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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sick and Tired

I mean that literally. Ireland has been lovely so far; I, however, am sick (if carrying around a roll of toilet paper for blowing my nose is any indication) and tired. After writing in Dublin about my jet lag, Moira and I proceeded to walk aimlessly around the city for many more hours and didn’t hit the bed until midnight. The next morning, we took a train to Cork at the God forsaken hour of 7:00 a.m.

Blarney Babble

Once in Cork, we met up with Jen and took the requisite trip to Blarney Castle, where I underwent the infamous death defying experience of kissing the Blarney Stone. It goes like this: an elderly, loveable Irishman jokingly comments, “let’s see how you pucker up”; he asks you to lay on the ground and proceeds to pull you back, at which time you arch so that your head is dangling from the back of the castle tower precipice; just when you think you’ve completed the required task, the cheery old man calmly encourages you: “Further.” Finally, you reach the stone, you kiss it, and you are rescued from immediate danger. The enchanted stone has now awarded me the “gift of eloquence,” which I have not yet unleashed on my blog.

Note: I heavily over-dramatized the Blarney experience, as I was not actually frightened, and the metal bars underneath the stone would have saved me had I slipped, although hitting them would probably result in serious injury to the head.

The Blarney Castle grounds were absolutely gorgeous and fairytale forest-like.

See? I wasn't kidding.

Jen’s Birthday Blues-Turned-Green

Moving on, Friday began sans the famous “luck of the Irish,” as Jen tripped with her luggage and sprained her ankle … on her birthday! She carried on like a trooper as we all headed to Galway and took a day trip to the ancient Aran Islands, where we all rode bikes for hours, talked to horses and cows, and suffered from windburn (we’ve got the red foreheads to prove it). It was worth the trouble, though, even for Jen. See for yourself why:

Aran Islands - beautiful; rocky hills and bicycles - exhausting. Birthday dinner consisted of Papa John’s Pizza and chocolate birthday cake from the grocery store … in our PJs … at the guesthouse. We watched Friends and South Park and passed out.

Taking it Easy

By today, we had had it with the freaking tours. So, although we wanted to see a picturesque abbey in Connemara, we decided to walk about the Galway city center and browse. It’s adorable here, and I took pictures with Oscar Wilde (in statue form, of course). Also, for once, it’s not really cold and windy, which is about time. Ireland, meet the month of June.

We’re headed back to the guesthouse for a little down time before returning to the city center. We plan to wear our “cute going out clothes,” so Moira and I are going to endure our impossibly skinny jeans, which we slightly fear. Wish us luck.

Tomorrow it’s back to Dublin for the remainder of our trip. We hope the weather will stay fair so that we have an opportunity to wear all the “cute going out clothes” we brought in our luggage. For is that not, after all, what travel is all about?

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