Ireland Adventures…

So we got up before dawn Wednesday morning. We finished packing our things and I fell down the stairs with the backpack, ruining the work the masseuse gave me yesterday. It’s been a little while now, and my butt and elbow and back still hurts.

N was brilliant and took us to the airport. His guidance system took him like the back way to the airport. But it was a pretty drive for before dawn. He dropped us off with hugs and we’ll wishes and we’ll see all of them on Friday.

We got into the terminal and had to find our baggage check in for our suitcase. So we waited for a little bit then we were able to check it in and get our boarding passes.

Next we went through security where I got stopped again and patted down. (2 our of 3 times going through security on this trip) and then my phone got swabbed down. Don’t know what that was about.

We went and got some breakfast at the restaurant there. Fiks had a proper English breakfast with sausages, beans, eggs, and toast. I had toast and jam (I had a yogurt in the car on the way over, so I wasn’t super hungry). We sat and chatted with Fiks finished his tea (no where near as good as Yorkshire tea). One he was done we headed to one of the shops and bought some sweets and a soda for the journey to Dublin.

We waited for a little bit to see which gate we needed to be at. I got Fiks as soon as I saw it was gate 3. So he packed up the camera and off we went. Checking in was fine, finding our seats was easy. Fiks even had leg room!

The flight didn’t take us very long. Maybe 45 minutes? Fiks managed to listen to a podcast during the flight. My nose was either firmly attached to writing this on my phone or outside the window taking photos.

We landed at Belfast City Airport. We thought we were going to land at the other Belfast Airport and have to shuttle in to the city center. But we didn’t, we landed there! So we just hopped on a bus to the bus station and from there we went for a little waddle so we could do a light brunch meal.

Our little waddle lead us to The Lava House. We ordered some French toast, a sausage roll and Fiks ordered a coffee. Happy coffee face tax and French toast tax included.

We quickly ate breakfast and got on the move to see if we could grab the earlier bus to Dublin since we were in town already. So we went back to the bus station and were able to hop on the earlier bus.

Fiks got out his Nintendo Switch and I busted out my Kindle, cuz it’s going to be a long ride. I even managed to get a little bit of a nap I think.

We heard back from the pony trekking company and were going to go do a 90 minute ride on Saturday. I’m so excited! Just makes me want to have my parents FedEx over my helmet and boots.

We got to Dublin without a hitch and after going to the information center we managed to get our leap passes and a map. Fiks figured out how to get to the hotel so we hopped on the appropriate trolley and took that to the stop closest to the hotel.

Even though we were early we got checked in and dropped off our bags and took a short little rest. During this rest I heard the clipping of hooves on the pavement, ran over to the window to see people in horse drawn carriages. I got super excited and told Fiks what I was seeing. We spent the next hour trying to figure out where they were located and how to get there. But firstly we needed Euros.

We gathered up our things and went downstairs and asked the concierge if he knew where to exchange some money. It was back where the bus had dropped us off. So we made our way back there and found a currency exchange place. Got 110 Euros for 100 pounds. Not great but not bad. We then hopped back on the tram and made our way to (the park)

We walked all around the park, looking for signs of horses and found none. We did see this sweet (aka evil) Swan at the park though mixed in with the ducks and other birds.

We walked around Dublin some more, stopping by The Temple Bar for Fiks. He ended up buying a bottle of whiskey (shock!) of Temple Bar Whiskey before we headed back to the hotel.

When we got back I realized that I had left my dresses and make up behind, wanting those for dinner tonight. I feel really dumb about it. He looks amazing in his blue pants, shirt, and shoes. I found a some what nice top and wore that down to the restaurant. We were seated and given menus, ended up ordering some drinks first. I asked for a slightly modified dish, so that took a while to show up, but it was good. Fiks ordered a steak which he loved, even if it was a little more cooked than he wanted (medium rare instead of rare). We had some dessert and then came back to the room.

We were both tired so we made the foolish mistake of lying down on the bed. Fiks was out like a light, I stayed up reading for a while and walked with my Cousin and then I took a shower and gave up and had a early night after I found my book on my chest and not remembering dozing off. I woke up around midnight and saw that Fiks was awake, so I woke up a little bit more and we chatted before calling it bed again.

