I managed to go off script before we even left for the airport.
I open the trunk and my mouth follows. Heat rises to my face and I look at Nic like he’s playing the biggest/most horrendous prank on me. He isn’t. My mom senses my distress and does the typical, “What!?” with her eyes all big.
I just keep saying “this is a joke, this has to be a joke. I KNOW I had it.”
My sister and nieces walk up the driveway, shortly followed by my dad and aunt, making it a family affair.
My mom is already looking on the bright side, “Well it will make a great blog post!” I give her a look, but mentally file it away. My dad plays the realist, affirming that if this is as bad as it gets, then I have it pretty good.
I continue to tear through my car, convinced there’s some sort of secret compartment I’ve been overlooking.
My sister asks what is irreplaceable. I feel like a brat when I recount all the things I bought purposefully for this trip that are in my expensive and missing overnight bag.
Everyone knows I’m a planner and I’m not a forgetter. I think back to earlier in the day, as I rushed around my apartment making sure everything was in its place for the drive to Houston. I distinctly remember shoving my resistance bands into my duffel right before leaving. Did I put the bag down next to my car and drive away? Is it still sitting there? Somebody stole it!
I text Amanda about the emergency. I call and leave a message with my apartment complex. I email them. I curse myself as I pace. I calculate how much time I have. It’s 7pm and I leave for the airport the following day at 1pm. Do I start making replacements or do we drive the 2.5 hours back to Austin to initiate a search and rescue?
Nic calls his roommate to see if he’ll stop by my apartment and stake it out. There’s no sign of it in the parking lot. No one seen wearing my clothes. I try to carry on with my night, but keep bringing it up in conversation. I get a text from Amanda with a picture of the bag sitting on my bed. On one hand, I’m happy it’s not stolen. On the other…how the hell did I just leave it on my bed!?
I have to laugh at the irony – of taking so much time to plan & pack and then dropping the ball before we even takeoff. I fall in love with Nic a bit more because he isn’t mad at me; instead he volunteers to go get it. I appreciate my friends more because both Amanda and Todd agree to meet us halfway – even though they both have to be up early the next morning. We suffer the late night drive and successfully reach the meeting point, beg for forgiveness and praise them for doing me this huge favor.
I think it was a definite [necessary] lesson for me. I knew I’d need to loosen up and be able to go with the flow, but I more expected that to be a product of someone else’s error…not my own. Regardless, life goes on.
Now let the real fun begin!
I designated Dublin as my “drinking city” from the start, as I strive to live like the locals and well… they do a lot of drinking. I’ll list what we managed to see/do in four days and also insert what I wish we had planned for.
- People watch/drink in Temple Bar
Temple Bar reminds me of Bourbon street. It’s not necessarily where the locals go, but it is a place to bring your out of town guests. There’s a large mix of nationalities represented and closing time seems more like a suggestion. The music changes between traditional Irish and 90’s American. There is an impressive amount of PDA to be seen and alcohol consumed. We kept it together enough to walked the 1+ mile back to our house at 2am.
- Walk through St. Stephens Green & Grafton Street
Dublin is definitely a walking city. We opted for Uber when the weather wasn’t participating and averaged 7 miles a day when it was clear. During the day, a lot of the action was happening in and around St. Stephens Green. We strolled through the park to reach Grafton Street where stores like River Island, Office, and Zara could be found.
- Watch [any] game at a local pub
Nic and I watched a Manchester United game at Baker’s Lounge, where a Gaelic football game was also on. I was impartial to either and just enjoyed my Irish coffee as people around me yelled at the t.v. in thick accents. I don’t think there is a time of day that the pubs are empty.
- Visit the Guinness Storehouse
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the tour unless you’re a big beer drinker. However, I do recommend a visit for the view from the gravity bar alone. I enjoyed my perfectly poured Guinness and my dad enjoyed several. Afterwards, we went for traditional Irish food (Irish stew, Sheppherd’s Pie, Bangers & Mash) at Arthurs around the corner from the Storehouse.
- Tour the countryside
My first visit to Ireland we went to the Cliffs of Moher – which was a full day affair and absolutely breathtaking. This time around we did a half day tour to the Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough. Wicklow was the scene from Ps. I love You when Gerard and Hilary first meet. The landscape was unlike anything I’ve seen before. I personally recommend getting out of the city and choosing a destination that interests you most, whether it be somewhere with folklore, history, or movie scenes etc. The views are guaranteed to be picturesque no matter which direction you head.
- Musical Pub Crawl
Two Irish musicians lead a group to three pubs, playing different Irish instruments and jigs at each location. The mood is light and the music upbeat. I recommend not doing this the night before a flight, as we had to avoid overdoing it on the cider in fear of oversleeping.
I wish I had …
– A higher alcohol tolerance
– Gone to [any] game
– Spent more time in the country
I’m currently in London until Sunday and have to spend some time working, but I’ll most definitely post with more to-dos next week!