Saturday, July 29, 2017

Top Three Memorable Moments of Our Irish Vacation (Erin)

Well, you may remember I was headed out to Ireland in one of my last posts. We spent three amazing weeks sightseeing and visiting family in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and England, and I have some stories for you.

1.  We spent a few days in Dublin and then flew over to England and spent three amazing days in
London. We toured the Tower of London (the site of many beheadings), the Imperial War Museum, and saw Les Miserables at the Queen's Theater. On the way back from the theater, though, Chad thought we really should take the Emirates Gondola ride over the Thames. Now, you have to understand, I don't like heights under normal circumstances, but a gondola? Over water? Now that all my children are old enough to have grown braver than me, I didn't have an excuse to sit out. One of my children snapped a picture when I was feeling terrified, but at least I wasn't hyperventilating or shaking uncontrollably. I actually kept my eyes open the whole time!

2. One of our favorite cities was Galway, where we listened to buskers (street musicians) and poked around in iconic Irish gift shops.

However, the walk-up apartment I had booked us in, while beautiful and spacious on the inside, may have been located on the sketchier side of Galway. In retrospect, I probably should have been covering my husband's and son's eyes as we navigated through combination-locked gates and alleys, only to traipse past stores and lounges devoted to "lovely ladies." We finally fell asleep, only to be awakened the next morning by a blaring alarm and red lights flashing in our living room. I stumbled out of bed and realized my husband was nowhere to be found. After searching in all the rooms, I gave up and convinced my children to put their shoes on. However, I had forgotten, in Europe, you lock the door with a key from the inside. So, the alarm was still screeching, the red light was still pulsing, and I was becoming more frantic as I tried to open the locked door. Eventually, I located my husband's wallet and keys, and we let ourselves out into the courtyard. We waited, while a group of rougher-looking men peered down at us from the balcony where they were smoking and chatting. After a few minutes, the alarms were shut down and we shuffled back into the apartment where my son found a note his dad had left perched on the bathroom sink. He was out for a run.

3. Fantasy fans, close your eyes for a minute and envision the "Cliffs of Insanity." The ones Fezzik, in The Princess Bride, scaled, carrying three people on his back. These are Ireland's Cliffs of Moher. Wesley scaled them solo shortly after. Now, close your eyes again and imagine your three beloved children, or dogs, or best friends scampering at the top of those cliffs! Needless to say, I had sweaty armpits and a shaky voice as I tried to keep my kiddos close to me. Thankfully, my husband didn't let them climb around over the fence, so no one met a rocky death, or fell into the ocean. And despite some mud and mist, no one crashed into the electric fence meant to keep the cows off the other side of the path, either.

Although each of these stories made my heart race at the time, they are fun to look back on. "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).

When is the last time you felt fear about doing something exciting? Was your fear worth the experience?

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