Day 1: 07/27/10Melon... *scatter*
Today is travel day! Heading out right now towards JFK, then a 5 hour lay-over there, then finally taking off towards the Emerald Isle! I'm both excited and anxious, but surprisingly calm. I think it's to the point where I'm ready to get things moving.
This flight will be rather uneventful: short 55 minute hop to JFK. I'm looking forward to the longer flight. The time will give me opportunity to read, relax and think... something I haven't done enough of in the past week.
Day 2: 07/28/10Left is safe!"
Today we finally arrived in Ireland, first in Dublin and then Shannon. The trip over was a bit of a challenge: a lack of sleep combined with an atmosphere trying to promote one, all wrapped in the situation of no comfortable way to actually get sleep helped to contribute to me not sleeping more than 30 minutes tops. On the plus side, I did get to watch Dorian Grey and Percy Jackson on the way over. Also, they served a very delicious beef stew for dinner; I was pleasantly surprised.
Upon arrival, we immediately set out to retrieve our luggage, which arrived mostly unmolested. Then, as we proceeded out of the terminal, we finally found our 4th member, Suf, waiting eagerly for our arrival; he had arrived a day earlier, and had many a story to share about his adventures in Limerick (our eventual destination for the day). We got our car, forgot our GPS, recovered our GPS, and began driving toward Limerick from Shannon Airport. We quickly discovered that, given our American driving-habits, we thought every car driving on the "wrong side of the road" was going to kill us. I think twice we all panicked for fear of our lives. But, once we adjusted (or at least, once Suf did... Cary is still a bit iffy) the drive was relatively quick and painless. We arrived not more than 30 minutes later in Limerick, and made for the City Center to explore on foot the many shops and eateries that the city had to offer, as well as pay a visit to "The Bitter End" Pub, where Suf had visited on the previous night. We explored for a bit, had lunch at The Bitter End, visited a shop so Cary could purchase a couple shilelagh (spelling), wander to a tourist booth for information and, with said acquired directions, made for our first B&B of the trip: Coonagh Lodge. We relaxed and napped a bit at the Lodge, enough to recouperate for a voyage back to Limerick, and made for some dinner and adventure. We explored around, eventually stopping in at a place called "Wokking" for some authentic Irish Chinese food, which turned out to be very tasty and filling. We then explored for a pub, stopping at "Charlie St. George's" pub for a quick pint and some people-watching. Then, we explored a bit more, and wound up back at The Bitter End to enjoy an evening cup of tea and some relaxing time. After this, we made back to the B&B, where I discovered that my power brick likes to make a weird noise as it charges my laptop. I account it to the different voltage, and pray that it doesn't explode and kill us all.
Of most important note, Suf decided to enlighten us with some of his arab cab driving slang, most notable of which is "Why for you fuck my road?" An important question, to be sure, and one to be answered in the days to come. A very steady lean into this adventure, which I prefer to the alternative "kick-in-the-door" style. Hopefully I can figure out some way to get my computer to connect to WPA2 connections so I can have internet more readily. At least for tonight, I probably won't get back on (unfortunate news for my KoL desires. Too many adventures will be wasted after I waste the NS... Oh well...)
Day 3: 07/29/10"Ya know, you keep that shirt on much longer, you gonna get jungle rot" - Biff McBodyspray
Today was our first big travel day. We left Limerick around 11:00 am and made for Galway. Along the way we stopped in at the Cliffs of Moher, and then continued on to our destination in Kinvara.
The Cliffs of Moher are quite the site to see. Set along the Atlantic Ocean is a couple-mile stretch of sheer cliffs, topped with walkways and occasional watch towers, or at least ruins of them. We walked the Cliffs for about an hour, just exploring the different angles and particulars of the cliffs themselves: the numerous outcroppings, the way the waves would collide with the rock, the caves and small inlets that the water had born away. All these details helped to complete one heck of a view! I also enjoyed the visitor center, which was built into the hillsides near the cliffs.
