I thought before too many more days go by I should sit down and write all that I experienced in Ireland.
Monday, March 14, 2011. My alarm sounded at 4am. Honestly, I’m not even sure God is up at 4am. Okay I know He never sleeps but oh my word, 4 is awfully early. We were on the road at 5 heading to the airport, 3.5 hours away. We arrived there with plenty of time but when I saw the line for security …oh my word. I panicked. No lie. I went through before my family thought I needed to and it was a good thing as when I got to my gate they were boarding my plane. I had enough time to call home and leave my family a message, contemplate getting a cup of coffee, decide against that and board.
I arrived without incidence in Atlanta. I was reminded of making my older sister chase me down DIA when she was 9 months pregnant with her second child (and went into labor the next morning…I take full responsibility for that). I snagged a Starbucks, that really left a lot to be desired. (Thanks, sis!) We boarded our flight to London without incident.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011. We arrived in London at 6am London time after obviously, flying all night. I have to tell you, if you’re going to fly international, fly Delta. They really took care of us. My one and only complaint, they turned off all the cabin lights in the plane and made people close the window shades. If however, you want to fly from England to Ireland (and probably other places in Europe), do yourself a favor and steer clear of Ryan Air. Oh my. Charging 3 euros for a cup of water is a bit much to me. And they are constantly trying to get you buy something, smokeless tobacco, phone cards, chargers, lottery tickets, and the list goes on.
We arrived in Shannon around noon, quickly got our rental car and left the airport for Galway. After a few mishaps and missed turns, we were on our way. It was a little interesting, to say the least, to drive not only on the wrong side of the road but also the wrong side of the car. I was fortunate and was elected to ride in the back, and the screams from the front seat were quite daunting.
In Galway, we met up with our uncle and had supper. The burger I ordered was good but not at all what I was used to. I’ll admit, I was very happy I brought my protein bars with me. I thought I might be eating them and would need to have my family quickly send more…over night. But the rest of the food was good. I elected to finish the journey to Steve’s in his car, as he not only knew the way, he knew how to drive over there.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 We arose at the crack of noon and ate a wonderful breakfast prepared by Steve. White and black pudding, (loved the white, not so much the black), rashers, streaky bacon, eggs, toast and sausage. Excellent! We headed back into Galway to exchange our money and do some shopping. We ate lunch (or supper…whatever you call the next meal when you have breakfast at noon) at a neat little restaurant. I asked if they sold decaf coffee and they did but they were out. I then ordered a mocha and was told I couldn’t have one because they were out of beans. So I just had regular coffee. Oh my word! It was so good. And it comes to my table tongue scalding hot. I’m now convinced even more that people in America just don’t know how to make coffee. I wasn’t all that hungry so I only ordered chips, which isn’t chips at all, but french fries. As we were leaving, the man sitting at the next table was brought…a mocha.
Thursday, March 17, 2011 St. Patrick’s Day in the old country. We dressed in borrowed green and headed back to Galway for more shopping and a parade. The parade was great. The chips I ate when we stopped at Jalapenos were good. You’ll notice I ate a lot of chips there, not because I was afraid to try new food, or because the food didn’t taste good, but I just wasn’t all that hungry. That night my sisters cooked stew for supper and it was very tasty.
Friday, March 18, 2011 We were back on the road to Cliffden just to see the country side. Beautiful! In Roundstone, I ate for the first time, mussels. Amazing bites of luscious, delectable goodness. In Cliffden, we walked around a bit and then had some of the best pizza known to man. In Ireland. I know.
Saturday, March 19, 2011, I can’t remember where we went but I know we were home to watch the rugby game between Ireland and England. Ireland soundly won. At home that night we ate “Surf and Turf”, or lobster and steak with steamed asparagus and tasty potatoes. This was my first try at lobster and…well I’m still craving it. These lobsters were caught the day before..so fresh fresh fresh!
Sunday, March 20, 2011 our last day in Ireland and we drove to Westport in County Mayo and then took a ferry across the sea to Clare Island. Clare Island, where they have no grocery store, no gas station and no real restaurants open. There are restaurants but all were closed for the season. Even Steve’s friends were gone. Let’s just say after getting started later than planned and skipping breakfast, getting on the ferry at 11, leaving Clare Island on the ferry at 4, we were powerful hungry. Supper never tasted better than that night. No joke. It was superb. Poor Steve, though, ordered a hamburger and was brought a steak…an expensive steak. Then it was back to Steve’s to pack and be ready to head out early the next morning.
Monday, March 21, 2011, We got up early and were on our way by 6:30…or as they say, half six or so in the morning. After again a few wrong turns we were on our way. We got checked in, shuffled our luggage around a bit and went in search of food. Our flight was uneventful, (as apparently was breakfast as I can’t remember at all what I ate) which is not a bad thing. The funny was, I was not sitting near my sisters and yet I could hear them talking and they could hear me, but I never said a word on the plane. Odd. I think we were all a bit tired.
When we landed in London, we got our hotel room, walked back to the airport, ate and then got on a train for London Center. We saw Trafalgar Square, telephone booths, double decker buses, Big Ben, the Canadian, South African and another embassy. We did not see the U.S. embassy though. We ate gelatto…it was scrumptious.
Tuesday March 22, 2011, we were back at the airport by 6am for our 8am flight home. It was the longest day on record, I think even longer than the day the sun stood still for Joshua. I arrived home about 12 midnight…or 6 in the morning London time.