Friday, August 5, 2022

Ireland- Day1- Aug 5, 2022-- A fun first day adventure in Ireland- Bridget Mary Meehan

As I saw the brilliance of red streaked clouds out my airplane window, I knew we were only an hour or so  from the coastline of Ireland, the land of my birth and early childhood.  It is such a blessing to be with imy dear friends , Mary Theresa and Joan to share a new adventure in the land I so love  

As  the pilot flew over the Irish now called the Celtic Sea, I took the follow photos. 

After landing, the Irish passport official welcomed us to Ireland and noted that I was born here. Everyone at Dublin Airport- including the Budget Car Rental guys were quite helpful. They advised the route to our Irish country farmhouse destination in County Laois. We stopped in Carlow for breakfast. I had my favorite Irish breakfast- 3 sausages, brown bread and a cappuccino. Mary Theresa had an Irish scone and egg. Joan had vegetable soup.

On the way to Coolanowle -we were not sure which house  was the cottage we had rented. We pulled into where the Sat-Nav directed us. Well,  there was a very large , unfriendly Rothwieler dog who did  want us on his turf🤣 He came right up to our car, and lifted his leg and barked until we  decided that surely it  could not be the place!We headed out the gate immediately 😂 Then, down the road, we met. a friendly runner who  gave us directions to Coolanowle Country House!

 Upon arrival, we were greeted warmly by owners Bernadine and Jimmy Mulhall. Bernadine made sure we were comfortable and felt right at home in their rose covered cottage -that will be  our home- away from home this week..There are several guest  accommodations on this working farm that has milking cows.

Being here brings back precious memories of our family visits home to Ireland . I loved seeing the cows and sheep in the fields. My cousins  Margaret, Noreen, Mary and I - with the help of their dog, Barney, used to bring the cows home in the evening for their milking.

  I will never forget  that on one occasion, my mother, Bridie milked a cow! She said :” I never forgot where I came from and how to milk a cow! “ On our summer holidays in 60’s and ‘70’s, we stayed on Uncle Jack and Aunt Peg’s farm in Grogan and in Portlaoise with Incle Jimmy and Aunt Molly in the old courthouse there. ( I believe  now has been transformed into  the Dumaise Theater)

Meanwhile,  back to our fun adventure yesterday,after  a 2 hour pm  nap, Sister Kay Mulhall popped in with fresh flowers and we had a nice catch- up conversation

Then we drove around the narrow country roads on our way to Ballylinon. Mary Theresa had driven from the airport, so I did the local excursion!  There is room for one car or 2 small cars on the rural area roads. We have a small SUV. So, ever time we saw a car heading towards us, they stopped, pulled over and let us pass! We joked they must have sent out a local alert!🤣🇮🇪

Anyway, although , Irish Siri- tried to guide us, we wound up asking several locals for directions. They kept telling us to keep on the road and follow it as it curved and we’d get there. Well.a half hour- through gorgeous country side-we arrived!

Driving in Ireland is always quite an experience.  I am grateful that Mary Theresa and I share the driving. I like to drive here- don’t mind driving on left- and I especially like the back roads - sometimes with grass growing in the middle.- definitely the road less traveled ☘️🇮🇪

We watched a little RTE in Irish with subtitles- giving a lovely tour of Donegal where we are headed next week.

Then, we were in bed by 8:30pm. I woke up at 1:30 - so I thought I’d write about our adventures through the Irish countryside on our first day here!

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