In Which We Almost Don’t Make It To Dublin

I gotta be honest with you, Dublin was not my favorite city. However, I have loads of things to tell you before we ever get there and I plan on you being here for a while. Go get some coffee or some ice cream and settle in.

*****

. . . . . After some time, Woney and I wandered off. We made our contributions and left little pieces of our hearts there to mingle with the other left-behind hearts.

We made it back to our hotel, collected our baggage and my pillow and hit the road for the airport. The concierge at our hotel insisted that the bus to Newark was the way to go, that it was only a few blocks away, and that a cab was not necessary. Off we trudged with our ridiculous suitcases and my ridiculous pillow, giving our cankles one last chance to really flourish before leaving the heat of New York, and as we arrived at the bus station, a man fully inebriated took it upon himself to escort us to the proper bus and then held out his hand for a tip. We stood in the bus line for a very long time after giving him a couple of bucks with which he promptly purchased a cheap bottle of something. The traffic was horrendous. The fumes on the road nearly killed us. Once we hit the road, I lost count of how many times we almost died in an interstate-shut-down type of accident caused by our bus. Eventually, after an eternity of horror and stomach heaving, we arrived at the Newark Airport.

Toys R Us Ferris Wheel

Toys R Us Ferris Wheel

Now Woney and I are good travelers. We checked in for our flight the night before but upon arriving at the airline desk, discovered that the flight on which were booked and for which we had already checked in no longer existed. It hadn’t for some time. Like days. Conveniently, we were booked on another flight but inconveniently, it was so badly delayed that we were going to miss our connection in Toronto for Dublin.

Want to know the attendant’s suggestion? “Grab a cab to LaGuardia for a different flight but haul ass because you have less than an hour to get there and still make your flight.”

Molesting a Pig, New York City

Molesting a Pig, New York City

As we were running down the hall I began to holler about my feelings for Air Canada. I gotta be honest with you. Not my favorite airline. I was still hollering about it as we clambered down the stairs and frantically looked for a cab when out of thin air, a man materialized. “You ladies need a cab?” he asked.

Oh, the Hallelujah Chorus rang out!

“Yes!” we gasped, and he grabbed our ridiculous suitcases and walked us to the parking lot. Hustled is more like it, especially after we explained our dilemma. The man was moving and we were saved. Except halfway through the parking lot, a police officer stopped the man and said, “Sir, you need to turn around and walk these ladies back to the airport and leave them safely at the cab stand.”

The man said, “But-“

The police officer said again, “Turn around and walk these ladies back to the airport and leave them safely at the cab stand.” So he turned us around and walked us back to the airport. Woney and I were agog. What just happened? Were we almost murdered? He was going to murder us and steal my glitter eyeliner, wasn’t he?

The cop followed us and then met us at the door and asked where we were going. We explained about our flight and the man volunteered, “They are going to miss it.” The cop looked at him for a long, long moment and then said, “Okay. You keep them safe.”

Woney and I were still agog. What just happened? The man hustled us back to the parking lot and escorted us into a swanky black Mercedes and hauled us quickly and effectively to LaGuardia. Let me say here – I’m so thrilled that Woney and I now have a case of black lung and some serious intestinal issues from the Newark bus ride that it turns out we didn’t even need to take. I’m so happy that we did all that hauling of suitcases and nurturing our cankles and sitting next to weird people only to be grandly escorted in style for an exorbitant fee in a Mercedes to our final destination.

Gettin' some culture, MoMA

Gettin’ some culture, MoMA

Are you wondering about The Man? His name was Tony “Kalifornia” and while we had a dubious introduction, I have to say that Tony “Kalifornia” is probably one of my most favorite people in the world. Not only did he not murder us and steal our glitter eyeliner, he hauled ass to the airport and was charming and polite and handsome and knew all the back roads. I will forever be grateful to him, and if you need his contact info because your crappy airline treated you crappily, I will give it to you. I have his card. He can give you a ride.

Sunburn! Trim

Sunburn! Trim

Obviously we made it to LaGuardia. We boarded the plane. I was ROTTEN to the flight attendant and despite her having every right to spit in my Diet Coke, she was lovely to me. But she tried to move my pillow, see, and I was already pretty huffed up about Air Canada and let’s just say that her asking me to give up my pillow space for someone whose suitcase was too large made me act like a real tool. I don’t know how Woney stands me.

Other than the flight being extra long and extra hot and despite the fact that taking a red eye, something we crowed about with pride before actually taking the red eye, was miserable, we did make it to Dublin. Our excitement far outweighed any bad experience we had. Every five minutes Woney would turn around and poke me and say, “We are going to Ireland.” And I would tug on her hair every ten minutes or so and say, “Guess what? We are going to Ireland.”

