Nope you’re reading that correctly. That was the alarm that had to be set to make sure that we would get a full day worth of adventuring, and to make sure we missed all the goddamn traffic.
With a quick turnaround and a even quicker breakfast, Stevie and I were on the road for 6:30am for the 3-4 hour journey to Courtown in Co. Wexford, Ireland. With directions in hand-writing (Thanks Mel!) and a sat-nav as background, plus a full tank of petrol and all the snacks in the world, we were pretty prepared for the long drive.
Of course a tea/coffee at McDonalds was our first point of call before we had even made it 5 minutes from Stevie’s house. Caffeine was essential, especially for Stevie as I didn’t want him falling asleep.
Pretty much from there is was a long long drive to Dublin, lucky enough most of it was motorway so I was able to relax and just drive without worry of any turns or roundabouts. With two tolls to pay, we arrived at the first toll station in which I….
…the €1.90 into it’s bucket and before we knew it we were over the border and driving past Dublin Airport! I couldn’t get over that I had just drove to Dublin! Definitely a achievement on my part as I get sick on long car journeys >.< Though I was still quite tired so we stopped off at AppleGreen’s to stretch our legs, use the bathroom and get some more tea/coffee before heading off on the journey again.
We had decided that we would stop off at Dundrum Shopping Centre for an hour or two as I had never been there before and to visit the wonderful Big Bang Comics Store. It was another hour or so drive to get here and we were able to get a car parking space pretty quickly as it was only about 9:30am at this point! Don’t think I’ve ever been to a shopping centre as early in my life unless I’m actually working!
It was absolutely mahoosive! and we didn’t even really explore it! I went into the Primark (Pennies down south) and walked out 5 minutes later feeling extremely overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they had in there.
We had to ask for some directions to the Big Bang store as it had moved, but the directions were worth it. Stevie’s face lit up as we walked into the newly moved and refurbished store and it was stunning! It was also the first Comic Book Store i’ve ever been into, solely for comics and graphic novels. The artwork around the walls was breathtaking as well as their displays.
The OCD in me was going nuts as everything was perfectly organised on the shelves and nothing was out of place. I will now steal some of Stevie’s photos of the store, as my explanation just doesn’t do it justice. We spent over an hour in the store, Stevie finding a lot more than me, but we both ended up leaving with some purchases.
Hayley goes into a comic book store…..leaves with a disney comic book collection ^_^
It was then time for us to leave, after going to the wrong car parking floor, we finally found the car and began the final journey to Courtown to the Seal Rescue Sanctuary. This took about an hour and I was so excited to finally be able to visit the place I had heard so much about and supported the last year.
The first thing I did was to run and give Mel a massive hug and then I was able to meet all the amazing people who volunteered down at the sanctuary. Then it was time to meet the Seal Pups….
Meet Moonstone, Silver Surfer, Hulk, Iron Man and Supergirl the kennel pups all recovering and growing in size. Not pictured would be the bigger seals ready for release Hawkeye, Medusa and Blackbird who spent most of their time swimming underwater so I wasn’t able to spot them to get a picture.
I have never ever been close to seal pups or even seals before and it was amazing to see them at the sanctuary. Mel gave me an awesome tour and taught me all about the seals. I also read the information boards and was able to learn a lot about what the sanctuary do and of course all about seals!
I had adopted a seal last season that had been rescued named Tide, so as I was walking along I had already decided a week prior that I would adopt a seal when I was down at the sanctuary. It is only €30 and it helps to provide the seal with any treatment, it’s fish and so much more!
So meet Iron Man 🙂
During Mel’s break we headed to the chippy to get some lunch and sit on the beach. After battling off what seemed to be thousands of wasps to not so peacefully eat our food, we headed back to the sanctuary and Stevie and I sat down like the children we are and did some colouring in, which I can proudly say is on the Seal Rescue sanctuary’s colouring wall 😀
I also got a chance to watch the seal pups being fed, some of which included force feeding and others learning how to eat fish themselves with no help from the volunteers which was an amazing sight to see.
Unfortunately the sanctuary closed at 5pm so we had to say our goodbyes to the seals and the volunteers, as it would be time for us to head home soon. We grabbed some quick dinner and then it was time for the journey back home.
This consisted of two stopovers (1 to get petrol and to stretch our legs) some amazing singing, Stevie Dj’ing, much deep meaningful discussions, an impromptu rock out as we passed by Tennants Vital on the motorway when we were nearing Belfast and a fight over a bag of Skittles. It as always seemed a lot quicker on the way home, but safe to say we were both shattered.
Thank you so much to Stevie and Mel. Stevie for coming on the journey with me and pushing me to challenge my anxiety and fear of the long drive, for rocking out in the car and being patient with me. To Mel for having us down at the sanctuary, I support everything you and the guys and girls do up there and it was an absolute pleasure and honour to drive up and see you and watch you with the seals.
To Seal Rescue Ireland you are all superheroes, the work you do, the rescues and the amount of time and passion you put into this sanctuary really shows and every single person that visits can see that. You are a credit and I don’t know how you’s do it! You are amazing, wonderful people and I can’t wait to get down to visit again!
If you are interested please visit:
and maybe consider adopting a seal, a monthly donation, or even just a simple donation. Helping with the sanctuary’s wish list which includes providing simple items like towels and blankets, to cleaning goods. These guys are doing amazing things, and if we help them a little they will be able to do so much more <3