Ireland Day One –
Saco to Portsmouth, Portsmouth to Boston, Boston to Philadelphia, and finally, Philadelphia to Dublin – not exactly the direct route to Ireland, but we were on our way.
The traffic was light and the flights were uneventful. We left Philadelphia sometime after 9 p.m. and as we settled into our seats, I wondered who would be the first one to sleep. Bobbie won that prize, but Teri soon joined her. Phil and I watched a Steve Martin movie about bird-watching (I couldn’t believe Teri slept through that) and sometime after midnight, we both dozed through another movie.
As we approached Ireland, someone raised the window shade and we watched the sun come up over the Island; it was beautiful.
Our trip through customs took all of 5 minutes and now we just had to find Dan Dooley’s car rental service. I wasn’t sure it even existed, but there were signs in the airport.
We managed to get a car and after a quick explanation from our bus driver, we were ready to head into Dublin. Okay – take a deep breath – standard transmission, drive on the other side of the car, on the other side of the road, and yes, let’s do this on the highway into the city. Oh, did I mention roundabouts?
With a little bit of laughter, nerves and some helpful hints from the back seat, we made it to the center of Dublin. None of us had been there, but both Emma and Cathy had told us how nice it was.
We parked near the river and decided to walk toward the double decker buses that seemed to be everywhere. We purchased tickets and hopped onto the bus. It was colder than we thought and decided to stay on the lower level and out of the wind.
The city seemed very clean and the architecture was beautiful. After a few stops we got off and walked through Trinity University and found our way to the Grafton Street area. Parks, vendors, street musicians and people of every description greeted us.
We were hungry and knew it was time for Phil to experience his first Guiness, so we popped into a nice looking pub and ordered fish and chips for lunch. The boy from Biddeford smiled as the foam settled onto his moustache. We had arrived.
We spent the afternoon walking through the city, but as the day wore on we were tired and I knew we had a two-hour ride ahead of us (on the wrong side of the road).
We left Dublin sometime after 3 p.m. and headed to Adare. With the car, we rented a GPS unit, so Teri punched in our destination, and off we went. We stopped twice along the way, once for coffee and one for a bathroom break, but it was an uneventful ride through the countryside.
As we pulled into Adare Manor, we all just started to smile and laugh. It looked like we were heading to the palace.
Our ‘villa’ is beautiful and I can’t really believe Teri found this place using Groupon, but here we are. We went into Adare for dinner and a few groceries, but we were all a little tired so we just went into Aunty Lena’s pub and had some soup and bread (yes, Phil had another Guiness – I think he is taking a liking to the stuff!).
Teri and I both remembered coming to Adare before and laughed as we thought about standing on the street corner with an owl quietly perched near her mom’s head. I think there will be a lot of memories for us both as we travel around the southern part of the country.
Tomorrow we are planning to head toward Dingle, but we’ll see what the weather brings us.
I hope you enjoy the pictures and stories.