Here I offer proof that we made it. We've all showered, eaten (including a few bites of black pudding yesterday morning), gotten turned around a couple of times, petted the goats, and gone to sleep with bellies full of that black magic Guinness.
Everything turned out okay with the missing passport. The flight to Chicago with Ed passed quickly. Thanks to my friend Lunesta, I slept all night and was full of energy, enough even to work the crossword with Ed. We passed it back and forth, doing one word per turn, competing to fill in the long blanks. Fun game. It made the flight fly by, so to speak.
Turns out the airport in Chicago is undergoing construction and so getting to the Aer Lingus gate wasn't the easiest thing in the world. We were misdirected by an American Airlines rep, but eventually got there. Melissa, the head honcho that day for Aer Lingus reassigned us some better seats and took Ted's passport with her down to the check-in. When he arrived, it was waiting there for him, and he made it through. She went so far as to later peek into the plane to make sure Ted had made it. How nice when someone goes out of their way to do their job well.
I was pretty happy to see him. He was the jolly green giant, celebrating the journey by wearing his green jeans, green Duhks t-shirt, and a green jacket.
The flight was long (of course) and none of us slept too terribly well. About an hour before landing, Ed finds out that we're landing soon and says, "Well, where'd the time go?" I'm not sure how it had passed so quickly for him. It definitely hadn't for the rest of us.
After a fiasco with the car rental insurance, which Ted may blog about later, we got on the road, stopping in the town of Gort at Sullivan's Hotel for tea. Ed got coffee and a scone and we had fun reading the "spoonful of Irish" sugarpackets with sayings such as "Even the quiet cat drinks the milk." We're still trying to make sense of that one.
After leaving Gort, we stopped in Kinvara and happened upon Dunguaire Castle, which I found out later isn't really a castle. It was pretty anyway and a nice backdrop to our full Irish breakfast. It was here that Ed had his breakfast Guinness.
We got on the road, and Ed and I both passed out. I had that familiar jet-lag feeling of invisible hands pulling my eyes down and pushing my head back, forcing me to sleep. Thankfully, Ted the driver didn't succumb to the jet-lag ghost and got us to the country house in Balla. Then we slept and slept and slept.
It's pitch-black here at night, so silent and lovely, with the sky full of stars, so perfect for sleeping. We got up this morning and had a breakfast of grilled cheese-ham sandwiches from some groceries left here by our wonderful hosts. We're soon to head off to Dublin to pick up Tom, one of Ted's five brothers, who is flying in from his home in Germany. We'll stay there overnight tonight, tour the Guinness factory (maybe), and head back here Saturday evening. The my dad arrives Sunday, and the house will be officially full of men.
Until next time...