Locked Down

The planning board is complete.

Okay. Locked down is kind of an overstatement. I’m still waiting to hear back on a couple of things, and there’s at least one tour I’d like to get on that I can’t book yet. But still. Things are about as close to being locked down as they can be.

So, the picture is my planning board. I put one of these together for every big trip. A card for each day, colour-coded to indicate what city I am based in that day. It’s a good way to visualize the entire span of time, and it helps me get to grips with where I’ll be when.

I also use the itinerary page I build on this blog1, but that helps me keep track of details and links. The board helps me visualize and structure the trip, and the itinerary helps me organize the information about all the activities. Using the two tools in concert helps me make sure I haven’t missed anything2.


I’ve fleshed out the stuff I want to be doing during my stay in Dublin. Some of it3 are revisiting things I’ve seen before, but usually with a different tour. Some of it has changed – for example, it looks like the hop-on-hop-off bus tour that I love so much in Dublin has added another route that takes in more of the northern part of the city. And the Newgrange, Monasterboice, and Hill of Tara tour I’ve got booked was canceled on my last trip.

I’ve scheduled myself less completely than I have on previous trips. I have more confidence on this, my third Irish adventure, in my ability to find interesting things to do. And I feel less pressure to see everything. And I’ve found that just bumming around Ireland with no pressing plans for a day is kind of awesome.

Also, I’m getting old4, and maybe the lighter schedule will be easier on me.

Less than two months. Can hardly wait.

  1. Which is also as complete as it’s probably gonna get. []
  2. Not foolproof. For the UK trip, I somehow managed to miss booking a hotel the first night in London and the last night in Edinburgh. Nothing is foolproof. But you can believe I’ve been double-checking dates for accommodations this trip. []
  3. As with several things in other cities. []
  4. Okay, I’m already old. I’m gettingĀ older. I’ll be turning 50 on this trip. []


Well, I’m not going to Ireland this year.

I ran into some health problems this past summer. I’ve been trying to get them under control, but it’s been a bit of a long process. Things are starting to fall into place, now, but it’s already March.

See, I didn’t want to be off in Ireland and have to go to the hospital. Not that I mistrust Irish medicine or anything like that – it’s just not what I want to be doing on my vacation. So, I was waiting until I had everything under control before booking flights and accommodation and stuff. And now, with things still in flux, a lot of the places I planned to stay are booked for the period I wanted to be there.

Better, I figure, to wait for 2018, and do it right.

But this year, I am planning to finally go out to Portland, Oregon, and check out the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in October. It’s run by a couple of friends of mine that I see every year at GenCon, and they always tell me I should attend. And this year, I will.

It’s only three days, but it should still be a fun trip.

Early Days

I’m going back to Ireland next year.

That’s about all the decision I’ve made so far. I was torn between another trip to the UK and going back to Ireland, but news that Aer Lingus was going to start using the same reward miles company as British Air1 means that I should be able to get a cheap(er) flight to Dublin than I had feared. But the new system won’t be in place until summer, so I can’t book my ticket until then, and so I don’t know the dates, and so on.

Doesn’t stop me from reading travel sites and books, though. And so I’ve made a new itinerary page, though all it has on it right now is some links I don’t want to forget. I mean, I know I’m going to want several days in Dublin, and a few days in Waterford2, and a few days in Donegal3, and maybe back in Doolin for a bit, and maybe go kiss the Blarney Stone again4, but I don’t have anything definite sorted yet.

So, like the title says, it’s early days. But it’s starting.

  1. Where I have a lot of stranded reward miles after converting some from my credit card to theirs when planning the UK trip. []
  2. I haven’t seen that much of the south east. []
  3. I haven’t seen that much of the north west. []
  4. Kissing it’s good for seven years. I need to recharge my gift of gab. []