Friday, March 16, 2012

Top O' the Hoppin' to Ya!

Are you O'Hoppin?  In honor of St. Patrick's Day, please join me in hopping around Mark Koopmans "Got Green?" Blog Hop.  The quest? Tell a tale o' the Irish in 333 words or less, or just share an Irish tale or memory.

Click here to go to Mark's blog and get the full list of participants so you can read everyone's entries!

My story will take readers back to the days of yore... err... last August, when I visited Ireland on a family vacation.  My husband and I traveled with my sister and brother-in-law before gathering with my parents and extended family for a wedding.  Many wonderful and amazing things occurred on that trip.  For example, we saw this:
Inis Oirr, the smallest of the three Aran Islands
And this:
Thomond Park, Limerick- The Munster Rugby Stadium
But we had our troubles.  My sister and her (now) husband caught the craziest flu that any of us has ever seen.  We stayed in one Bed &  Breakfast where the bathrooms were so small you couldn't turn around- if you wanted to use the toilet you had to back in through the doorway.  And then the Budget Rental Car Debacle of 2011.  Told through photos and quotes below.

Me: "It's eleven in the morning on a Tuesday.  Can they really be closed?"
Pilot Walking Through Airport:  "Hello!  Looking for your car?  He'll probably be asleep now won't he?  We'll have someone give him a call."
Us:  "..."

One Hour Later
Awakened Budget Employee:  "Your reservation was cancelled in the UK last week."
Me:  "I did not cancel the reservation and I do not know anyone in the UK, so certainly I did not instruct anyone there to cancel."
ABE: [yawns]
Me:  "What are my options, here?"
ABE: "Options?"
Me:  "Yes.  I still need a car.  What are my options.  Do you have another one we could rent?"
ABE: "No."
Me: [turning very red and taking very deep breaths]
ABE: "You could go to our office in Galway and see if there is a car there for you."
Me:  "Go back to Galway, where we just were before we took a taxi here to the airport to get our car that I reserved two months ago?"
ABE:  "Yes."

Two Hours Later
[We met some very nice people at the central Galway Budget office who got us a car and a nice discount.  We walked to the garage where the rental cars are housed and located our vehicle by going through four levels of garage and reading the license plates.]
Me:  "I don't understand.  You can't get the emergency brake off?"
Husband:  "You're not helping."
Brother-in-law:  "It's stuck or something."
Sister:  "Push the button and pull at the same time."
Brother-in-law:  "Yes I had thought of that.  It's stuck."
Me:  "Are you doing it right?"
Husband:  "Megan, you are still really not helping."

They do say driving abroad is difficult!  [We did get it eventually.]

Happy St. Patrick's Day and Happy "Go Green!" Blog O'Hop!


  1. Oh man. I would have had a hard time not losing it. I'm not the best in situations like this. I'm so glad you were able to get a car and figure out how to use it.

    Happy St. Patty's Day. I'm getting ready to drop my kids off at Nana and Pops so I can go to the gusty coast for the weekend. Cheers!

  2. Hi Megan: What a ironically funny story! Too bad you had to experience it on your trip; I am sure it was not funny then. Happy St. Pat's Day and enjoy the wearin' of the green tomorrow......

  3. Well, you know what they say, bad experiences make good stories.

    I know someone who drives abroad all the time, and I have no clue how she does it. She says street signs are mostly universal, but even so, I'd be a nervous Nelly.

    I'm glad it worked out.

  4. As long as you remembered to drive on the correct side of the street, I'd say you were all right.

    A great story. Happy Saint Paddy's Day!

  5. Oh my gosh! What a memorable (and frustrating) trip, hopefully you can laugh about it now, you made me giggle :) Happy St. Patrick's day and nice to meet you!

  6. Holy memories! ;) A trip you'll never forget, that's for sure! ;)

  7. Is it just me or has everyone in this hop been to Ireland? Such amazing stories keep making me jealous. I wanna go! Loved your contribution.

    Happy St. Paddy's Day! :)

  8. Man! You've been able to visit Ireland too! I feel so deprived. Although now that I know about the driving I may have to prep myself a little better. Never even thought about that.

  9. sounds like an amazing race challenge, family style! ha!

    happy st p day!

  10. Holy Cow! What else could go wrong.

  11. Hello Megan! My first visit, will visit you again. Seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed your posts. Congrats for your work. If you wish to follow back that would be great I'm at
    Thanks for sharing!

  12. OH. MY. I would have been soooo frustrated! But it is an adventure! I was with a tour group so didn't run into this, but I want to do what you did and just drive places!

  13. Definitely one of those 'we'll laugh about this later' moments, said through gritted teeth :-)

  14. Thanks everyone for stopping by and for your comments! We were able to laugh about the car just a few hours afterwards. And the driving, while it took some getting used to, was not that hard. My brother-in-law and I were the drivers and although I made him do the one really hard day when it was raining and we were driving on the narrowest of roads, we both managed to drive stick on the wrong side just fine. The hardest part is turning right!

  15. Hey Megan,

    Sorry it's taken me so long to get to your post, but this *life* thing has been kicking my rear the last few days:)

    Thanks *So* much for "O'Hoppin" (love that!) and you had me in stiches reading about Budget... I swear it's amazing how Ireland doesn't just slip off the edge of the ocean and drift to the bottom... but I am glad you made it safely out of the Budget garage :)


I love to get comments! Please keep them PG as I am writing for kids and young adults and hope some of them will find their way here.