Who would have thought that I'd be quoting U2's second worst album ever.... But that's the way I'm feeling right about now...just leaving it all behind. The last 9 months have been hell. Work hell. Home hell. Health hell and worrying about the cat hell. If you know me, you know why, but suffice to say, I'm ready to go. Someone somewhere thinks I've earned this break, because more than a few times in recent weeks, I haven't thought it was even going to happen. Sigh.
So here I am, kicking back in the Aer Lingus lounge. And thank goodness. Walking through Terminal E, you would never know there is a semi-recession and people aren't traveling. It is a madhouse. There's not a seat to be had, either in the departures area or in my usual pre-flight restaurant. And this is not a madhouse my fragile nerves and TMJ care to deal with. Here in the semi-darkness and free open bar of the Aer Lingus lounge, I have no idea what's going on downstairs, won't have to fight into a bathroom and can get a buzz on before I pop a Melatonin or two and sleep my way to Dublin.
Seriously, the cute little receptionist here says to me with a Irish accent thick as morning fog, "help yourself to the bar." I want to say "Lady, after the last 9 months, you better be ready to restock." Except that I'm a savvy traveler and know not to dehydrate myself on free booze. Or at least, I know my limit. One glass of Sauv Blanc down...and did I just see a bottle of Bailey's????
So it's Boston to Dublin to Berlin. Dublin. I have never been there and not stopped. I've never just transferred there. There is so much wound up into Dublin that it will be sad and difficult and maybe even painful not to stay. I'm just hoping it's still dark when I land and take off tomorrow morning that the gorgeous green ground beneath me doesn't make me weep. But if it does, it's ok. I've earned that too.
I've sort of sussed out Day One in my head. I need to slap myself visually and awaken my inner explorer, so I think heading out of my hotel and up the Kufurstendam (""Ku'dam", shopping street at the top of my street) and then to Brandenburg Gate and East Side Gallery is just the trick. If that doesn't tell me I'm in Berlin, I don't know what will.
So about 6 hours to Dublin, change planes, 2 hours to Berlin. Child's play after 16 hours to China. Seriously, this is like a hop to D.C.
I'm moving from the plugged-in bar of the lounge to a big, soft comfy chair. I have a stack of magazines and a good book, and unlimited Bailey's at my disposal for another hour. Let vacation begin!