Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Oh To Be Sure To Be Sure

Once upon a long long time ago.. I went to Great Britain.  My best friend, Cris, spent her Junior year of college in London (thanks to that wonderful Study Abroad program!) and at the end of the year, I flew all the way from Idaho (yes, you read that right, I used to live in Idaho) to London, in the non-smoking section of the flight.  Which would have been great, except the smoking section started, quite literally, in the seat in front of me.  *cough cough gag gag* It was a wonderful flight.

Naturally we started our travels in London, which I didn't love.  I mean, I liked seeing Big Ben and those cute lions in Trafalgar Square.   I'm not sure the locals like it when you call them cute lions, but it's years later and I live in SoCal now.  I would be really surprised if they came all the way across the pond to do something about it.  So neener neener neener. 

Please excuse my blindingly white legs.

I liked riding the tube and hearing the "Mind the Gap" announcements and the museums were pretty incredible.  The palace was fun to see and those guys with the big black fuzzy hats.  But I found London on the whole to be a dirty and busy city and all around a bit much for this girl.  I liked the trips outside of London better to the more touristy places and quaint old villages.  I remember being there, and seeing the pictures makes that part of the trip a little more clear, but the part of our trip that really stays with me was when we flew over to Ireland.

I remember quite clearly being scoffed at by the airport bus driver when we tried to pay for our fair in British Pounds instead of Irish ones.  They're a little persnickety about their money.  I remember a night spent at a B&B in Dublin and going drinking late one night.  I remember Cris and I being a tiny bit intoxicated walking down the streets of Dublin saying "Oh to be sure to be sure, the Land of the little people." while her very English boyfriend muttered something about one Englishman and two American girls getting killed on the streets of Dublin by an angry Irish mob. We just giggled and continued on in our best Lucky Charms voices.

But the very very best part of our trip happened here.  Cris and I knew we wanted to go to a B&B further into the country and we wanted to be able to ride.  We went to the tourism board in Dublin and stumbled across the Laragh Trekking Centre - Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.  They don't appear to have a website, which just makes me want to fly out there and offer to make them one if they let me stay for free, but by all appearances on a quick web search they're still in business.

You know how in Cinderella, the prince took the glass slipper around to all the maidens in the kingdom to find the shoe that fit his mystery woman so he could marry her?  Well, I wasn't going to marry him, but this is the foot of the biggest thing I remember from our trip.

His foot, was bigger than mine, by a LOT.  His name is Parnell and he was the biggest horse I had ever seen.  The second biggest in Ireland if the owner was to be believed.  And I believed.  He was also the gentlest horse who always followed commands and made me smile every time we rode together.

Keep in mind, I'm 5'6.  This was a HUGE horse.  He was part of the stables attached to the B&B we stayed  at and the whole experience was heaven.

We woke up every morning to this incredible view.

When we were wandering through the woods we stumbled across this old church.

And getting to experience it all with my best friend made it, quite frankly, the best trip I've ever had.  Even better than the Sequoias!  And I'm telling you all of this, because someday I am going with The Hubs to Scotland.  I hope it will be even better than this trip.  I've built up a lot of expectations of what my Scotland trip will be like, and I only hope it can live up to my hype.

Moonbay, Hebrides Isles, Scotland
So while I wait for the money for this trip to fall into my lap, I'll listen to my celtic music, watch Brave Heart a few more times, and be content with the knowledge that at least I'm still a Scottish Lady, even if I've never set foot on my land.  What about you?  Have you ever been to Scotland?  What did you see? What is your can't miss?

Lady Seriously.. Thoughts?

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