Day 10 – Go West Young Man, Go West (and a little north)

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June 17th 2013
Published: June 18th 2013
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Today was our last full day in Ireland. We spent it driving around a lot, again. Kirsten is doing a great job driving on these “death roads” as we like to call the street from our lodging to the main road. One wouldn’t think 2 cars could pass each other on these winding S curves in the roads that have about a 10 foot flush green hedges and walls on both sides of the road. Today’s journey took us west and a little north. We were headed to the Cliffs of Moher. We drove straight across from our Irish home to Ennis and then we headed north along the coast to the cliffs. We actually did well with directions to the cliffs. The numbers, not names, of the roads are very confusing, and there were a lot of roads that weren’t on the map and couple that with tired travelers we had a few mishaps with our directions. We made it to the cliffs in about 90 minutes. The weather was holding out, so we didn’t need all our jackets or even umbrellas. We just needed our snacks and cameras. The cliffs were stunning. We walked a few kilometers up and down the cliffs seeking out the best views. Kirsten and Chester ventured out a little close to the edge, but not too far out. It was pretty scary. We thought for sure Judy would go down here, a trip or slip on wet grass, slippery rocks, but we were all disappointed. Except maybe Judy wasn’t disappointed. She made it, a no fall trip. Never would have guessed that.

After the cliffs we did our best to find our way to the Aillwee Caves. It wasn’t too far of a trip, if we could get there without too many mis-directions. So we are reading the map, and Chester actually did a great job of navigating after the Gene navigation fiasco of 2013. But she just did not feel right today and she was apprehensive and slow with making decisions. So we are trying to get the cave and I make the decision to go left at some road somewhere in Ireland. We think we are headed the right way but then I see signs for the a town that would mean we were headed south instead of north. So we turn around and go back. We did this twice. Then we stopped at a tourist center to finally get directions. Kirsten’s frustrated, Chester’s disappointed in her inability to read a map today and Gene is in the back seat either sleeping or reading his kindle. The worker at the info shop was great. These were his directions: turn around (the original direction Chester first said to head in) and go up the road about 6 miles. Stay on the main road. Then we you get to a castle, turn left. It will take you right there. Really? Really? (there are 3000 castles in Ireland) We asked for road names and he didn’t know any, just drive 6 miles this way and turn left at the castle. Now both Judy and Chester know that Kirsten is not going to like nor approve of these directions. She didn’t. She got out of the car, went into the ice cream shop and asked for new directions. She returned with us driving 5 km in the same direction and, wait for it, . . . take a left at the castle. You can’t miss it. Come on with these directions people. The Irish have been so nice and forth giving with directions and help. It’s been great, but the directions are brutal and tough to trust. But, after about 10 minutes, there you go a huge frickin' castle is right there and we took a left and 10 minutes later we were walking through a couple thousand year old bear cave. The cave was cool and the tour was nice. On the premises were also a little cheese and fudge shop, you know we headed into there for free samples. Yum, Yum.

From the bear cave we drove around and if we saw a castle and it was open, and on Judy’s list, we went in. Now when most think of castle, they think huge fortress, well a lot of the castles can just be small turret-like structures that are basically just a small castle.

We headed home after the last castle, since there are over 4000 castles in Ireland we estimated that we saw about 0.01 percent of the castles. We were satisfied and pleased with our number.

For dinner we were going back to the bar we first hit Friday night and then go to another Celtic music concert in the oldest church that still holds functions in Ireland. We think we have heard this statistic a few times. Dinner was good as always, and Chester drank her first ever Guinness beer for her 43rd birthday. She said a little cheers out to her friend Lynn’s father who was Irish and had passed away on St. Patrick’s Day of this year. Cheers to Pete Howley. Cheers Lynn! Anyway, the concert was the same singer from the bar the night before, but she had a harpist (male) and fiddle player and a dancer for the 90 minute show. It was great, except for the fact that she made us sit in the front row in ridiculously old pews where the back of the pew didn’t lean back like it should, it felt like it went in toward our backs. Needles to say, it was very uncomfortable. The show sounded beautifully and was quite enjoyable. There was a bit of confusion with paying for the concert as we thought it was a deal with the dinner, but you had to pay cash. Being our last night we were void of cash. No problem, just drive to the next town after the concert to get cash and bring it back. Gotta love
Irish countrysideIrish countrysideIrish countryside

from the caves
small towns.

As this was our last night in Ireland, it was back home by 10 pm to pack and yell at each other for this and that. Who took my cord? Who ate all the chocolate? Why is there only one strawberry left? You can’t go to the bathroom in ours, go upstairs! Stop farting! Get a hearing aid? Just let me do it! You broke the GD washing machine!! Go F yourself!! These are just a few of the rants yelled out throughout the stay. But all in the name of love.

We are all packed and have an early drive tomorrow back to Shannon. Our flight is direct from Shannon to Chicago. Then from Chicago, Kirsten will head to Houston; Gene and Judy will head back to Omaha; and Chester has an awesome 8 hour layover before she boards her last flight to Denver.

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You know what we were thinking
Happy birthday ChesterHappy birthday Chester
Happy birthday Chester

Cheers to Pete Howley

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