We woke up and made our way downstairs for breakfast and it was pretty good. We had the same table that we had last night for dinner strangely enough. We talked about what we wanted to do today and then we came back to the room once we were done and gathered our things. I emptied some more things out of my backpack that I was foolishly carrying around yesterday, like the batteries for our laptops. We rolled up and stuffed our rain jackets into my backpack and started our walk towards the zoo.

It was drizzling when we went outside, and I had a moments hesitation about going to the Zoo while it was raining, but Fiks and I talked about it and we went ahead. It stopped raining soon after our decision as well, which made me feel a little better. It was a nice walk into a huge park, and we got to the zoo around 15 minutes after we set off. We got our tickets and then we headed into the zoo.

The zoo was under construction, and with COVID rules they had us all going in one direction around the zoo, which was fine. I’m just used to the zoo’s where you can do whatever you want, but I haven’t been to one since COVID started, so maybe its a new policy everywhere. I dunno. But we walked around and took some photos and had a good time. Even if there were a couple groups of girls that were running around and going into places that had been cornered off.

We went into the gift shop and looked at stuff, made a purchase, and while we were inside it started pouring down rain. We got our jackets out of the bag and put them on and started our walk back to the hotel. It slowed down to a drizzle then it stopped on our way back, so that was nice. We swung by our room in the hotel really quick, jumped on the tram and then we made our way to the Jameson Distillery.

Fiks ran around and took some photos before our tour started, I just sat down because my hooves were starting to hurt. Our tour guide showed up and introduced himself as Nigel, and he was an amazing host. He had the speeches down pat and added his little flourishes to his presentation on how Jameson was made. We got some history on the distillery and the story behind it, how it was made, then we went and did a tasting. It wasn’t horrible. (I’m not a huge whiskey person).

Then we had a 4 glass tasting afterwards, and that took about an hour to do. The second host (who I forgot his name already) was a great host himself. He knew a lot about his whiskey, and I ended up liking the third one the most. I couldn’t stand the fourth one. The second and first were both good as well, just not my favorite. But, thankfully, Fiks had already ordered a bottle of the third kind, so we just had to pick it up.

The gift shop had some good things in it. We both got t-shirts and a couple of other nerdy little things you could only get at the distillery. After that we made our way over to the Guinness Factory. It was a self guided tour, so in some areas we took our time, other areas we kind of blazed through. We went up the the Gravity bar and had a drink before our reservation at the restaurant. The food there was good. I thought I was getting something different that what I ordered, so I ate what I wanted. Fiks ordered Guinness pie, let me have a bite. Boy, was that good. I wish I ordered that instead of my dish. Then we waited for the check. And waited. And waited. We looked at the servers when we were done, and they kept ignoring us. We waited for a good 20 minutes before snagging someone and asking for it. Was not pleased with their service. We wondered around the gift shop for a little bit, before leaving and making our way back to the hotel.

We looked for a chemists (pharmacy) on our way home for us to pick up a couple things. Couldn’t find any open ones, so we swung by a shop on our way back to the hotel and picked up some drinks and ice cream and made our way back to the hotel. We just spend the rest of the night chilling. Fiks played on his Switch, and I worked on this and watched some Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Until I fell asleep, then I turned it off and crawled into bed.

We slept in a little bit today, before heading down and getting some breakfast. I felt kind of nauseated after eating, so I still wanted to swing by a chemists on our wondering day. But first we had to pack. We threw as much as we could into our suitcase, and then I carried the rest around in our backpack. We checked out and left our luggage at the desk, then started our hunt for a chemists. Ended up finding one a few tram stops over, so we swung by and picked up a few things. My hair tie had broken so I needed more of those, because I was dumb and didn’t bring any backups from the states. Fiks wanted some q-tips, and I needed something for my nausea.

I totally forgot that chemists can diagnose over here. So I chatted with the chemists of my symptoms and we ended up with something like tums, which is what I wanted. But it was nice to talk to someone about it. I popped a couple of chews and then we hopped on the tram and made our way to St Patrick’s Cathedral.

