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What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Sneaky Sheep October 7, 2017

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Our road trip through the Irish countryside is definitely one of the most beautiful I have ever taken. The wide valleys, the rocky mountains… the sheep.

Most of the sheep are in giant pastures with color-coded butt swatches. And the butt rainbow makes sense. Granted, I am not a sheep expert, but it seems to me that it would get really hard to tell one fluffy sheep from another. So farmers tag their sheep with their gang colors.

Well, one farmer with pink-butt sheep was having a very bad day. (more…)

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For the Love of Music September 19, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 12:30 pm
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I found my favorite city in the world the moment I heard the music on the street.

First of all we found a parking garage, which was like the freakin’ Holy Grail on this trip. Second, everything we wanted to see was in walking distance of where we parked the car. Third, I found a salad.

So really, I was in a great place to enjoy things in the first place.

But Galway is going to have to be split into two blogs. The latter shall be a tale of magic, music, and a perfect Guiness pour. But first we must discuss the oil-drinking vampire.

After we found my beloved parking garage, we found our hotel.

It’s just a few doors down, right above one of the best pubs in the city. I’m feeling really great about my travel planning choices. Then we walk up to the desk to check in…he has no record of our Expedia booking.

I have the confirmation with me, so I’m all like, “Nope, I like it here. I’ve paid to stay here. Find my booking.”

He reaches for a paper folder to sort through things (apparently, they’d switched systems and lost some bookings, but he didn’t see fit to mention that right away).

As he’s thumbing through paper, a man walks in and asks for two rooms for the night. The concierge says sorry, but he only has one room left… our room. (more…)

 

An Accidental Love September 16, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 12:30 pm
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After we left the Cliffs of Moher, we headed to Galway. A little detour into background (if I had a way to make a chime sound for a flash back, I would).

The husband and I spent three summers in Alaska. Alaska reinforced our love for three things: climbing mountains, good beer, and live music. Galway had the beer and the music, so we were super excited to get there.

So we left the Cliffs of Moher and headed north. Usually, I’m really good at road trips, but for some reason, I really needed to get out of the car and walk on the way. We looked in the guidebook and found a really cool-looking place. Couldn’t find the place, gave up, and pulled over at a park instead.

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A Toilet Utopia September 12, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 12:30 pm
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If you ever have a chance to go to the Cliffs of Moher, go. I don’t care if you’re not a Harry Potter fan and don’t want to see where Voldemort hid a horcrux. The cliffs are breathtaking.

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And while you’re there, go to the bathroom.

I’m not kidding. Not only is it a trek so you should use the bathroom while you have the chance, it’s also an interesting cultural experience. You see, it’s one, large, unisex bathroom with like thirty stalls. Like Ally McBeal style.

My husband and I both had to use the bathroom, so we followed the signage and arrived at a door. We both looked around for a Men’s vs. Women’s room sign, but there just wasn’t one. And we weren’t the only confused people, mind you. There were like five of us hovering outside the door, trying to figure out who got to go in and pee.

Then men and women came out of the same bathroom, so we all went in. (more…)

 

Inishmoore and the Sore Bottom September 9, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 12:30 pm
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A few years ago I had the joy of seeing The Cripple on Inishmaan on Broadway. It was amazing! Seeing Daniel Radcliffe live was super cool, but I’m not going to lie, the women in the show were the real powerhouses.

When I realized the island in the show was a real place, I knew I had to go there. Getting to Inishmaan jumped right on the list of our Ireland to-dos.

Then we realized that staying on Inishmaan is actually really hard and opted for sailing past Inishmaan and staying on the neighboring, slightly larger island with accommodations you don’t have to book a year in advance: Inishmoore.

Inishmoore did not disappoint.

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(more…)

 

Magical Music September 5, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 6:30 pm
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So, after we left the possible serial killer inn keeper with the peacock with the facial tumor, we went into town to listen to the boys play at the pub.

By this point in our great Irish adventure, we had discovered that the directions the locals give, no matter how absurd they may seem, are usually accurate. So when the innkeeper had rattled out that we should park by the first pub of the three in town and just stay there because otherwise there would be nowhere for us to go, we took her seriously.

We had gotten there too early, so there was no music, and I honestly probably would have gone back to the B&B to sleep if I hadn’t been terrified of being chopped into small pieces the moment I closed my eyes. So we sat in the pub and waited for the music.

Finally, four boys who didn’t look old enough to drink by American standards came in and took their seats by the window. They took out their instruments, chatted to each other, checked their phones, got a drink. Finally, the boy sitting at the center just sort of shrugged and they started to play.

And they were all brilliant. They didn’t smile, they didn’t look at the people clustered in to hear them. From the semi-vacant expressions on their faces, they might as well have been in a horribly boring math class. (more…)

 

A Peculiar Protuberance August 31, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 1:30 pm
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Back to Ireland.

After I bonded with birds and stumbled upon a tomb, it was time to get ready to board the boat for Inishmore!

I was so thrilled to visit the island. In part because I had seen Daniel Radcliffe in The Cripple of Inishmaan on Broadway, and we would be going right past that island to get to the island where we were going to be staying.

I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the B&B we booked for the night before we got on the boat. It was just a place to sleep. I knew we wouldn’t have time to hang out in our room.

That was…a potentially disastrous, but now humorous decision. (more…)