With my belly full of American McDonalds, I settled into my middle seat in the middle row of a airplane with a giant shamrock painted on the side at just around 6:30 on Sunday night. The 4 step plan was simple: 1. Watch an inflight movie until it was sleepytime in Ireland 2. Strap on my sleepy collar 3. Take 2 Motrin PM 4. Wake up in Dublin. Ah, the best laid plans....this, clearly not foolproof, plan did not and I repeat did not account for a small child with happy feet sitting behind me nor did it account for two screaming children directly in front of me. Parents, if you choose to fly with your kids, and it is a choice, Benedryl can be found in any local grocer or pharmacy. Utilize it, if not for the sanity of other flyers, do it for yourself. I think I maybe slept for 2 hours of an 8 hour flight, in ten minute increments. Have you ever taken 2 Motrin PMs and not been able to go to sleep? If you haven't let me explain what happens...I was about as functional as a 3 month old baby. I couldn't hold my own head up (thank god for the sleepy collar), the 'words' I was using made no sense, and I'm pretty sure I was drooling and had what appeared to be a lazy eye. At one point, bbout 9 minutes into what would never become a REM cycle, the piercing shrill scream of 4 year old jarred me to a conscious state. I'm pretty sure I came up swinging, thank goodness none of my fellow flyers were within reach of my flailing arms. I'm no Mike Tyson and I've never punched someone but I have to think it would have hurt at least a little bit. Needless to say, I arrived in Dublin at 7:30am their time a smidgen grumpy.
The Sleepy Collar, you'll look like a moron with a neck injury...but wake up refreshed with no neck kinks (not their actual slogan but it should be)
Our first day in Dublin was spent with some exploring then back to the house for the walking dead to sneak in a little cat nap. When I say cat nap I mean a coma....because four hours later I woke up face down in a pile of drool with dead arms. I guess I was chilly and tucked my arms underneath me. I'm not technically a doctor but I believe 4 hours of continuously putting pressure on the nerve pathways will cause your brain to forget your arms actually exist. It was a bitch trying to get up. Consequently, I have a whole new level of respect and admiration for amputees.
Let's just move on to day 2...We scheduled a tour with the Dublin City Bike Tours (visit their site if you ever go, they are awesome). First off I really actually enjoy biking so I went in pretty sure this would be one of my favorite aspects of the trip, secondly I thought it would be a great way to get our bearings in the city. I was absolutely right on both accounts. The guides were funny, knew their history, and made us sing an old Irish Folk song by the river, while one of them played what looked like a very tiny recorder (remember those from elementary school?!? I could rock out on that bitch). Just a few highlights of our trip around the city:
Day 3 was off to the Jameson Distillery. I learned a lot, most important of the fun facts...I don't like Jameson. I would not drink Jameson with ginger ale, I would not drink it on the rocks, I would not drink it in a house, not with a mouse. I wouldn't drink it here or there. I would not drink it anywhere. The short of it was that I got my complimentary Jameson with ginger ale and every drink tasted like a shot (and with each 'shot' I got to do my shot face, its not pretty and there are a number of pictures of it). Intern on the other hand began an epic love affair with the stuff. F*ckin Irish, of course she would. Apparently it tastes a lot better if you mix it with sprite, more on this later. Later that night we hit up a bar called "Church", which is a bar that used to be a church. The same church in fact that Aurthur Guinness got married in. Awesome. Grey Lining, we have our new bar idea, brilliant!
Day 4 it was up and at em for a 3 hour trek to Blarney. We visited Cobh, Blarney, and Cork that day. Ireland may be constantly rainy but it makes for pretty landscaping. They say you have to take the rain to get the rainbow, and although I didn't find a pot of gold at the end of any rainbows I absolutely appreciated that saying with my own eyes. The tour guide Paul O'Hay gave us a little background on the Blarney Stone. He said that the legend goes that if you kiss the Blarney Stone you will be given a silver tongue, and that everything you say people will believe. Apparently this lasts for 7 years. He said if you french kiss the stone you will have a silver tongue for 14 years and if you strip down to your birthday suit you will be in possession of the silver tongue for 21 years. After that Paul asked if any of us were buying that, after a big negative he informed us that was because he had never kissed the Blarney Stone.
