Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ireland Dreams Come True 2014 - Days .5-2.0

It's about 9:30 at night here in Ireland and I am sitting on my bed in the Marless House B&B in Salthill sipping a cuppa Barry's Tea.  It's probably about my 10th cup of tea in 2 days.  The tea here is incredible!  So as I sip my tea and upload pictures to photobucket I figured it was about time I get this blog started. I title this post days 0.5 to 2.0 because I'm considering my traveling day to be 0.5. 

Day 0.5
The day started with Mom texting me from the airport saying that she had been waiting in the security line for a long time and I should come early for my flight (we flew seperately since I had booked my ticket in January and she booked later this summer).  I had everything packed already and was just curling my hair, so I threw everything in the car and headed to the Aero parking lot.  I wish someone could have recorded the panic inside my head as I drove.  Did I forget anything because of leaving so fast?
I made it to the airport and got in line for the security check.  This was the worst I have ever seen airport security. They were yelling at people young and old.  Made a foreign teenager cry when you could clearly see she just didn't understand them and was overwhelmed. One of the agents threw a laptop bag belonging to the couple in front of me and when they spoke up about it she told them they could go to another airport if they had problems with it. While I was waiting in line I saw a man in a wheel chair with just a brief case get searched....after I made it through security he was still getting searched 
On the flight out of Seattle the guy next to me looked at his ticket wrong and sat in the wrong seat. When the correct passenger came to sit, he wouldn't budge and security had to be called. I had a middle seat that flight (insert big frown face here).
My layover was in Chicago and I had to go through security again. As I was putting my stuff in the clear bin I was asked to wait and let a group of 5 French pilots go in front of me. 5 turned into 40 and meanwhile the line behind me just kept getting longer. I stood there for 15 more minutes before I finally got to go through.  One thing I will say is that the agents at Chicago are far nicer.  I stopped to ask directions to my gate a couple of times and everyone I spoke with was helpful.
On my second flight I got the privilege of sitting next to the sweetest retired couple from Phoenix.  We talked for a long time over the course of our 7 hour flight.  They are here in Ireland doing a limo guided (yes limo!) tour.  It made the flight go quickly and I truly enjoyed talking with them.
Day 1
Mom's and my flights both arrived to Dublin at the same time so we ended up finding each other in the customs line.  Thank God! It was 9:30am and we were running on adrenaline.  Off we went to catch a cab!  Our cab driver was quite the chatty fellow and we felt instantly welcomed to this Emerald Isle. We got to our hotel, The Morrison by Hilton, and a room was actually ready for us.  We freshened up a little and headed out.  First stop, Grafton Street. After playing with makeup (of course) in the Brown Thomas department store, we walked around the city, stopping at Dublin Castle and St. Patrick's Cathedral.

After touring St. Patrick's, we wandered around the city some more, walking past Christ Church Cathedral as well, although we didn't go into that one. After seeing St Patrick's, I doubt that anything will compare.
Let's talk about the most important thing....wifi!  That park outside St Patrick's offered free wifi....well mom and I spent forever trying to get our phones to hook to it.  No dice.  We are loving our journey and love being able to share it with our family across the seas.
Dinner time we headed to Hard Rock Dublin...I know I know, why didn't we eat at a pub?  Because I couldn't come to Dublin and not go to the Hard Rock...well, after going I can now say I wish I would have left that off the list...The food was bland so was the decor, especially for a Hard Rock. We were both feeling the time difference after that and headed back to the hotel.  Mom headed to bed and I headed to the hotel gym.
Did  I mention the severe dehydration we've both been experiencing?  The air over here has completed zapped us.  I've been drinking water non stop (besides drinking tea, which I'm now on my second cup for this post). 
Day 2.0
We hailed a taxi and headed to the airport rental cars. Before coming on this trip I had researched a lot on driving over here. In Ireland they drive on the right side of the car and the left side of the road. 
Off we went in our tiny Nissan Micra.  I was actually really surprised how easy it was to adjust to the driving.
Stop of the day: Clonmacnoise Monastic Ruins, County Offaly, Ireland
After stopping at Clonmacnoise we headed on to Galway, our home for the next 2 nights.  We wandered around the streets of Galway and finally headed to our B&B around 7pm.  The Marless House B&B ran by Mary Geraghty. After settling in we walked to O'Connor's Famous Pub and along the Salthill Promenade.  Altogether a wonderful day.
Up next, Kylemore Abbey and Connemara National Park.

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