So for a mere $249.00 and some miles, Tim and I were on our way to Ireland via Scotland.
Now I had been out of the country before, but this was my first trip to the UK. My first journey "across the pond" as it were. We were headed over for 3 and a half weeks, and boy did I pack like it. We had no plans, no reservations, just the plane ticket there and back, a reservation on the ferry and 3 travel guides (with maps, as you have already heard geography was not our strong suit.) As it turns out, its pretty easy (except for one town, I'll get to that) to travel around Ireland in March without reservations.
We started out our first night in Glasgow. We flew in, picked up the rental car (manual, other side of the car, other side of the road, whatever – no big whoop, right?), and drove into the city to find a place to dwell. Stumbled into a great place, right around the corner from the Glasgow Harley Davidson, a place called The Sandyford. The place was cheap and perfect. It was close to town, we walked everywhere we wanted to go, and that first night, we went out. Jetlag be damned.
So, flop our luggage in the room, take a quick nap (we managed to do this without sleeping a full 8 hours) and then out, for some real pints, some real nips, and some pub grub. Dinner was unremarkable, but the adorable waitress gave us a nod for a club to go dancing. We went. And drank. And drank and drank and drank. And danced. Woooooo-E! I'd heard about nightclubs, hell even partied at a few in my early twenties. But nothing like this place. I must have been so blatantly American, but every thing – every song (Tom Jones Sex Bomb mega-euro-mix was really hot at the time), every drink (Smirnoff Moscow Mule in addition to the pints and nips), every person (think Germany meets Euro-fashion-awesome) – was stunning to me. We stayed out till almost bar close. Heading back, we hit a chipper and I am still not sure to this day if it was becuase we were so drunk or becuase it really was that amazing – we had the best chips (topped with some cheese) I have ever had, ever. I think I am drooling just thinking about it.
I kept a diary of this first trip to Ireland. This is what the entry says:
"Chips and Cheese at Mr. Chips RULES (its actually underlined four times)." (and this for sure was written after many drinks, really funny handwriting)
The next morning the entry says "**NOTE TO SELF** Never order scrambled eggs in Scotland. And beware of the effects of chips and cheese late at night."
I can honestly say that the first 24 hours of this trip, blew my mind.