Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ireland A Gogo

Ireland thrice in one year means that I am now an expert on whiskey and leprechauns... and massively appalling hangovers to boot! And as usual, my adventures began with a bit of drama because there was a small chance I was to be abandoned at Shannon Airport for a good 6 hours or so. I normally fly into Dublin airport because it tends to be cheaper from Paris, but Limerick is much closer to Shannon, as is Galway and the Aran Islands, all the destinations I would be enjoying during this chaotic weekend frolicking on Irish soil. My flight was due to land at 11:35pm, giving me plenty of time to catch the midnight bus to Limerick center where the Dancer Friend I have known for 33 years would be awaiting my arrival. However, I realized that the flight was delayed by about 20 minutes when I got to Paris Beauvais, so I quickly messaged my friend and we found another bus line that would be leaving at 12:30am... phew... However, as I sat in the lounge happily drinking some red wine and conversing with a family of Americans traveling to Ireland for the first time, I realized that time was rapidly passing and when we finally started boarding the plane, I was told I had to check my carry-on because the cabin was too full. And yes, I definitely tried to flirt with the cute French Ryanair worker whom assured me that yes I could hate him forever if I missed my bus but that I wasn't going to.... Hmmm, I definitely did not believe him. Off the flight took, and when we landed at 12:15am at which point I would still have to get through customs and find my bag, the silver lining was beginning to ebb. Happily, I did in fact make it to the bus with 2 whole minutes to spare, and arrived in Limerick somewhere circa 1:30am... Relief...

The next day we were off to Galway with another dancer friend and with the promise of free accommodation via their boss from work. Little did we know that our place to crash was actually a stunning loft with the most amazing view of Galway Harbour. Though the weather in Ireland was in the 60's most of the weekend (not what you particularly seek out during the summer months) we were honored with the delights of a truly stunning skyline to feast upon as the sun rose and set each day. We spent the afternoon wandering the avenues of Galway, popping into shops and getting the lay of the land. The last time I was in this city for less than 24 hours, the sun set earlier, we ate "dinner" in our B&B and then partied hard until 6am. Needless to say, I didn't get to see too much of the village during that time. This time we were allowed a more leisurely pace, though we knew that Saturday was going to be a long and exhausting day, so our intent was to have a relaxed dinner, a few drinks then catch up on sleep for the following morn. Our dinner was certainly relaxed and it's possible our drinks would have been so had I not approached a small band of gentlemen to beg a cigarette for one of my friends. We were all broke and I was tipsy so I had approximately zero qualms bumming anything at this point. This exchange very quickly led to us being the life of the party as we were treated to endless tales and anecdotes from these men, most of whom we gathered were older and married. It was apparently a boy's weekend and oddly, they were off to the Aran Islands the next day as well, to jump into a giant naturally occurring swimming pool (more on that later). The one single man was flown at me the second he arrived and I will say that he was a really interesting, sweet guy. If I recall, he has actually read Harry Potter which immediately gives him at least one gold star. As my friends decided it was time to skedaddle, I hopped along rather quickly and the poor man was forced to chase me down to steal a kiss and beg my phone number. What can I say, against my will I am just far too charming for my own good in Ireland ; )

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