So the rest of day two went as follows. After our morning jaunt to the grocery store, we decided since it was so foggy that we’d hit the Doolen Cave. As we entered the tour, I knew I was fucked when the guide mentioned that we’d be descending stairs. Not just a few. But uhm like a hundred. For one, I have this unnatural fear of falling down stairs. I’ve had this fear ever since I can remember. I hated my high school because it was two stories and every other class for me was on a different floor and there was always a hoard of students pushing and shoving down the stairs and I was always terrified I was going to fall down them.
Now the other part of this horror story is that I knew at the end of the tour I was going to have to climb back those 100 steps. Fuck me.
I wasn’t smart enough to just tell the family, oh you go ahead. I’ll wait for you up here. Oh no. Because I wasn’t going to wimp out. So I teeter down all those damn stairs holding on to the rail for dear life. Then when we get to the bottom, we go through this slick as snot cave corridor thing with the ceiling so low that even me and my short ass self hit my head. (We wore hardhats and it’s a good damn thing.) My aforementioned six foot four husband had to walk doubled over the entire way.
But then we get to…more steps. Wet, slimy, uneven steps. Some really short. Some with a steep drop off. Again, I clung to the wet, slimy rail for dear life and my knees shook so badly I was REALLY afraid I was just going to face plant.
It was cool. Don’t get me wrong. But really? Not my thing. I love the science behind caves. I love visiting them. All those slippery steps I could have done without. By the time we left to return to those 100 stairs I had already had to climb up a bazillion slippery, uneven steps and at that point I was just done. I wanted to know where the damn elevator was.
Hubby’s sweet and he lagged behind with me while I climbed the steps holding onto the railing for dear life and thinking OMFG, WHY did I do this again?
We get out to the car and my stupid knees were still shaking so bad that I could barely get control of them. Phobias are a bitch, I tell ya.
We drove back to the cottage and hubby took the kids to some nearby castle ruins while I researched a trip I wanted to take with the kids. (The internet is so frightfully slow here that it honest to God took as long as they were gone to find all the info I wanted)
They returned laughing like hyenas because apparently daddy fell down some step at the castle or on the grounds since apparently this particular castle is privately owned and not open to the public so they were only able to get so close to it. So see? My phobia? Not unfounded. And they were also apparently accosted by some old rude Irish guy who muttered something about reading signs. Never mind the nice woman who informed my husband how far he could venture on public property.
Truly, this is the first rude Irish person we’ve encountered. Or I should say they since I wasn’t with them so really *I* haven’t met a single rude person here :) They’re all disgustingly cheerful and exceedingly helpful. Even to neurotic Americans with stair phobias…
After they return we decide to go down to the pier. Just because. No other reason. And the fog had finally lifted and there was actually SUNSHINE. And even better patches of BLUE in the sky. And I should mention that my cottage is RIGHT on the ocean and yet until this afternoon I hadn’t actually SEEN the water from my front porch because of the fog. I mean I knew it was there but you couldn’t have proved it by what I could see.
So we puttered around, enjoyed some fresh air. It’s delightfully chilly here and such a welcome change from 100 degrees and 100 percent humidity back home.
On our way back from the pier we stopped at a different pub that was offering live music beginning just twenty minutes from when we arrived, so we took a seat and ordered. The food was terrific. (So far we’re two for two on eating out in Ireland and even the kids are eating!) The music was terrific. As odd as it may sound, really you haven’t fully appreciated John Denver’s Country Roads until you’ve heard it sung by an Irishman with a guitar in an Irish pub :)
And then we took a drive, sort of a roundabout drive back to the cottage because we weren’t yet ready to get back home just yet. We saw a rooster pheasant and a hen on the road and then watched as they flew low over a field only to land a short distance away. We stopped to watch until finally they flushed up again and flew further away.
When we did finally get back home, the sky to the west was clearing over the water and I was excited because I figured we’d actually get to see a sunset that evening so I positioned myself accordingly, propped back on some pillows and lazily watched the sun go down while Hubby and the youngest two played catch in the yard.
Now I’m in bed having just watched the last vestiges of the sun slip down over the horizon and it’s finally dark (It’s well after ten) and so I’m going to sign off and work for a bit. This is a holiday, yes, but it’s a working one for me because there are some things that have to get done no matter what. But I’ll get them done when everyone else is asleep so I don’t miss any of the fun stuff :)
Good night from Doolin!