I think it’s safe to say I have fallen behind in my Euro-trip documentation.
And, of course, now that I finally have some time to write, all I can think about is eating peanut butter by the spoonful and going to bed.
Thus, this will be a two-part entry—not for you reading it, but for me writing it. In part one, Jenny goes to bed, after resembling Joe Black (of Meet Joe Black) because of her midnight snack ventures. “Hi, I’m Death. Do you have any peanut butter I can eat before I take off with your soul?”
Here in part one I will say nothing of importance except that I am currently living in New England. I started a blog a few days ago when I was dying of heat exhaustion (“Welcome to the East Coast summer. Would you like some peanut butter, Death?”), but suddenly the currents shifted and the rains fell and now it’s 55 degrees and I have goosebumps. I felt like Toto* because for the first time ever, I welcomed the rains. I blessed them. I even took some time to do the things I never have.
*the singer, not the Wizard of Oz dog.
Things that qualify as “things I never have [done][before]”:
1. I learned the value and importance of a cutting board.
I usually don’t use cutting boards because I am lazy and don’t mind being inefficient, but when it took six days for my thumb to heal from an accidental slicing (I was holding a block of cheese whilst cutting it), I decided to rethink some of my practices.
On the plus side, I was holding the block of cheese against my stomach, so I’m happy to say I only cut my thumb and didn’t disembowel myself.
2. I took cold water only showers.
I did this because of the oppressive heat. It didn’t help, though, because the sauna-like humidity just clung to me like a baby vervet monkey.
3. I attempted water skiing.
4. I allowed myself to fail at something.
Water skiing is mean. Water skiing is dumb. Water skiing requires more than just one person in order to be successful, and if it weren’t for my compassionate nature and concern for the boat driver(s), I would still be out there. I WILL BEAT YOU ONE DAY, CURSED WATER SPORT!
5. I neglected to stock my fridge with ice cream.
Hence the peanut butter.
—–end part one—-
A Wee Bit O’Ireland (Part II)
Hello again! This two-part thing is a wonderful experiment because now you’re going along with me in my day-to-day adventures and I feel very Bridget Jones but without the smoking habit. (I am, however, still at the peanut butter jar, so instead of counting cigarettes, I could count spoonfuls of peanut butter. As of noon: 5 sp. (v. poor) )
Back to Ireland, mo chuisle@!
@pronounced “mo koo-sley,” not the embarrassing mispronunciation I was using of “mo choose-el”.
I’d like to tell you about the most bizarre, worst/best day in Ireland.
Travel Tip #2: GET PROPER CAR INSURANCE.
Travel Tip #2 Jr.: When traveling to Ireland, check your credit card’s coverage before arriving. That way you can avoid OUR predicament.
So, when we arrived into Dublin and checked into Enterprise to get our car, we had the joy of experiencing a $75 car rental jump to $300 after insurance coverage. Generally, I waive insurance coverage because according to my father, the man who knows all and tells me so I don’t have to look it up myself, my credit card covers overseas rental cars. However! The good-looking, nicely accented Irish gentlemen from Enterprise informed Taryn and me that Ireland is typically excluded from such agreements—we’d have to check with our credit card provider, but most likely we would not be covered.
Well, seeing as we were at the airport and not, say, at a 1-800 Mastercard help desk, I looked confusedly into Taryn’s (also confused) eyes. She said she read something recently that confirmed what the Enterprise guy was saying, so perhaps we ought to get the insurance…? The car was under her name, so I said okay.
Enterprise Guy: “Basic or super awesome coverage?” [paraphrased]
Taryn and Jenny: *blank stare*
EG: Basic coverage has yada yada yada and a 1,750 Euro deductible for $300, OR super awesome coverage is something something something 250 Euro deductible and costs $350.
T: What do you think?
J: I don’t know. What do you think?
T: I don’t know.
J: I’m not good with rental car insurance. My dad always tells me not to get it.
T: That’s what my mom says, too.
T&J: *blank stare*
EG: If you eliminate the second driver fee and do this and this and this, it’ll only come out to a $40 difference. I think you should take the super awesome insurance.
T&J: (thinking) It costs more money, dude. This started out as a $75 car! Ummmm….
T: What do you think?
J: I don’t know. What do you think?
Anyway, we decided to get the cheaper insurance because, as I noted, “it’s not like we’re going to get into an accident.” (famous last words of that dude on the Titanic)
FLASH AHEAD THREE DAYS
I was driving. We started out in Doolin headed to Shannon to catch the ferry, then to Dingle Peninsula to walk around, and finally down to the Ring of Kerry. Despite the rain and scary narrow roads, I was going strong.
(Roads in Ireland are particularly narrow, with hedges and walls of granite built alongside the edge/ next to the white line. A shoulder? I think not! Here’s our version of a live dash-cam. Disclaimer: I am not the next Steven Spielburg.)
We also had a GPS in the car—worth that extra $10 per day, I’ll tell you what!—but it oddly chose to send us down back roads, which in Ireland are barely wide enough to fit a golf cart, let alone opposing lanes of traffic. It’s incredibly unnerving to be driving and facing the possibility of an oncoming collision at every hill.
So, we were on one of those back roads approaching what appeared to be civilization (two buildings), and this lamp post.
Well, as you might be able to tell, but I couldn’t, that’s actually an intersection. No stop sign! No yield sign! No indication that the road extends to the left at all! And that is the direction the other car came from before I hit it.
In my defense, I did slow down (from a whopping 30kph to probably 10kph) once I realized it was an intersection, but it was too late. I totally smashed this shoddily made car.
That €250 deductible for an extra $50 sounds a lot better now, doesn’t it??
Needless to say, I was crushed, much like the side panel of that stupid grey car. After some dry heaving and a lot of moaning, I got back into the car (as a passenger) and moped.
Taryn safely maneuvered us to the walking trail we spotted in our guidebook, so we parked and started following the little yellow men.
The trail was not exactly what we expected. The first part of it was on a road with hedges (yes, hedges!) blocking our view of the ocean. Then we went through a residential area and were sidetracked by “ruins” that actually turned out to be a cemetery.
The trail got more interesting after that, though. We actually went through foliage and ended up along the coastline, which looked more like southern California than the Cliffs of Moher, and walked along there for a considerable distance.
We saw a fenced-in sheep—it baahh’d at us—and we followed what appeared to be another hiker (eureka! Another trekker!), but his “backpack” turned out to be a giant tub of pesticide, and he then walked inland to spray someone’s crops.
We were alone.
It was a peaceful walk. The sun came out over us while dark thunderclouds loomed ahead at the Ring of Kerry. We continued to follow the yellow man.
And then we came upon horses.
Then the coolest things happened. I went near the most beautiful horse, whom we named Red (short for Red Breast because he was the color of whiskey), to get a photo, and he reached his head toward me and let me pet him.
It was like I’d just watched Touched By and Angel; I got all warm and fuzzy and delighted inside. It was SO SO COOL. (Taryn got to pet him as well.)
Petting Red was a small atonement for the otherwise horrible afternoon, and we walked away from that experience feeling light-hearted. A happy ending.
we got lost.
——–end part II———
I must go to bed because I’ve got Spin class tomorrow morning. (That’s right, I joined a gym.)
FOR THE RECORD: it took me longer to join a gym in RI than it did when I was in New Zealand.
I shall continue with Part III, the weirdest, best/worst day next time.