So apparently, there is the passport story floating around. I don’t know the details of this story, in fact, I didn’t even know it was a story. But for those of you that heard this piece of fiction, let me enlighten you. My beloved husband lost my passport, which I didn’t discover until about a month before the trip. If you expedite the passport process it still takes about 2 weeks, so I went down to the passport office and purchased another one. I was a wee bit nervous about getting it on time, especially once the week we were leaving actually arrived. I know that my husband is sitting here reading this yelling at the screen that he was not responsible for losing my passport. I have piles. It might look like clutter to some people, but to me it is organized chaos. My husband can’t stand my piles. So he waits until I am not in the house and then “cleans” up after me. On one of his cleaning OCD binges, he put away my daytimer in the cabinet above the fridge. I mean seriously, does that even make sense? Who looks there for anything? My passport was tucked into a side pocket. No telling when he did this, but I had forgotten I even had this daytimer. Yes, of course he found it, because he is the one that LOST IT! Anyway, the new one arrived, and I am here so let’s proceed.
Okay, so after a good 10 hours of sleep, we are all feeling much better now. Our B&B served us a most delicious breakfast, and then we were packed and on our way to kiss the Blarney Stone. We actually made it from Bunratty to Cork without getting lost. We did have one rather frightening moment when we had to pass a police checkpoint, but luckily they didn’t pull us over. We pulled into a gas station in Blarney to ask for directions to the castle, and take a potty break. My mom was waiting for Libby to take her turn, when all of a sudden she heard this alarm going off. Mom started looking around for the source of the noise, when all of a sudden, Libby burst out of the bathroom and yelled “RUN”! Apparently, Libby mistook the “save me I’ve fallen” button for the flusher. That’s Joey’s little problem solver for ya.
We arrive at Blarney Castle. Libby gets a free ticket from a stranger, it was a child’s ticket, but then again…she is small. Mom had her first senior moment. Literally, she bought the senior ticket to save 2 Euros. It was the first time she had ever used her senior discount, we paused to hold a moment of silence and shed a silent tear. The grounds of Blarney Castle are just amazing. It’s hard to find enough descriptive words to illustrate just how beautiful it is here. There is quite the line for kissing the stone. I was a little worried about actually making it up the hundred steps required to get to the stone, but I needn’t have worried, the line was so slow it was like 1 step every 10 minutes. Oh and did I mention that my sister fell over again…I’m starting to get a little worried about her equilibrium issues. So, we are in the line making our way up the castle on these tiny tiny stairs (seriously, I am starting to think that everything was built by Leprechauns). Kissing the actual stone itself was sort of anti-climatic. Basically, you lie down on your back and scoot back until your butt is about hanging off the ledge while holding onto two iron bars and having a guy keep hold around your waist until your face is mashed against the stone. My sister only air kissed it (amateur), Libby and I kissed it for reals, so our gift of eloquence is far greater than hers, and I’m going out on a limb to say that she might have needed a bit more than the two of us…just sayin’.
I will make an observation about eating in pubs/restaurants in Ireland. They are in no hurry to serve you. My sister asked for water, and eventually he brought it….in a pitcher…with no glasses. So it took another 10 minutes to get the glasses, and there have been several times when we entertained the idea of dine and ditching because it took so long to get a check. While everyone grabbed a table at the pub after Blarney Castle, I decided it would be a good time to exchange my dollars for Euros. Getting in and out of the bank proved quite tricky. You enter the first door, and then there are actual instructions for the second door, which of course I didn’t read, I just sat there yanking on the door while the customers inside the bank smirked at me, the ignorant American. Finally, I realized there were instructions. You have to press this button and wait for the light to turn from red to green then you may enter the alcove where a third door awaits. Yes, a third door. You have to wait for the second door to close and lock and then press the button and wait for it to turn from red to green. Once inside the vault aka bank, it’s sweltering hot. I thought I’d pass out before I actually got my exchange done. I got 150 Euros for 200 dollars…sad 😦
So, after we eat, we head to our hotel in Youghal, which apparently is pronounced Y’all…awesome for us Texans. The town of Youghal is so adorable, we love it! And our hotel is quaint and very nice and Johnny is awesome! He checked us in, and gave us a brief overview of the village and where to go and what to see. Our first excursion took us to St. Mary’s Collegiate Catholic Church, built in 1220 and surrounded by a graveyard. The Irish go all out when burying their dead, these plots are completely blinged out with rosary beads, ceramics, statues, flowers, cards, pictures, snow globes, Catholic statues…it was strange, yet beautiful. After our tour of the graveyard, we walked on top of the wall surrounded the village and then back to Treacy’s Pub for a few pints. Libby entertained us with stories which apparently I’m not allowed to share and had to enter a contract of silence before being allowed to leave the pub. I can tell you that the large majority of our conversations seem to center around pooping. Weird, right? I don’t know, it just seems to evolve that way. We are a classy bunch.
Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel and had dinner. Libby tried salmon, and it was smoked (raw) salmon. I was proud of her for trying something new, but she wasn’t really a fan. Our favorite food thus far is “chips” aka french fries. Oh goodness, the Irish know how to do fries.
Tomorrow: tour the town of Youghal and whatever strikes our fancy. Oh and my darling husband, I’ll be seeing the inside of a church today, don’t worry no lightening in the forecast 😉