The Real-Life Adventures of Mr. Shiny

Campaign Journals

Liberty's Edge

For those of you who do not know, I will be accompanying a group of drunken frat boys across Ireland and Wales for the next ten days (starting Saturday). I have decided to chronicle my travels in a journal, which, if I have computer access in the lands of my ancestors, will be updated sporadically. If no computer access is available, I will post the entire bloody thing when I get back.

Dave Mallon, the Eldritch Mr. Shiny

Shiny, will you be in the North?

~laughter~ Have fun and avoid those Leprecauns! They play tricks on you!

Liberty's Edge

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Shiny, will you be in the North?

Unfortunately, no (my ancestors are from County Tyrone). Still, it's Ireland, and I'm not complaining.

Enjoy! I look forward to you travel posts.

As do I!

Rock! Can't wait to read your adventures Shiny. :)

Oh man, the emerald isle. If you happen to get to Dublin, take time to see the Phil Lynott statue.

Have a blast! If you see black pudding on a menu somewhere, dont think its a nod to D n D. Stay away!

Wow, Shiny, have an awesome time! Closest I ever got to Ireland was having a Guinness at Shannon Airport whist stopped for a refuelling. First beer in six months though, that was sweet ....

Liberty's Edge

Dramatis Personae:

The Ticonderoga group:
Patrick and Alex "the Wix" - two of my best friends
Alex "Frenchy" - nice, but rather annoying guy
Stephanie, Brittany, and Michael - three high school kids
Amber and Jared - a couple I know peripherally through work
Sarah - my next-door neighbor

The Shreveport group:
Hunter and Logan - two frat-boy types
...and a bunch of girls whose names I never bothered to learn

The South Carolina group:
Morgan and Kelsey - two nice, down-to-earth girls
Hannah, Michaela, Lenore, and Chelsea - four high school girls. Less down-to-earth

Other people:
Tory - my girlfriend
Alex - my girlfriend's brother

Liberty's Edge

04-11-09 1301 hours

Security checkpoint. It's great, really. Having your ticket checked twice in the span of ten feet, just in case you've swapped it with a fake. Also, apparently, scratched Amanda Palmer and Richard Shindell CDs look a lot like bombs. Who knew?
"If an unknown person..." What, exactly, is an unknown person? Surely, everyone is known to somebody? It would be quite strange if there was someone that no one knew at all.
It's only been one day, and I'm already missing Tory. Ah, well...

04-11-09 time?
In plane. Dark. Everyone sleeping. Just had decent coffee.
Plan to finish reading Rollins' "A Dull Roar" after we get past Newfoundland.
Writing by glow of 100+ iPods in seats around me. Can't sleep.
-DMALLON over Nova Scotia

early morning?
Flying over Atlantic. Just finished "A Dull Roar." Frenchy looks like he's about to have some sort of problem. Headache, heartburn. Starting in on "Perdido Street Station."

Liberty's Edge

04-12-09 0530 hours

Coming in to Heathrow. The Wix is tripping out on coffee, and Sarah's headaches are getting worse. Me? I'm jamming, man!
Just finished listening to Black Flag's 1984 live album. Some of Greg and Hank's best, Bill and Kira, too. "The Bars" is still stuck in my head.
Got to go, just misspelled my name on the customs form.
-DMALLON over Sussex, England

04-12-09 1907 hours

Hoping to get first real sleep in about 40 hours. Spent day wandering around Westminster with the Wix, Sarah, Amber, and Jared.
Accosted by Jesus Freaks on multiple occasions. I was polite at first, but fatigue took over and I started throwing up the devil horns. Saw a few good street performers, and ended up tipping one six quid. Ate Indian food for dinner- good stuff, wicked cheap.
Also, some guy ran up to Patrick and gave him a copy of "The Bhagavad Gita." Pat didn't want it, so I got it. Great poetry.
Wix and I have to share a room wth two frat boys from Shreveport, Louisiana. That's going to be interesting. Good thing it's only for a couple of days. Only one more night in this bleak city, and then it's off to Wales. After that...
-DMALLON Lambeth, London, England

