Ireland 2: Day 22

05.01.18 | Belfast, Ireland | 09:48

I woke up at 06:00 and went downstairs and ate an overpriced breakfast buffet. Can I tell you- the absolute worst part of a breakfast buffet is the scrambled eggs. They always add milk to the eggs so they can stretch them further. Now the eggs don’t even taste like eggs. It’s more of a rubbery-textured egg-ish dish. Not good. Nothing against the hotel in particular, as the cooks do it all over the world.

So- I wasn’t sure I would tell this part of the story because I guess what happens in Belfast stays in Belfast, right? Last night, before I went to bed, I was scouring the internet to find a massage for this morning. I wanted to get something in the early morning because I would have time to get back to the hotel to get my things ready before leaving for the airport. I couldn’t find any massage businesses that were open that early. The one I did find was all booked up for the entire day. I decided to check Craigslist (what could possibly go wrong?).

Not to sound sexist, but when I look for a massage, I try to find a male therapist. This is because I really like deep pressure. Most of the massages I’ve gotten from female therapists felt good but were not as deep as I prefer. The ad I found on Craigslist was for a Doctor named David [I don’t recall his last name]. The ad said he was certified in Swedish, Thai… blah blah blah…. years of experience… great client reviews… blah blah blah. So it seemed legit to me.

I respond to the ad, asked him where he’s located, and ask about his availability. He said he was, quoted a price, and gave me the coordinates of his “office” and his cell phone number to text him when I got there… this seemed odd to me. I left the hotel to find his office at just after 08:30. Google maps told me that it was about a twenty-minute walk to arrive just a few minutes early.

I get to the coordinates, and there are no offices, just a bunch of houses. So I automatically think that the guy operates his business out of his home. No big deal. I text him, and he sends me the actual address of the house, which is just down the street from where I stood. I find the place, and as I approach, the front door is open. I ring the doorbell. He texts me saying he’ll be right there, I can just come inside.

By this point- I have all these red flags going off in my head- everything from I’m-going-to-robbed to I’m-going-to-be-raped-and-robbed to I’m-going-to-end-up-in-a-bathtub-full-of-ice-after-this-guy-harvests-my-liver. So I ignored the red flags and just figured that I’d keep the front door open until I can get a look at the place and see if this is all legit. The door opens into a hallway, and I’m standing there… it’s wide open. Then an entry into a room on my left opens up, and this middle-aged woman steps into the hall, wearing the black leather boots that lace up to her knees.

I look at her and say, “Oh, HELL NO!” and turned around and leave the house. So the moral of this story is this: Please be careful! I lucked out because I could have easily knocked her out if I’d have needed to. It was a smart move to leave that front door wide open. The other moral of this story: If you’re ever in Belfast, Ireland, and find yourself looking for a massage… I don’t know where you can find one, but a slightly plump African/Irish middle-aged S&M-looking prostitute is open for business at 35 Tates Avenue BT9 7BY Belfast.. bitch’s cell phone number is available upon request. You’re welcome.

18:27 | Warwick Hotel | 18:27

I am now back on American soil! Thank goodness I had the perfect flight from BFS to PVD. However, the best news is that my old crashpad roommate, Kyle, happened to be one of the flight attendants working it! To be honest, I didn’t know if I would ever see him again. Thank goodness that it’s a small world, after all.

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Once, Kyle was a flight attendant for Republic. After with them for a time, he decided it was time to find work with another airline. He was hired for the reincarnation of Eastern Airlines and based in Ft. Lauderdale (or maybe Miami) for a while. He didn’t like that experience and later got hired by Norwegian and is based somewhere in New York.

Tonight I booked a cheap hotel near the airport here in Warwick, Rhode Island. My flight from Belfast got in late enough that there wasn’t really an option of getting all the way to Salt Lake City. I could have either made it to Baltimore or Chicago, but hotels are cheaper in Rhode Island. It’s so good to be back, but I confess that I already miss Scotland. I obviously have a problem.

05.02.18 | Home | 14:41

It’s good to be sitting in my own home. I’m catching up on some stuff for work, replying to emails that I’ve been ignoring, and getting ready to unpack my bags.

I had a little bit of stupid drama when the Lyft driver dropped me off at my house. You see, I knew I didn’t bring my keys with me to Scotland. I remember explicitly telling myself to leave them hidden in my truck, under the floor mat. So, when I went to open my truck’s door, I realized that I had accidentally locked my truck doors. These keys are the only way I have of getting into my house.

After a few phone calls, I found one of my neighbors who owns a slim jim. He was able to come over, and after about 15 minutes of failed attempts, he could unlock my door. The first thing I did was check under the floor mat. No keys. I then check the center console and the glove box. Nope!

