Dublin, One Last Time

It was a monumental trip and it was almost over. A lot of emotion there, but all of it good. Sleep came easy for us that night – a good thing since we had a long day ahead of us.

The next morning Woney and I were up early. Neither of us wanted much for breakfast and so had made an agreement with our B&B hostess the night before – no traditional anything in the morning, please. Well, perhaps some toast would be nice but otherwise, no breakfast. Toast was had and off we took.

As we were packing the car one last time, we had some serious regrets about all of our shopping the last 12 days. Woney was having difficulty lifting her suitcase into the boot despite her extensive and effective workouts with Tony. I was having the same difficulties wrangling mine into the backseat. We were also suffering from some angst as we looked at the passenger side of the car. “Wonder how much we’ll get charged for all those scratches,” we mused. “Wonder how much of an overage fee we will pay to get our bags on the plane,” we fretted. “How many bottles of liquor did they say we could take” queried Woney, who had spent most of her money at Jameson.

And then for one last time, Woney and I traveled with Gwendolyn through the roundabouts, over the roads with no shoulders, next to sheep and after getting lost only once, we made it to the rental car facility. The shuttle driver grunted mightily as he transferred our bags from the car to the bus, and Woney and I held our breaths as the inspection was done on the car. That little guy had been out partying with his friends the night before and was seriously regretting his overindulgence in tasty beverages, he told us. Perhaps his hangover clouded his vision or perhaps he took pity on us or perhaps every car comes in with some damage on the side, but he swiped our ticket and sent us on our way, no damages assessed. Happy sigh.

We made it to the airport in short order and once there began the long process of getting our bags checked. It came as no surprise that our bags exceeded the weight limits. Rather, Woney’s did, and by so much that there was not a fee high enough to let the bag on the plane as it was. We did some creative maneuvering and unpacking and wearing of hoodies and eventually, Woney’s bag weight was decreased to a limit that still required an exorbitant fee to be allowed on the plane, but at least it was coming with us.

Next up was customs and after getting lost one last time in the airport, we made it to that queue. Having never been through customs before (or not remembering the last time, it had been so long), I was unprepared for my customs agent. “Is that a pillow,” she asked with some suspicion.

“Yes,” I explained. “I needed it. Can’t sleep without it.”

At this point, she took all of my documents, spread them over her desk and settled in for a good chin wag. As she kicked back in her chair, elbow hooked over the back, she asked, “Drink any Guinness? What did you think?”

Just like that, I was in a panic. I hated Guinness, and opened my mouth to say so but then noticed that no one else was having a meaningful conversation with their customs agent. Everyone else was zipping merrily through, and Woney was already done with hers and waiting for me at the exit. If I told the agent that I hated it would she find me guilty of something? Were they going to search me? I had a pillow and a melted chocolate bear on me but I felt so guilty! She was looking at me funny.

“You visit any farms? Touch any livestock?”

“How much liquor did you bring back?”

“Did anyone else touch your bag besides you?”

“Did you bring any organic material to the airport?”

She asked every question without looking me in the eye, like she was casually trying to find out something from me. I had nothing to tell her but my palms were sweating and it took me forever to answer every question. I had been pretty huffy about Air Canada days before and I was sure she knew that. I was also certain that I was going to be stuck in Ireland without Woney because I stole Dana’s Dr. Pepper jumbo lip gloss in the third grade. I don’t remember Dana’s last name or really what she looked like but every bad thing I’ve ever done was coming to mind. I kept wiping my hands on my pillow and answering everything the agent asked. I could feel my already pink cheeks becoming pinker and I just knew I was going to be arrested but for what I didn’t know when finally she scooped up all my stuff and handed it over. “Have a good flight,” she said and waved over her next victim.

With weak knees I made my way over to Woney who said, “Trust you to find the one person who wants to yap for half an hour.” I could barely breathe.

Eventually we boarded the plane to go home. As we flew, we made a few lists of things we wanted to remember and gifts we wanted to make sure got to the right person. We napped. We ate. We watched bad movies. We wiggled. And eventually we arrived at home. My bed never looked so delicious.

As a recap, I’ve prepared a little list of notable tidbits in case you got lost along the way or didn’t want to read everything I wrote. This was my trip.

How many cities were my Number One Absolute Favorite Cities of All Time? Kilkenny, Westport, Galway, Trim, Blarney, Doolin. So, six. Six Number One Absolute All Time Favorites.

What was my net hoodie purchase number? Only two as Woney is fierce when she tells me no.

How many Best Lunches Ever did I have? Three

What was my net weight loss over the course of the trip? .5 (you cannot be more shocked than I was)

How many boys offered kisses? Two

How many boys did I actually kiss? One (I do have standards)

What was the best chocolate shop? Yes

How many times did you get lost? Ask Gwendolyn. Bitch.

How many pieces of toast have I had since I’ve been home? Three, all of them strangely disappointing.

And finally, how many good memories did I bring home? Oh, thousands!

Y’all, there is not a thing I would have changed about our trip, even the weather. It was glorious. I Highly Recommend Ireland. It is far cheaper to go than you think, and I’m telling you, please make a plan for it. Or if not there, please make a plan for something. There’s so much in this beautiful world to see. Go see it! Take your Woney and go see it! Then you can be one of those annoying people like Woney and me who say in every conversation, “Yes, when I was in Ireland I did that, too.” Really, that never gets old.

Woney and Jimmie

Woney and Jimmie

Next Stop: Our Regularly Scheduled Programming!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Auntie Anne
    Sep 30, 2013 @ 17:24:23

    I have really loved going on this trip with you! All the pleasure and very little of the pain–would have been none, but you’re my kin and I have some empathy with you. Travel writers I’m not kin to: let them suffer! XO


  2. FELIX
    Oct 03, 2013 @ 17:26:48

    I, too, have enjoyed traveling all around Ireland with you and Woney! Through your great pics and wonderful storytelling, I feel you did the country proud, what with all the pics and descriptive phrases about your journey. I can’t wait to see where we go next!!! ITALY?????


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