Liberty's Edge

04-13-09 2210 hours

Full day. Wandered around Westminster and old London. For some reason, the group ended up stopping at a McDonald's. Not happy. Took a guided tour of the city - one SC girl kept asking stupid questions, like "Why do they call it the Secret Service if everyone knows about it?"
Visited Tower of London. Amazing place. Exhibition on Henry VIII was exceptionally good. Allowed to handle medieval weaponry at some poinst. Sketched a particularly interesting old arquebus.
After that, ate at pub, and then took "Jack the Ripper tour" with a rather animated Scottish fellow named Adam. Very interesting how the whole affair panned out.
Very tired. Walked 5-7 miles and wake-up call is at 0615. Cannot get decent coffee in London. Other than that, the city is a lot better than I thought it would be. I keep getting mistaken for a local.
Note: it is impossible to buy jewelery for a girl who's allergic to zinc and pewter.
-DMALLON Lambeth, London, England

04-14-09 1044 hours

Taking bus to Wales. Just stopped for lunch in Oxford. My SD car got fried a few days back, and I was only just now able to pick up a new one. Also picked up a very warm coke and a Ramones coffee mug for Tory.
-DMALLON Oxford, England

Liberty's Edge

04-14-09 2146 hours

I am going to kick Alex W-'s scrawny ass as soon as I get back home. I tried calling Tory's place three times, and on the third try, her brother picked up the phone, told me to f#%* off, and hung up. Bastard cost me ten bucks.
Otherwise, Wales is very good. Night-time, and everything closed (except for the pubs, which seem to sprout out of the ground every few feet), but the air feels nice.
Stopped in Stratford-upon-Avon on the way, and visited Anne Hathaway's cottage and Shakespeare's birthplace. Had to drag Mr. "I-can't-leave-I'm-a-drama-student" Wix out of there in order to make the bus. Also met a street performer about my age by the name of Rick Hughes who gave me a free CD. Real nice guy. Picked up two more albums at a flea market near the bus stop- a Thin Lizzy live album and a British punk compilation.
Off to Holyhead and Ireland tomorrow. Will try to make another call. If Alex mistakes me for a telemarketer again, I'll shoot him through the phone.

Off to Holyhead, wished meself was dead,
Or in a bar instead
On the rocky road to Dublin
Hunt the hare and turn 'er down the rocky road and all the way to Dublin

-DMALLON Llangollyn, Wales

Liberty's Edge

04-15-09 1352 hours

On Holyhead ferry, still at Wales dock. Weather foul but bearable.
Drove through Snowdonia on the way in (didn't stop- absolutely criminal, that) and got some decent photos through the bus window. After that, stopped in Bewmarys and visited Beaumaris castle. The place was absolutely stunning, just like stepping back into the middle ages. I ended up taking 100+ photographs. Frenchy got lost, but everyone had a great time.
Last official stop in Wales was LlanfairP.G, the abbreviated form of "Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch," meaning "Saint Mary's Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel Near the Rapid Whirlpool of Llantysilio of the Red Cave." No joke. The others picked up free samples of scotch. I had a baked potato.
How, exactly, do you break an escalator? I have seen more cordoned-off escalators on this trip than anywhere else. Escalators don't break, they simply become stairs. Ferry leaves soon.
-DMALLON Holyhead, Wales

Liberty's Edge

04-15-09 2217 hours

Pulled into Dublin at around 1700. Got 2 hours of sleep on the ferry. Group dicked around in Temple Bar for too long, but saw a good street performer playing Pogues, Beatles, and Johnny Cash tunes. Also picked up a map of the old homeland for my dad, and a nickel-free necklace for Tory. Not sure what I'm going to pick up for my mum. Got to hotel late, but was able to hit the gym for about 45 minutes. Good shoulder and chest workout.
The SC girls are getting annoying, but the prep-heads from Shreveport are actually pretty cool.
No chance to call Tory tonight. Need to rack.
-DMALLON Dublin, Ireland

