The bucket list adventure I shared with Eileen last fall did not end with a little ferry ride from Mallaig to the Isle of Skye on All Saints’ Day. We had bigger plans for the second half of our trip. Giant plans, in fact - plans so gigantic that if we could’ve followed in the giant’s footsteps straight from Fingal’s Cave on the Scottish side of the Causeway to get there, we would have.
Our determination to rock it big on holy ground required instead that we fly into Belfast and drive to the northern shoreline of County Antrim to reach our landmark destination, the Giant’s Causeway - one of the windiest points in Northern Ireland. It was November 3rd, and it was (not surprisingly) a very blustery, cold winter day.
To step out of our car was to step headlong into a forceful wind that was so biting it made us question our reason for being there in the first place. Just how bad did we want to do this? Eileen gave me every opportunity to back out, but I’d told her from the beginning that I was in, and in I was. So we sucked it up - faces frozen in place from the icy cold - and leaned into the wind that seemed determined to knock us over in the parking lot as we strived to reach the visitor center with satchels in hand.
Inside that suitcase full of costumes Eileen had been determined to schlepp across several continents were two pink morph body suits, pink ballet slippers, and frosted long haired wigs for this very occasion - but an on-site costume change would be required. We giggled like two giddy schoolgirls behind our respective bathroom stall doors while we struggled (over many layers of long underwear and as much insulation as we could manage) to change into those pink morph suits.
Once changed, we walked out of the bathroom camoflauged in sweatsuits, wigs securely safety-pinned to the hoods of our morph suits. No one even noticed that we had transformed ourselves into seasoned nymphs intent upon shamelessly re-creating an amazing album cover from our youth in front of a hundred tourists, many of whom were too young to get it. The album cover, of course, was Led Zepplin’s “Houses of the Holy.”
Conceptually we may have been dating ourselves, but we weren’t looking so old once we stripped off our sweatsuits and began scrambling over those slippery octagonal stones against heavy winds and seaspray like a pair of performance art monkeys … monkey see, monkey do.
It was awesome!
© by DK King
with a fist full of Irish soil
Giant Finn MacCool’s Chimney Stacks as backdrop