Saturday, June 25, 2016


WTF is going on with my face?!?!?!!

When I woke up this morning and looked into the mirror, I thought I was seeing things.  Just overnight it seems that I have contracted leprosy.  Do you remember last year when I was in Florida and I accidentally sprayed bug poison on my face and got a terrible rash?  The same thing happened again! Not the bug poison part, because I tend to look at bottles now, but the rash!  Holy hell, I look terrible!  I think I've narrowed it down to the pillows here, because I can't think of anything else it could be.  I've got sensitive skin (my skin is as sensitive as my soul...sigh) and I think I must be allergic whatever they wash the pillowcases with.  Oy, vey.  Now I have a lovely face rash to go along with my eye splotch and arm bruise.  Seriously, along with the dark, sleepless rings around my eyes. hair that refuses to cooperate, and everything else, God is having a laugh.  I must have been going to meet up with someone who would otherwise be tempted by my beauty and would have stolen me away, and the universe is trying to stop it.  (Ok, I can't even think that with a straight face, so you can go ahead and laugh.)

You can stop it now, Universe!  This is just plain mean!

OK, well, other than that, we did have a very grand adventure planned for today!  Today was the day we were going to the Cliffs of Moher (or the Cliffs of Mordor as I've been calling them, mainly because I wasn't sure how to pronounce Moher at first.) Ever since some friends of mine (Hi, guys!) went there, I've been dying to see the cliffs in person.  Steve was excited about this particular trip as well, so after breakfast we headed out the door and towards the cliffs.  As I mentioned before, we were supposed to have a concert in Galway, but it got canceled.  We weren't supposed to be so far away from the cliffs, but the drive over there was fun.  Des is actually from Galway, so he kept up a steady stream of information about the area while we headed up that way.  He seemed really excited about taking us over there, and his excitement was catching!  He told us all about the history of the area we were traveling in, and about the trees, and how a lot of the places were just abandoned when the famine began. We went through some tiny towns (although, to be fair, most of the towns were tiny) and he talked about those.  He even explained how to thatch a house, about the slate shingles that we saw on some houses, about cutting and drying turf for fuel, and that Cromwell (who was just a bastard and a half) ran some of the families out of their land by telling them that they could go to "Hell or Connaught!" Hell, meaning he'd kill them and Connaught being a very wild, uncultivated area where they'd probably starve while trying to scratch out a place to live.  We saw it.  It wasn't a friendly place.

We finally made it to the cliffs.  Again, Des seemed to be concerned that I was going to get cold, even though I had a jacket on.  I wonder if he thinks I'm sick or something?  I look sick, but I'm not. Did he think I really had leprosy?  I don't know, but again he seemed convinced I'd be too cold and offered me a raincoat. I respectfully declined. I'm not that delicate! Maybe I am. Maybe I do have leprosy!  Aaaaaah!

Anyway, the cliffs were AWESOME!!!!! 

It was quite a climb up some stairs, and the wind was blowing really hard, but when you get to where you can see them, oh, it was gorgeous.  The Cliffs of Moher have been filmed for a lot of different things, but I knew them best from the scene in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, when Harry and Dumbledore go to find the horcrux that was hidden in a cave.  As nerdy as that undoubtedly is, I was so excited to see it!!!!!!  They were so big and wild that it was kind of hard to take it all in. That's the kind of odd thing that has happened to me when we've gone to the National Parks back in the states.  It's all so big and different from what I'm used to that it almost doesn't seem real.  It's a wonderful, beautiful place, though.  If you ever get a chance to go, you should!   Des told us that when people started immigrating to America, the mothers would climb the cliffs and say prayers over the Atlantic to their loved ones because they knew they'd never see them again.  Huh.  Way to harsh the mellow, Des!  Nah, I actually thought that was a nice bit of info.  We took a ton of pictures, and Steve helped me take a particular picture that I meant as a joke (although, sadly, I'm not sure anyone got it) but otherwise we just stood and stared out over the water.  We were so busy taking photos and just looking that I forgot to take one of my foot!  I'm so mad about that.  Grrrr.  It's the only place I've forgotten to do it so far, dangit.

