Friday, June 24, 2016

Ryan meets Peggy. Fortunately, it wasn't love at first sight.

We left Dublin today, which triggered the event we were both somewhat dreading: Ryan driving the open Irish roads.

The rental car system at the Dublin airport was a mess. We got everything sorted at the counter, then we had to wait for a shuttle to take us to the car lot. Ryan had to wait in line again to receive the actual car assignment. "B39," he said when he emerged. And suddenly there was nothing between us and the M50 that was our first motorway en route to Kilkenny. Except Peggy.

Peggy is what I am calling the tiny Peugeot that is our transportation for the next five days. 

The prettiest compact car in all the land.

There was an initial burst of nerves: "Is it hot in here, or is it just me?" he asked as we pulled out of the rental cars agency lot. After that, he did just an outstanding job, just as I knew he would.

His superior driving talents included weathering my first navigation flub that took us about 15 minutes out of our way. Despite the three maps I was consulting, it seems as though very few streets are signed here in a clear and timely fashion. Twice, I said, "This is our turn," as we sped out of the roundabout but ended up going in the opposite direction.

Ryan kept his patience, even when's directions I had printed off confused us by saying "slight left." We needed to take a "hard left" but instead landed directly onto the main tourist street in the middle of rush hour ("Slight left is really a gross understatement, don't you think?"). He was trying not to hit people, help me spot the hidden street signs, and not run over curbs (although we might have grazed one) in addition to shifting and the whole left lane issue.

I'd like to say this was Ryan doing some fancy Italian Job maneuver, but truthfully it was going about 50 KPH in the slow lane of a very sedate national road.
But we eventually found our hotel, tucked Peggy into the carport, and had an immensely enjoyable night in Kilkenny.

Ryan's rules for driving in Ireland so far*:

1. Don't EVER drive in Dublin.

2. Never be first in line at the intersection.

3. Act like you are checking the window each time you try to shift with your right hand.

4. The slow lane is perfectly acceptable.

*He reserves the right to amend these with more experience.

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