Hanging out at a castle, as you do.  Ballyseede

Hanging out at a castle, as you do. Ballyseede

As a special preview for our trip, I got to sit next to a lovely young woman from Belfast. She was flying home from an extended work trip, and we chatted endlessly about her country and mine. Honestly, I was delighted with her accent so the longer we talked, the less I minded not sleeping. Turns out she was delighted with my accent, too. After a long conversation she said, “Sigh. You sound just like Jessica Simpson. I love it.”

And that shut me up for the rest of the flight.

Everyday occurence.  Ireland.

Everyday occurence. Ireland.

Next stop: Dublin! (For real this time.)

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New York City

The Big Apple. I’d been there before, once when I was 12 and again when I was 16. It’s been a minute. Woney had never been so when we began planning this trip, it only made sense to visit there first.

Before I ever get to the New York stories, I must tell you that I began packing for this trip long about two months ago. I made Martie come up for the weekend specifically so that we could go through every single item of clothing in my closet to ensure that I picked items that a) were comfortable and b) gave me a butt. Irish lasses have booties is my understanding and I wanted to fit in. Anyway, Martie and I picked out all my clothes and then I packed my giant suitcase. Woney doesn’t have a Martie so she called me often to discuss wardrobe choices. So often, in fact, that we decided she should just bring the entire contents of her closet for us to go through at my house. Which we did. Once we were done, it looked as if her closet puked in my living room, delighting Murphy to no end.

Back when I was married, my father gave me a body pillow one year for Christmas. I’m not sure why. It looked nice on the bed, though, so I kept it and as time passed, I became exceptionally fond of that pillow. I am now so fond of it that I have a body pillow in every house where I regularly spend the night. When I don’t have one, I don’t sleep well. So in our planning and packing, I confessed to Woney that I needed my pillow for this trip. She agreed.

On Wednesday morning we awoke, bright eyed and excited. Rather, we awoke and made it to the plane on time. Who flies at the horrific hour of 6:45 a.m.? Ridiculous. Anyway, we lugged our giant suitcases full of our wardrobes and my giant pillow to the airport and headed off. All the way through security, all the way through the plane, all the way through customs, all the way through New York, all the way through Ireland, and at every location on the flight back home, people commented on my pillow. “Can I borrow it?” asked the pilots. “You ought to sleep well,” commented the Irishmen. “Good Lord, I see why you brought this,” commented Woney when she borrowed it once. I am a smart traveler.

Once we arrived in New York and deposited our luggage and my pillow, Woney and I took off. We had stuff to see. We had pretzels to buy. We had a very fancy schmancy dinner to attend. We rode the ferris wheel at Toys R Us. We found a wall with handprints of famous people. Below is me, holding hands with Clint Eastwood. I did that for Poppa. He would have liked that. Woney held hands with Jason Statham and she is a lucky, lucky girl as Jason Statham is hot.

NYC 100

NYC 5

We rode the subway. We shopped on Canal Street. We fended off the sly Asian women who insisted that they had the best Coach purses in New York, would we please walk with them down this alley. We went to a bar, and yes, I kissed a boy and I liked it. (This is what happens when I drink in a bar.) We went to MoMA. We went to Central Park. We ate at Beauty and Essex, and I’m here to tell you, go there. Go as soon as possible. Get the grilled cheese dumplings, one order for each person. You will think that a single order will be enough for the table but once you taste one, you will realize the error of your ways. My gosh, I don’t think I ever tasted anything so good in all my life.

NYC 15 NYC 10 NYC 29

Before we left on this trip, I worried a little that once I was given free reign with my diet, I’d go off the rails like nobody’s business. But after two and a half days in NYC, I realized that I could eat the entire contents of a pizza shop and be fine. We walked about a hundred miles there. I still have cankles from all the walking. It is a busy place, full of every kind of person you ever dreamed possible. It goes and goes and goes, and never shuts down. It’s glorious and I would HATE to live there.

For our last day in the city, Woney and I planned to go to Ground Zero. We had met up with friends a couple of times during our stay and enjoyed their company but this was something we wanted to do alone. I knew that it would be no party, and I didn’t want to have to fake my charm when my heart was hurting.

NYC 30 (10)

NYC 30 (4)

We took the subway downtown and walked to the site. Standing in line brought ready tears to my eyes. There were some markers and signs there, explaining how the park was set up, and explaining the Flag of Honor. That fire house above lost every single responder they had on 9/11, by the way. I took a few pictures but more than anything, I just wept. We queued for a while and the closer we got the quieter things were. Entering the park was a somber experience. It’s rather plain, filled with ivy and trees and the two monument pools for all the lives lost. It’s beautiful, though, and absolutely perfect. Please go if you ever get the chance.

NYC 21

NYC 17

After some time, Woney and I wandered off. We made our contributions and left little pieces of our hearts there to mingle with the other left-behind hearts.

We made it back to our hotel, collected our baggage and my pillow and hit the road for the airport.

Next stop: Dublin!

Coming Soon To A Blog Near You

Last night Woney and I arrived home from our trip. If any of you asks, “What trip?” I will know that you a) are brand new to me, or b) never listen to anything I say. It had better be the former.

