Hey blogging friends, sorry for the extended absence, but I was in Ireland! My last post about electronic on planes was noted during our second attempt at leaving our hometown. After sitting on the runway for 2 hours on our first attempt, the new airline regulations required them to bring us back to the gate and let us get off the plane. There was a ground stop and we couldn't take off anyway. At this point we realized we would miss our connecting flight out of the country. The bad news? We missed an entire day of our vacation. But looking at the bright side of it, they rebooked us for another flight on *business class*! Plus the rebooking agent said we were able to spend our extra long layover in the priority lounge, with its free snacks, wifi, and alcohol.
Now don't go thinking that an airline was actually trying to be nice to us since we were missing our vacation. The business class seats were the only ones left on the plane. And when we arrived in our layover city and talked to one gate agent, she told us the priority lounge is only for customers who paid for the business class seats and not those with a complimentary upgrade. But we were like, "unless you are faxing our picture over to the lounge now to tell them to kick us out, we are going to spend our day there." And we did.
Business class was quite an experience. We had mimosas, dinner menus, and free newspapers in our hands before the coach section had finished boarding. We had already eaten since it was a late flight, but I did indulge in the make-your-own-sunday cart that came around. And then we put our seats back (all the way back, so we could literally lay down), cuddled up with a nice blanket, and went to sleep. They had four different flight attendants helping us, for about 45 people (compared to six in economy on our return flight, for way more people).
But enough about our flight. We got off the plane and immediately picked up our rental car and headed to County Cork. I was our designated driver, with DH as the navigator. Our driving that first day was mostly on the highway, so it wasn't too hard to be on the left side of the road. The harder part was remembering that everything in the car was reversed, so I kept turning on the windshield wipers every time I wanted to use the turn signal. We kissed the Blarney Stone and stumbled into bed after a long couple days before being able to test its power of eloquence.
We headed further into the country side the next day and my driving abilities were tested then. The roads were so narrow in some places that the car would brush up against the shrubs on the side of the road when another car was coming toward us. I did improve my driving throughout the week, though, and eventually was passing other slower drivers.
We stayed in some very cute towns, did a ton of shopping, and drove through the Killarney National Park and the Burren. It was beautiful. And the weather was just about perfect. Not too hot or cold, sometimes a slight drizzle, but nothing too bad.
Of course I was expecting Ireland to be very green, but the flowers were beautiful as well.
Our favorite part was taking a boat out to this island called the Skellig Michael, walking up many, many steps to an old monastery that used to be up there. It's amazing to think how much it took for us to get there, just think what it must have been like a thousand years ago.
Another favorite part was finding connections to my family. We didn't do any real genealogical research, but my maiden name is a very common Irish last name, so it was exciting to see it all over the place. And seeing how so many of the people we met reminded me of various relatives.
4 weeks ago