There was a cold wind while we were walking, and we got a little lost on the way, but we got it all figured out and made our way to the Cathedral. Its an amazing thing to walk up on. We went inside and got our tickets, and the guy selling the tickets asked about my mask. I was wearing my Audrey 2 mask from Little Shop Of Horror’s that said feed me. We walked around the gift shop and found a couple of things and purchased them, like a Crawford pin, and Fiks got me a clover necklace that I liked. Then we got the audio guides and started our way around the church.

Its a beautiful church, and I was so into listening to the history and looking around that I didn’t take very many photos. Fiks did tho, so that’s fine. Maybe I’ll upload them on here for people who read this and aren’t on my friends on Facebook, who knows. I loved the stained glass windows. I lite a candle for Gucci, because I still miss him dearly and hope that he’s doing okay up in heaven.

After we were done in the cathedral we went to the little tea shop at the end of the park. I ordered a soda and some chips, Fiks had a tea. We looked up for stuff to do, and I found that there were free tickets into Dublin castle, so I booked those and off we went. Only it was Dublin Castle proper, it was more like the estate rooms and where parliament used to be I think. So not overly fun and exciting.

After that we went for another walk and went to another distillery, Teelings. So we went over there and tried to get a tour, but there were no open tours of over an hour, and we didn’t really want to wait that long. So we wandered up to the gift shop and Fiks ended up buying a pin from there.

We were running out of ideas so we went to Dublinia, a museum about Dublin in the Viking and the middle ages. We both deiced that the Viking center in York was way better, but they did have a nice try. They didn’t focus too long on the Viking times, more on the middle ages. But it was still interesting. And we got to exit over the bridge and next to the church, which we weren’t expecting. So Fiks took a few photos going across the bridge. Then we made our way back to the hotel.

We got to the hotel and sat down for some lunch. The bartender was super helpful in trying to fix Fiks up with a good whiskey. Fiks ordered a shot of a Teelings whiskey from a special label, but there wasn’t enough for a good pour, so he went with a different Teelings. which he enjoyed. I just stuck with water with my pizza and fries, I don’t know why they gave me fries with it. Silly. And I should have given Fiks my fries, because he ordered fries with his soup.

When it was time we went and picked up our luggage and left the hotel for the last time. We jumped on the tram and headed over to where a bus was. Fiks was trying to find the exact location, so he slowed down. We paused and he looked at his phone, and I thought I heard Fiks say ‘Go’ so I started going. I thought he was behind me, turns out he wasn’t and he didn’t say ‘go’. Didn’t find this out until he caught up to me.

But we caught our bus and our seats and took off. We stopped at the Dublin Airport first and then we were on our way back to Belfast. Fiks pulled out his Switch and played that for a while before falling asleep. I read my book for a little bit before getting motion sick. So I took some Bonnie and watched the scenery go by for a while, then I tried watching some Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, but the wifi on the bus was hit or miss, so it didn’t stream very well or for very long.

Fiks and I got to the bus station and waited there to meet up with my Cousin and family. They had flown over earlier in the day and had picked up a car, so they figured it was easier for them to come to us. Which was true. They showed up and had a massive van. Fiks and I sat in the middle, Cousin and N in the front seat, and Nephew in the back seat. We took off for a grocery store near our end goal location. We had to have a pit stop for Nephew on the way, but that was fine. We got to the grocery store and got stuff for dinner and then made our way to the air B&B we had rented for the next couple of days.

We rolled in and unloaded as quietly as we could, Nephew was put to bed and the rest of us adults stayed up and had something to eat. I had a pasta and chicken dish, Fiks had some warm up Chinese and egg rolls, Cousin and N had some burgers. Then it was time to take a shower and crash. I apparently was kicking Fiks all night in bed, so I felt really bad when I discovered this later this morning.

We all had a slow and lazy morning, N running out and getting stuff for us for breakfast. He offered us toast, beans, eggs, bacon and sausages. I did toast, bacon and sausage. And tea, can’t forget the tea. Then I went and got dressed because today was our day to go pony trekking, (horseback riding). The stables was a half hour away from where we were staying so we took off and got there right on time.