After the cliffs, we make our way to Kinvara. We stop briefly at the Burren, a barren area of rocks and not much else. Once we arrive, we check into our B&B and decide to hold off on Galway until tomorrow night. This leaves us with plenty of time to explore Kinvara proper. We relax for a bit and make to town for some dinner and adventures. We decided to stop in at an Italian place called 'The Full Tide Inn', and while waiting for our food, had quite the heated philosophical discussion. It really put into perspective for me just how unprepared I am to defend my own view/the Stoic view of topics. After dinner, we walked out to Dunguaire Castle, which was unfortunately closed, but we still were able to explore the surrounding grounds. We learned a bit of background from a fellow tourist, and then made our way back into town to buy a few snacks before heading back to our B&B. That night, despite our best laid plans, we weren't able to get to Scion. However, luckily for me, the internet access at the B&B was unprotected and therefore I could hop onto KoL and finish up my ascension! I bought the trophie available to me (the one regarding food recipies) and clammered through the astral gash to return once more to my life of adventuring. I ascended as a Sauceror, holding onto Pastamancy so I can really start to rack up the bonus adventures from my cooking. A few adventures gone, I manage to get to level 2 the first day, and am very excited to really get this sauce boiling.
Day 4: 07/30/10"Be-buh-buh-day, be-buh-buh-day, E-DAY-OH, E-DAY-OH, THAT'S OK!"
Holy crap, today seemed like an entire month's worth of exploration and adventure. After a delicious traditional Irish breakfast, we made for Galway.
In Galway we parked and set out for our busiest and most fun day yet. I can tell you now that my feet are none to happy about the amount of walking we achieved, but if nothing else this is a good reminder to properly prepare next time: make sure my shoes are comfortable enough to walk around in almost constantly. So, we park and make towards the city center. Galway is situated along the coast of Galway Bay (go figure...) and has a river running through the center of town. We head down the busy pedestrian walkway and hit up a few shops. Chris, Suf and Cary all check out a couple tattoo parlours, and me being less interested make for some good people watching and relax a bit. We continue our walk through the busy crowds, and eventually make our way to the river. Exploring it for a bit, Cary and I decide to stop off at a river-side restaurant called 'Mustard', where I get one of the most delicious pulled-pork sandwiches I've ever enjoyed. Afterwards, we met back up with Chris and Suf, and walked out towards the bay a bit. As we voyaged further away from the city, we met with a couple of fellow travelers, and discovered a great bar to stop at in town, known as 'E Brun' or 'The Bridge.' At the bar we met Bill, a local of Galway, who told us of many great sites and happenings around town. An important detail of our stay in Galway is that the Galway Races were going on. Evidently, they're a big deal.
So, after our stop in the pub and a delicious Guiness, we make to explore and find 'The Crane,' where Shela's son will be playing live music later in the evening. We find it, and gather from another local (and rather attractive) girl the location of a couple of good niteclube. After finding the Crane we decide to hunt our a place to eat, and eventually wander back to 'Kelly's', which helps to bring back nostalgic memories of Geneseo and our own Kelly's. We enjoy a deliciously filling meal there, compliments of Chris, and find out that later in the evening we can enjoy Crane for some authentic (and rather good) Irish jazz (which sounds not much different from any other type of jazz...). Thus far, although I've been able to explain our day in only a few short paragraphs, we've experienced to us what has felt like a lifetime worth of exploration. But, the fun is only just about to start.
10:20pm, and we just left The Crane Bar to head back to the B&B for some kick-ass Scion action. Along the way, we overhear a few clubs, but nothing really catches our ear until we get to Kelly's. We can hear the beats from outside, we can feel our feet aching but wanting to join in, so we head upstairs and find (!!!)... a bunch of people standing around as a DJ mixes. What a let down! Well, Suf wouldn't have any of this, and neither would the rest of us, so after settling into our comfortable corner, Suf finally finds a song that he'll groove to. And groove he does. Following quickly in suite, we join him on the floor and find ourselves almost alone dancing. The 4 American tourists are the only ones dancing in the Irish Niteclub. Almost poetic, mostly pathetic. Well, this quickly changes, as more people flock to the dance floor after seeing our amazing example. And by no means am I exaggerating! We literally started the dance party at a niteclub. We groove it and move it for a good couple of hours before we take off for new adventures. After a bit of exploring, and a lot of drunk people, we decide to split up: Chris and Suf head back to Kelly's for some more dancing, Cary wanders the street talking to people, and I, the lamest of the group, head back to the car to call it a night. Before long, we all reconvene, load up the GPS and make our way back to the B&B. This night has been legendary, and no degree of detailed description can truly capture just how epic the night was.
