Well, through an evil coworker I was shown a new airline that is promoting cheap flights. For less then a weekend in the states I was able to go to Dublin. I’ve never been to Ireland before and I was looking forward to a long weekend away. So that is how I ended up in Ireland. I arrived at about 8am. I was able to find the bus to an Airbnb I had reserved. I recently discovered that google maps lets you download area maps. This was amazing and I easily found the place. I was renting a small room that was within walking distance to downtown. It was a very brisk morning more cool then I expected it to be but bundled up and a quick walk kept me warm. I worked my way towards Phoenix park. In the park was the Dublin Zoo. I am a sucker for zoos and aquariums. With such a cold morning most of the animals wereinside their warm homes. However, a few brave creatures were out in the sun soaking up the rays. Jet lag hadn’t set in yet and I worked my way towards downtown. I passed Jameson and Guinness breweries. Followed the River Liffey to a pub for lunch. Beer and soup. Yummy. I continued to wander around looking at ancient cathedrals, Dublin castle, and the Chester Beatty Library. This library holds some of the oldest manuscripts ever found. Antique Bibles, Qurans, and Buddhist texts. The artwork alone was amazing but to actually witness these documents was humbling. To think these writings from BC and AD made it long enough for me to witness them. It was wonderful. Starting to get a bit footsore I worked my way back to my home-stay for a nap.
I did get up for a bit to have a fabulous dinner at a local pub. However, I had an early day for a ride to Northern Ireland. In case you forgot, Northern Ireland is a separate country from Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and uses the Sterling Pound for currency. Ireland is part of the European Union and uses the Euro. I have to say I had to be reminded of this fact. We worked our way north to the Carrick-a-rede bridge. This bridge was constructed so that fisherman could get a bit farther out from shore. The bridge is constructed of two 2×12 boards and about 100 feet long. I must admit I got a bit weak kneed halfway across but I managed.
After the bridge we went toward the Giants Causeway. Now this is a natural formation of basalt rock. The story goes that a Scottish Giant (the formations go all the way to Scotland) came across the causeway to conquer the Irish giant. Through the wisdom of Mrs. Irish Giant the Scottish one was sent running home with his tail between his legs. The formation and the walk to the causeway is amazing. Huge cliffs and roaring sea add to the the giant atmosphere. We past this ruined castle on the way back to Dublin. Ireland, it seems, holds more ancient structures then I ever expected. The Bushmill Brewery, which we also passed, was founded in the 1700s and is one of the oldest working brewery in Ireland. Just amazing. Just wow.
The next and my final full day in Ireland I went to all the museums and touristy sights that I didn’t get to on my first day. The natural history museums had some of the most antique specimens I have ever seen. Many from the early 1900s or late 1800s. The grouping of creatures was amazing. Not just one twig of the species tree but whole branches. The National Gallery held such wonderful works of local artists. I brought home a reprint of J.B. Yeats White Horse, among others. My final last half day I visited the Botanical Gardens and the Gasnevin Cemetery. Both were beyond imagination and quite fantastic. The entire trip was perfect getaway. Great way to recharge the batteries. I recommend checking out Norwegian Air in your area. The one bit advice, be aware that the 10kg is for both of your bags. So either check (extra fee) or pack extremely light. Now back to the daily grind. I might have accidentally, on purpose, signed up to work the next three weeks straight. I will be on midnights so that should be fine. I will just be a hermit. Until my next trip… which might be Costa Rica.
I was just away for a weekend to my moms’ to help do chores around the farm. It was a very productive trip but we always butt heads if we are together more then three days. I was there three and a half. Today I packed again for another trip. Yes, I pack way ahead of time. This way I can add and subtract as needed. Anyways, I got wicked cheap tickets for Dublin for a long weekend and couldn’t say no. There is a lot going on right now. Stress is really high. However, to take a moment to myself is much needed. I plan to take full advantage of it.
So I might have peeled out of the parking lot and slid sideways into Walmart’s lot but I made it in one piece. I went through the clothes section in record time finding what I could make work. The person that should have been at the fitting rooms decide that now would be a great time to be missing. I might have limbo-ed under the door and changed into my new clothes. I then walked to the register and give her the tags. I didn’t even get an odd look. Guess its not that uncommon for people to wear purchases out of the store. I made it back to my brother’s school in 15 minutes. Record time! We then sat through the most droll speeches about how great the school is doing and how wonderful the students are. I could have taken a nap. I probably needed one. We finally made it to the diploma presentation time. I was able to make it onto the stage and present it to my brother with out tripping, fainting, or crying. I think that is a great accomplishment if you ask me. There was much fanfare and hand shaking and we were done. It went by in a huge rush. Mom and I returned to the hotel while my brother finished his day. His girlfriend decided that we were not invited to dinner because, “its the last time I’ll see him in…I don’t know.” Peeved and tired, mom and I went to dinner on our own. The following few days followed in about the same way. We went to local sites and did the touristy stuff. My brother still the egotistical person he always have been. It was very disheartening to feel I put all this effort into being here and there was no appreciation shown. Oh well. Family right?! I am very glad to have made the trip. It brought back memories from my time at the same academy. I look forward to seeing how my brother progresses from here. I know it wont be easy. My mom drove back to Georgia in 30 hours. I hate when she does these straight through drives. She made it safe and sound. I flew back and made it just in time for 8 inches of snow. However, today is bright, sunny, and looking warm. It is not warm by any means though. Back to the grind stone, I guess.
