Purse Meat

I typically carry a snack in my purse. When I travel, it’s a guarantee. Car snacks, plane snacks, train snacks. Matt learned this very early into our travels, and I think he came to appreciate my methods (or at least the fact that I was constantly feeding him). Even so, he raised an eye brow when I shoved a meat and cheese tray into my purse as we were leaving for our second bus tour adventure.

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IN MY DEFENSE, I had purchased the meat and cheese tray to eat for breakfast before our bus departed, but circumstances prohibited that from happening.

This tour’s primary stop was the Cliffs of Moher and it left EARLY. Convene at 6:50 am, depart by 7. As I mentioned before, it was about a 15 minute bus ride from our neighborhood to the center of town, then short walk to the tour group meeting point. So, like dutiful travelers, we rolled our butts out of bed at 5 am and got to the bus stop a few minutes early. Then we saw our bus approach…and drive by without even slowing down. We were puzzled, but the folks who needed to get to work WERE PISSED. No explanation–just an in-service bus giving us the middle finger as it flew past. I turned to Matt and said, “looks like we’re walking.”

I SECRETLY wanted to walk anyway, so I think my lucky bus #13 had me in mind that morning. (Sorry to the locals who were probably late for work.) The walk takes about 30 minutes, so by the time we got there, we didn’t really have time for breakfast. That besides, it was so early I didn’t have an appetite yet. The purse meat lay in wait.

Unlike the previous day’s tour, The Cliffs of Moher group was massive. We filled two coach busses. When the second bus drove up, we immediately recognized the driver. LEO! That’s right. We got TWO FULL DAYS of Leo. Emily joined us for this tour, so she got to experience LEO FACTS. Did you know that cobblestones were laid because they helped horses grip the road? Well now you do. Thanks, Leo.

The first stop we made, about half way to the Cliffs, was at the Barack Obama Plaza. It’s a giant truck stop dedicated to our 44th president. I guess he visited a few years ago and they loved him enough to dedicate a truck stop to him. #goals

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You thought I was kidding, didn’t you?

After a long ride, over the course which I forgot completely about the purse meat (more on that later), we finally arrived at The Cliffs of Moher.

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Wasn’t it nice of that bird to pose for me? 

The Cliffs are SPECTACULAR. My only complaint is that we only had about an hour and a half to explore, and I wanted double that at least.

My favorite part were the numerous signs and warnings about falling off the cliffs. Tourists, thirsty for that perfect selfie, sometimes to out too far and fall off the edge. And die. I’m not even joking. A dude had just died like 3 days before we were there. HE FELL OFF THE CLIFF AND DIED. This is just my opinion, but I think they should post pictures of dead tourists instead of hilarious signs like this:

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Anyway…Have you ever had Strong Bow cider? It’s pretty delicious. Evidently, Strong Bow was a dude. He landed in Ireland in the 1170s with 3,000 troops to do something…I took bad notes. LEO FACTS.

As we wound down the coast, we stopped at a few other castles and various scenic spots. I started to notice two fellows on our bus who were very into taking pictures of themselves at these various locations. Now, don’t get me wrong. I take a lot of selfies–so there’s no judgement here. All I’m saying is that these guys were very entertaining to spy on. Lots of hair primping, finding light, and zooming-in to inspect for perfection. I snapped a picture of one of them while he was out on a rock. I’m going to email it to him WHEN I REMEMBER TO DO IT. Here it is:

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This beach area was also pretty dangerous. I’m sure plenty of tour buses have returned a little lighter because of these cliffs. LOVELY THOUGH.

I also scrambled up the rocks and got a good view from the top. One of the selfie guys took a really nice picture of me. (Identifying the photo obsessed people PAYS OFF.)

Did you know that the closest language to Gaelic is Russian? Did you know that Ireland has a greater castle density than England? LEO FACTS. Speaking of castles, we saw another one.

More interesting than the castle, however, was this dude we saw re-thatching a roof. DID YOU KNOW that a thatched roof–with maintenance–can last up to 70 years? This guy probably wasn’t even born when that original roof was set. I think we’ve got it all wrong with this shingle BS. I mean, fire hazard-smire…shmazzard. SEVENTY YEARS. Plus it just looks cool.

Remember how I told you about all the stone walls that we saw everywhere? I didn’t? Well, there were stone walls everywhere. Leo told us that during the potato famine the government put people to work on useless tasks so they could have an excuse to feed and pay them. The government paid laborers one penny a day and 2 watery bowls of soup. They call these stone walls Penny Walls. LEO FACTS.

The last place we stopped was this little chocolate shop that had the most delicious chocolate I’ve ever tasted. This sweet man came out and explained their special process to us. They use coffee beans, I think? I didn’t take any note because I was mesmerized by the NICE MAN TALKING TO ME ABOUT CHOCOLATE. He gave us samples and I fell in love. I bought a box to bring home, so if you’re really nice to me, I might share with you.

Then we had the long journey home. OH YEAH AND I STILL HAD A MEAT AND CHEESE TRAY IN MY PURSE. It was a pretty warm day and the back of the bus was a sauna. We had asked Leo twice if he could turn the heat off and he tried, god love him, but it was still blazing hot back there. Even I was too warm, and that never happens. So just imagine the purse meat. I pulled it out and gave it an inspection. The meat and cheese looked a little sweaty, the olives a bit shriveled. But it was time for a snack and I wasn’t going to waste a good meat tray.

I ate the purse meat. And cheese. IT WAS DELICIOUS. Matt bravely joined me in the snack. Emily scrunched her face and watched with intrigued horror. The lesson here is that if you have hot meat in your purse, DON’T EVER WASTE IT. Because that was a delicious snack.

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