Simply put: Galway was unforgetable.
Day 5: 07/31/10"Where are we heading again? Ballerina?" "BALLINA!"
After the unbelievable adventure of Galway, we head out for our next stop in Northwest Ireland: Ballina.
We set off after saying goodbye to our thus-far favorite B&B and host Shiela, and head north. As we're driving, we spot a few turn offs and decide to stop at one of them to explore a bit of the countryside. We find our way onto a mountain, scale the smaller hills leading up to it, and eventually make our way back to the car to continue walking. As we're driving, we happen across one of the more epic scenes of our voyage: the carved out "seat" of a mountain, which we refer to afterwards as 'The God Seat.' Surely, the scene of epic Scion games to come.
As we continue along our voyage, we stop off at Kylemore Abbey, the most stunning scene I've seen in my life thus far. Imagine a white and grey castle, then make it less war-oriented and more beautiful, then set it on a gorgeous lake, at the base of a very impressive mountain. That's Kylemore Abbey. We park and explore a bit, and I get several good pictures. Further, I manage to spot a statue of something half way up the mountain, made of white stone. Whoever made this statue certainly had a lot of determination!
We leave the Abbey and finish our journey to our B&B for the evening. We relax, settle in, and finally get to playing some Scion. Cary volunteered to run first, so we play through the first half of his one shot: saving a 'shie' from an Irish scion and his giant lackies. My character, a defensive tank named Derrick Nasher, does quite well. We finish up the session, spend our exp (making us even more boss), and crash for a relatively early night.
This B&B also has an encrypted internet, so at first I'm out of luck. However, on a whim I try out the Chromium build I brought along (thanks Hexxeh!!), and manage to easily set up a connection through that! I can't upload any files or pictures very well, but I can still play some KoL and post a few updates to my social sites. Also, Google Voice has proven to be a godsend! Being able to text from a website has been my primary means of keeping in contact with the family back at home.
Day 6: 08/01/10"...just chillax..." "Woah... I never expected to hear 'chillax' outside of the states!" -A conversation between Kim and Chris
Day 2 of our stay in Ballina. We eat an early breakfast and make for Killary Adventure for some archery!
We arrive in Killary around noon, and enjoy an hour of arching with our instructor Kim and another instructor named Dugal. I managed to shoot 2 bullseyes! It's amazing that if you actually hold the weapon properly and keep proper form, you can actually aim with it. Never would have thought otherwise... (/sarcasm). We joked, tried out some trick shooting, played a HORSE-style game, and all-in-all came out of the adventure feeling really great. Plus, we all got some wicked "battle wounds" from the bow on our forearms.
After the archery, we decide to head to Westport, on advice from Kim, for some shopping and to get lunch. We immediately (perhaps fatefully) stumble upon a place called 'The Asgard' and decide that there's no better place to eat in town than here. I enjoy some Bangers and Mash - Asgard Style - and feel the wonderful feeling of fulness once more. This trip has been a wonderful venture in delicious foods. The traditional Irish breakfast (Egg, real bacon, sausages, black and white pudding, half a tomatoe, toast, tea and juice) is so filling that most of the time we feel no need to eat before dinner. Today, though, was a glaring exception; that, and we had a different breakfast of pancakes and poached eggs. After the Bangers and Mash, we split up: I head off to explore the riverway and the port, while the others go shopping. I manage to snap quite a few nice pictures, and figure out some more features on the camera, before we meet back up and head back to Ballina, and then onwards to Enniscrone, the birthplace of Cary's ancestors, the Grimes.
We arrive in Enniscrone around 4:00 in the afternoon, to a beautiful sunny day and warm weather. Enniscrone in a beach town, so we split up once again, with me heading out towards the beach and the others once more hitting up the shops. I walk along the Atlantic Ocean, soaking in the waves and the rays, and eventually make my way back to the car to relax for a bit. We head back to the B&B, rest for a bit, and decide that heading back to Enniscrone for some delicious, authentic Irish-Chinese food would be best. And best it was: we discovered the awesomness and addictivness that is puffed-rice prawn crisps. Dinner was good, too.
