May 2, 2015: Well, today was nothing, if not one great big adventure. We started out by heading north, to Belfast. We took a black cab tour, which provided a fascinating look at the tumultuous history of the city. Interesting, provocative murals, gates that close off that part of the city every night (still), and the Peace Wall. I need to do some journaling about the experience. It was incredibly moving.
From there, we headed up to the Giants Causeway, which is a geological wonder. Great big columns of black basalt, jutting up from the sea. The northern coast of Ireland is breathtaking … the Game of Thrones is filmed there, and there are all sorts of interesting ruins.
We headed back to Dublin, picked up our car and drove to the last hotel of our stay … a castle! It was outside of the city, so a bit of a drive. It had been rainy and windy today, and by the time we made it there, it was nearly 9:30. We schlepped our bags in to the hotel, and the night clerk informed us that there was an unfortunate situation, and the hotel had been overbooked. I’m sure he was hoping for a no-show, rather than the late-arriving, bedraggled, luggage-packing guests that showed up. They had done us the courtesy of booking a Radisson … on them. Wait, what? We’ve prepaid, and we’re being moved from a castle to a RADISSON?! In the heart of Dublin? It’s late, we haven’t had dinner, much less our evening beverage … and since we have an early flight, we’d prefer a hotel close to the airport, thank you very much. So he did that, and offered to google its location for us. We’ll just take an address, please. The GPS will guide us there. Unfortunately, our GPS could not find this particular hotel, so Susan had the clerk program its location. As it turned out, the address he programmed directed us straight in to terminal one at the Dublin international airport. Uh … I think this is very much not right. One call to the hotel, and 43,000 roundabouts later, we were still unable to locate the hotel. But there WAS a Radisson, and we could SEE it. So we called our friend, Nick, to ask him to relocate us to the Radisson. Stat. We were in the parking lot, and if we didn’t hurry, we were certain to miss last call.
Well, Nick couldn’t do that. He had already arranged the other hotel. But he would be most happy to give us directions.
My sister is deadly calm in stressful situations … until she isn’t. Throughout the ordeal, she had been serene and respectful. Then … well … she snapped. “Forget it! Goodbye!!!” And then let out the most blood-curdling scream I had ever heard (before she hung up, of course, so he heard every ear-piercing decibel). She grabbed her purse so we could get our own damn room. “You might want to bring your phone”, I said. “I’m pretty sure they’re going to call you back.”
While she was in checking on rooms, I played with this app that guesses your age based on a picture. Earlier in the day, this delightful app was saying I appeared anywhere from 27 to 36. I took a picture to analyze, and it said I was 90! WTF?! I know this was stressful, but seriously?
So my sister came out from the hotel, having immediately been contacted by the night manager (who I’m sure she thought was bananas), and they could indeed take care of all of our needs.
So between the psychotic break, and me aging 60 years, we could not stop laughing. But we got our room. On them.