Tag Archives: Wife Wednesday

Wife Wednesday: Thoughts on the PGA Tour

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Chesson being handed his card by Bill (from the Tour) and Rich (from Web.com)

Hi all,

Hope everyone is having a great last week of August! I’ve officially gone from being a hot weather lover to a hot weather hater thanks to the perpetual state of swollen heat exhaustion I find myself in these days, so I am anxious to welcome September. I’m hoping for an unseasonably cool Fall 🙂 I braced myself for the Midwest heat in Omaha this past weekend because it was important to me to see Chesson earn his PGA Tour card. It was only about a 15 min ceremony, but something he’s worked so hard for that I couldn’t imagine not being there. I was excited about it all week long and a little emotional once they handed him ‘THE CARD’. I am so incredibly proud of Chesson, both for how hard he’s worked on the course and for how he lives off the course. I’ve included some pictures in this post, but keep in mind these were all on my phone inside a tent. There were hundreds of professional photographers there so hopefully we’ll get some good images down the road.

We also had a flurry of media attention last week, so you may see little things popping up in Golf Digest, on the Golf Channel and on PGATour.com. Below is one of the videos that was cut last week (and yes, sitting in the backseat was as awkward as it looked):

So, a lot of people have asked me what I think about Chesson earning a Tour card (excited, duh!), what this will change in our life, if we have new goals, etc. Although this is something we’ve hoped and prayed for as long as I can remember, there is a lot we don’t know and haven’t had time to digest, so we are in the stage of soaking it in day by day. However, below is a random collection of thoughts:

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Bill Calfee leading a toast for all the new members

Change: October will be the most life changing month of our life, but only partly because Chesson will make his PGA Tour debut. The far bigger life changer will be becoming parents! My travel ban will be in full effect so I won’t be able to watch Chesson kick off the season (major bummer!) but the sacrifice is worth it. Playing on the PGA Tour will definitely be a big change. There is a lot more money involved, a lot more people to keep happy, a lot more commitments to maintain, travel to juggle, time to balance, etc., but at the end of the day, it’s just golf. It’s still just Chesson’s job and who we are as people, how we live, and what we value won’t change. As a rookie, we know that we are at the bottom of the totem pole and Chesson will have to earn respect and rapport out there, but let’s be real, they have no idea what’s headed their way. 🙂

3 Things We’re Most Excited About:
1) The travel! The PGA Tour goes to quite a few glamorous destinations, some of which we’ve never been to. Hawaii, Pebble Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, HHI, the Greenbrier… all super fun places to visit and I can’t wait. Chesson is particularly excited about playing some of these courses, while I’m more excited about the off-course activities/ restaurants/ shopping/ hotels.

2) Childcare! Without fail, every time this year I’ve met a Tour wife who knew I was pregnant, the first thing out of her mouth has been, “Oh my gosh, you are going to love the childcare!” I’ve never heard anything other than rave reviews for the Tour’s childcare and when we were in Greensboro, Sarah McGirt was sweet enough to meet me there and introduce me to some of the people that run it. One of the Tour’s core values is family and they do everything they can to keep families together and make their travels easier. From having car seats waiting in the courtesy cars to shipping all the baby toys and pack and plays to each tournament site to employing a full time staff so that your kid establishes consistency, they have thought of everything. I’m excited because it means I’ll still be able to watch my man play and keep the little bean on a schedule.

3) Courtesy cars! Ok, so this one is probably frivolous, but we are tired of rental cars. They have been a necessary hassle the past few years, but we are more than happy to give them up in exchange for a courtesy car waiting for us at the airport at every tournament. Plus, considering we rent a Compact class car most of the time, it will be nice to drive a car that’s not a 4-cylinder. It’s the little things, people!

Goals: At the end of every year, Chesson and I sit down and talk about our goals for the next year. We categorize them by: Personal goals, Spiritual goals, Professional goals, Financial goals, and Physical/ Health goals. (Full disclosure: I’m the only one who sets the Physical/ Health goals as Chesson is pretty stuck on his fast food and no exercise routine :)) We will do that again this year and tailor them to this new time in our life.

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Proud wife

I’m sure there are a hundred things I didn’t touch on, but hopefully that’s a little insightful. We will just take each day at a time and make the most of it for however long it lasts. What I will say, over and over, is that we are beyond blessed, not because of anything we deserve, but because of the grace of God (2 Tim. 1:9).

Blessings,
~Amanda~

P.S. A lot of you probably caught Chesson on the Golf Channel commentating with Kay Cockerill this weekend. Although he’d rather be playing, he loves having a microphone in his hands so maybe it’ll be a second career down the road?

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Co-commentating with Kay

Wife Wednesday: Pregnancy update and photo dump

Hi all!

Sorry for the unplanned break here- I think Chess and I have both been pretty slammed. I took last week off the road so I wasn’t in Pittsburgh, but I’ve been getting a lot of loose ends tied on the homefront. And I had my first 3rd trimester checkup and glucose test and everything looks great! Hard to believe we are in the final stretch before our little buddy gets here. I’ve had several people ask for a pregnancy update, so I’ll do a short one here along with an iPhone photo dump of things that have been going on lately.

