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Published: June 10th 2017
Go the All Whites....in black!
We had to check in to our flight to Dublin at around ten to nine and we were staying Near terminal 1 so needed to get the shuttle to terminal 2, decided we wouldn't have time for breakfast so would grab something at the airport lounge as I had bought passes for ten euro thinking it would be a cheap brekkie each. Check in and the guy at the counter said oh your flight is boarding at 9.40.....what the hell it doesn't leave till 10.50 why would they be boarding it over an hour early??? Oh and your gate is at the other end of the airport so you need to hurry.....it's now about 9.15. Thought stuff that, we walked past the lounge so went in and grabbed a very very quick breakfast, and hurried off toward the gate. Went through security, they made me take my camera and phone out of my bag and put it in a tray with my carry on bag, at the other end as I picked up my carry on they picked up the tray and took it away, I waited for Stephen and then we both left together, halfway down the escalator realised I
didn't have my phone or camera....panic! There was no way back up to security except running up the down escalator....STEPHEN was VERY puffed and sweaty when he made it to the top!
He gets there and they say .....no sorry no camera, no phone .....so he comes back to yell down to me nope not there.....I start double checking and one of the security guys asks are these them......thank goodness for that....the guy said they would be on eBay by morning...haha....it would have been such a pain to lose either of those things let alone both! Oh and after rushing to get to the gate....plane was three quarters of an hour late leaving!
Flight was a little bumpy nothing too exciting did one wee alleeeooopp as we went to land everyone gasped....was really nothing....when we landed half the plane applauded....Stephen and I looked at each other and laughed..,these people have obviously never flown into Wellington!
Was lovely to be met by Jenna and Alan who were waiting patiently for us to negotiate the massive queue through customs. Already a huge temperature drop to what we have been experiencing ...had to put my cardi on! Absolutely starving so
The mill gate
Jenna and Alan take out for a quick lunch before getting settled in at our hotel.
Time for a quick unpack and change into some warmer clothes before heading out to watch the All Whites play a local team in a friendly warm up game for the Confederations Cup in Russia. We certainly felt outnumbered as kiwi supporters, we did increase our numbers by one as an ex pat found us as he was wearing the same All Whites shirt as Stephen. We were very lonely singing the national anthem though. It was a good game we had lots to cheer about as the kiwis won 5 - 2.
By the time we dropped Tony (Alan's dad) home and picked up Alan (who didn't come as he had no interest in the game) and tried to find somewhere for tea it was nearly 10 pm and nowhere was serving, ended up going back to our hotel and ordered room service for the 4 of us, so we were eating dinner at 11pm and with the time difference between Frankfurt and Ireland our body clocks were telling us it was after midnight.....could barely keep my eyes open to actually
eat my dinner.
A wee sleep in and a later start to the day was definitely appreciated, Jenna has made arrangements for us to visit a mill and private home in Ahascragh which my grandfathers family owned prior to emigrating to New Zealand in the early 1800's. Ahascragh is a little village about halfway between Dublin and Galway, took us about two hours to drive, arriving around 2pm as planned, knocked on the door and rang the bell with no response, starting to think we had driven all this way and perhaps we had mucked up our days, Jenna had his number and called, oh no he was in the house but we had actually come to the backdoor and he hadn't heard us.
The gentleman who owns the house is Joe and what a lovely man he is, he made us so welcome, there was no awkwardness at being in the home of a stranger at all. He gave us lunch, made us a cuppa telling us stories of his life, the history of the house, mill and area and what he knew of our Bell ancestors. He then gave us a tour of his lovely home
Lunch with Joe
and pointing out it's little oddities where people had added rooms, raised and lowered floors, replaced windows etc over the last nearly 200 years. He and his wife brought up their 6 children in this home living here for nearly 50 years so he knows his home well. He then gave us umbrellas and took us out into the garden to show us the gardens, the home from outside, the parts of the mill that he owns and what was once the house vegetable gardens and associated outbuildings. Joe has made the most beautiful hidden garden and inside an old stone shed he has made what he calls Joes folly, a lovely peaceful spot with climbing plants places to sit and a water feature, just awesome. Back inside and he warms us up with a whiskey each, other than Alan who is designated driver! More stories and laughs before we have to make our way back to our temporary home at Dunboyne.
it really was a great day and we couldn't have been made more welcome by Joe who was such a fantastic host.
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