04-16-09 2308 hours
Just got done with 2-hour phone conversation with Tory. Got ticket confirmation- going to see Rollins at Higher Ground on May 16!
Full day today. Wandered around Dublin with Patrick, Wix, Jared, Amber, and Frenchy. Split up for a while- Patrick and visited museums while the others went shopping. Went to see National Gallery- big Irish Romantic perio exhibition, portrait gallery, and Jack B. Yeats wing. Moved on to Archaeology & History museum. Pat and I got to see four bog mummies on display, including Clonycavan Man and Oldcroghan Man. Also saw more than a few golden torcs and medieval weapons. Viking grave was another highlight. Really cool s!%%.
Ate lunch at Brewbaker's and met a very interesting man. Never got his name, but we talked history, genaeology, and geography for over an hour.
Mike and Frenchy have been complaining incessantly about the weather. It's Ireland, dudes. Deal with it. They're also complaining about the food, but that's no big deal: I'm the biggest of the Ticonderoga dudes, and whatever they don't want, I get to eat.
Good thing: found a hand-painted Mallon family crest in a heraldry artist's shop. Packed it with cardboard in Wix's suitcase.
Got in a really good workout, today. I think I'm getting my groove back- I was benching around 80 or 90 kilos. Did a decent job on my chest, shoulders, and stomach. After leaving gym, one of the SC girls wandered up to me, and promptly informed me that I was "scary and had a big neck." Thanks a bunch.
Late, need to sleep now. Off to Killarney at 0745.
-DMALLON Dublin, Ireland

Liberty's Edge

04-17-09 1550 hours

Walked through Blarney Castle and Rock Close. The whole area is completely mind-blowing. Took over 200 photos ofthe Druid circle, plants, flowers, trees, rocks, battlements, everything. Blarney dungeons and caves were a total dungeon crawl. Just like being a kid again.
So, kissed the Blarney Stone, blew my mind, walked, bought a cup of great coffee from a beautiful woman, and am content.
As an aside, I ate lunch with the SC girls, who are way cooler than previously thought.
Saw Cashel Rock earlier today. Should have stayed longer. Killarney next.
-DMALLON Blarney, Co. Cork, Ireland

04-17-09 2305 hours

Nice, leisurely afternoon. Got in another good upper body workout, then took a walk with Patrick. Got a couple of nice photos. Afterwards, spent some time playing cards with Amber and Jared in their room. Since the floorplan of ths place is a bit strange, the best way to get from my room to theirs is via the windows. I realized I had left my camera, and upon re-entry, Amber and Sarah shrieked rather loudly and began crying. Apparently, they thought I was being creepy on purpose. Maybe I should have put my shirt on...
-DMALLON Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland

Amazing! I've spent the last 45 minutes or so googling and wikipedia-ing these places and items and whatnot. Keep the posts coming.

Jeez, the bog mummies.

Liberty's Edge

04-18-09 2213 hours

Last night in Ireland. Leave at 0200. Very full day today- took tour of the Ring of Kerry (a road that traces the perimeter of County Kerry) an took somewhere around 200 photographs. Scenery beyond words- mountains, lakes, forests, sea--amazing. Met an interesting local by the name of John. The Wix, Patrick, and I spent a while cracking jokes with him. Cool guy. Also saw a beautiful girl about my age absolutely ripping it up on the accordion. I stood dumbfounded for a moment, then took a few pictures, tipped her ten Euros, and left to write a song about the experience.
Last decent workout for a while. Heading out of Cork International at around 0500. Lan at Heathrow, fly to O'Hare, then Albany, then home. Back to the grind on Tuesday. Will reserve judgment on experience after journey home. Tired, need sleep.
-DMALLON Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland

04-19-09 0503 hours

Zombies on a plane. Flight of the living dead.
-DMALLON Cork, Ireland

Liberty's Edge

04-19-09 time?

Heathrow appears to be the European equivalent of Newark. An interminable morass of steel hamster trails. The best bit was that after disembarking from our Aer Lingus plane, we had to go through security for a second time, you know- in case someone assembled a nuclear device en route. Of course, considering the quality of the airplane food, that would be quite probable.
Said goodbye to SC and Shreveport- they're headed to DC, we're off to Chicago. Cool bunch of people. I really need to stop judging people based on appearances.
Got a decent few hours of sleep over the Irish Sea and in London. Feel pretty good now- cough seems to have died down for now. Everyone is waking up around me. Stephanie and Wix take turns poking me in the head. "Reunion Hill" is in the player, though, so it's all good.
Kind of pissed at myself- went way over budget, both buying gifts for Tory and my folks, and on food. Made impulse buy of a copy of Alan Moore's "V for Vendetta" at Heathrow. it's an art student thing. Still bought way less than some of the Shreveport folk, though. One ended up with a 36-kilogram suitcase (that's about eighty pounds). Ah, well, can't ding her for that.
It's been a real trip, no pun intended. England can sink for all I care, but I felt much more at home in Wales and Ireland than I ever have in New York. This trip has also been the first time I've had a chance to spend time with Patrick in years. He, Wix, and I were close in junior high and part of high school, but there was a bit of a falling-out. Felt good to mend the fences. A lot of good friends on this airplane. Hell, I'm getting sentimental. Should probably get some more reading in before we get to O'Hare.
-DMALLON over Nova Scotia, Canada

