March 3, 2017 – Unexpected happiness and sadness

Last night it was way too late for writing when we got into the apartment.  So, back to the start of yesterday.  Up early, Denis went for a run and I repacked and showered and got ready to check out.  After breakfast we paid up and got a cab to the Budget Rent a Car place.  We never would have found it on our own so good for getting a cab.

Also just want to put in a word for the Harding Hotel.  If you are ever going to Dublin this is a very good hotel to stay at.  Good location, a restaurant for breakfast or lunch and a pub for dinner or just to listen to music. Buses convenient to get you where ever you want to go in the city.  The folks who work there were so helpful to us, getting me a dentist, printing out tickets or boarding passes etc.  Could not have asked for better.

Got a nice little Nissan and headed off.  I am the map reader when we travel in Ireland.  No point in paying for two drivers.  Decided to take us up to Tara since it was kind of on the way and I knew this was Denis’ one big desire to visit there again.  It was cold and windy and had been raining so he went to get his Tara fix and I checked out the cemetery at the little church.  Then we went and had a snack in the cafe before heading to Mullingar and Multyfarnham.  Glad we did it since it would not have been pleasant in this rain we are having now.

Found our way to a Dunnes Store in Mullingar to get some food for breakfasts for the next four days, and arrived at Weirs about 4ish.  Pat was there and bought us a drink to start our visit.  We did some catching up and chatting with the fellows in the pub.

Finally went back and unpacked the car, said hi to Max the dog, and got ready for some dinner.  Had a grand meal – they do a great job with food.  And then back for a rest since Una was coming home around 11ish and we wanted to see her.  Did see Donna who is a real cutie.. growing up into a lovely looking young woman.

You are wondering about my surprises… well the first one was lovely when Una came up and gave me a hug and said “welcome home.”  It does feel like home here.  Very comfortable with everyone.   They have not had an easy time of it lately with some family losses but just wonderful people to be around.

The sad surprise is the weather forecast of rain until we leave the country next week.  Makes planning outdoor visits a bit iffy for sure.  Denis is suppose to run a 5 K tomorrow but if raining he will just run the roads around here.  As he said no point in having to drive the rental car back here if he is soaking wet.  And if it is like this we won’t be climbing up to Queen Maeve’s tomb.  Will have to find that pottery place and just spend more time there trying to get more of my pottery for the school house. And if we can find the wood carver in Sligo get another piece for ourselves.

Today we slept in. – I did not get up until 11 since I was laying there listening to the rain on the roof.  It was fabulous to just curl back under the covers for an extra few hours.  A good book would have been a treat also but I slept instead.

Once I put some food in me we headed off to Athlone.  The travel sites said the Castle had a good tour so we figured we would be dry and learn something along the way.  That was my next surprise… More about Vikings – How come I don’t have Viking blood and my little brother does?  I have spanish but really, no Viking?  Seems they were attacking Athlone as well as Dublin..    In Bayeux they have the tapestry of the war between William the Conqueror and Harold.  Then in Dublin were there this time William of Orange and James fighting the Battle of the Boyne in 1090.  Then in 1690’s they were at it again the Williamites and the Jacobites having another religious war.  Killed off the Irish like crazy and they finally signed a treaty at Limerick in 1692.

Reading today and hearing about the 1690 battles it sounded like Syria today.  The people who lived there who just wanted to be left alone were destroyed. There was raping and pillaging and children dying from starvation and diseases.  Made me very sad to see how we just don’t learn at all do we?

This is a wonderful museum by the way.  They personalize it by showing people who actually existed at that time and what happened to them and their families and the military leaders and how they died or failed or went on to other battles to die.  They have done a good job and this is a museum you could take kids to who were 8 or older I would think.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=athlone+castle+ireland&view=detailv2&&id=5A3DEC1761EE500A6B9F48BFDFD8140657FA3B8F&selectedIndex=1&ccid=Z9BVGqkH&simid=607992505199038430&thid=OIP.Z9BVGqkHPXXI5895pQHCoAEsC7

After a bite to eat we headed back.  Proud of ourselves for finding our way out and back on the correct roads to get us here by 4:30.   Had a brief visit with Una who was heading off to participate in a fashion show to raise money for hospice in her sisters honor.  She will be back with her girls tomorrow.  We plan to get a visit in tomorrow evening.

Tonight there will be singing in the pub by Pat and some of his friends.  We are looking forward to it.  Also going to have dinner again there.  Might have deep fried Brie tonight. Just sounds so good to me.

Adventures reign supreme these days.  Hate driving on those narrow Irish roads in the rain but by thinking of it as an adventure it reduces the anxiety.  Seeing the number of houses for sale makes me wonder if there are any bargains out there to be had.  Watching people buy lottery tickets makes me wonder if I am missing out on something I am meant to do = win a lottery so I can buy the house of my dreams… Have to buy that ticket to win though don’t I?

Have your own adventure today!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Athlone

http://www.hardinghotel.ie/

 

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