Sunday, May 16, 2010

Feel my pain

Driving through Ireland has been an incredible experience. We are in awe of the beauty of this country and, without an itinerary, we have been free to travel where we want, when we want, for however long we want. (Apologies in advance for the blurriness of some of the following photos - many of them were taken through the windshield of our rental car):

Driving on the opposite side of the road has been a bit of an adjustment, but it's gone very well. (My Jim is an excellent driver.) What wasn't anticipated, however, was that driving a 30 mile stretch in Oregon is very different, and much quicker, than it is here in Ireland. Due to the size and condition of the roads here, a destination a mere 30 miles away can sometimes take an hour - or more - to travel to and this is without any measurable traffic. Some days it is taking us a lot longer to travel the distances we plan each morning than we ever thought. This means we have had some really long days in the car.

What I'm about to write now is written with humor (in my heart, at least). It's a bit funny but, all the same, what I'm about to share with you is something that I normally wouldn't. It's really not the type of thing I like to disclose. It's a physical weakness, of sorts, and it drives me crazy. Normally, I would keep details like this under lock and key, but after this trip, I've reached a point where I feel ready to share.

Here it comes.

I suffer from extreme motion sickness.

Oh sure, over the years, I've learned to manage it. I rarely sit in the back seats of cars, NEVER ever in the back of buses, I don't go on any boats that plan to sit and bob on the water, and I can't do swings at the park.

But here, I've been caught off guard.

Between the windy curves:

the narrow roads...:

the bumpy, uneven surfaces...:

...and my sweet husband - a.k.a. Speed Racer (just kidding!) (but not really) flying over these roads, I've never been so sick in my life.

Add to all of these elements a little bit of sudden braking, say, when a sheep:

or a herd of cows:

or a baby deer suddenly crosses the road in front of us:

and this pretty much completes the nausea picture for me.

This is me, after 5 days of carsickness, just wanting to end the suffering:

Fortunately, I've found another solution...or at least something that helps a little bit: Pringles potato chips. They're very popular here. And now they're exceptionally popular with me. I've eaten 3 canisters of them since we've been here. Eating something salty seems to have a nice soothing effect on my tummy, though I shudder to think how much treadmill running I'm going to have to do when I get back home. But let's not think about that now. The important point here is that Pringles chips are my really good friends currently.

The Irish recognize the poor condition of their roads. They're even kind enough to warn us about them. Speed Racer and I always continue on, though, even despite warnings like these:

The pitch of Irish roads is different here, too. It's very steep at the center, so your left side is always lower than your right. I suppose this is to aid the swift removal of rain water from its surface. In addition to this, the edges of the road tend to crumble terribly, giving an effect as you drive over them similar to a twisty turny ride on a roller coaster that is driving over an uneven strip of bricks or cobble stones. It's jarring, to say the least.

The funny thing about these roads is the speed limit seems to be 100 kilometers per hour pretty much everywhere. 100 km/hr, which is approximately 62 miles per hour, is the posted speed even when you are also being warned about the curvy road ahead:

So, let's recap:



Uneven, bumpy edges:

are all bad for my stomach. Thank goodness for Pringles and for the beauty of Ireland...

It really is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been:

One more thing, though. Please think good thoughts for me tomorrow. This is what Jim's hoping we're going to do:



  1. Take your Pringles with you and if worse comes to worse, keep Jim upwind if you hang your head over the boat. Enjoy. The memories will be spectacular.

  2. I feel your pain of carsickness Danni, when I was a kid and we drove anywhere in Germany, we always had a bucket on the backseat between my brother and I. And there was never a long road trip when it wasn't used. Hope your trip is great anyway....Enjoy the boat ride...I know I would be hanging over the side feeding the fish.

  3. Oh dear, Danni... ..I don't get that sick but I can a little and boy that is a bad feeling. Have you tried driving? That usually keeps me from getting too sick. And the boat......oh my.....will send happy thoughts your way. It sounds like you, as you always seem to do, are keeping a positive attitude. And maybe Pringles should consider a new ad campaign!!

  4. I have heard of salt being good for motion sickness, that and ginger. Good luck.

    It looks like fun.

  5. Wow. Thats not like you at all to share things like that. It must be the Washington air, as G would say. Or in your case, the Ireland air. :-)
    I SO feel for you. That first picture makes me queasy just thinking about what was to follow. I do agree that Speed Racer is a fantastic driver...and I also must agree that riding in the back seat is not a very good idea....even with Speed Racer as the driver. Or would that be especially with Speed Racer as the driver. :-)
    Turn back now. Ha!
    Hey. Good luck on that boat tomorrow. Ill be thinking about you every step of the way.

  6. The Brits have a good motion sickness medication, not dramamine. Ask at a chemists shoppe soon! Good luck!!

  7. OH, Danni: I feel your pain. I am also a sufferer of motion sickness. My parents, and brothers, and sisters can attest to this from our long family vacation drives - the worst I remember is the Needles Highway in the Black Hills of SD. I had to excuse myself and go off the beaten path and go among the donkeys to "relieve" my aching stomach/swimming head. I'll be thinking of you and your possible trip on the boat. Glad you found the Pringles help, I'll have to remember that. Thanks for sharing all of these great pix, and your open honesty about your little secret. Take care of you and Speed Racer.

