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BETHGILLIGAN
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The inside story (still no pictures)......

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

That blog sounded like a boring travelogue. Let me give you some of the inside dirt. Leaving Dulles my husband was told his carry on was too big. It wasn't. The guy was just giving us grief and being "tough". He said he'd let it go this time (it fit in the measure thing!). Nobody else on the entire trip made a peep about the size of that bag and we saw at least one carryon that was almost twice that size.
I got stopped a Dulles security. They had 3 different people come up to look at xray of my bag. My husband does our packing (he has better visual spatial) so I'm standing there thinking "what the heck!" (or something similar). They open my bag (after they dusted it; why, thank you very much), TSA guy digs around through my underwear and pulls out a CPap machine. Yeah, so what? Well, under the cpap was a boatload of extension cords. The guy smiles at me and says "a box sitting on numerous wires sends up all sorts of red flags. Have a nice day." My husband is surprised--never thought of that. emoticon
We stop for a quick breakfast--yummy egg sandwich--and get to our gate. The rest of the flight is fairly uneventful. Reading, sleeping, legs cramping, using the nasty bathroom (I managed to keep it to one time!) emoticon Had some yummy plane food--remember when they used to feed you all the time??? Well, you're so hungry it seems like 5 star restaurant fare.
Land in London--ya da, ya da, ya da. Filled you in on the sightseeing events. Hubby walks twice as fast as I so I'm like the toddler always trailing behind. Occasionally, he will pause to make sure I haven't gotten lost or kidnapped. He also has a hearing problem so to get his attention, everyone for a square block turns to look at me--well, except him. Actually, the days in London were pretty routine sightseeing, eating, etc.
Saturday we're up and at 'em to head to Dublin. Cab to train, train to airport. Heathrow loves to make you think you're gate is right around the corner--WRONG. It's long hallway after long hallway like you're in a maze. Very discouraging as a traveler. Got into Dublin--here's where it gets interesting. My dear hubby has always thought he could do anything--drywall? not a problem; fix a car? not a problem, fix the septic? not a problem. I will not comment on his success. So he had decided we would rent a car and drive from Dublin to Galway ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD!!! His friends told him he was crazy but his response "how hard can it be?" Well, he discovered it is much harder than you would think! Most of that trip was on 4 lane freeway so it wasn't so bad. Oh, yeah--our first meal in Ireland? Burger King! We don't eat there at home. Hubby tried to convince me it was Burger O'King. I wasn't buying it.
Ok, driving into Galway now and it's getting a little dicey. They have numerous round abouts and it is difficult to stay on the wrong side of the road going in a circle looking for your road. Geez! Understatement to say it was stressful. By this time my sweet husband has figured out he made a terrible mistake thinking he could drive in a foreign country on the left side of the road so he's getting somewhat tense. We find our hotel, park the car and haul luggage to the room.
OK, so what does the dear man want to do for the evening? Well, of course, he wants to DRIVE us into Galway city center. Does he know where that would be? Well, no but it can't be hard to find. Like a fool I got in the car with him--I was afraid for him to head off alone. First of all, he kept wanting to be on the very, very left side of the road. Hence, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride---tires rubbing the curb, on the sidewalk. Holy Moly just get me out of this car. Of course, he's getting more and more stressed. To add to the fun, they do not mark their streets so you have no idea where the heck you are! We made the "difficult" decision to try to get back to the hotel in one piece. We were successful and had a great dinner in their restaurant!!
Sunday, we get a cab to take us to city center. He laughed and laughed at these 2 Americans thinking they could drive in Galway!! More sightseeing, shopping, lunch. Fun!
Get a cab back to the hotel and now we have to drive back to Dublin to spend the night for early morning flight back to London. Load up the car--head out. Cocky couple are sure we got off on the right road on the round about. It's raining--hard to heavy. On the road. Uh oh, not surprising that we believe we're on the wrong road to Dublin. Hubby decides he needs to pull over to look at a map and mull things over. A couple of convenient places pass us by and I can tell he's getting stressed and upset. He sees a ????. Not sure what it was--an old building behind a fence with a gravel lot. He has to turn across lanes of traffic. He's nervous--too much acceleration and, well, yes, we did run into a stack of wooden pallets. Many small/ medium Irish children come running and on bikes. They are screaming "he crashed, he crashed!" This was not soothing to either of us. Punctured tire and lost part of bumper. Hubby pulls back into what seemed like a parking lot. Surrounding this concrete were a number of RVs and small motor homes. It was a community! A couple of young, brutish Irishmen came to make sure we were OK. They then left the 63 year old on the verge of a nervous breakdown to change the tire by himself in the pouring rain! Luckily, those kids hung with us the whole time--"why did he hit those?", "is he a bad driver?", "where are you from?", etc. Neither of us were in the mood to be friendly to these young children, let alone polite. Finally, some older gent (our age?) came out and offered to help since it seemed the old American guy had no clue. (Actually, hubby is very good at changing tires, just not in pouring rain, in strange place with a bunch of kids yelling at him!) So, hubby is soaked but they finally get it changed. We tried to give this angel some money and, of course, he refused. He was just happy he could help us. I'm sure we gave those kids and that community something to laugh about all week!
We FINALLY get to the airport. Turn in the damaged car and the Avis man seemed almost giddy that we had wrecked. We had the full insurance so he was delighted to repeatedly tell us that there would be no charge!
Many delays with the flight. It took us until evening to fly the short distance from Dublin to London. ARGH!
Rest of trip was pretty uneventful. (thank goodness!).
One more thing about that Heathrow airport. They don't post your gate until maybe 10-15 minutes before you board. That's fun. So we're EARLY for our flight. Have a great leisurely breakfast. I decide I should use the bathroom by the restaurant. Hubby recommends we get closer to what we think is our gate. I'm not happy but agree. We turn the corner thinking we were about at the gate and the sign told us it was a 15 minute walk from where we were to the gate. Are you kidding? We are bookin' it to the gate. Luckily the flight was a little delayed so I could use the bathroom, hubby got more coffee and we could get on the plane!!
Now, was that better than the boring travelogue????
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • JANEDOE12345
    This post is WAY better than the first one. In this one we have frail humans loose in a strange bizarro world of wrong-way drivers, soaking wet children (accents probably thick), and a lot of stress tempered by humor.

