Monday, February 8, 2010

A refreshing getaway

I'm deep into my low season now - it's been months since I've had a work trip and a while yet until I get to lead another tour.  These are the days when I start to get itchy feet.  To cure my wanderlust, I went to Ireland last week. Ryanair had a fabulous sale in January and I was able to get a round trip ticket to Dublin for a song...okay, more like a couple of albums, but you get my drift.  I had never been to Ireland before this trip, and the fact that I'd been living just across the water from the Emerald Isle for a year and-a-half without making a visit was really starting to bother me.  I just had to go!

I had such a lovely time.  I stayed at a hostel that I wouldn't recommend for luxury or funkiness (good or bad funkiness, really), but it served its purpose well.  And it was super cheap - a big plus for a tour manager stepmom in the depths of her low season.  The hostel is called Paddy's Palace, if anyone's interested.  It was safe, pretty clean and within easy walking distance of the touristy part of the city center.  I'd definitely stay there again on my next solo visit to Dublin.

Most of my time in Dublin I spent on my feet - walking around, enjoying the city, people watching and exploring yarn and fabric stores.  Ryanair has the strictest baggage allowances, so I just bought one light fabric remnant and called it good.  I was able to get out of town on one day, taking a tour through the Wicklow Mountains to the medieval capital of Kilkenny.  It's weird to be on guided tours because I feel like I'm at work.  I don't make a habit of booking bus tours, but sometimes it's a good way to keep my own skills sharp.  Here are some pictures:

Cemetery at Glendalough

Customs House by night

On the front steps of Kilkenny Castle

I adore my family and I must state for the record that my husband is a wonderful travel partner, but I also love to get out on my own every once in a while and have a little adventure just for myself.  The very best part of this whole trip was coming back home a refreshed and de-stressed wife and stepmom.  My fun-o-meter shot way back up to unprecedented levels after my return.  I'll do my best to keep my sunny new attitude even after this Irish glow wears off.  The fact that the days get lighter and lighter all the time certainly doesn't hurt.  And they tell me it will eventually get warmer around here, too.  I can't wait.

Are there any other solo travelers out there?  It's not for everyone, but it can be tremendously rewarding.


Wilma Ham said...

It sounds like taking that trip was a good move and I can imagine being on your own would have been good too.
I looked at your soup recipe, that looks delicious and I knit too. I just have been given an alpaca fleece which excites me.
I also read that you are starting up your own business.
How exciting and yes I can relate to that feeling of it being a lot of work as I am building my first business as well.
It sure demands a lot of attention, intention and focus and I am curious how you are getting on. For me it is important not to want to eat the elephant in one go but accept that it will take some time.

MaggieWags said...

lovely photos!!

Suddenly Stepmom said...

Thank you, Maggie! It really was a great trip, even though I could have done with some better weather.

Wilma, so lovely to meet another knitter! And you spin, as well? That really IS excitng! I'm not a spinner, but I've considered spinning. Right now, I'm not taking on any new hobbies but I'd like to think that I'll learn to spin someday.

I've decided not to go ahead with the business. Running a business is just not for me, and I'm so glad I figured that out BEFORE I went ahead with it. Whew...a bullet dodged! That being said, it's exciting to hear you're starting your own. Are you enjoying the proces? I really didn't and if you email me privately, I can tell you more about my experiences with that (assuming you're interested in knowing).

All the best!