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Archive for April 10th, 2011

My travels to Ireland with Michelle and Emily couldn’t have been more random or gone as well as we ever dreamed. Everything we thought would happen didn’t, but was definitely better than what we could have ever imagined. For our trip we decided to do the responsible, adult, and mature thing of making absolutely no plans what so-ever. We had a flight arrival time, a car rental, and that was pretty much it. Everything else we would figure out as we went along. Here is our trip in a nutshell, because it is almost impossible to write it all down for you.

Leaving Edinburgh

What we thought would happen:

Board the plane to Dublin

What did happen:

We were greeted with free makeovers at the Mac counter then discovered the free samples of whiskey, bailey’s, and gin floating around the airport in honor of St. Patrick’s day. We discovered them a couple of times before boarding the plane with our own bottle of whiskey in hand.

Arrival

What we thought would happen:

We would get into Dublin, hang out with Emily’s awesome friends, and go into town to drink some delicious beer.

What did happen:

Got out of the taxi, at Fergus’ house where we would be staying(Emily’s friend Leah’s boyfriend), met Fergus’ parents where my constant problem of being unable to pronounce my own name got me the nickname Jazz for the weekend.

If you are wondering how, the conversation is as follows

Me: Hi, I’m Jess

Fergus’ mom: Jass?

Me: No, Jess

Mom: oh, Jazz.

I just smile and nod

Fergus: No mom, Jess

Mom: Jass?

Fergus: Jess (looks at me) right?

Me: yes

Mom: it’s not Jazz?

We threw our stuff in a room and went straight to the bar where we consumed three Guinesses in about 45 minutes. Hands down the best Guinness I have ever tasted…and we all know how much I love Guinness. The Guinness at home is disgusting in comparison to the Guinness in Ireland. The drunken antics which proceeded are a little hard to depict (plus my parents read this) so I’m just going to give you the cliff notes version. Went back to the Fergus’s home. Met all sorts of his friends. Drank some more. When back out to the bar. Drank a little more. Returned back home. Drank a bit more. Went to sleep around 4 am. Essentially drank my weight in Guinness and Whiskey.

Day two

What we thought would happen:

Had absolutely no idea, do touristy things, pick up the rental.

What did happen:

I woke up, then proceeded to wake everyone else up then had the best time ever putting together the events from the night before. Such as learning that Michelle, locked herself out of the house and was let in by Fergus’s mom at 5:00 am just as she was about to give up trying to get back in to sleep with the dog outside. We then, still drunk from the night before, went to the store grabbed our hangover remedy drinks. Sprite zero for me, although I’m blessed with not getting hangovers, power drinks and water for the others. We then enjoyed a gorgeous afternoon in Dublin eating lunch in the park.

Picking up the Rental

What we thought would happen:

We’d get a dinky little smart car

What did happen:

I was given a set of keys to my dream car, a Land Rover. It was glorious! It was as though the rental gods new we were going on a road trip and blessed us with ultimate road trip vehicle.

Driving

What we thought would happen:

I’d be a not so good driver. Going down the road the wrong way, not driving fast enough, almost hitting people, hitting the curb, not staying in my lane, and creating a couple near death experiences.

What did happen:

Pretty much exactly that and then some. Damn Dublin roads are as big as a sidewalk….

On the Road

What we thought would happen:

We would drive to Cork and then Limrick

What we thought would happen after talking to Leah, Fergus, and John after they told us to expect to get stabbed in Limrick due to some sort of family gang war going on:

We would drive south until we were tired of driving, find a small town, go to the local pub for some food and pints, then stay at a little countryside bed and breakfast.

What did happen:

We drove until it started getting dark, not wanting to test my skills on pitch black country roads, and couldn’t find a bed and breakfast. We spotted Kelley’s Hotel Resort and Spa and decided we could go in and ask where a B&B would be close by. Well, turns out the closest B&B was about 20 minutes away and they would charge us 35 euros each. The front desk woman was soo nice she let us stay at Kelley’s for only 50 euros each (it’s normally 105 euros each) and we’d get the breakfast along with the pool, the hot tubs, and the glorious beach. We were then given the keys to our very own house! Not a hotel room an actual house! We each got a double bed and our own bathroom. It was the awesome. Even better the Hotel was right on the beach!!! We later learned it was named the best hotel in Ireland and it was the sunniest spot in Ireland. The next day we ate our free breakfast on the deck over looking the water in the Ireland sun listening to the waves. It was easily the best morning ever. Pays not to plan things.

Night at Kelley’s

What we thought would happen:

The woman at the front desk said a band would be playing at their bar later on so we thought it would be fun to check it out. We thought it would be some old men singing and playing some classic Irish music.

What did happen:

The bar was like stepping into a time warp. The ceiling had little lights, which dimmed and changed colors, covering it like a night sky. Everyone in the bar was either a family or an elderly couple. Emily, Michelle, and I stuck out like sore thumbs. Oh and the band, it was two great singers singing American soft rock including songs from Grease.

Our table was then approached by Max, an elderly gentleman of about 85, who danced with all of us. His wife passed away this past November and they used to go to Kellys a few times every year for over 25years! The entire staff knew him by name. He was a really sweet man…and then took a great liking to me. Continued to “make eyes” at me and gave me his card. And he didn’t let age difference get in the way of his charm as he asked me for a good night kiss. Yep. I don’t know what it is with super old guys and me on St. Pat’s but who could forget the old man Jeff had to save me from two St. Pat’s ago? The one who wanted to take me home. I really pick up some classy guys.

Day three

What we thought would happen:

No idea

What did happen:

Emily’s friends, now our friends too, Leah, Fergus, and John met us in the world’s smallest town where we rented out a country house for the night. The town consisted of two bars and a gas station. That is not an exaggeration. Additionally, the gas station was closed at 7 pm and both bars didn’t serve food, so we had to drive 10 km to the next town which was twice the size. It consisted of a grocery store, a bar, a gas station, and Chinese take away. The grocery store was closed so chips and burgers at the Chinese take away was the next best option (and the only option).

The house was super big and awesome. There are not words to describe the décor which was something mixed between the 60s and the 70s with a country flare. Each room had a different color scheme: blue, green, orange, yellow etc. Once Michelle posts pictures I’ll be sure to add them in. it is something everyone should witness.

Day four:

What we thought would happen:

Go back to Dublin where I would return the car and get on the plane

What did happen:

Everything was running smoothly until we hit massive traffic in Dublin. Half the roads were shut down for a marathon! I dumped Michelle off (her and Emily were staying an extra day)  in the middle of I don’t know where and started panicking as I drove to the airport. After getting lost twice, yelling at the cab next to me for help on directions, going around the airport twice looking for the Hertz drop-off, I began to panic as my plane was boarding and I wasn’t even in the airport. The Hertz guys saw my nervous look as he went over the car with me, I explained to him the situation, then took off running with my 25 pound bag to the airport. Once I got through security I didn’t put my shoes back on just picked them up and ran to my gate. Literally ran through the airport shoes in hand. I managed to make it to the plane. The last one to board. I feel sorry for the gentlemen who had to sit next to me as I was wearing two shirts and a sweater and was now drenched in sweat. I’m sure I smelled terrific.

Best trip ever. City, Beach, Countryside. Couldn’t ask for more.

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