When my daughter said that it’s the small things that make a trip memorable, I realised she was right. We had a wonderful time on our recent visit to Ireland, wandering around Trinity College, touring a whisky distillery, visiting castles, cathedrals and so on but the real memories were made up of the small things. These are the travel stories you tell your friends and family over a couple of glasses of wine.
My stories of this trip will include include my granddaughter’s request that we have something sweet to “give closure to the meal” – from then on we made sure our holiday dinners had proper closure at the expense of our waistlines. Another fun story will be our encounter with an Irishman who warned us of the dangers of wondering around Dublin, “especially at night”. He obviously didn’t realize that South Africans are masters of self preservation.
… and then there was the one about our visit to the hotel leisure centre to have a swim in the heated pool. I dressed into my bathing suit and put my things away in the locker and locked it, using a euro coin. But I’d forgotten to take off my glasses. So I had to reopen the locker. I took another euro out of my bag and locked the locker, again forgetting to take off my glasses! I reopened the locker, took off my glasses, put them in the locker and relocked it with another euro. I then realized I’d locked my towel in the locker and had to reopen it for the third time! My husband was well into his swim by the time I joined him. I didn’t tell him the whole story, just the part where I forgot to put my glasses in the locker.
We came across enormous turnips, so remarkable in fact that they deserved a photograph – my son-in-law used his watch to give perspective to the photo. And the daisies! Huge and lovely. The watch was hauled out again for a photo shoot. Finally we came across a gigantic box of washing power in a corner cafe. Surprising stock for a local grocer in a small village to keep on his shelves, especially as the boxes took up a good portion of his limited space. Boxes of this size would be far more at home in a wholesaler’s warehouse. Thank goodness for the watch which was used for a third time!
One of our stops was for lunch at a beautiful hotel nestled in the Irish countryside. The story here is not the hotel or the lunch but it’s about Bruce, the resident Staffordshire Bullterrier, who ambled over to us wearing a tag on his collar which said ‘Bitch Magnet’.
As much as we loved the touristy things we saw and did, the stories of the small things are what we’ll treasure whenever we reminisce about our wonderful trip to the Emerald Isle.