Liberty's Edge

04-19-09 time?

Cloudy coming in to landing strip. A lot of famous people die like this. Good thing we aren't famous.
Of course, we would be if we crashed...
-DMALLON Albany, New York, USA


Liberty's Edge

Sounds like a good trip Shiny. Welcome back.

Hows Wix doing, havent seen him on the boards for ages?

Liberty's Edge

Mothman wrote:

Sounds like a good trip Shiny. Welcome back.

Hows Wix doing, havent seen him on the boards for ages?

He's in the process of transferring schools, and on top of that, his mother (who he lives with) is going through a nasty divorce. It got pretty bad--Wix and his mom had to crash at my place for a month back in October. Not really much time for D&D, what with having to deal with his mother and school.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Thanks for posting your travel journal for us! It was a delight to read. You got me all nostalgic about my trip overseas bumming around for a few months. I think I might have to break out the pictures.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

WOw, how come I missed this one? Awesome!!!

Liberty's Edge

Yeah, sounds like a great trip. I didn't make it to Ireland when I was (briefly) in the UK a few years ago, would like to go sometime.

Sounds like a fantastic trip, Shiny. Heathrow has ALWAYS been an armpit of airports.

The Exchange

Ahem - that's our national airport, thank you very much.

England sink? Heathrow, armpit? My trips to England have only increased my crazed country-stalking love of it. I had no trouble in Heathrow.

The Exchange

Depends which terminal you are at, partly.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Ahem - that's our national airport, thank you very much.

Well I know. :P But I much preferred Gatwick when flying in and out of country. (For the record, I don't like some of the US airports either - Salt Lake City and Denver are not at the top of my list).

Liberty's Edge

Lilith wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Ahem - that's our national airport, thank you very much.
Well I know. :P But I much preferred Gatwick when flying in and out of country. (For the record, I don't like some of the US airports either - Salt Lake City and Denver are not at the top of my list).

99% of airports are tied at the bottom of my list. This list includes, but is not limited to:

- Heathrow, England
- Newark, USA
- Madrid, Spain
- Washington - Dulles, USA
- Houston, USA
- Denver, USA

There are a few decent ones, though:

- Da Vinci International, Italy (really mellow security line, with really friendly armed guards)
- Atlanta, USA

Liberty's Edge

I enjoyed London, but Heathrow and its immediate environs were not a highlight. The slowest customs line and rudest customs / security I have encountered at an airport. And really not very bright people at the information desks. The guy at the main information desk couldn’t tell me where I had to go to buy tickets for the Heathrow express. The woman at the Heathrow Express information desk didn’t know how much the tickets were, or quite when the next train was due.

On another quick stop over in London I stayed overnight in Slough (sp?) to be close to the airport … on dealing with the hotel staff, I became pretty sure that the people I’d dealt with at the information desks on the last trip were from Slough too…

Mr. Shiny:
Sorry to hear England didn't impress you so much; I suspect that perhaps English people aren't so good at doing the whole 'tourism' thing as their Welsh, Scot, Manx, or Irish counterparts. (Something in the national character???)
Perhaps the best thing in England is to find a museum/art-gallery (there are a few decent ones, and with free entry at the moment) and to wander around it at your own pace.

The Exchange

Arguably, the best stuff in England are all the bits we swiped from other countries when we ruled them. The British Museum is good for that. But, yeah, being English, working in London and from London (which are, with minor exceptions, the only bits of England Shiny went to) I wouldn't bother with London too much. I don't live there anymore, for example.

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