be one of the most amazing experiences of our life together.
Happy Birthday Honey! It's not such a bad deal for me either.