I was upset because I really don’t want to pay for someone to come out and get me into my house. Plus, I live out of town a bit, so I’m sure the guy would charge me extra for the drive. I wasn’t looking forward to that.

I used my garage door opener to get into my garage, and thank goodness I hadn’t locked the door from the garage to the laundry room. I was able to get into my house! There, sitting on my kitchen table, was my keys. I guess I was so excited to leave that I just didn’t bother grabbing them.

I look forward to the day when I start to remember things and possibly act like an adult. That day is probably way off.

For those who have followed this adventure, I hope you enjoyed it. I look forward to Scotland 7 (plans and preparation have already begun). I’m not sure when I’ll be back for Ireland 3, but perhaps that will happen on the same trip? We shall see!

The End

Ireland 2: Day 21

04.30.18 | Belfast Hotel | 19:36

When my train arrived in Belfast, the only thing I wanted to do was take a nap. I was exhausted from the club last night (I do not recommend clubbing on a Sunday). It’s not that I party hard or anything like that- I don’t even drink alcohol. I almost fell asleep on the train, but not really, because of all the people around me. Probably the same reason I’ve never been able to sleep on a plane.

So when I check in, I ask the desk clerk what I should do, if I had less than 24 hours. He gave me some good suggestions including a taxi-cab tour. The cab picks you up and drives you around for an hour or so, this way you get your own personal tour of Belfast. It wasn’t too expensive, so this sounded like a great idea. He also suggested that I go to some old prison- way back in “the day”, it was a law that if someone in the prison dies, you can’t bury them in the cemetery because that was holy ground. So, they would bury the prisoners right in the prison grounds. Years later, they have found many of the bodies, but there are still many that are unaccounted for. Plus people say the place is haunted.

I also wanted to go to the Titanic museum that they have here. The clerk suggested I don’t do that, unless I plan on spending at least three hours because they have so much to see there. Since I wanted to fit in other thing, Titanic will have to wait for a future visit, unfortunately.

First things first- I needed a nap. Three hours later, I pull myself out of bed. My sleep was so deep that when I woke up it was time to eat an early dinner. The food was really good here at the hotel, and I have decided that I’m just going to stay in tonight. Let’s make this, my last night in Ireland, a relaxing one. I just soaked in a hot bath for over an hour (a luxury after staying in so many hostels that only have showers).

Ireland 2: Day 20

04.29.18 | Dublin, Ireland | 21:56

Laundry day: When I got to the laundry room, there was a line of people waiting to use laundry facilities. It’s funny that this huge hostel that easily houses 150+ people only has two washers and two driers. I learned that these two washer and two driers were for hostel use as well. This meant that the line was going to last awhile.

Instead of washing clothes, I ran upstairs, got my iPad, and sat in the laundry line all morning. The WiFi was decent today, so I could stream some uplifting talks from the internet.

I found an Italian restaurant for dinner, then I found myself at a dance club playing bingo and dancing. Quit judging me- this was, after all, my very last day in Dublin. I wanted to have this experience while I was here. It was a fun evening, for sure. One dude actually won €1400 from bingo. I wish that had been me. Today rocks!

Ireland 2: Day 19

04.28.18 | Dublin Hostel | 21:02

Earlier when I was walking around Dublin, looking for lunch, I happened to find a karaoke bar. I decided that I was going to go back tonight and see if I could get in on that action. When I got there, there were a few people there, but not a whole lot. At first I wondered why- it’s Saturday night, after all.

Then I noticed that there was a €30 entry fee! WHAT THE HELL?! So you have to pay to go sing karaoke or just to hear karaoke? This is outrageous! And that €30 is to listen to amateur singers as well! I’m pretty sure this particular karaoke joint isn’t going to be around very long unless they fix that. I don’t see myself ever paying that much. I can put on a whole concert by myself, for myself, in the shower.

Ireland 2: Day 18

04.27.18 | Dublin Hostel | 10:14

I just finished breakfast and guess who sat next to me? Creepy French guy… see yesterday’s post, if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Today I tried to be more kind and understanding. I did more than the one-word answers and he, once again, mumbled while he ate, and asked me if I knew ‘the number for French’. I still don’t know the number for French. His nose was clean today.

21:11

I thought I would show you some picture of the hostel. As you may know, I love it when I stay places that are old and/or quirky. As long as the place is kept up, and this place is. As I explored, I realized that there are a bunch of areas that they don’t even use… like a hidden common room, etc. It was fun to explore a little bit.

Ireland 2: Day 16

04.25.18 | Dublin Hostel | 20:01

It’s good to be back in Dublin. This is the second-to-last place on my journey, sadly. Since there is plenty to do in the city, I will be spending most of the rest of my trip here. Maybe some day trips out of the city, but we’ll have to see about that. All I know is that I’d like to learn so much about Dublin while I’m here.