We head back to the B&B and finish up Cary's session of Scion. Chris set his crab-tank relic for self-destruct and took care of all the giants for us, while I managed to manipulate our crazy Irish scion friend Brian that he forgot how to fight, which led to his untimely demise (or at least him falling unconscious...). We saved the 'shie', secured the relic protected inside it, and got Brian's birthrights for ourselves. A success, and a good start to our Scion adventures yet to come. Cary hands the GM torch over to Chris, and we begin his session tonight: we get tasked by Brigid (one of the Tuatha) to help out one of her daughters. We manage to find her just in time for the night to expire, and so we call it there. In KoL, I've managed to get to level 4, half-way towards 5, before I call it a night. I haven't yet played all my available turns, but I'm making decent progress. With a bit more practice I can probably get getting to level 6 a 2-day process, which will help to speed through the slower part of the game.
Day 7: 08/02/10"Worst. Bank. Holiday. Ever."
After a restful evening, and another delicious breakfast of pancakes and poached eggs, we enjoy a quick chat with John, our host, before heading off on our "driving day from hell." Our course will take us through the middle of Ireland, stopping off at Athlone to see the oldest bar in Ireland (and perhaps the world) and eventually into Tipperary for the evening
Our first stop of the day is in Athlone, a city smack-dab in the middle of Ireland. The drive to Athlone was a bit long, but still strikingly beautiful. It seems like Ireland, despite it's rather small size, is still host to some of the most grandiouse and beautiful scenes I've ever seen. We arrive in Athlone around noon, and wander around a bit. Suf, Cary and I all stop in at 'The Snug' for a quick pint, before we take off across the bridge in the middle of town to hit up some shopping. We stop off in Athlone Castle along the way for some great pictures, and run into Chris, who had wandered off to find some shops, after we cross the bridge. Chris and I decide to backtrack to the Castle, then wander around before we head back to Sean's. Sean's is the oldest bar in Ireland, dating back towards 900AD, and quite possible the oldest bar in the world. Obviously, I enjoy a pint of Guiness before we head back to the car and continue along our day's journey.
We decide to stop off at Clanmocnoise Abbey, a ruined abbey just south of Athlone, before heading out to Tipperary. The sites there are truely amazing, and the ruined Abbey is quite cool as well. The conservation attempts have, thus far, done a good job of maintaining what was salvageable, but the Abbey itself is beyond repair. After some cool pictures, we continue on our way to Tipperary.
We finally arrive at our destination for the evening. Tipperary is a small town, with a good amount of shops and a very comfortable atmosphere. Unfortunately, and unknown to us, due to the Bank Holiday most of the food shops are closed. We settle for a fast-food place called "American Stars" and apologize to our digestive tracks before heading back to our B&B for some Scion action.
Scion has us defending Nikki from a couple of Fenrir, which we succeed in doing, and then finding out our target was, in fact, a doppleganger. We discover this a bit too late, though, and end our session assaulting 'The God Seat' and a Norse Scion, who claims that "the ginger bitch has got to go." Well, Derrick'll be damned if he let's a potential future employer die that easily. The stage is set as both Derrick and the Norse Scion enter their Collosus Armor, Cary's Scion enters his Warpspasm, and Suf's Scion prepares to make pincushins out of the Frost Giants. After Scion comes KoL, which sees my progression to level 5 and acquisition of Advanced Sausecrafting. I adventure for a bit more, before fatigue wins and I succumb to sleep.
Day 8: 08/03/10"There any bars... excuse me... pubs around here?" "Welcome to Ireland, lad!" - A conversation between me and a bouncer
Today we headed back to the Rock of Cashel to get a great tour around the castle grounds. I took lots of pictures, bought a few things for myself and a great sweater for my mom, fall down a few steps while wandering the castle grounds (resulting in a beautiful leg-bruise to match my archery-provided battle wound on my forearm), and we wrap up Tipperary and head to Cork.
We arrive in Cork and are immediately thrust into the realization that Cork is quite the large, industrial city. After a bit of confusion finding our way to our B&B for the night, we decide to take some naps to recover some energy and mana, and head out to find dinner and some nighttime entertainment. On the generocity of our very funny and cheery innkeep, we head to a place called Zak's, and are pleasantly surprised in the meal; I had a delicious Irish-beef burger, some awesome garlic bread, and a Murphy's to wash it all down (Murphy's is brewed in Cork; Guiness is not very welcomed here). We finish dinner, and head out to find some clubs for the night.
