UK Road-trip Extravaganza 2010—Dublin edition
We woke up in Dublin on Wednesday morning eager to begin our long trek home to Cambridge. We had had an awesome week, but by this time I think we were weary of sleeping in hostels and walking uphill so often. We awoke early in order to catch our 8:45 ferry from Dublin to Wales. We were only 4 miles from the port, so we expected an easy trip, an 8:15 arrival, and smooth sailing. We were wrong.
I programmed Kate (the affectionate name we've given to our Sat nav/GPS) to find the ferry, which she did with no problem. The problem, however, came when we discovered just how clueless Kate was about driving in Dublin. The entire trip thus far we were in no real hurry to get anywhere, taking our time on the road and enjoying the scenery. Only on this morning was it imperative that we be somewhere on time... and, well... epic fail, Kate... epic.
There was a moment when we all realized that Kate didn't know what she was talking about... I think it was when she told us to turn the wrong way down a one way street, or maybe when she wanted us to turn left into a field. All I know is that the tenor of yelling, crying, sign-reading, and head turning escalated until at one point it reached a fever pitch with Tiffani yelling "Ferry port straight" from a sign she'd seen; Kate saying, "You're over the speed limit. Turn back now. You're over the..."; Me screaming at Kate to shut her face before I threw her out the window and showed her what she could do with her speed limits; Candice saying, "Shut Kate up, Collin... give her to me and I'll sort her out"; and Matt looking at a road map of Scotland saying, "Where is Dublin?!" [I might have made part or all of this up]
In the midst of all this panic and discord, it was the Happy Honda who stayed cool, calm, and collected; she was bobbing, weaving, and speeding through downtown Dublin with acrobatic agility. She came through for us when we needed her most... which happened to be when I was at my craziest... picture this:
A long line at a stoplight waiting to turn across a lane of traffic, a ferry ship in the distance; you know that's your ship, you must get there... a car full of passengers waiting with bated breath, counting on you to get them to the ferry... and you, waiting at a stoplight, trying to turn, but also noticing that the oncoming lane of traffic is empty… the line isn't moving, you must act now or miss your ferry… something very strange begins to happen… faintly at first, but then growing louder and louder, the Indiana Jones theme begins to play in the back of your head… suddenly, with a pat on the dashboard of the Happy Honda for good luck, you floor it, the car springs into the opposite lane (into oncoming traffic) past the long line of cars waiting to turn at the intersection... no cars are coming yet, but you know you won't make it if you try to go all the way into the intersection, so you turn, but onto the wrong side of the road, you cross the lane of oncoming traffic and merge… forget it… it’s too hard to describe in words; so let us turn to rudimentary still-life animation for assistance :)
…it was epic, and I'm pretty sure my passengers were scared to death. But we made it to the ferry. And I think I may have heard some applause from the other cars admiring my driving prowess.