Fiks and I went and introduced ourselves and filled out the paperwork and got some loaner helmets and went over to the paddock to meet our mounts. Both of them had some sort of draft horse in them because they were big. Willow, the mare that I rode, was around Gucci’s size. Blue, Fiks’ gelding that he rode, was a bit bigger than Willow. Once our party got sorted out (4 people decided not to come anymore) we set off. It was a wonderful trek, up through creeks and pastures and down roads on the property. The views were beautiful from halfway up the hill. There was a field with different yearlings in it, all different ages.

When the trek was over we went into the arena and walked around some. Fiks really wanted to try trotting, so he had someone grab Blue’s reins and run beside him while Blue was trotting and Fiks was trying to post. I was going around trotting at the same time so I didn’t get to see how he did, but I think he did okay. He didn’t get yelled at so that’s a good thing.

Then we went to the outside arena and did some steering skills, Willow was a bit stubborn when she came to the last cone to go around every time. Mares. Then I stopped and watched Fiks go for it. Him and Blue did a very good job. Then we dismounted and we gave them both some love and we said our goodbyes before they were taken back into the stables.

We hung out for a while, watching some other people ride while waiting for Cousin and family to show back up. They were at a small farm for Nephew, and they had a couple of other things there for him to do too. They came and picked us up and then we went to the grocery store we hit up last night and got more groceries and drinks so we could have dinner in and watch a movie once Nephew goes to bed.

We tried to hit up Bushmills distillery but they were closed, so we got photos of us in front of the factories. We then went across the street and picked up a bottle of Bushmills Whiskey for Fiks and then we made our way back to the B&B.

We did Chicken salad for dinner and I was introduced to School of Rock because I’ve never seen it. I enjoyed it. Then I went to bed to pass out because we had a early morning. I remember waking up when Fiks came to bed, but then I passed back out.

We begrudgingly opened our eyes and got up with the alarm after a few snoozes. Then we started repacking our suitcase and backpack to get everything to fit. My Cousin was awesome and let us stick some of our dirty laundry in one of her bags to get it home. Then we had some breakfast followed by us piling into the massive van and making our way to Giant’s Causeway.

We paused for a quick photo with the rainbow. Ignore my squinty face.

There was a wonderful yet slippery walk down the hills to the rocks which were climbable. After our tour finished we were left on our own to climb the rocks. We all did. I did the foolish thing of trying to keep up with Fiks, but I wasn’t that comfortable on slippery rocks, so I made my way down while Fiks kept being brave and going out towards the ocean. N and Nephew climbed the rocks too, and I climbed down to hang out with my Cousin and we ended up climbing rocks that we felt safe climbing.

My Cousin and I were pretty lucky and got a ride in a golf cart all the way back to the top of the hills, while the boys had to walk. So Cousin and I chatted while we waited for them to show up. Fiks didn’t hold them back too much taking photos. I’m really excited to see them even though one of the lenses for our big camera was acting up. We met back up and had warm drinks and some snacks. I had a hot chocolate and part of Fiks’ scone, and half of a Twix pack with Fiks, who had tea and the other half of the scone. It got us warmed up enough to explore the museum for a little bit before leaving and heading towards the airport.

We got there a little after a hour and a half of driving. N was awesome and did all the driving while we met up with them in Ireland. We got to the airport and went through security, which made me really anxious and wound up, but Fiks was able to help me refocus. One of the numerous reasons I love him. Then we got some lunch at a cafe in the airport, having something to eat and drink before our flight. When we found out which gate we were at we made our way to the plane.

Fiks and I found our seats and we were behind Nephew and Cousin, N being on the other side of the plane. The flight was pretty good, even with a little bit of a rough landing. Then it was time to make our way home. Fiks and I went to go get a taxi because we all wouldn’t fit in Cousins car. It was going to take 40 minutes to get a taxi. So I downloaded Uber and we got a ride to my Cousins house. I got car sick on the way over.

We got to home base safe, and brought our luggage in and took it to our room. We grabbed one of the loads of dirty laundry and shoved it into the machine while we wait for Chinese to show up for dinner. Other than that everything is good. I’m going to say goodbye for now and see you guys on the next one!

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