Piri meltdown on Happy Meal highway stop bookends road trip
I got that Friday feeling on Wednesday last week as, availing of some days carried over from 2016, I left work with a long weekend yawning tantalising and expansively in front of me.
I was overdue a trip to Kerry so having completed a list of tasks on Thursday, along with a dental appointment, I set off with the children for the Kingdom first thing Friday morning.
It was our first road trip in the new car, which compared to its rust bucket predecessor, is like a space craft on the roads.
As ever in Ireland the only problem is the roads and the amount of trucks, tractors, Sunday drivers etc that you can get trapped behind as you try to stay in sixth gear and make some progress, with two children in the back.
AA Routeplanner's advice was to go via Tipperary and Mitchelstown. Still in my doe-eyed, loved-up phase with my new wheels, I even cleaned the car prior to setting off. A shining black vehicle set off from County Wexford only to arrive fifty shades of country brown in Tralee. I've learned to stick to the highways, sure what could go wrong on them!
On the upside the children loved the car wash experience!
A weekend of visiting friends ensued, each day bookended with a few drinks: in a pub in front of a fire in Tralee one night and at a friend's house in Milltown near Killorglin, too much red wine was downed.
I even managed a park run in Tralee, which was no mean feat after our long journey down and the Guinness the night before.
It was even sunny on Saturday, so we got our first beach trip even, (well The Little Fella slept his way through this bit), enjoying 14 degree warmth. The children loved meeting up with their cousins and friends and in their child brain logic, the two familiars became merged into one word so that friends are also now known as cousins.
Before we knew it we were packing our bags and heading back on the road having enjoyed a great weekend with family and friends, who often become background figures in our Facebook, WhatsApp connected lives these days.
The trip back was going great. Having been asked several times by The Whirlwind Princess 'How many more towns and villages are there, Daddy?' I turned the radio on to Pop and we bopped our way through the Kerry mountains into Cork and along the ring road and through the tunnel to the Waterford road.
Here an insatiable hunger struck and I set my sights on McDonald's in Dungarvan. They have toilets and Happy Meals and greasy Sunday evening food. Perfect!
The Happy Meals and smoothies were bought and I opted for a Big Mac and a new wrap creation. Needing a chili hit I opted for the Piri Piri Chicken Wrap.
As we opened up the Happy Meal and the children enjoyed the flying Angry Birds target toy game, I started munching on my wrap.
'Spicy!' I thought as I devoured the first bit. When I got half way through the devilishly hot wrap, I had what can only be described as an out of body experience. My teeth still sensitive after my recent dental work became lightning quick conduits to nerves in my gums causing me to get lightheaded with pain from the right side of my mouth. A gulp of my daughter's ice cold smoothie set the left side of my gob on fire. I changed colour and almost fell over before regaining my composure. The weekend over with a bang!