I wasn't content with walking behind the wall, so I climbed over it and walked along the edge.  I have no idea why I did this. I'm scared of heights, but I was compelled.  Maybe it because Steve didn't want me to!  Haha!  I got some very good photos, though, and at one point I lay down on my stomach to hang over the edge a bit.  Steve stood behind the wall hoping I wasn't going to fall over.  He said if I did, at least he could tell everyone I wouldn't be back on the coach and they wouldn't have to wait on me!!

I don't know how long we stayed out there, but we were out there a long time.  We finally walked back to the gift shop to get some things and let Steve get lunch. When we left, we traveled along the west coast of Ireland, which I think I prefer to the east coast.  It's all the Wild Atlantic Way, and it's all rocky coastlines, old farms, newer farms, fields and cows and such.  I loved it!  The road was very, very narrow, though, so sitting next to the window and looking straight down to a certain death was kind of unnerving.  We drove a long ways, but again, Desmond kept up a fairly steady stream of interesting talk, so the drive wasn't so bad.

Next we went into Galway proper, and Steve and I went along with a few other people to eat at a fish and chips shop!  That was the next food on my list of things I wanted to make sure and eat!  The place was called McDonaughs, which sounded enough like McDonald's that we got kind of tickled over it.  The food was good, although I'm not sure I was crazy about the chips. They didn't taste bad, but they were very thick and soft.  I liked the fish, though!  After that we walked around for quite a long time on what I think was called Shop Street.  It's closed off to traffic and it's lined with pubs, restaurants, and of course, shops.  I finally bought my Aran sweaters!  We didn't get a chance to go to the Aran Islands, but Desmond told us about a shop where the legit ones are shipped, so I got a couple there.  That makes three sweaters, and I might have accidentally bought a man's sweater. Oh well, it's big and soft, and I'll war it or figure out what to do with it later.  I'm bringing home a lot of wool to a place where it's rarely cold.  The sweaters were the one thing I promised myself I would buy, so I'll put it on and stand in the freezer section of Publix if I have to!  At one point during our walk, the most random thing happened.  We saw a bunch of people in kilts with bagpipes. That's a Scottish thing, right?  We saw them gather and start playing, and they marched down the street.  They went about 100 yards, stopped playing and left.  It was weird.  We thought they were advertising something, but we never found out what.  But, you know, SURPRISE BAGPIPES! 

We walked around and saw everything twice, I think, and by the time we got back to the bus, we were so tired!  It had been fun, though, so I was glad we'd gone down there. I'm not altogether sure how we're going to get the things we bought home.  Mainly it's the sweaters I'm worried about.  They're very thick.  Everything else will be easy.  Eh, we'll figure it out.

We finally got back to the hotel and when we walked in we saw that the hotel was now full of...I don't know what they are...little girl dancers or something.  They are very strange, and a lot of them have on inappropriate outfits and heavy makeup and wild hair. They look like those troupes of little girls you see in Christmas parades back home that are usually a part of something called "Melinda's School of Dance and Baton" or whatever, but these kids are dressed way worse.  There is heavy music playing somewhere in the hotel and a competition of some kind going on.  We haven't been allowed to go in there to see what's happening.  I don't blame them, though.  They're children and we are strangers, and who wants that hassle down the road?

Steve and I went down to the bar area to get something to eat later on and the kids kept coming into the bar.  Who lets a kid walk into a bar?  I don't think the dance mommies are watching their little snowflakes because they're running around in packs causing havoc.  Seriously, we see the moms going outside to smoke and have a drink, and these little kids are just left to their own devices and they are not being well mannered.  It's very weird.  Do these people not care that their little girls are in a hotel with a lot of rooms and possibly some very bad people behind a few of them?  Geez. It's scary to think about.

These kids are also really freaking loud, and if I have to go out into the hall and cut a bitch to get some sleep, I'm going to do it.  I don't care if they're 7 years old!  We can hear them running upstairs and knocking on doors. Part of me hopes they disturb some of the grumpier people in our group.  That would be entertaining! 

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