We finally made it, our flight to Dublin was smooth and shorter than I had thought it would be. The eight hours flew by because I slept through most of the flight. I find that I get anxious before a trip because I know I am the type of person that does everything last minute, I forget random items for my trip and I’m late for everything. So I end up not sleeping the night before a trip to organize my things and ensure I have everything I need. I have never been a big fan of flying so it makes the trips easier on me if I can sleep on the plane and ever since I was in the military, I have learned I can sleep just about anywhere and that includes sitting upright in a plane for eight hours. Since we were to arrive in Dublin at 8:30 am I wanted to be awake and ready to become a tourist.
Even though I stayed up all night the night before we left, I still forgot a couple of items which is no surprise to me but frustrating none the less. Items we left behind were; battery charger for the Sony cyber-shot camera, rechargeable batteries for the Vivitar video camera and Fuji DSLR cameras, and rain coats. One item that I left behind was the universal plug adaptor that Brownie’s father had given us the day before we left. This one was good for Europe, Ireland, Australia, Japan, Thailand and the Americas (pretty much everywhere) and he gave it to me to take with us. Even though I had plenty of time to make sure I had everything in order, I somehow managed to leave that behind which added a bit of stress once we got to Ireland. Brownie had to be able to do her hair, I needed the laptop to be able to blog, we needed our iPhone for GPS and we had batteries that we needed to keep charged so we could take pictures. This adapter is essential for us because all of our electronics use the 110v plugs and now we have all these gadgets with no way to plug them in. Luckily for us, we survived in Ireland by borrowing the adapter we needed there. Once we got to Rome we needed a different type of adapter so we immediately started looking for one, even though we feared it would cost us an arm and a leg. I didn’t want to pay more than 20 Euro for something I knew I could get on eBay from a supplier in China for no more than $10 USD with shipping included and since we were already on our journey we don’t have an address to mail anything to I figured we were done screwed. Luckily enough for us, when we were in Rome buying a pay as you go SIM card, we found the adapter we were looking for and for only 10 Euro!!! Not only did this save my neck it made life so much easier for us while traveling. Below are pictures of the adapter which is also a surge protector and I highly suggest you pick one of these up off eBay or at a local electronics store. I’m not sure on the availability of these in your average town in the states so I suggest looking online at least a month before you plan on leaving for vacation.
When you try to purchase items you need in the places you are visiting you find that you will pay a penalty for not thinking ahead. Case in point, Dublin is a very chilly city and the wind rips right through you. If you research the weather trends in Ireland, you find that it never gets “warm” for long there. They don’t really have a “summer” it’s more like fall and winter, then fall again. Much like my home of San Antonio, they have two seasons just not the two I’m used to. Brownie didn’t bring any scarfs or anything to cover her head and we spent near four hours of our time in Dublin looking for a cheap matching beanie and scarf combo to keep her warm. Oddly enough even Dublin has seasonal sales and when we arrived we found out that they were selling summer clothes in the department stores so finding a matching beanie and scarf was going to be difficult and expensive. The only beanie Brownie found that she liked was one in a souvenir shop but the matching scarf had a big green shamrock on it and that wouldn’t match everything as well so she didn’t want that. After stopping at a dozen or so street vendors, she finally found one she liked that didn’t cost near 20 Euro. If she had bought them in the states, both of them might have cost her $20 combined but here we ended up spending right at 30 Euro which is about $35. Expensive lesson if you ask me. We were lucky that while we were in Ireland, we were able to use some plug adaptors that Brownies brothers had used when they got to Ireland while we looked to buy our own. While there we never found the universal adaptor her father had loaned us and we started to worry about where to find one when we get to Italy, again we realized that with our proper planning and implementation of those plans we added undue stress to our trip.