I've got about ten minutes to write a quick post before the time runs out; that's perfect though, since I told myself if I posted at all during this trip, it would be no more than ten minutes at a time. When I get going, I can lose hours, but I don't want to spend more time reporting on the trip than I do enjoying it.
Our flight out of Kennedy was delayed by a plane switch, then the trip was lengthened by two hours so we could fly north of the Iceland volcano ash; seven hours on a plane, in the middle seat, is a looooong time. It was mitigated by having my sister on one side of me, and the actor/writer/activist Malachy McCourt sitting on the other. We had seen him and one of his brothers in the waiting area, and were pretty sure we knew who he was, but didn't have it confirmed until we realized we'd be spending the next seven hours together. He's every bit as charming and funny as one would expect after seeing him in interviews. He, like us, was coming over in part to honor a brother who had died in the last year. His brother Frank is being honored today by a school in Limerick with a bust and an endowed chair.
Shannon is one of the quietest international airports in the world. We caught a bus into Galway, hitting several towns along the way that brought back fond memories of family trips. After checking into a hostel, we wandered the gorgeous walking streets, and an equally gorgeous river walk. The thing one has to keep remembering is, the things here aren't trying to look charming. That building just looks like that. Those horses and swans aren't trying to be picturesque, they're just doing their thing, being swans and horses. (Between you and me though, I think some of the animals are paid by the Tourist Board. More than once I've had one of them seem to pose, finding just the right position to make a shot work best.)
Several Days Later: So it turns out this didn't get published when I thought it did, the computer cut out on me sooner than I realized. Now I'm sitting in an internet cafe in Dublin, on the 23rd. Mary, Dad and I all met up yesterday in the city and have spent today bopping about the place. I'll post this one, then try to jot down some notes about the last week.