We start our evening off wandering the neighborhood around Zak's. We find a place, rather populated and playing somewhat good music, but quickly discover it's overpopulated with Binfo for the night. We pass this pub, and ask the bouncer for any suggestions, and get pointed towards a place called "Sober Lane." Ignoring the odd name, we head off in the appropriate direction and run into a metal pub along the way, so I insist we stop in and enjoy a drink. We get a pint, enjoy the music, and move on. 'Sober Lane' turns out to be a much younger-oriented pub, which doesn't dissappoint us, but it really pulls through when Chris discovers the dart board in the back corner. We quickly take it over, playing darts until the pub closes (oddly early, for our expectations), and Chris and I head out to relax outside. Cary and Suf, being the charmers that they are, end up chatting it with two girls local to the area, who invite all of us back to a place called 'Cruscien Lar' (which we all continually misunderstand as crusifixion). We follow them through the streets of Cork, and eventually wind up at the closed pub. They hit the secret side enterence, and convince the owner and co. to let us in.
Cruscien Lar (which I'm sure I'm spelling wrong), ended up being the undeniable high point of Cork. Once we got a bit more comfortable and began chatting with everyone, we really ended up enjoying ourselves! And then, we met Alan. Alan is a veritable world travelling musician. He has been pretty much everywhere, including state side, with his band 'The Jordans' and he had many tales to share with us. He mentioned that the prices for alcohol (and women (...and drugs)) were best in Slovakia, that you'll never see anything more beautiful than the Southeastern Asian countries, and that Russia really isn't that bad a place. Really a lot of what we talked about fell into those topics, and it was a conversation which I enjoyed thoroughly. Alan taught me that being a world traveller doesn't take gobs of money and resources. All it takes is a desire to explore, and a willingness to step outside your comfortable little box.
Throughout the night we talked with Alan, and his friends Marie and Ger (the girls which Cary and Suf connected with), about not only their travels, but also their taste in music (which was gloriously metal-oriented), their careers, their adventures and their aspirations. As the night wound down, we all said our farewells, and left through the side door. Our night was almost at an end! As we wandered back to the B&B, we stumbled across a rather rowdy bunch, and Suf, being the social butterfly that he is, decided to hop on board. We eventually were introduced to Nollagh and her friends, who were travelling in our direction to a supposed party. Considering we're still young, as was the night, we tagged along and were eager to arrive at another Irish party. Sadly, the party was a bit of a bust, and seeing as we were so close to home, we decided to just call it a night. An awesome night, almost so much to as to rival our crazy adventures in Galway.
Day 9: 08/04/10"My father's name is Merry Merry Mack!"
After a rather enjoyable rest, we departed from Cork on our way to our final "big city" stop: Killarney. Killarney has a very homey feel about it. There are plenty of tourist shops, plenty of sites and sounds to experience, and the night life is absolutely amazing, but more on that in a bit.
We arrived at our B&B to find that the owner had stepped out for a bit, so we decided to just park and wander into town. We quickly found some great shops, restaurants, pubs, and other such attractions. Chris and I wandered around a few places, and I ended up finding a few good gifts for the family: a corkscrew and wine stopper for dad, both made of pewter; and a hat for Eric, which I think will suit him quite nicely. After a bit more wandering, we headed back to the B&B to relax and recover before we hit the town.
I think the most memorable part of Killarney for me was all the festivities going on at night in the city. Almost every pub had live music, there were people out walking and having a great time. There were lights, and food, and music, and drinks... it just felt like a fun place to be! We started our night wandering around a bit, and found ourselves at an outside banquet of sorts, with life music. Suf and I, exemplifying our boistrious nature, led the singing of the chorus (see the quote), and made our mark early in the Killarney perspective. After our job was done there, we found our way to a pub called 'Scruffy's', near an amazing hotel. The band playing there had some great traditional music as well, which we joined in on. Had a pint, made some friends, moved on down the road to our final destination for the evening: McSorley's. McSorley's is appropriately named because my feet at the end of the night were very McSore. To say the least, McSorely's is about 50% enough to keep me in Ireland. The drinks were great, the atmosphere was amazing, and, the best part of all, the music was fantastic. This particular evening we were treated to a performance by a ground called "Zoot Allures", a cover band. They played an AMAZING set, with so many great songs, and such great energy, that it made me really wish American clubs would pull their heads out of their asses and actually play good music. Anyways, amazing music was played, several videos were filmed, more-than-several beverages were consumed, and at the end of the night, the lead singer from the group gave me a great, big bear hug. Naturally, I returned the favor.