This time I’m staying at Kinlay House, which is a hostel that is just west of the Temple Bar area. It seems to be older than the last Dublin hostel I stayed in, but it’s actually a lot cleaner and nicer. It’s a lot bigger too, and there are people everywhere. As long as the bedroom is quiet tonight, I have no complaints. So far, I’ve met one of my roommates whose name is Gaston. He is from Argentina, currently living in Spain, but is in Ireland studying English. He seems to be very nice.

This evening I saw The Cured at the cinema. Great twist on your classic zombie apocalypse film. I recommend seeing it, but probably won’t buy it when it comes out.

Tonight I had dinner at a Japanese restaurant. When I sat down they told me I had 30 minutes to eat and be gone, since the only table available was one that they needed for a couple who called and reserved it. My meal was some seafood ramen. It was really good, but from a late lunch of junk food on the train from Sligo, I didn’t really have a big appetite.

Ireland 2: Day 17

04.26.18 | Dublin Hostel | 21:04

Today was an indoor day, for the most part. I got a late start because of the rains, and I even got a massage! It was amazing! I spent most of the day reading, and went to see the new Avengers movie in the afternoon. Sort of disappointed in this movie… luckily there is going to be a part two either next year or the following year… hopefully that will make up for the reasons I didn’t care for it (see how I’m trying to not give anything away for those who want to see it still? I’m careful like that.

There an extremely weird French guy at the hostel. He’s in his 50s or 60s. He sat down net to me during breakfast and I said hello. He looked at my iPhone in my hand and asked me, “Do you know the number to French?” In my mind, I think he meant do I know the international cold for France, but I really didn’t want to have a whole conversation with him. I told him I didn’t, because I’m as from the states.

All through breakfast he kept chatting with me, but the way he was slurping his breakfast cereal milk was really grossing me out. He would do this odd mumble while he ate… like a sound of trying to start a car, only quieter. He was ask me something and I would give him a one-word answer, hoping he would take the hint. This sounds horrible and I need to be a better person to those in need. But when we did finally make eye contact, he had snot dripping down his nose.

Ireland 2: Day 15

04.24.18 | Sligo Hostel | 21:15

Last night’s sleep was absolutely horrible! They gave me a private room in the front of the hostel, and the street lights glare right in the window. Even with the curtains closed, the room was still extremely bright. It was annoying, and I stayed awake until about 03:00! I tried everything! I wanted to hurt someone!

Once I was up (about 07:00), I went downstairs and got some breakfast (provided by the hostel) and then set out to find a Boots pharmacy. This is a change all over the U.K. and Ireland. I found an eye mask to wear to bed tonight. I’ve never tried to wear one, so I’m hoping it doesn’t keep me up. I’ve gotten used to ear plugs, and I’ve heard many people say that they weren’t used to those, so that keeps them up at night. So hopefully I can adjust fast, if the mask keeps me up.

Before I made it back to the hostel, I went to see Sligo Abbey. This is actually a Friary that they started to build in the year 1251. It took centuries to build, because they kept adding to it. I got some great pictures, as well as a Periscope video. I wish I could go back in time and see what it was like to live then.

The walk to the abbey:

…and then pictures of the abbey:

Click here to view my live stream on Periscope.

Ireland 2: Day 14

04.23.18 | Sligo Hostel | 21:07

My hostel in Sligo, is just outside of the downtown area. Close enough to be in town in about 7 to 10 minutes, but far enough out that I really don’t have to deal with any of the loud noises from the city. I use the word “city” very loosely, as Sligo is not a booming metropolis. Still, there seems to be plenty to eat and do, so I’m not complaining.

The wind and the rain was really started to come down, so I decided I would stay inside and read, and watch a movie. I did manage to go out and get dinner, once it cleared up. I decided to get some pizza. I checked Yelp, and there was a great Italian restaurant about a 12 minute walk away.

Ireland 2: Day 13

04.22.18 | Galway, Ireland | 20:59

Today was the perfect day to check off another item on my bucket list! I took an eight-hour tour that let me view The Cliffs of Moher! This is one of the most awesome spectacles I have ever seen! The trip was a guided tour, and I made friends with a 19-year-old from Canada named Brendan.

I don’t remember the names of all the places we visited, but there were castles, old graveyards, old churches, and of course, Moher. Here are my pictures from the day trip.

…. and this four-minute video I streamed on Periscope. Click here (language warning initially because Brendan is trying to be funny. Also, sorry about the loud wind sound, but Mother Nature was trying to push us off the cliff to our deaths.).