Well even with the rough start we were moving ahead. The next day took us farther East. The roads through New York and Mass were fairly nice. Though, with $180 in tolls they could be better. The countryside was quite lovely and some of the trees had held on to their leaves. Many reds and oranges. Traffic flowed well and I could set my cruise control for hours. That evening we worked our way across the Appalachian mountains. They aren’t overly high but it was a bit of a chore to get through.
We were going to stop in Albany for the night but pushed out another 100 miles to Springfield. The sun went down early and there was a light freezing rain as we crossed another mountain pass. I was very stressed and tired from the driving but we made it fine to our hotel. Dinner was at a Mexican place next door. The food was really poor and I lost my debt card there. Sigh. I keep telling myself one more day!! The morning was bright and sunny, if a bit chilly. We worked our way toward, but around, Boston and North to “All Maine Points.” There was no breakfast at our hotel so we were going to stop for food when I gassed up. However that wayside had no open shops besides McDonald’s and they were cash only. Annoyed we pushed on. The miles were quickly falling away and we arrived in Houlton at about 3pm.
Now this weekend was my Landlords birthday so his daughters had left to go see him. So the keys were passed to one of the husbands. This particular gentleman ones a beer and wine shop. Just what I needed after 4 days in the car. Keys and beer in hand we unloaded a few things and crashed. The next day I was able to find a cheap couch and we managed to make this a liveable place. I am excited for this new start. Hopefully I can get settled in well.
Well its been a rough take off but things are moving. Two days before I was to move I hit a deer. Came out of a shadow and there was no stopping for the poor creature. Damage to my truck will be expensive but it’s driveable. Then the day before I was to leave we got about 5 inches of snow. This storm caused my mom’s flight to be canceled. The airlines refused to give her a hotel voucher stating it was God and not them that stopped the flight. Sigh. Well my dad’s best friend lives there so he grabbed her and they had a sleepover! We will be a bit behind schedule but oh well.
I won’t speak of the evil threes in case I jeopardize my trip. Day one made it to Madison, WI as planned. The roads in WI were rough but we were out of the snowy roads so I was happy for that. The countryside is rather beauriful with rolling hills, farms, and pretty trees. That night we stopped and mother found the rum that was packed for her. Needless to say there was much giggling and shenanigans. The cats were happy to be out of the car and explored and finally found time to cuddle with me.
The next day took us three more states East. Chicago area roads were worse and congested. We move into Indiana and reminisced about places we lived in so many years ago in Indiana. I started Divergent audio book to give us something to listen to. If u didn’t know Indiana is just south of Michigan then you would be surprised to drive east and have state border above you. I-90 follows the border as you cross into Ohio. I was happy with the expensive toll roads as I could set my cruise control and just roll on by.
This evening proved to be difficult as mother was in a mood once we checked in. She couldn’t figure out the TV and became very agrresive and condsending after that. I, in hopes to get some food, said I’d go where ever she wanted. Well we all know she can’t make a decision and my yielding didn’t help matters. However, the front desk told her of a place in a nearby mall. It was very good and after she wanted to try to buy some jeans. She couldn’t find anything she liked after I already bought some stuff. This caused her to become even more put out with me. While the night descended south I tried my best to try and relax and enjoy not being in the truck. We still have two more days to get to Maine. Hopefully it continues smoothly.
(I know I kind of ended this post abruptly but I don’t want to focus on thw issue we all know my mother can be. 😊)
I fully believe in the power of positive thinking. Perhaps, somewhere deep inside all of us is a tiny connection to everyone else. So in thinking of that, I will ask for positive thoughts and prayers today. I am driving cross country to move to my new job. Most of the way is clear weather but leaving looks rough. So if you all can send me good vibes for a safe trip I would be very appreciative. Lets prove the power of positive intent!
Well it is official, I am moving. Leaving the great frozen land of northern Minnesota and heading for the rolling hills of northern Maine. I spent so much energy trying to move and when it happened I was almost dumbfounded. It is like when you push against something and it gives way unexpectedly. You have that moment of panic before you catch your balance (or fall). I got over the momentary panic and moved into action mode. I packed stuff and sold things and prepped to go. Now I am in a holding pattern. Hurry up and wait, right?
I will be heading East at the end of the month. My mom has offered to come with me. A offer that I am not sure I should have accepted. However, it’s a bit late to turn back now. I have planed the route and set up housing in my new place. Now it is only a matter of waiting until the end of the month. It can’t come soon enough and all the same it will come too quickly.
Any of you from Maine or visited? Where are the places I have to go to? Any suggestions?