This summer in Ireland, I discovered that there are at least 8 easy ways to ruin a family vacation. Some things may be just a minor inconvenience but others may prohibit your chances of a return trip abroad.
8 Easy Ways to Ruin Your Family Vacation
Ask For More Ice
What’s with European countries and the ice? When you ask for ice with your drink, your request is treated with a snarky attitude as if you’ve asked for free champagne. “Oh, you want more ice?” the waiter says, dropping one measly ice cube into your glass with tongs. And don’t expect free refills either.
Eat Food with Weird Names
In Ireland, choosing what to eat from the menu is a game of charades. My son picked the Cock and Bull Blaa at our first meal. “What’s a blaa?” he asked the waiter. Looks like: “It’s a doughy, white bread bun.” Sounds like: “Cock and Bull means chicken breast with steak.” Of course it is!
Black pudding – sausage made from cooked pig’s blood, pork fat, pork rind, pork shoulder, pork liver, and well, you get the point
white pudding – similar to black pudding but containing no blood
coddle – layers of pork and bacon
colcannon – mashed potatoes with kale
drisheen – another type of black pudding
crubeens – boiled pig’s feet
Hate Guinness Beer
It’s a big no-no to dislike Guinness beer in Ireland, a country that absolutely prides itself on this thick, creamy concoction. Coined a “meal in a glass,” the Irish can’t drink enough of it. Just ask any drunk in a pub their favorite beer, and they will proudly slobber, “Guinness.” They even have Guinness ice cream.
Invite Men to a Tea Party
The guys in your life will not appreciate the finer nuances of an afternoon tea party. For instance, first one must wait for the server to completely set the table before indulging in the sweets and loading your plate. It is bad manners to knock her hand out of the way. Second, it is inappropriate to point a finger and ask, “What’s that gross looking thing?” when faced with a tiered cake stand filled with tiny, crustless sandwiches, petits fours, and pastries. Lastly, one should not fall asleep on the sofa midway through the tea service. That is all.
Pack Liquids In Your Carry-Ons
At the airport, TSA provides plastic bags for small liquids, like aerosols, gels, and creams. Take it from me. It’s worth the extra few minutes to check your bag again. I held up the area for 20 minutes over a tiny 2 oz. bottle of hand sanitizer. People in line become quite aggressive when you break this rule, calling out “idiot,” “jerk,” and “f#$!.”
Joke Around at Immigration
Everybody knows that before you can enter a country, you must go through immigration and show your passport. But did you know that the immigration officers have absolutely no sense of humor? The answer to the question, “How long will you be in Ireland?” should never be “A few hours.” This move may slow down your entry into another country by several days. Strip search not necessary this time. Warning: Don’t mess around with an immigration officer.
Our family of four brought four iPhones, one laptop computer, an iPad but no adapters on vacation. It’s that crazy little piece that allows American plugs to be connected to European sockets.Well, we had one adapter for the first 12 hours until we lost it. A game or rock, paper, scissors turned into a cage fight as we each tried to score some recharging time.
Bring Your Family
Which one of these things have you done to ruin your vacation?