Well, I didn't strip (it was a little chilly there), and I didn't give it any tongue (I'm classy and that's the first time we met), but I laid a pretty good one on that stone and I heard that the Blarney Stone thought I was an amazing kisser. Truth be told I never found out what the Blarney Stone gives you if you already have a silver tongue but I guess time will tell and I'll continue to see how much bullshit I can get away with.
Friday we had scheduled a Rural Pub Tour, remember how I told you that I would return to Jameson's and Interns romance...well that's happening here. The pub tour included 6 pubs up in the mountains and at each one of those 6 pubs the Intern managed to put down 2 Jameson and Sprites. That's 12 in case you bad at math. A girl who had drank Jameson for the first time 2 days prior drank 12 in one evening, plus a few more after we got dropped off after the tour. The next morning the Ten Key Ninja walked back into our room after getting up to use the bathroom and this converstaiton took place Ten Key Ninja: "I think Intern puked last night" Me: "Why?" Ten Key Ninja: "Well the toilet seat was up, there was a bottle of water by the toilet, and there was puke in the toilet." Me: Wow Sherlock, what gave that away. Nice piece of investigative work there. It's like I'm watching an episode of CSI."
Anywho, back to the rural pub tour. The first bar, The Blue Light, provided a discussion of what our porn names would be. According to our Shane, our dd/guide this is your first pets name and your mothers maiden name. That's not how we find it in the states but when in Ireland...so Gravy, that was our first cat's name and that's what everyone called me for the rest of the tour. Shane also suggested that we talk to the locals and make up random careers for ourselves such as neurosurgeon..."just have fun with it, you'll never see these people again" he said. So...when in Ireland...Meet Gravy, the Yoga Instructor (it's my go to because it just implies you're bendy and that's never a bad thing, right?). I even showed everyone my favorite yoga position, most of you would know it as the butterfly but I like to call it the 'foot penis' (try it, hehehe....ah if yoga positions really did have names that actually described what they looked like then I might really try and be an instructor). After this a very nice but very drunk gentleman engaged me (guess the whole bendy things works), and offered to sing us a little Irish Folk Song...then offered to show us his junk. It was weird. At the 4th stop on the tour we got to fill our bellies with traditional irish food...apparently this means potatoes. I ordered the lamb which came on a bed of stuffing that was on a bed of mashed potatoes. It had a roasted potato on the side and also included family style french fries and veggies (one of which was turnip, which is basically like a low carb potato). I can't literally understand how everyone in Ireland is not obese with insane amount of starches they consume. Seriously, that meal had 4 potatoes in it....but I ate every damn one of them and they were delish.
Sat morning it was an early rise and shine for the Ten Key Ninja and myself. The rest of our company was nursing severe hangovers so we decided to venture to the Guinness brewery for a beer they locals call a meal and beverage all in one. We got about 6 blocks from the house when the Ten Key Ninja got a phone call from a distressed Kathy saying they were locked in their bedroom. I, being the sweetheart that I am told them just to yell for Intern, as she was passed out on the couch. They apparently had already tried this tactic but due to the massive amount of Jameson likely still coursing through Intern's veins their attempts were futile. So, we made the trek back to the house and let dumb and dumber out of their room. At this point we learned that their screams for freedom to intern were more like taps on the door and whispers of "Help us, Help us Intern, we're trapped. We're trapped and I have to pee". I couldn't be mad, because no one wants to wake a sleeping, hungover Intern. It gets angry. All was well and we set back off to enjoy the milkshake of beers.
Sunday morning we wrapped up our trip and headed off to the airport. Upon arrival we were informed that both our flight and the flight from the day before to the US of A was cancelled. In order to accommodate the passengers from the prior day's flight and some of our passengers they were on the hunt for a bigger shamrock plane. We were placed on the standby list as number 8, 9, 10, 13, and 14. They informed us that there were 9 seats left on the plane so there should be no problem with us ALL getting on the flight. I'm not a mathemetologist but if there are 9 seats and three of us have number 10, 13 and 14 how should that make me not worry. In the end they took up to about number 20 so it all did work out. Not so surprisingly on the flight home there wasn't a single peep from a small child, my seat was comfy and I could feel no kicks from tiny feet...because it was day time in the US and I had no intention of sleeping.
Ireland was amazing and I'm blessed to have a friend who made it possible for me to see it with my own eyes. Thank you Intern for a wonderful trip. I hope it won't be out last trip abroad together.