Pregnancy update:
Progress: 27 weeks!
Size: My doc said she thinks it’s between 2-3 lbs. Our weekly email (which tells you what size the baby is for that week in produce terms) said it’s a rutabaga this week. Who even knows what that looks like?
Gender: No clue! We are excited to be surprised when it makes its debut. Chesson has said boy the whole time, but I really don’t have an instinct either way. Some days I think it’s a girl and others I think it’s a boy, but for now we’ll just have to keep guessing.
Movement: All.the.time! It didn’t move a lot until the past month or so but it kicks and flips constantly. Last week, Chesson put his face on my stomach and it kicked him hard in the cheek three times.
Cravings/ aversions: None! I haven’t had any true cravings. I had a major aversion to avocados for the first half of pregnancy, and although it has waned considerably, I’m still not big on avocados right now. Other than that, I eat the same way I always have.
Bump: I don’t have a big bump, though it has gotten a lot larger in recent weeks. Some days it seems to poke out more than others, but I’ll let you be the judge in the pics below.
Sleep: Great, most of the time. I’m pretty tired by the end of the day.
Aches/ Pains: Nothing life altering, but by the end of the day, I am sore all over. I’m trying to keep up seeing the chiropractor when I’m home to make sure everything stays aligned.
Milestones: I’ll be 28 weeks on Friday! Although we want baby Hadley to stay in much longer, it has a 90% survival rate at 28 weeks, so that’s comforting to know.
Favorite moment this week: I love feeling the baby move all day. I feel like I have a special glimpse into its personality that no one else knows. There is nothing slow or gentle about this child and it goes crazy on sugar… Chesson’s personality, anyone?! I also love that the baby is with me all the time- it’s like I’m never alone 🙂

I’m not big on pregnancy bump pictures, so don’t expect to see a lot of those here, but I promise I’ll make up for it with lots of pics when the baby makes its debut. In the mean time, here is a glimpse into our life recently through pictures.

Blessings!
~Amanda~

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We don’t have a lot of time for true dates these days, but sometimes we sneak in a breakfast date, like we did the morning after Chesson won in Raleigh.

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If you know Chesson, you know that fitness and nutrition are not a part of his lifestyle at all. I dragged him to the gym in Park City and this was his face the whole time.

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These deer were on the course in Utah and Chesson flipped out.

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I went hiking with one of the other player’s wives while we were in Utah and this was the scenery. Stunning.

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This picture cracks me up because it is Chesson in a nutshell. He can’t stand for his food to touch other food on his plate, so he just gets separate plates for everything.

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We spent the majority of Chesson’s birthday on planes so this is the only pic I have of his actual 26th birthday.

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In Utah right before we went downhill mountain biking.

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My “bump picture” at 25 weeks, though my shirt was drapey so you can’t really see it.

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When you’re on the road all the time, you do your baby registry at the Target in Boise. Or better yet, you just use Amazon 🙂

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My mom and dad came to the Boise tournament… there’s that bump.

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While I was home this week, Mom treated me to a pedicure. Happy preggo feet 🙂

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If you’re standing in the grocery checkout line, open the September issue of Golf Digest to see a goofy pic of Chesson and some of his tour buddies.

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A few people texted me this pic after Chesson won and I absolutely love it. I wish I had it in higher resolution so I could get it framed.

Wife Wednesday: Boise and Travel Tips Part 3

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Howdy from the potato capital, Idaho!

It is a balmy 100 degrees here and although it’s definitely hot, it still doesn’t feel as hot to me as last week did in Overland Park. That humidity was tough to handle being pregnant! We’ve heard great things about this tournament all year and so far Boise has treated us well. Boise is surrounded by mountains, although the city itself experiences a desert climate in the summer. The course is set among a bunch of old houses and gas stations. You don’t expect there to be a course right there, but as soon as you get on the grounds, everything turns green and it’s really pretty. I thought the same thing when I went to Augusta… set in a bit of an odd-location but as soon as you get on the grounds, everything is gorgeous.

EAT: Monday night, Chesson and I had one of the top dinners of our year. The Titleist guys have been trying to schedule a time to grab dinner and it finally worked out this week. They took us to Barbacoa and set our expectations pretty high. It did not disappoint! It was seriously amazing and it felt like we dined like royalty. I started with the yummiest virgin mojito (sick of drinking water all the time!) and we ordered a bunch of appetizers. In addition to a queso fundido and trio of ceviche, a chef came and made tableside guacamole for us. Next, I had a grilled Caesar salad with roasted red peppers and rosemary polenta croutons, which was probably my favorite item. Barbacoa is a steak place so for entrees, we all ordered different cuts of beef. I had the hot rock filet mignon with cognac sauce (where they poured the sauce on my steak at the table and lit it on fire), and Chess ordered a big ribeye. For dessert, they brought out a “cotton candy lantern”—where homemade cotton candy was spun around a candle to make it light up—, a fried ice cream lollipop tree, and this dessert called “coffee and doughnuts”. Seriously, the presentation was as cool as the food at this place. They say you are only supposed to have 300 extra calories when you a pregnant, so I think I filled my quota for the week already.

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STAY: We are staying in the host hotel this week, the Riverside Hotel. It’s an older hotel that is spread out over many acres. It is positioned next to the Boise River and has been very well-maintained. I read a tip to request a room on the back of the property overlooking the river, so that’s where we are and I love it. The rooms are big and the river is peaceful. Plus, they have live music by the pool every night so we just open our balcony door and enjoy. Although player dining is really good this week, the breakfast buffet at this hotel cannot be missed. Everything is fresh and local, and there’s a made-to-order omelet station and homemade donuts with different sauces to pour on top.

