The good news is the bride and groom are still talking to each other…and to us (her parents and aunt, my husband and me). In fact, we’re already talking about another trip. Maybe to Scotland.
There’s no way to summarize a nine-day trip to such a beautiful and historic country as Ireland. I can understand why so many writers have come from Ireland, visit the country, and write about it. We drove through and by cosmopolitan cities, lush green countryside, and rugged shorelines. We stayed in a century-old farm house, a modernistic B&B, and castles that had been updated to the status of 4- and 5-star hotels. We visited and drove by the ruins of castles centuries old. We ate farm-fresh eggs, grass-fed lamb and beef, black and white pudding (at least some of us ate those two items), and huge portions of fish and chips. (This is not going to be a good weigh-in at Weight Watchers.) We never made it to the Guinness Storehouse, but we drank plenty, and two of us toured the Waterford Crystal factory.
I didn’t drive the VW Golf we rented, and I pitied my husband as he drove it on the left side of the road and tried to follow my navigational directions, especially since the coordinates we were given to program into the GPS didn’t always (rarely) match exactly where we’d find the site. Bill and I both had white knuckles as our caravan (we had three cars all together) snaked up and down the hilly terrain on roads barely wide enough for one car, much less two-way traffic. The speed limit was 100 km/hr on those roads, but we rarely drove that fast, and I know we frustrated the local drivers who were stuck behind us.
We flew Aer Lingus to and from Dublin, and even though, like so many airlines today, the seats were close, we enjoyed a meal and a snack each way and free movies or music. Hertz rented us a Honda, a VW, and a BMW, and we managed to bring all three cars back with only a few grass stains on the sides (as I said, those roads are narrow). We took a ferry to view the Cliffs of Moher, rode a double-decker bus to downtown Dublin, rode the DART (the train from Dublin to its outskirts), various cabs and a horse and jaunting cart. We also walked, walked, and walked. One of our group golfed, three explored a cave. No, we didn’t kiss the Blarney Stone.
Nine days isn’t enough time to see or even start to understand a country, but I came home with many impressions. The Irish people are friendly (with one exception), helpful, healthy (they walk a lot and eat more unprocessed food than most Americans do), and energetic. We gathered from the news that the country is struggling economically, so I feel good about the sweaters, socks, hats, and crystal I purchased. (I helped their economy in a small way.)
I would go back, but I would stay longer in each location. This trip was an overview of a fascinating country, and a fun-filled trip for seven people who are now related through marriage.
Murlomy Zuri Roho, CGC (Zuri) June 2, 201 – October 21, 2013