A Travellerspoint blog

day 8: alas, a last day in ireland

in which your author can't stop meeting wonderful people

semi-overcast 40 °F

Phew. Lots to catch up on from the past few days, friends! I write from a comfy seat on a train bound from lovely Toulouse to Barcelona, but I’ll have to backtrack to all the way back to Greystones, Ireland to cover all things.

After some morning writing, a nice breakfast, and conversation with Peter and Moira, I begin to plan out my next move. Tony, Peter and Moira’s friend who I remember from the Biden-announcement visit, stops by to drop off a rugby jersey, and he tells me that if I want to make quick friends in Toulouse, I should buy a t-shirt proclaiming “I love rugby!” I walk into “downtown” Greystones, right on the water, and find a cute hotspot café with friendly people to write and plot out my next few days.

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The previous day I had left a phone message for my possible distant cousin Anita and her husband Michael, who live in Dublin, about a visit. On my 2008 trip, my ex and I had gotten desperately lost trying to find their home, and had to settle for a nice meal with Michael in town, so I’d never actually met Anita. While at the café, I get a return call from her, and they invite me over for dinner. I venture into town and buy a bottle of wine in gratitude for Peter and Moira’s warm hospitality. The bottle is from the Languedoc region of France, close to where I’m headed; it's one I’d seen in New Hampshire last summer, when I expected to be traveling to France, rather than where I actually went. Also, note the photo of the Obama book mentioned previously; fun to see it again, as when it was given in August of 2008, Obama's candidacy was a dire wish! If we only knew then what we know now, right? Although truth be told, the record of accomplishments is quite impressive.

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Peter is going to drive me to the Bray station, and on the way I phone Anita to find out if its possible to stay the night with them; she kindly obliges. I say my goodbyes to these lovely people (and dogs!) with hopes of seeing them again another time, and Peter drops me at the station for the next leg of my trip.

I spend some time writing on the train, and when my stop comes up, I’m caught off guard; upon pushing the button the door doesn’t open and I have to go one stop further. Not the sort of mistake an experienced traveler should make, especially one who is trying to save time to make it out to his Patriots vs. Jets playoff game at 9:30pm! Michael picks me up at the alternate station, and after catching up on the ride, tells me that due to a slightly overcrowded house at the moment, they’ve booked me into a hotel?! He refuses to let me pay for the room, and its just one more example of the overextended hospitality so many people have displayed to me in this fine country. I drop off my things and we head to his house, located in the Ranelagh area. It’s nice to be at a place where I had intended to be at during my last trip, and Anita is a wonderful host. They have three darling children, all under the age of ten, and I let them take photographs with my camera, a few of which came out quite nice! (There may be some budding young photographers in this family?) Also, Anita’s father Nile is visiting, and he’s the picture of a warm Irish chap, telling stories of his trip to America. After a terrific meal the four of us sit around the table and carry on a wide-ranging conversation touching on Catholicism, economics, and American politics, and as with Peter and Moira I’m impressed by how well versed in American political dramas the Irish seem to be. (And they seem as perplexed about Sarah Palin’s popularity as most Americans are!) It’s another warm visit with interesting, smart people, and I’m glad to have made the connection with Anita finally, even with the last-minute timing. Some day I’ll try again piece together whether there’s an actual family connection, which dates back to an address label circa 1930!

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Michael takes me to my hotel, quite posh and conveniently located for the morning shuttle to the airport, and I prep for another early morning with not much sleep by writing and not watching this movie which is on. With the flow of conversation I never made it out to watch the playoff game, and I’m rather devastated to hear that to punish me for this, my Patriots have chosen to not show up. (Spring training starts when, Red Sox? Though I'm told my roommate may still be having a party on February 6. Some sporting event is taking place?)

Anyway, sadly, I’ve wrapped up my second visit to Ireland but I'm excited to get back in solo traveler mode and I look forward to my next trip to the auld sod… who knows when?

Posted by coolmcjazz 08:27 Archived in Ireland

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