Time for some big news…for me anyway…
I’m going to Ireland!
We leave New York April 30 and arrive the next morning in Dublin where for a week I will dine, site see and soak up my first trip abroad. I’m married to a military brat who has lived all over the world (specifically with the longest stretches in Hawaii and Germany when he was kid but a great many other places too). He swore when he came back from Germany he was never seeing another castle or going back to Europe (oh he hated it there!). He has promised that he will go back to Europe with me sometime to see London, Paris and Rome among a great many other places I desperately want to go. But this trip will be just my mother and me. She is as geeked out over Ireland, ruins, castles and shopping as I am which makes her the perfect travel partner. And she is totally cool with me going all OCD on the details. Further before my stepfather passed away he had promised to take her to Ireland. Now he can be there in a way. What a fitting tribute to such a wonderful man.
What’s not on the list to see?
The Blarney Stone (too touristy – no thanks) and County Cork (too far), The Giant’s Causeway (WAY too far), Ring of Kerry (much too long a drive in 1 day), Belfast (my mother is old enough that going there bothers her), the Leprechaun Museum (too gimmicky), and the JFK Memorial (really? I’m good, thanks).
Rock of Cashel
What is on it?
Glendalough, Kilkenny, Waterford, Rock of Cashel, Cliffs of Moher (maybe – it’s a long way to go just to see some cliffs & ocean), Clonmacnoise, Tara, Drogheda, Brú na Bóinne, Howth, Dublin. Definitely Dublin.
We are staying at the Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt in Enniskerry in County Wicklow and I am still trying to figure out what to do and when and how. If you have any suggestions I am all for it! I have 3 travel books sitting here right now and knowing how many I buy every time I go somewhere I am sure I will have another 2 or more bought before this trip is said and done. Especially since we are also going to do a day or 2 in New York, somewhere else I have never been. Which means if you have a suggestion for what I absolutely can not miss for a weekend in New York please let me know!
This is my first – and best! – excuse for getting a passport. While I have traveled extensively within the central United States I have never been to the coasts (exempting the Washington D.C. area) nor have I been abroad. You would think being in the smack dab center of the United States you would be in a better position to go wherever you want to but honestly it is mostly inconvenient. It’s eight or nine hours drive time to get to any other major city like Chicago or Denver (except Kansas City though I don’t go there enough). So you fly everywhere but then because this is the United States of course you’re stuck without a car making it difficult to get around (assuming no good public transportation and most places lack good public transit). So you rent a vehicle tacking on yet another expense. Heck it’s going to take me 2 flights just to get to New York. Yeah not going to lie I am not looking forward to that.
And that is the thing that is causing me the most anxiety. Not what to pack, what to do, where to go, or even being in a foreign country that will involve driving on the left side of the road. It’s the flights. Let’s not pretend you haven’t seen pictures of me. I’m a fat girl. I am beyond anxious about having to pay for 2 tickets, having my fat encroach on my neighbor, and having to get a seatbelt extender (the regular belts are about 1 to 2 inches too short unfortunately) since now the FAA has banned personal seatbelt extenders (what a stupid damn rule!). I hate getting a seat belt extender. Hate it. And now I will have to do it 6 times. Unless they kick me off for being too fat. Great. Lucky me. I can’t believe this is the part I am most nervous about. It was the same way for Las Vegas too. And that was only one flight and I was getting married! Sigh.
Anyway any suggestions for what not to miss in Ireland or New York? I’m totally willing to take them!