I’ll eventually finish the RWA recap, but I know you’ll all be thrilled with the substitution: Nora’s Ireland travelogue. Here’s Part the First:
We had the smoothest flight over the Atlantic I’ve ever experienced. An excellent start. Zipped through the airport in no time, and walked outside to a bright and breezy day. Took a nice, deep gulp of Irish air and said ahhhhh.
We rented the biggest SUV available, and when BW pulled it up in front of our mountain of luggage (four people, two weeks. And we’re American), I wondered if it had an expansion option like my suitcase.
Our Kat claimed this was no problem, and proceeded to arrange big-ass suitcases, smaller duffles, camera cases in the back. To my eye this was never going to fit. To Kat’s there’s always a way, and indeed she made it work.
She claims it’s Tetrus skills.
It’s a straight shot from Knock airport to Westport, and with BW at the wheel, off we go. Blue skies, puffy white clouds on one side, thick gray on the other above lush green countryside. The green changes hues as the clouds shift. Bright, then deep, then dreamy. Lots of cottages, flowers blooming. Hydrangeas are plentiful, and I catch a big swath of wild purple loosestrife on a little slope.
With those shifting clouds we drive into rain, and a few minutes later, drive out of it again to arrive at our hotel in under an hour.
Our home for the next week outside of the busy little town of Westport is a spreading Tudor-style building with wonderfully lush gardens. Inside the big lobby lots of people, and many young children are out and about. I see they’ve had a wedding.
We’re far too early to check in, but they take our luggage to store. We wander around a bit, settle in The Drawing Room. We’re very quiet, all playing on various devices, but the gentleman who’d been in there alone heaves a mighty sigh and departs. Now it IS loud in the lobby. Lots and lots of excited post-wedding morning conversation, lots of kids running around, but we were quiet. LOL.
One of the suites comes ready, so we’re shown up to the second floor.
It’s a lovely space, all that wonderful light pouring in big bow windows that look out over the gardens, the bay and onto the impressive mountains. We have a little kitchen area so will buy some supplies in the village later. I especially like the two glass doors. We can walk right outside and into a garden area. It’s so beautifully quiet.
And convenient as the bar is close through the maze of corridors that will take me a day or two to conquer.
In the bar we settle into cozy sofas, order some drinks and a light lunch. The adorable bartender brings the drinks, tips the tray just a big. Over goes my glass of champagne, soaking his pants and the table. He brings another, and mopping up tells us it was his birthday yesterday, and maybe he over-celebrated.
Jason and I split a lovely salad, BW and Kat both have the soup. Revived, and with the other suite ready, we head up, directly above our suite to Jason’s and Kat’s space. It’s wonderful, too. A fabulous view, with that extra height of Clew Bay and the mountains, and a HUGE tub Kat will make good use of.
BW and I go down to unpack. I absolutely overpacked, knew it, but on packing day I had Fried Brain due to unexpected reality complications and pushing to try to finish the first draft of the wip before I left. Plus, you never know how many layers you’re going to need in Ireland.
BW and I opt for a walk down to Westport while Kat and Jason take a nap. Ten minutes from the hotel by foot, first through a lovely green tunnel of trees, down a steep slope, then a sidewalk along the busy road. It feels just marvelous, the sun, the air–warm and bright and a little gift. We’ve hit summer in Ireland which can often last about five minutes.
There’s a little river with a stone bridge, the walls decorated with hanging flowers, the water decorated with happy ducks. Pretty, pretty, and shady. We’re scouting around for restaurants, pubs, shops. See a pizza place that will likely suit us for our first dinner.
And I see her–or BW sees her first.
She’s so beautiful, so unique. A lady in a soft-looking wide hat, a lovely flowered dress, holding an open book in her two hands. She stands in a shop window, and speaks clearly to me. I think I would have bought her on the spot, had her shipped home, but she deserves a proper place. I have to think of that proper place first, make sure I have it for her at home. I’m pretty sure I’m going to MAKE that space.
We hit a Dunne’s for sodas, wine. Don’t buy too much as we’re walking back.
And that walk back is STEEP. I actually get hot–this may be a first over here. My quads feel it, too, and I figure it may be a pretty short walk all in all, but I got in a decent workout without breaking out my DVDs and yoga mat.
We’ve heard there’s another wedding today, and see the bride and groom drive by in their decorated antique car, with some of the wedding party blasting horns behind. I suspect they married in the pretty church I spotted in the village.
We make it back, plop down, me with my Ipad, finally figure out the TV remote. After a bit I have to wander outside, take some pictures with my phone of the flowers. They have some hydrangeas here in a deep, deep rose pink. They’re glorious, and some are ten-inches across (BW measured).
I want some for my own at home, hope to find them next spring.
I text Kat we’re up and about, and down they come. They’d been watching a Brit show called Tumbled. Sort of Dancing With The Stars, gymnist version.
It’s fascinating. The celebs are paired with a professional, train, then do a routine. This week was floor work and the big ring. It’s pretty impressive what these actors pull off. And we feel the judges–Olympians–are far too hard on most.
Time for dinner. The wedding reception is in full swing as we leave to drive down. The village is much quieter now, and we find a parking spot a block from our pizza target.
It’s a fairly big place, smells great. The walls are all hand painted with sketches of Italian figures, little sayings, bigger words like PIZZA. It’s clever, creative, attractive.
We all get individuals–me with my purist cheese pizza, Jason with the addition of pineapple as he’ll save half for his breakfast LOL, and Kat and BW each with combos with all manner of toppings.
We dive in. It’s really nice pizza, just the thing. A happy restaurant, happy food, happy us.
The moon’s up and full, sailing in a sky where the clouds are few as we head back. I try for a picture. Jason gets one infinitely better. We hang out for a short time, but BW’s nodding off. So it’s off to bed.
I slept like a rock until nine. I never sleep until nine–even with the change of time. Feel great! BW headed down to breakfast, and just got back.
Today we’ve going to take a nearby adventure once we all get up and about.
It’s another bright and breezy day. It may stay that way.