DO: I REALLY want to go standup paddle-boarding on the Boise River this week. The river is a big summer attraction that runs through downtown and attracts a lot of watersports enthusiasts. I asked my doc about doing SUP last time I was home and she tentatively gave me the go-ahead so long as I was careful. I’m thinking I might be able to sneak it in Friday afternoon after Chesson’s round, but we will see.

Below is the last installment of my Travel Tips series!

Travel Tips Part 3: Things to Do

Okay, as promised, this one will be short. I wish I could give you 2 or 3 guaranteed places to check to find things to do, but honestly it changes everywhere. What I would advise is to read up on places you are going and have ideas in mind of things you want to do. I’m not a planner in the sense that I say “On Tuesday at 4pm, we are visiting this park”, but I do like to have ideas in mind of things I’d like to do in the different places we go. From travel news stories to blogs to airline magazines, you can find fun things to do almost anywhere and Google is your friend. Even better, ask people! Front desk staff at a hotel, shuttle drivers, and locals you meet in restaurants are all great resources and know about the lesser known activities that may not make a magazine spread. I think a lot of people assume that the place you go dictates what you should do (i.e. when you’re on an island, you should lay on a beach) but there are seriously so many fun things to do everywhere. When we went to wine country on our honeymoon, we only spent 1.5 days visiting wineries. The rest of the time we were biking the Silverado Trail, ziplining through the Redwood forest, on an African animal safari at Safari West, picnicking in Healdsburg Square, etc. (Btw, if you ever need a vacation idea, the Sonoma/ Napa area is one of our favorite places in the entirecountry. Ever since our honeymoon, we have talked about how soon we can get back).

I’m headed back home after this week to do some nesting. I’m excited to get off the road and be home for 3 weeks, but I’m also a little sad because I’ve had fun being with Chesson every day this month. Here’s to praying he has another good tournament before we separate. This is another televised event, so check the Golf Channel for coverage. He goes off at 1:15pm (3:15pm EST) Thursday and 8:15am Friday.

Blessings!
~Amanda~

Wife Wednesday: Travel Tips Part 2: Hotels and Restaurants

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(above: how Chesson kept himself entertained on our flight out of Utah. I’ll spare you the others)

Happy Hump Day from the Midwest!

We had a blast in Utah (minus the missed cut) and got to our house in Kansas about 2am Monday morning. We are staying with an awesome young couple (who are also expecting their first and second child…twins!) and they live right by the clubhouse. It’s pretty hot and humid here like Raleigh and the course is another easy one… wouldn’t be surprised with another -6 cut if the weather stays perfect. We landed in Missouri, the tournament is in Kansas, and on Sunday we are headed to Idaho, so I’m knocking 3 more states off my “Visit all the United States” list in just a week’s time.

We went to a player/member dinner Monday night, TourLife last night, and I went to a wives luncheon today. I’ve also been booking a ton of flights for the upcoming months and Chesson has fielded a few local interviews. If there’s such thing as a routine on the road, we are in it this week.

Today is mine and Chesson’s 3rd anniversary! We already celebrated it so I doubt we’ll do anything more, but happy anniversary my love!

Below is the continuation of my travel tips series. Next week, we will be in Boise and are pumped to see Idaho in all its summer glory. We’ve been excited for this event all year, and I’m especially excited because my parents are coming out for it.

Blessings,
~Amanda~

(This is the 2nd of a 3-part series on Travel Tips)

Travel Tips Part 2: Hotels and Restaurants

If you missed Part 1 last week where I talked about Flights and Rental Cars, check it out here.

Hotels
First, let me say that during tournament weeks, we don’t stay at hotels very often. We’ve found that we really like meeting local families, staying on the course, having a house/ kitchen/ washer dryer to access, and just not living out of a sterile hotel room for weeks on end. I’ve heard that next year we will be in hotels most every week, but for now, we like host housing. That being said, there are occasional tournaments where we want a break to just go to a hotel room and crash. (Athens tournament was a perfect example!) And when we take vacations, I’m always on the lookout for a fun resort or hotel to stay at.

I don’t have any tried and true methods of finding the best hotel deal, but I can say that I’ve tried them all. I really like to stay at luxury resorts or independently run hotels, as opposed to your typical 3 star chain hotel. The good news is: those are exactly the kind of hotels you can find on daily deal and travel websites. There’s a bunch of travel websites that offer deals on luxury vacation properties (Luxury Link, Snique Away, Vacationist, Jet Setter) and although by no means do I track them all, I occasionally pop over to them to see what they’re offering. They seriously have some neat places up for grabs at pretty good deals, so I would definitely check them out. On the daily deal websites, namely Groupon and Living Social, both sites have travel sections, called “Getaways” and “Escapes”, respectively, and they tend to offer some neat hotel and resort deals, usually at even bigger discounts. All of these sites update their offerings about once a week, so definitely check them out. I’ve found places I wanted to go on vacation just based on a resort that I saw on one of these sites. Finally, my other favorite travel website is Travelzoo. If I could only pick one travel website to check for the rest of my life, it would be this one as they seem to aggregate a lot of the best airfare/ hotel/ restaurant deals together. Definitely take a peak at their “Local Deals” section for any city you are planning on traveling to.