    Sounds like a great time!
    2239 days ago
  • CARRILU
    LOl! What a great blog Beth.

    What an adventure you both had. Oh my goodness, it made me grateful to be home and in my bed. It sounds like a wonderful time in spite of it all and I can tell by your great sense of humor that you really did have fun. Thank you for sharing with us, it's always a treat to see a blog from you:)
    2246 days ago
  • TENNESSEEWALKER
    Welcome back! Great blog. Waiting for those pictures!
    2248 days ago
  • SHARIBEAR2
    Boy did I enjoy this post. You brought back memories of our trip to Dublin, Ireland in 2009. My hubby also thought he could drive everywhere, but thankfully on the cab ride to the hotel I asked the driver what he thought and he recommended just renting a car for one day. It took some doing but I convinced my husband we should follow that advice. So we drove down to Kilkenny and the drive there was as stressful as you describe. Our first left out of the hotel parking lot landed us in oncoming traffic...thankfully at a stop light. Could have been serious! At some points, you could have fit a piece of paper between my side and the bus or vehicle next to us. Alas we made it and had a great day there, but when we returned to Dublin we were happy to turn in the keys and use the metro! So glad you enjoyed your trip. Thanks for sharing it.
    2250 days ago
  • MEADSBAY
    Omg...I'm sorry but I had to go change my pad...ypu made me laugh out loud!
    I would wait a looooooong time before planning another trip abroad.
    emoticon
    2250 days ago
  • MORTICIAADDAMS
    I figured you would end up the one stopped going through customs. You look like such a terrorist. LOL. They said on T.V. this week that they are cracking down on bag size. They showed some people on T.V. that were practically wheeling in coffins with handles.

    I was okay until you got to the underwear search and the nasty bathroom. LOL. I have a phobia regarding both. LOL!! I would make a poor traveler. I often enter a bathroom, and do a pirouette right back out if it is not up to par. And the thought of some stranger touching my underwear - eek!!!

    I've never had airline food. I've only flown twice and and they only served booze.

    Ohare is like Heathrow. You walk 45 miles to get on the plane. LOL. I was convinced I was lost and asked someone and they were like, "You have quite a ways to go."

    Burger O'King? OMG!! LOL!!!!

    Ian rents cars sometimes. Hopefully he will have better luck. LOL!


    2250 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/17/2014 8:56:32 PM
  • NORASPAT
    Oh My we avoid Heathrow if we can. I too had a nightmare. A lady gave me a birthday gift to take to her DIL who still lives here in Maine so it was no problem. They opened my case, they rummaged through and found the gift. Of course it had to be opened there were odds and Bobs and I had explained it was a gift from her MIL. She did not tell me there were seeds in it, What a red flag. I was about in tears I was carrying our 14 month BIg firstborn son.
    The guy saw my Dilemma and he shut and tried to Zip it for me and he broke The zipper !!!!!
    It was very hard to carry so we had to pay for a buggy to get to ore gate and explained to the person who checked us in. They Duct taped it totally someone had afield day.. That was when we decided to stay in the states.
    You have m memories and stories to tell. I hope you had fun. Pat in Maine
    2250 days ago
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