Yeah, I'm going to...
Aye, I am really, truly going to take a trip to Ireland. I have
been wanting to go there for quite some time, and especially
after I learned that I have some Irish roots. I have some time
off coming from my job, so I thought maybe a trip somewhere
would be a good way to use it. I immediately thought about
Ireland, but I was honestly rather apprehensive. About going
to Ireland? Of course not! I was hesitant because of the
expense (which turned out not to be so bad) and because
I would be travelling by myself. But, after some careful
consideration (and the thought of spending St. Patrick's
Day in Dublin), I figured, how many other opportunities like
this am I going to have while I'm still young? Who knows. So by God's grace,
I'm going to Ireland!
OK, OK. Here are some details. The trip is being coordinated through a
travel company called CIE Tours. They specialize in coach tours
throughout Ireland and Britain. A "coach" tour is basically a bus tour.
Everything on your itinerary is already fully planned in advance, and
you travel from one destination to the next via a huge tour bus. This
isn't so bad for me, because since I'm going alone, I won't mind having
my entire trip preplanned for me. I bought a cool Ireland guide, and there
sure is a lot of cool stuff to see over there. Of course, I won't
get to see everything, but I'll get a pretty good taste of it all.
This sign just makes me feel stupid.
When trying to decide whether or not I should take this trip, I had
asked myself if there was any other place that was maybe closer, perhaps
less expensive, that I would rather go. The beach is quite a draw, but
given my fair skin, I can only spend about half an hour in the sun.
Then the rest of the time I'd have to hide indoors. But Ireland is too
good to pass up: In Dublin the day before and day of St. Patrick's Day?
Heck yes! A bus tour where I don't have to drive? You bet! And a vacation
in a country renowned for its beer and alcohol? Sounds great! :-) So I
will be there during Spring Break week in March. I'm hoping there are
some young people (read: ladies) I can hang out with on the tour, and
not just a bunch of retired people. Sure, old people can be cool, but
they're not likely to want to go on pub crawls with me after we
get to our hotels at night! Regardless of whether anyone explores our
destinations with me, you can bet I'll be sampling the local pub scene...
Thanks, buddy. Keep 'em comin'.
Take a look at the map above to see everywhere I'll be going. (But
ignore the part along the dotted line... that part of the tour is for
an extra day which I did not purchase.) The
tour starts in Shannon (yet another reason I have always wanted to go!),
and ends up in Dublin for the holiday weekend. Just follow the arrow
below to start getting a better idea of everything I'll be doing.
The tour begins...