Irish I Was Joking

Guys. I know this blog was supposed to be posted yesterday… I’m sorry I’m late. I spent the majority of my day in bed, and then the rest of the day doing laundry because I made the mistake of not doing laundry before we left. That’s right people-

I’m back from Ireland!

Irish I could tell you I loved it… (see what I did there?) But instead, I have some hilarious stories for you instead.

Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

The Tank

My family landed in Dublin with the plan to rent a car to drive throughout the southern parts of the Emerald Isle. In the most unsurprising American fashion, my family rented the biggest car on the whole rental car lot. A bright red 9 passenger van. Like a supersized, apple red, candy-man van, but with windows.

Now. Do you know how wide Irish roads are? Let me tell you – about the width of a 9 passenger, supersized, apple red, candy-man van. And that is for both directions of traffic. Essentially one and a half American lanes for both directions. I can laugh now, but mostly because I know I lived in the end.

The van only got better as we played “how close can we get to the other cars when we park so it looks like we half fit in this parking spot” and, my personal favorite, “will we fit in this parking deck?” (The answer to the latter question was: barely, with the roof’s antenna scraping the lights and supporting I-beams on the ceiling of every single deck. I think Thomas was almost crying he was laughing so hard- it was adorable.)

The best part was when we were lost at midnight on a back-country road and the fog rolls in. And if Ireland does nothing else well (which it does plenty of stuff well, I’ll tell you in next week’s blog), it definitely has fog down pat.  I’ve never seen fog so thick and pillowy before.  It looked like the van was driving through whole milk.  Lost, it was determined that we had to turn around. Remember how small the roads were? And how big the van was? And how thick the fog was? Our courageous driver, my dad, proceeded to back the van into the stone wall that lined the road. And not just once. Twice.  He had to be sure he got it really good.

Not to worry though, through all this, the van suffered not even a scratch.  The thing was a tank.

The Castle

IMG_5639

While on our week-long adventure, my parents surprised us with a stay in an old castle. It was absolutely gorgeous and one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.  This place was built before America was discovered by Christopher Columbus. Isn’t that crazy? And we had the whole thing to ourselves. I literally had the keys to the castle.

Thomas and I explored the old castle in the dark with our flashlights and it was every bit as creepy as you are imagining. Particularly the cobweb-covered private chapel and the pit of animal bones we found. Neither were spectacularly romantic in the dark, trust me, but seriously cool nonetheless.

Fast forward to bedtime. Remember, we’re staying in a castle built before good* old Chris sailed the ocean blue. (*Christopher Columbus’ merits can be debated, sure. Let’s not go into it now…) The apartment we’re staying in has been furnished and fitted with electricity and heat and running water so we’re not sacrificing modern luxuries while sleeping like kings and queens.

I’m in the bathroom connected to my bedroom, which is also connected to the boys’ room. (Those two poor saps had to bunk together all trip while I got a room to myself. I thought I was making out like a bandit, but as it turns out, they got along thick as thieves and I turned into the third wheel. Anyway, I digress.)

I’m in the bathroom, washing my face with all the lights on and the doors shut because yes, I was a little spooked. You can’t tell me someone hasn’t died in that castle in all the years it’s been in existence. Suddenly, I hear a loud noise and everything is a bit darker behind my already closed eyelids.

A door opens somewhere and Thomas’ voice calls out: “Don’t move and don’t panic, but the electricity went out.” Already a bit panicked, I barely stopped myself from a “is that why it’s so dark?” comment. But I like him, so I swallowed the panic. Mostly. I didn’t sleep, even though the boys were kind enough to leave the connector door between our rooms open so I felt safer.

Around midnight, I was lying in bed, still not sleeping (because what if there were ghosts?) and this giant gray moth landed right on my face. I didn’t scream, but I sure did flail my flashlight around like a Las Vegas light show trying to get this thing off my face and far, far away from the bed.

I was finally falling into a light sleep when Thomas calls my name and starts mumbling something mostly incoherent. My first thought? He’s possessed and this is how I’m going to die. Death by my possessed best friend in an ancient castle in Ireland. Maybe with the candlestick? How’s that for a Clue solution? There are definitely worse ways to go. As it turns out, he wasn’t possessed (that I know of) and he vaguely remembers trying to tell me about freezing water splitting rocks while he was half asleep. And I lived through the scariest night I have ever spent in a castle. So, we have a happy ending – other than not being sure Thomas isn’t actually possessed.

So that’s all for this week’s installment of Bex’s Adventures: Ireland Family Vacation Edition. Next week I’ll tell you everything I loved about our trip. (Spoiler: it’ll probably be mostly about the food.)

My takeaway this week: even if things are bleak and you’re feeling melancholy, eventually you’ll look back and have a good laugh. And it’s even better when you can have a good laugh with family and friends.

Until next week,

x-bex-1

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