For times where you are going to a city and just need a hotel for a night or 2, I’d check out Hotwire or Priceline. You can buy or bid on a hotel based on its location and star level. We’ve done it occasionally and although you can get a really good deal, I wouldn’t count on it for an extended vacation just in case you don’t like what you ended up with. You have to pay for the room in full before they reveal what hotel it is. Just remember that the higher star hotel or resort you stay at, the more a la carte the amenities are going to be. Most of the 3 star chain hotels offer free wi-fi, parking, breakfast, etc. so everything is included in your room rate, whereas the higher end hotels will charge you for those individually. For me, I’ll take the trade because I’d rather have fancy sheets than free cereal, but it’s certainly personal preference. The bottom line is that I can usually find a fun 4-5 star hotel for us to stay in (via the above tips) for the same price as that chain hotel would cost us, so do your research!

Restaurants
You can’t talk about restaurants while you’re on the road without bringing up Urbanspoon. For those of you who don’t have that app on your phone, download it immediately. Chesson was actually the first one of us to get hooked on it and it has almost never let us down. The reason is: the user reviews are almost always spot on. If you just Google “restaurants in Chicago”, you are going to be returned the restaurants that have paid the most for ad words and/ or have good meta tags in place (boom, there’s your IT lesson for the day). When you look for them on Urbanspoon, you can find the restaurants that 95% of users recommend, as well as pictures of the food, the menu, etc. There are different sections where you can look for user favorites, Zagat rated, local picks, etc. Even if you’ve already picked out a restaurant, I would look it up on Urbanspoon, Yelp or Trip Advisor to see what people have said about it. And definitely ask locals for their recommendations! I am always curious when the Raleigh restaurant lists come out in magazines and newspapers because I typically think, “Wow, I wouldn’t have recommended that one, but I definitely would’ve told someone this one.”

The only place I would send you for restaurant deals are Living Social, Groupon, and Travelzoo. I love it when I find a pricey restaurant on one of these sites because it gives me more motivation to try it since I can get it for $50 instead of $100. If it’s good, I’ll go back and recommend it to others, and if it’s bad, it’s what we would’ve spent at a place like Ruby Tuesday anyways (and no offense to RT! If you haven’t been there in the past couple years, their menu is actually really good. Zucchini, red pepper and feta cakes with grilled green beans… yes please!) My only encouragement to you is that when you travel; don’t pick a restaurant you could go to at home. Save the chain restaurants for when you’re homebound and try the local places when you’re traveling. You’ll get local styles of cuisine, (hopefully) local ingredients, and just a better appreciation for the area.

I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m hating on chain hotels and restaurants because they definitely have their place and are consistent in quality across the board. We go to our fair share of them during the year. I just remember places based on where we stayed and where we ate, so I would encourage anyone to venture out from what they’re used to. Five years from now, you might say, “Do you remember that hole-in-the-wall Italian place we went to in Nashville?” but I guarantee you won’t say, “Do you remember the Olive Garden in Nashville?” Food for thought 🙂

Next week will be short, but I’ll cover Part 3 of Travel Tips: Things to Do.

(Pictured below are the Utah scenery, an amazing halibut dish we both ordered in Park City, and the obligatory In and Out!)

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Wife Wednesday: Utah and Travel Tips Part 1

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Hello from Utah—where the weather is perfect, the humidity is low and the mountains are high!

We’ve been here for 5 days already and we are having the best time. Park City was amazing and everything I remembered. I’m so glad Chesson loved it because it sealed the deal that we are coming back here for a ski vacation. We spent our time at the Canyons Resort, which is 1 of 3 main resorts (Deer Valley, The Canyons, Park City Resort) in Park City. Everyone you talk to has their favorite resort depending on their preferences, but for me, the Canyons is my favorite. It is the newest of the 3 and the largest. You could literally ski it for days and not hit every trail, plus I think it has the most varied scenery. Although I was set for hiking, Chesson quickly nixed that idea in favor of mountain biking. Little did we realize, what we actually committed to was downhill mountain biking which is *quite* different from what I was expecting. We had to rent these $8000 performance bikes that were loaded onto the gondola and chairlifts for us. When we got to the top, we unloaded and had to bike down the mountain. (Don’t worry Mom and Dad, we were wearing helmets!). I’m an adrenaline rush person by nature and don’t get scared of much, but this was actually at my limit. I think skydiving was safer than this, as the only thing I had to worry about was my parachute deploying, whereas here I was trying to avoid running into trees and falling on rocks going downhill at 30mph. I didn’t really read the liability waver before I signed it, but I’m pretty certain that this was not a pregnancy-approved activity! Needless to say, we stayed safe and had a lot of fun.

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On our last gondola ride down, Chesson pulled a little jewelry box out of his backpack and told me a lot of sweet things about how he appreciates me. I teared up and inside was a pair of diamond stud earrings that I was totally shocked by. The boy LOVES to buy diamonds, but I made him promise these would count for all of my gifts this year. They are gorgeous and over-the-top and pretty much exactly what I’ve come to expect from him. We relaxed by the pool on Saturday afternoon and that evening we went out for a nice dinner in downtown Park City to celebrate our anniversary before cozying into our lodge while it mountain rain-stormed outside. In Chesson’s words, I would say he nailed it.