Well, Zoot Allures wasn't the end of the night for us, as McSorely's has a secret back room dance club, so we obviously had to make use of that. We danced for a good while, then Chris, Cary and I decided to take off and get back to the B&B to sleep. We left a window open for Suf. Once again, to say the least, Killarney is absolutely amazing!
Day 10: 08/05/10The room fell silent, as the man lowered his microphone to the crowd. A single bewildered bystander asked, "Yeah?" The man only nodded, a knowning nod. The bystander tipped his head back, and breathed deep the pub air, and finally, as the tension grew to an unberable level, cried out: "THUNDERSTRUCK!!!"
I thought the first night was amazing. Holy crap this town just keeps getting better and better!
So, day 2. After some great, great sleep (which, of the 4 of us, I'm the only one to wake up in time for breakfast), I clean myself up and head to town. Yesterday I had seen an "internet cafe," and figured it would be similar to what we call internet cafes in America (I was wrong), so I made my way there to get my KoL fix, and check up on the tubes. Well, the internet cafe was a pay-per-use computer room, so I threw my cash at the front desk and got a couple hours of hardcore internet access. KoL Update: beat the boss bat, the Goblin King, and the first part of my Nemesis quest. Not bad, I guess, but I think it's safe to say that juggling an acension with travelling abroad is a bit difficult, unless you know what you're doing. I don't, for the most part.
After lunch at a (surprise!) Chinese food place, we decided to take the afternoon off and head back to the B&B to play some more Scion, before McSorley's opened up again. We did some great stuff, saved the freckled Scion, then I made the decision to let her die (which ended up coinciding with some major character development, so that's nice), and then Cary's character died defending her. So, all in all, we failed our mission, but succeeded at Scion. Huh.
Anyways, McSorley's opened up shortly after the game, so we hit up dinner (more Chinese), and I spent some time wandering around getting pictures of the pubs we had visited. It's funny: my dad complimented me on all the pictures of the beautiful scenary and what not, but he asked a very important questions: where are all the pubs?? So I tried to rectify that our last night in Killarney, snapping a picture of a few placed before winding my way back to McSorley's for the evening. Round 2... FIGHT!
The cover band at McSorley's tonight was not as good as the other band, which is the equivalent as saying that the 200000 Candle-Power flashlight isn't as bright as the 300000 Candle-power one: they're both way brighter (or, awesomer in this case) than the required flashlight (or, typical American cover band, in this case). Tonight's show was by Revenge, who paid tribute to some of the older songs, including quite a bit of ACDC. We rocked out hard core, really supporting the band out front by dancing and singing along. Then the moment happened, the moment that Chris has claimed is the most epic moment of the trip. The quote says it all, but in short: the band was playing Thunderstruck by ACDC, and the lead singer lowered the mic to me to scream "THUNDERSTRUCK!!" into, and it was amazing timing. I do have to say, sometimes my timing is spectacular. Anyways, that memory will stick with me forever, and I think with Chris, Suf and Cary as well, so I consider this night an unbelievable success.
Once more, we invaded the back room, only this time we stayed until close. We danced our way into another dance party, because evidently we're all Lords of the Dance, and met some new friends: May, a French girl there with friends. We danced with them, we danced with total strangers, and we danced until we couldn't dance any more! I literally understood what it meant to be out of mana that night. I had barely the energy to return home, before I just passed out on my bed.
Killarney is the city I would most enjoy in Ireland. Of all the places we've gone, it's the city which feels the most alive. It has the loudest pulse, the brightest flash, the sweetest music; it's the type of environment I want to live in. While I don't think Ireland is quite the island for me, if I did decide to live here, Killarney would be my final destination.
Day 11: 08/06/10"Wow, this place is nice. I don't think we belong here."