Anyway, last night we arrived back from Dublin and this morning when I got up, my nose was peeling. I got sunburned so badly that the skin on my nose was like the hard shell of a bug. Like a cicada. Who gets sunburned in Ireland, I ask you! This girl.

Remember that tropical cruise that Woney and I took two years ago wherein we froze to death? Remember how we packed all our cute summer things and our swimmy suits and then we spent hours on the deck of the boat in those tiny little clothes but also under four beach towels each because the sun never came out? Right.

Ireland is currently experiencing record high temperatures, temperatures that they haven’t seen since 1963. It’s like 90 degrees over there every day. There is no rain. They are experiencing a drought and while the forecasters are calling for rain today and tomorrow, Woney’s and my vacation ended before today and tomorrow. Everyone called us lucky. Everyone exclaimed over our good fortune, over our experience of Ireland with these record making sunny days. And really, we were lucky except for the fact THAT WE PACKED CLOTHES FOR THEIR TRADITIONAL GLOOMY, CHILLY WEATHER. In other words, we sweated. A lot. We never get the weather right. It’s annoying.

I have a lot to say about this trip. My plan is to write a post for every day we were there. I’m going through pictures now because everyone knows that pictures tell most of the story anyway. And everyone knows how frustrating it is when you get a gob of pictures from a co-worker or a friend and they want to hog them all, holding them in their hands and giving you every excruciatingly small detail about every person in the picture. Truthfully, I don’t really care a whole lot about your great uncle Tom and his second step son and their dog, Marvin. Please just let me look at the pictures I want to look at.

Speaking of pictures, here’s a good one for you, taken right after our flight into New York City. I was attempting to have big hair. It was a fail.

Muh Hur

Muh Hur

I’ll type at you tomorrow. I’ve got a lot of work to do.

Love,
Jimmie

I Win!

 

Roll

Roll

You see this dog?  This dog is the Seamus of dogs.  He’s a beautiful dog.  He likes treats.  He has fur.  And he cannot stand me.

I am not, by nature, a very patient person.  If you look at me from the outside you would disagree with me.  I do have the appearance of being extraordinarily patient and calm.  I speak softly when I answer the same questions you have asked me fifteen times already. I don’t wear scents that burn the very hairs from your nostrils, but instead one that is faintly reminiscent of warm brownies.  My hair is gently fluffy (unless I am applying for jobs, then it is full out “Fatal Attraction” sexy wild.  Apparently.)  My clothes consist of gauzy, wafty things that drape gently around me.   See? Patient.  And dare I say, wholesome.

I think I got off on a tangent there.  The point I am trying to make is that I appear to be longsuffering, as evidenced by the four years I’ve spent trying to win the love of Seamus, the cat, and the three years I’ve spent trying to win the love of Roll, the dog.  (Roll belongs to Martie and Coach, along with Rock, pictured below.  I probably should have explained that.)  On the outside, I am calm and serene.  On the inside, though, I’m a burning mess of “Why won’t you love me, @#%^ cat?!”  or, “@#%^ dog?!”, depending on whose house I’m in.  (This dichotomy is good for the stomach lining, by the way.  No acid reflux here, no sir.)

Rock

Rock

Like with Seamus, I’ve done everything I can think of to win that dog’s affection.  I’ve offered my long scratchy nails.  I’ve purchased hamburgers specifically for his consumption.  I’ve folded my legs Indian style and parked myself on Martie’s patio for extensive minutes, waiting for Roll to stop running away from me as if I’m going to beat him between the eyes with a ball peen hammer.

And y’all?  It worked.  It worked!

Last weekend I drove up Martee’s driveway and hauled my three bags of clothes into her house for my two-day stay.  We ventured out to the patio and once again, I called softly to Roll, asking for the pleasure of scratching his ears.  He was not having it.  I sighed and sat grumpily down in the patio chair, mad at the dog who never lets me pet him.  Martee and I watched Tigger ride her bike all around the yard and talked about nonsense and watched Coach water the flowers.  I felt something lick my leg and lean its head on my knee.  I reached down to scratch Rock’s ears and just happened to glance at what I was scratching.  It was not Rock.  It was Roll.

Martie has been telling me for years that Roll loves me, that he’s just shy and protective.  I’d have believed it if I didn’t see him wallering all over everyone else in the family but me, his stomach exposed and his ears flopped back, the epitome of a relaxed dog.  I guess now I see the truth.  He does love me! He really does! Happy sigh.

I will end this heartwarming love story with an open note to Seamus, the cat.

Dear Seamus –

You will not beat me, cat.  You will not.  You will love me.  I will pursue you with a relentless fervor and an endless bag of treats.  I did that with Roll and I won.  I will win with you, too.

Suck on that,

Jimmie

P.S. I somehow fixed the Post About Nothing. I have no idea what I did, so please, no one contact me for technical assistance as I will only be able to tell you that I got my hair cut and whined about my broken blog a whole lot. Read it if you like – it’s only moderately interesting.