Parents Across the Pond

Whew, Easter/Spring break has been a blaze of adventure so far!

My birthday flew by and I celebrated by heading down to Dublin to see Sleater-Kinney in concert. They were awesome! Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker and Janet Weiss are badasses.

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The next morning I woke up wayyyy too early and caught a flight to London to meet the parents. After a few hours in Heathrow (seriously, waiting in Heathrow is like the Machine in The Princess Bride. Each your sucks a year of your life away. Or so it feels) they were here!

We crashed pretty early that night- jet lag is tough. The next day we were off on a tour of Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Oxford, all of which were very cool!

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Now, I’m not a huge fan of guided tours. I don’t like being told what to do, although our little British guide was adorable. I don’t like being in a crowd that is entirely obviously tourists… it just drives me a bit crazy. So, while I didn’t enjoy the organization I did enjoy seeing all the sites and napping on the bus!538 540

The next day we headed off to the Churchill War Rooms, which is just what you’d expect. Churchill and war. My dad loves the history stuff and it was a great museum, so we all meandered around for a bit. Long boring story short, dear Mom and I ended up missing my dad at the exit and waited around for about an hour, which is 45 minutes longer than I wait for anyone else.

Family. Dear, un-cell phoned family.

Mom and I went and rode the London Eye anyways. Great views!

541 543 549 551 557 559 560 563British Museum time! The British Museum is totally cool and I’d love to explore around there again. I loved the Egypt section (mummies and sphynxes and pharoahs, oh my!) and the Iran section, of course. No one got lost in this museum.

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I liked London, but it was big. Really big. I was not prepared for the amount of people who were around all the time… there really wasn’t a quiet place to go! I enjoyed the convenience of the underground, but it seemed like in large doses to be a depressing way to get around. Navigating my directionally challenged parental units around was also a bit stressful…

But then we were off to the lovely island of Ireland once more! We took the sail/rail and ended up stuck in Holyhead, Wales for a bit… silly ferry boats getting chucked about in tough waters.

Had a great lunch and got to add another country to the list of places I’ve been (even if it was just for a short while)!

577 578We made it to Ireland (yay!) and got to see the Book of Kells, Temple Bar, and the Trinity College library. Alllll the books! Introduced my parents to the joys of trad music in Dublin and my mom got to try a real Guinness.

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After a short while in Dublin we rented a car and headed out to the Dingle Peninsula, because the word Dingle makes me giggle. Unfortunately the weather was typically Irish and we couldn’t see much, but we did have a great lunch on the road.

Also, this was day one of being terrified by my father’s driving. You’d think if we rented an automatic car the girl who lives in Ireland would be the best choice to drive, but nooooo.

We all have control issues. But I can read a map.

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From Dingle we headed up to Galway, which would have been beautiful if we’d gotten to see it in the light. After circling the part of town by the university at least 15,000 times we finally found our hotel… huzzah! Again, with the directionally challenged thing. No fun.

Donegal was the next stop on the list, and Donegal is just beautiful. Of course, I spent the trip staring at the map and not the road, because a) roads are narrow, b) my father doesn’t understand roundabouts, and c) I just couldn’t bear to look directly at my demise.

Not dramatic- honest.

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Benefit of roadtripping through Ireland in the spring- alll the baby lambs and calves are out! They are adorable. I can’t get over it.

From Donegal we were off to the Giant’s Causeway and then, finally, Belfast! Giant’s Causeway was sunny and very fun to see, and I breathed a great sigh of relief once Belfast was in sight. Yay, home! Yay, bed!
625 629 630All in all it was great to see my parents so near to my birthday and their 26th anniversary, and to tour them around another place I’ve lived. We didn’t have time to do everything I wanted to do, but hopefully there will be more trips in the future. We all survived and are still speaking to each other… so I call that a win. Right?

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