Today we all are taking a bit of a down day. After the past 2 nights, I'm exhausted, and ready to just sit around a do nothing for a bit. Well, conveniently Cary is getting his tattoo today, so I got my wish. We check out of our B&B, pack up the car, park in town and go exploring a bit more. After I stop at the Tourist Information, I learn of a free Wi-Fi pub nearby, and relax there for a couple of hours, enjoying some tea and playing some KoL. I don't really achieve anything of any worth in game, and Suf, Cary and Chris show up just in time for us to work on our Scion characters a bit and head to dinner. We go to the Chinese food place we hit up last night for lunch, and then Cary must depart for his tattoo. Chris, Suf and I all decide to wander back into the pub for a bit, where I finish up my KoL for the day, enjoy some more Scion, check the email, and generally just chillax.
We leave Killarney around 5:30 and arrive at our second-to-last destination, Ballyseede Castle Hotel. Since we have nothing to do until later, we settle in, relax for a bit and get to playing some more Scion. That's right: WE ROLEPLAYED IN A CASTLE.
After the session, we split up: Cary, Suf and Chris all head back to Killarney (a whopping 15 minute drive) to hit up McSorley's again, and I lame out and take the night off. Whilst waiting for sleep to drift in, I enjoy some good ol' American past-time and watch a bit o' telly: 'Analyze That' was on. I watched 'Analyze That' in a castle. Today is just full of achievements!
Day 12: 08/07/10"Ma'am? A quick question. We named the dogs: this one is named Roger the Mighty, and this one is named George the Stout. How close were we?"
After a wonderful night's rest in the castle, we pack up our things, enjoy a delicious breakfast, explore the castle grounds a bit more, and head off to our final B&B, just outside of Shannon.
As we approached our destination, we decided to stop by Limerick for lunch/dinner and just explore our initial landing grounds one last time. We wander to 'The Bitter End', take some pictures, and find our way to a Chinese food place (big surprise) and an outdoor pub. Since we couldn't decide on which one to go to, I suggested we go to both. This decision was met with much happiness. After we finished our Chinese food (quite delicious), we headed next door, and was met with delicious desserts and beautiful women. Our waitress let slip it was her birthday, so in true, boistrious American style, we sang her 'Happy Birthday!' (Hope it was a good one, Sam!). Apparently she got in trouble for that... Oops...
Anyways, we hit up our B&B to drop stuff off, and repack our bags for tomorrow's trip, and finish up our Scion campaign. We hopped out to 'Durty Nelly's' for a quick dinner (and sadly, our waitress Una already had her birthday a month ago) of traditional Fish and Chips, then back to the B&B to finish up our night rolling the dice. With the campaign finished, we hit the hay in preparation for tomorrow's voyage. Hopefully none of my loot get's wrecked!
Day 13: 08/08/10"Do I really have to be the asshole to say that we travelled back in time in that hot tub?" - Hot Tub Time Machine
And just as quickly as it began, our whirlwind tour comes to an end. We left the B&B early this morning to get to the airport, returned the car without a fuss, checked in our baggage, shuffled through customs and passport checks, and eventually found our way to the gate. The airport in Shannon has free Wi-Fi, which is epic, so I whiddle away at my turn-count in KoL, achieving little but still enjoying the game. Shoot off a text to mom letting her know things are on time, and eventually board my first of three flights for the day.
The flight is rather uneventful. We're seated next to a kid flying back from a wedding, so it was fun to chat with him for a bit. Then, onto the free movies: Iron Man 2 (pretty boss), Hot Tub Time Machine (really, quite the unknown comedy. Hilarious!) and Repo Men (meh, not really my bowl of soup...) round out the trip. We land soundly in JFK, disembark, and find our next flight delayed, so Chris, Suf and I, after bidding farewell to Cary at the Terminal, head to 'NYC Sports Grill', right outside our arrival gate from the beginning of the voyage, and enjoy some good ol' fashion American burgers before our flight to Boston.
The flight to Boston is painless, despite the Logan Airport's best attempt at being the worst air port ever (I just really don't like it). We land safe and sound back home, and I eagerly make my way to baggage claim to make sure everything is safe there. I get my bags (w00t), find everything in one piece and accounted for (w00t x2), and bid Chris and Lindsay farewell as my parents drive up in the van.
Thus, our voyage ends. A successful first trip overseas, and a more-or-less successful first attempt at travel blogging too. Methinks I'll have to try this again sometime. Farewell, and as they say on the Emerald Isle: CHEERS!