A Decision Has Been Made
I THINK I SHOULD START SHOPPING. We are going back to Ireland this Fall and I don’t have a thing to wear. I don’t want to arrive in Dublin looking like the poor American relative who is showing up hoping for a handout.
We are planning on being in Ireland for about a month. If you are going to go that far you might as well stay awhile. This is not just a weekend jaunt to pick strawberries – this is an ocean-crossing, ancient ruin exploring, pub crawling, trip to the Old Country. Pack an extra pair of socks.
This will be our fourth trip to Ireland, so we know our way around, but there are always new places to visit, new things to see, and new things to do. For this trip we are going to spend time exploring the Southeast portion of the island. The area south of Dublin along the coast is lovely and deserves our attention. There are mountains and cities to see. We really haven’t done more than pass through that part of the country on our way to somewhere else.
In our explorations we have divided the island into 5 parts – North, south, East, West, and the North Counties that are part of the UK.
Oy, such troubles.
Since we are going to be there for a a couple of days short of six weeks we also want to spend some time in those North Counties that are, in all ways, another country. We have never been to Belfast. I know that my Irish
Ancestors were from The North before emigrating to the New World in about 1840. Ireland is one island, but two nations and I’m looking forward to it all.
On our last trip “across The Pond” we had two friends from California join us for a couple of weeks. For this trip our fellow Yanks will be a duo from Anchorage, Alaska. This will be their first trip to Ireland.
Dawn and I will go a few days ahead of them to get our first house set up and then meet them when they arrive so they will be greeted by some friendly faces. They will be with us for two or three weeks as we traipse around the country.
If there is one thing we have learned about traveling in Ireland it is to RELAX. The whole country is about the size of Indiana and what you don’t see or do today will be there tomorrow. Too many people feel that they have to rush about and see everything in one day. That old travel cliché that says, “If it’s Tuesday this must be Belgium” can take all of the pleasure out of a vacation.
One way that we have found to avoid that feeling of being rushed from one place to the next is to avoid staying at B & Bs. Nothing is more nerve wracking than having to be up, dressed, fed, and out the door by 8 AM every day. That is why we rent houses while in Ireland. Doing that allows us to set our own schedule and if it is Tuesday we can sleep in, make some tea, and stay in our jammies until noon if we choose. We don’t have to pack up and hit the road. If it is a cold, rainy day we can stay home and watch TV if we want to. That is really how to have a vacation. Who wants to go that far from home and run around like you are being chased the entire time? Not this chubby boy. I know that our way is better – and less expensive.
One of the houses we will be renting will cost $600 for a full seven day week. I know that sounds like a lot, but divided by four people it comes in at about $25 per day per person. You can’t stay anywhere, not in a B&B or a hotel for that. Maybe camping in a tent somewhere might be cheaper, but most tents don’t have TV, a washer/dryer, or indoor plumbing.
In the past we have stayed in cottages and in luxurious homes. Last trip over we stayed for a week in a museum. In Belturbet we stayed at a Railway Museum and were lodged in the Station Master’s home, built in 1885. We are going back there this trip.
We are now deep into the planning and preparation. D-Day was a snap compared to seeing us in action. Come mid-September we will be storming the beaches of Ireland.