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We are now in Salt Lake, or specifically a suburb called Sandy, gearing up for this week’s tournament. Between the scenery, the food, and the tournament activities, this is quickly becoming one of my favorite events so far. The backdrop of the course is easily the prettiest of the year—I mean look at those mountains!

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I’m working east coast hours which is zero fun when my alarm goes off in the mornings, but allows me to wrap up earlier in the afternoon. I went out and caught the last 4 hours of Chesson’s pro-am on Monday (it didn’t end until 10pm EST!) and we went to the dinner party afterwards. Chesson played with the Utah Sports Commission chairman and several legislators and needless to say, they won with a 45 net score! It was neat meeting them all and sampling some local food–each hole had a different sponsor with different food. Last night, we had a great time at the player barbecue/ mustache madness contest before heading to TourLife. The tournament is televised this week, so check the Golf Channel on Thursday-Sunday for coverage of my favorite golfer 🙂

If you made it this far and want to keep reading, starting below is the first of a series I’m doing on Wednesdays on Travel Tips. A lot of people ask about how I manage all the travel and any tricks I’ve found along the way, so I hope these are helpful to you and maybe save you some cash on your next trip!

Blessings!
~Amanda~

(This is the 1st of a 3-part series on Travel Tips)

Travel Tips Part 1: Flights and Rental Cars

One of my favorite hobbies in life is traveling. I figure that I’m only here for a short time on earth and I want to see/ taste/ experience as much as I can. And it doesn’t have to be glamorous traveling… though I do have a dream of vacationing on the Amalfi Coast… I really like all kind of traveling. 2 years playing golf’s mini-tours and driving to towns you’ve never heard of (I’m looking at you, Ninety-Six, SC!) can either be adventurous or downright miserable depending on how you approach them. As I’ve mentioned before, it took us exactly a month of marriage and 2 tournaments to learn that driving to a small town, staying in a bargain hotel and eating at chain restaurants was not how I was going to spend the next however-many years.

For me, half the fun of traveling is the planning aspect of it. I love to research places to stay and eat and things to do at each city. Between the internet/ blogs/ word of mouth/ and the travel magazines I subscribe to, there’s a plethora of information out there about anywhere you could possibly want to go. To me, it’s a guilty pleasure to sit on my iPad for a couple of hours and read about upcoming places that we are going—while Chesson plays Angry Birds or some other mindless cell phone game beside me 🙂 In my opinion, the better you plan, the more fun you have because you aren’t scrambling to come up with things to do once you get there, not to mention you can usually get better deals! I love to find a bargain and with some planning and patience, you can usually have a 4 star experience at a 2 or 3 star price. Below are some tips/ tricks I’ve gathered along the way.

Flights
There are 2 websites I always check when it comes to booking flights: Southwest.com and Kayak.com. Southwest because years of travel have led both Chesson and me to the conclusion that it is easily the best airline out there. If Southwest flies to the city we are going to and is anywhere close to the price of other airlines, we will pick Southwest. Free baggage and no change fees saves us a ton of money, plus they are friendlier and much more efficient than other airlines. Kayak is a fantastic website for flights because it is simply a price aggregator. You put in your information and it searches all airlines (excluding Southwest and JetBlue) and returns the best prices. If your dates are flexible or you want to monitor fare prices, there are also options for those. Unlike Expedia, Orbitz, etc., you don’t purchase your fares through Kayak. Once you pick the one you want, the link takes you directly to that airline’s website to book the fare…which makes things much easier should you need to make any changes. I avoid booking flights through those 3rd party websites for that reason.

As far as when to book flights, a lot of people say on Tuesday or Wednesday. While fare sales generally happen on those 2 days, I haven’t found there to be a huge difference in price. Some of the best flight deals I’ve found have actually been late on a Saturday night. What I will say is that the window of 3-6 weeks in advance is usually the best price window. Too far in advance and airlines are holding out to see how much they can fill, too little and they price gauge you. Give yourself a couple weeks to monitor prices until you find one that you like. (And for Southwest, if you book a flight and then the price drops, you can re-book at the lower price and get a credit for the future!). Don’t be afraid to book one-way flights. Often times you can find a steal on a one way flight and a good return one on a different carrier. We fly mostly one way flights going from city to city and I’ll grab cheap ones when I can and hold out on the ones that are expensive. Also, the best days to book flights are also the best days to travel (Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday) as these tend to be the cheapest days to fly. Finally, if you’re a Twitter user, Airfarewatchdog is a great account to follow to know about fare sales and unadvertised deals.

Rental Cars
I don’t have a lot to say about rental cars other than I almost always reserve through CarRentals.com. I don’t know why but I like that website the best and the prices always seem to be good. Making a reservation is super simple and doesn’t require a credit card, so you can always cancel a reservation if needed. For rental cars, the farther in advance you reserve, the better. If I make a reservation a month ahead of time, it is easily $150 cheaper than the same reservation I make a week in advance. If the rental car companies are all offering the same basic rates, I will pick Enterprise for their customer service.