  8. you poor thing...I know all too well exactly how you feel! Hang in there!!!

  9. I get sick too when it's too curvy! It really is gorgeous there! I hope the boat ride isn't too rough!

  10. My goodness! Have you tried Ginger? Tea, candy, soda ... but it needs to have the real thing in it and not just flavoring. I haven't really tried it myself, but the goatmother swears by it.

  11. I think you need to stop at the next Pharmacy/chemist you see and get some travel sickness pills, they will make a huge difference. Ireland is a lovely place, Joe has a good friend in Donegal, stunning county. If you get anywhere near Ballyliffin, Clomany call into the Ballyliffin hotel, ask for Mick McGonigal and say Sue Webber(Joes missus) sent ya :D

  12. You'll look back and it will all have been a marvelous experience, and even the carsickness will be one of your humerous memories. Don't know if you can get them over there, but my husband suggested sunflower seeds. They are salty and have fewer calories than the Pringles...but hey! Your on vacation. Enjoy whatever you want to eat and deal with the extra ounces later!

  13. You will be a totally different person when you return. Or should I say - if you return. Heard on the news today that the volcano is burping over Ireland again. Lately your patience and 'letting go' skills have been tested to the max. Perhaps you could open a meditation studio on Critter Farm after your return and share your recently acquired powers with others. (ha,ha!)
    Stay safe, sweetie!

  14. Oh man. I was going to suggest that you do the driving, because that really helps my motions sickness.

    I don't suppose you'll be able to get the captain to let you skipper for a little while.....

  15. You are a real trooper Danni...load up on Pringles for the trip...I'll be very supportive for the workout when you get home!

  16. I also suffer from motion sickness. I'm so bad that even watching some movies (especially peoples home movies) makes me sick. I have heard that ginger works well for this. Good luck and enjoy Ireland. It is so beautiful.

  17. i get motion sick if i look at a swing. i don't think it is possible to be worse than i am. my husband hasn't driven in years because the only way i can avoid throwing up is driving myself. he also is a totally sucky driver! i liked driving in ireland so much that when i returned from my first trip i bought a sports car. driving there is really a big pat of the irish experience! have fun!

  18. So enjoyed these pictures but sorry you are feeling less than superb. Hope the boat ride turns out fun, is there anything you can take? Also I liked the blur in the first picture but thought I was looking out the back windshield, that driving on the left is confusing.

  19. Have fun, don't forget the pringles. LOL

  20. Oh, puffins are so cute. You have to go.
    I am sure they will have something to help you...

    I get royally seasick so I understand your reluctance on the boat....

  21. My husband absolutely will NOT get on a boat with me. Luckily, Logan doesn't get seasick so he'll do the boat things with me.

  22. I love your photos. You have a great eye for interesting and beautiful shots.

    Sorry that you have such severe motion sickness. I get it on boats, but cars and other vehicles don't bother me. Cool that the Pringles help, but maybe you should seek out those motion sickness pills or patches to use on your trips. I hear they really work.

  23. So sorry Danni . . . I hope you are coping with the trip today. Your memories of this beautiful country will surpass the motion sickness memories (at least that's my prayer for you today)!

  24. Danni, I totally know motion sickness uggg... I too discovered well for me it was pretzels seemed to help... I didn't make the salt connection, just thought it was pretzels...

    Boats, planes (when I still flew) back seats, front seats ...yep its rough... Good luck on the boat!

    DH is so used to me saying, I am so green.... when we are in the car...

  25. Hey Danni-try to find these:

    I know that some version of them is available in England-so maybe Ireland will have them, too.

  26. I too suffer from extreme motion sickness. The drugs just drug me out and what fun is being sleepy the whole vacation.
    I have "fed" many fish from boats.

    This is my best tip: Zip lock baggies, large ones. If you cant pull over to do what you have to do, you can zip it up and ride mess (smell) free until you can find a garbage can.

    Hope you are having fun anyway!

  27. Sounds like you're having an uber adventure! Love the way you can take the bad and turn it into good. It does look SO beautiful there!

  28. Ugh - my sympathies. My vacation bugaboo used to be fear of heights, but I finally learned to just tough through it because the fear was keeping me from seeing all the best parts of wherever we were. And now, the fear's gone. Motion sickness, I suspect, doesn't work that way, and thus I admire you all the more for toughing it out.

  29. Thanks for commenting. I was so sick to my stomach from pain meds. Then I read about your pain remedy this morning and fixed a plate of kosher dills, pepper/olive oil Triskets, put salt on it, and had some big green, cold grapes afterwards and now feel much better. have a great time -- lol -- inger

  30. Ah, the km/per hour! You must be in Southern Ireland!

    Pringles are great! And there tag line "Once you pop you can't stop" is VERY true! I love Pringles, but I can eat a whole tin in a sitting, not the best for my waistline!

    Glad you are having a great time, I have never been across myself but from the photos it look a lot like where we are in Scotland, I think I'd feel right at home!!

  31. Oh, my. When you commented on my blog that you had been to Ireland, I had to come and see. I hoped for photos, and this is beyond all expectation! I'm working my way backwards. Love the part (somewhere above) where your sweet mom left dinner in the fridge for you as a welcome home. I've only read about such things in books!

    Marvelous road trip photos--you've got me reaching for the Pringles!


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