My other tip about rental cars is that when you are vacationing, you should almost always get a rental car (unless of course you are going to a metropolitan city where subways or taxis are the preferred transportation or you are going to a resort in Jamaica where they warn you not to leave resort property because of crime concerns). If you really want to explore a local area you are visiting, you need a way of getting around. If you just rely on airport shuttles or taxis, you won’t have the ability to peruse the area at your leisure. Often the best restaurants and hole-in-the-wall shops are off the beaten path and not located in the heavily touristy areas. The money you’ll spend on a rental car will be saved by not doing everything at your resort, so in my mind it equals out anyways.

Next week I’ll cover hotels and restaurants!

Wife Wednesday: 5 Things

Happy (almost) 4th of July!!

In honor of the shortened workweek, I thought I’d do a short fun post today: the 5 things I’m most excited about this week. In no particular order…

1) Cooling off in the lake! We are spending the 4th with Chesson’s parents at their lake house and my formerly cold-natured self cannot wait to beat the heat on a tube by the dock.

2) Our nursery! I went into mild panic mode last week because *nothing* had been done on our nursery and the rest of our summer is jam-packed. So, I got everything cleaned out of the room, hired a lady to come paint it, hired a gentleman to come hang a bunch of stuff for me, including a new light fixture, and it is starting to take shape! Although we don’t have a crib or dresser yet, I’m in love with how it’s coming together. I decided that I’m going to surprise Chesson with it, so he has no clue what’s going on in there. Below is your only hint 🙂

3) Mountain bound! We are flying to Utah at the end of this week. Although I love going to the beach, I’ve decided I’m a mountain girl. Whether during the winter or the summer, nothing beats the crisp air, low humidity and commanding views that the mountains offer. Chesson had never been out west (to the real mountains!) until I took him to a ranch in Wyoming last year, so this will only be his second time experiencing how stunning they are!

4) In and Out! We love some In and Out over here! Anytime I’m headed anywhere out west, I check to see if there’s one nearby and there’s one just a couple miles from the golf course next week. Yes please! (And I’m fully aware that if we actually lived near one, In and Out would probably quickly lose its appeal and just feel like Cookout to us. But we don’t. So it’s still the bomb.com in our minds).

5) 3rd Anniversary celebration! Since Chesson will be in full tournament mode during our actual anniversary (July 17th), we are flying out west to celebrate it early. I really wanted to take Chesson to Park City, so we are headed there and have a room at a swanky hotel.

Hope you all have a fun, relaxing and safe 4th of July and you take time to reflect on our country’s ideals and all those who fought to give us our independence!

~Amanda~

Wife Wednesday: A win, a new job and other crazy happenings

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Well hello there,

First of all, I don’t even know where to begin when I think about the last week. With all the media attention, crazy schedules and added pressure of friends and family around, Chesson and I were both just hoping he would make the cut! After such a great first round, we were then hoping he would finish well enough to lock up his Tour card. Winning the tournament was never something we really talked about. In fact, even after putting on 18, he thought he and Danny were tied. We were in shock that he actually won!

Sunday was a special day. We woke up and went to church at Summit together. It’s the last time we will be there for 5 weeks, so I was happy his tee time was late enough that we could go. JD’s message was on depression. Truth be told, at first I was like, “Oh great. Chesson is trying to get psyched up for the final round and we have a sermon on depression.” But it was actually perfect and he talked about never doubting God’s love or bigger purpose for our lives. We snuck out at the end of the service and drove straight to the course. They had just set out lunch in player dining and as I watched Chesson eat steak and potatoes at 10:30 in the morning, I thought it would be a good day.

He didn’t get off to a great start again and the first 8 holes were pretty blah. When the storms hit, we got shuttled to the clubhouse and Chesson again had steak and potatoes. The second time must’ve been the kicker because after that he pretty much blacked out (same way he did on the front nine in Greenville!). Starting with the eagle on 9, he was in the zone. I’ve watched him play enough golf to know he has a certain look about him when he’s “in the zone”. He carries himself differently—he’s relaxed but very concentrated and you just get the feeling that he knows he’s going to hit a good shot when he’s standing over the ball. He definitely had that posture on Sunday afternoon, which made me totally relaxed and soaking it all in. I wasn’t nervous a bit for him because I could tell how good he felt.

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People asked me on Sunday if I could believe he won. At the time, I said yes. I watched all 72 holes and thought he played solid golf from beginning to end. It’s not until now, a few days later, when it sinks in that it’s kind of hard to believe. Even though there are many other tournaments this year with bigger purses, there is no place I would rather him win than in front of everyone we know and love. It was truly a Cinderella story and a moment in time I will treasure forever.

After all the excitement of Sunday, it was a bummer to go back to the grind on Monday morning. I’m not on the road again this week (though I have a solid stretch of tournaments coming up!) because I’m starting a new job!! I’m actually doing the same thing I’ve been doing, but instead of being an IT Consultant for a client, my client is bringing me on full-time to work for them. I will be fully remote, which allows me to still travel with Chesson and get my work done on the road. This opportunity actually came up the week of the BMW Championship. Up until that week, our year had been so-so. It was certainly nothing to complain about as we felt very blessed to be able to be on the Web.com Tour, make some cuts, have my job, etc. but there wasn’t anything spectacular about our year. Then, in just a few weeks’ time, I got a wonderful new job offer, Chesson finished 3rd-6th-2nd and 1st, and we got great news at our ultrasound. We have been on cloud nine and just overwhelmed with gratitude for God’s blessings lately.

I’m in Charlotte this week off-boarding with my current company and on-boarding at my new company. All the paperwork and administrative stuff is never fun, but it has to be done. I was a little bummed at the timing because I have heard so many things about Victoria National—both how great the course is and how pretty the houses are—but that was quickly allayed when I realized I would be in Charlotte on the night of one of my dearest friend’s surprise birthday party. How perfect timing is that! I don’t get to see my friends all that often, especially the ones who don’t live in Raleigh, and I tend to miss a lot of their life events. I love that I was able to be there last night to celebrate her and have some fun girl time! We went to Bubble, a swanky lounge/restaurant at the top of the Epicenter in uptown Charlotte. The food was amazing and the company even better. Plus, another one of my dearest friends and her husband just bought a new house in Charlotte, and I got to stay and spend time with them. It’s a win-win for all.

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I do still miss my hubby though, especially because I haven’t had a lot of time with him amidst the chaos. We had a quick coffee date at Jubala before I put him on his plane Monday and that’s about it. I’m excited for him to get home next week to spend some time together. There are a lot of wives that don’t make it out to many events. Some would rather stay home and others would like to travel but can’t because of work or family obligations. I hope that’s never the case for us. We have spent enough time apart in our first 3 years of marriage that I hope the next 3 years allow us to spend most weeks together. People tell me all the time that I have a “dream job”. While I wouldn’t go that far—I mean I wouldn’t exactly call what I do fun—I am forever grateful for the flexibility it provides. If you had asked me in college if I work ever work in the IT field, my answer would have been a resounding no, but there is almost nothing about my current life that I could’ve forseen in college. That’s the beauty and adventure of life, isn’t it?

Hope everyone is having a great week! Chesson’s last off week for the foreseeable future is next week—it’s also his birthday week, his family’s vacation week, and our only time to celebrate our anniversary—so we’ve got a lot of fun, relaxing activities planned before a big stretch of tournaments commence.

Blessings to you all!
~Amanda~

P.S. All the pictures and video in this post are the “girly” ones that I love the most. I love the one of us at the top after he finished and it reminds me of the one eGolf captured last year when I was caddying for Chesson when he won. It’s framed on our wall and you can check it out here. If you want to go through all the interviews, radio/ tv appearances and articles about Chesson from last week, click on “Had’s Archives” at the top of the page.

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One last video to leave you with – WRAL-TV’s Gerald Owens did a “behind the scenes” look at our life together that aired last week. Check it out below!

Wife Wednesday: Golf Manager

Hi all,

I’m not on the road again this week so I’m just hanging at home getting ready for all of next week’s festivities. I’d like to say that I’ve been using my time in the evenings to work on the nursery, but who are we kidding. It just overwhelms me and I can’t get motivated to start. Instead, I’ve been doing a lot of the same things I mentioned a few weeks back in this post.

In addition to my day job, my second (full-time) job is acting as Chesson’s manager. (Which is a throwback to middle and high school when I was the golf manager for Chesson’s golf team :P) I book all his travel, set up housing, reserve rental cars, schedule appointments, respond to emails, manage finances, update his website, etc. Although he’s going to have to pick up some of the slack once the baby gets here, he is not a detail-oriented person by nature and loathes all of the above. The few times he’s booked things on his own, they’ve never turned out smoothly so sometimes it’s just easier for me to do it the first time. All that to say, we’ve got a huge stretch of travel coming up to close out the season and there are a ton of reservations to be made and things to be planned for so I’ve been trying to knock some of that out this week as well.

Next week is our hometown event!! We have been so excited for this tournament all year and can’t wait to have many friends and family out there. Chesson’s swing coach is coming into town and staying with us and we have a ton packed into every day. For those of you in the Raleigh area, you will see Chesson on WRAL on the Tuesday morning news at 6:30am, one of the evening news segments, on the radio, and in the newspaper. There’s also some fun Twitter giveaways planned, so make sure you follow Chesson on Twitter.

And since I think every post should have at least 1 picture, here’s a pic of our little munchkin from our ultrasound last week. Love that little face!! Do you think it looks like a boy or girl?

~Amanda~

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Wife Wednesday: Home Sweet Home

Happy hump day!

In honor of today, here is a video that will make you laugh out loud. Chesson showed it to me yesterday and has been watching it repeatedly, cracking up every time.

We are thoroughly enjoying this off week and it’s so nice to be home. I remember reading an interview with a PGA Tour player a few years ago and the reporter asked him if he could go anywhere on vacation, where would it be. His response was: home. At the time, I remember thinking, “Yeah right. He can literally afford any vacation on earth he wants. There’s no way he would choose home over Bora Bora.” Now, I totally understand his response. We get giddy about coming home and feel like it’s a vacation. It’s nice to just do normal things and sleep in our own bed. I warned Chesson in advance that this was “baby week” because we have several appointments that need to occur in the next month and this is the only week we have. Tuesday night, we had our hospital tour. At the end, they showed a video that included live birth footage. Truth be told, Chesson got really pumped up and excited watching the video, but it unnerved me a little bit. This morning, I had my monthly checkup and everything looked great. Always good to hear that heartbeat! Tomorrow is our big Level 2 ultrasound where they check everything to make sure it’s on track and developing normally. Please say a prayer for us with that!

I am taking the day off of work tomorrow and Chesson is taking the day off of golf and I.am.pumped. With working Monday-Friday and then him playing tournaments through Sunday, we rarely have a day where neither of us is working. Our only other off week this summer is already accounted for, so I was anxious to have a day in Raleigh where we could hang out and have fun. I have a day full of shopping, lunching and laying by the pool in mind–although the forecast sure didn’t get the memo.

I feel like there isn’t much to say as this is such a low key week for us, but I’ll leave you with something to think about. We do a bible study with my family daily over email that my dad leads and yesterday’s passage covered John 10:10. The second half of the verse reads, “I have come so that they may have life and have it abundantly.” A lot of people misconstrue this verse to say that Jesus is talking about material possessions. While I think God loves to bless us in many ways, including materially, the abundant life is found in the depth of our relationships. The strength of our relationship with God, in marriage, with our family and with the people that surround us determines how abundant or empty our life feels. Countless people have asked Chesson how it felt to wake up Monday morning. I’ve heard him respond, “Honestly, I feel the same. I don’t feel any more happy or fulfilled in life because of my finish.” I think it’s great that he feels that way because if his contentment in life was determined by his scorecard or money list position, or if mine was determined by my job title or possessions, we would be in for a long, very cyclical lifestyle of emotions. I think one of the secrets to life is to choose joy regardless of your circumstances. Just food for thought on your Wednesday 🙂

Hope everyone is having a great week! Catch you next Wednesday.

~Amanda~

Wife Wednesday: Solo week

Chesson is traveling solo this week which means I have a week to myself in Raleigh. Although I definitely miss him when he’s gone, I’ve been looking forward to having this week to recharge and catch up with some girlfriends. When I determine which tournaments I’m going to, I have 4 criteria.

1) Destination: Do I want to visit this place?
2) Practicality: Is it relatively easy and cost efficient for me to go?
3) Work situation: Will I still be able to work full-time with no internet/ phone issues?
4) Tournament: It is a fun tournament? Are there cool events planned at night?

Since Mexico met 0 of my criteria, it was a pretty easy decision for me to skip this one. At the same time, Chesson was pumped about his best friend wanting to go to this event, so I’m happy they can go have a fun time together. The few weeks we have at home usually consist of getting caught up on life/ bills/ cleaning/ etc. and on the road, it’s all about golf, all the time. This is a rare week where I have some “Amanda time”. So, here’s a look at some of the things I am doing this week…

Jubala coffee dates
For you Raleigh peeps, Jubala Coffee is my favorite place to go. Hands down. Despite the number of gift certificates I get to this place during holidays, I still spend an exorbitant amount of money here during the year, but it’s so worth it. (And since I’m not a Fast Food gal like my hubby, this is where I splurge). My breakfast order of choice: a cappuccino (decaf for the time being!) and a Greek yogurt granola.

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Two for Tuesday
Chesson and I both grew up at North Ridge Country Club and they have a special on Tuesday nights where you get a full meal for 2 for $39. The chef tends to experiment with new dishes and bring in the freshest ingredients available that week. The meal is always incredible. My mom likes it as much as I do and it’s become a mini-tradition for us that when Chess is away, we go to Two for Tuesday together. Last night, I ordered a great salad and a filet with truffled potatoes. Holy yum.

Walks
At the risk of sounding like an old lady, walking is my favorite form of exercise. I love to get outside and walk around Raleigh, and it’s a great way to catch up with friends. Chesson, on the other hand, says he walks for a living and absolutely loathes going on walks, so I take the opportunity to go walk with friends whenever he’s away.

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Tennis with Girlfriends
I grew up playing tennis and got out of the habit in recent years, but last summer I started playing again (occasionally) and I have a blast. Chesson played with me one time, lost, and declared he would never play with me again, so this is another activity I enjoy when he’s away. I like playing with girlfriends more anyways! My usual playing partner is Joanna, my beautiful friend who also happens to be the manager of Monkee’s in North Hills. It’s an adorable women’s boutique, so if any of you gals need some great summer swag or men need gift ideas for the gals in your life, she will hook you up. (Also, since Chesson touts the singleness of his best friend on here all the time, I would be remiss not to mention that Joanna is equally single!)

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Nursery
Although our nursery is totally planned out in my head, I’ve done exactly 0 in making progress on it. I’ve got a bunch of clothes, electronics, and books to donate to the Raleigh Rescue Mission (our charity of choice!), and my goal is to at least get that accomplished and have my paint colors picked out by the end of the week.

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Massage
There is nothing I love more than a good massage, and now that I’m pregnant, I’m stiffer and sorer than I’ve ever been. I booked myself an hour long session tonight and can.not.wait.

Beach weekend
I was kinda bummed when I found out the weekend Chesson was gone was Memorial Day weekend since I have a few days off, but that was short-lived once I was invited to the beach! 🙂 Stacie (who owns the Parlor at North Ridge and is the best hair stylist in Raleigh) and her family have a gorgeous house in Holden Beach and I’m so excited to be their adopted daughter this weekend and enjoy some time with their family.

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I’m getting back from the beach on Memorial Day afternoon, picking Chess up at the airport, and we are driving straight to Maryland for the next tournament, so I’ll check in with everyone from good ole’ Yankee town next week!

~Amanda~