Ennis to Shannon to Dublin to LA to San Diego
Shannon Travel Blog› entry 13 of 13 › view all entries
It is O'dark thirty (hey I was in Ireland, I thought that was appropriate). Last night after we got back from partying at the other hotel, we returned to our own hotel to find the bar there still full of people. Mostly from the wedding reception that had occured there earlier. Well a bunch of us had decided that since we had to be back in the lobby at 03:30....why the hell go to bed. So it was a couple more pints and some good conversation. We joined some of the locals that were listening to a trio playing in the bar. We were just a bit rowdy, and pumped up the trio to play "one more song" after they thought they were done. Soon the band packed it in and the group slowly started saying good night. I made it up to my room and packed my bags. I lay down, but was to tired and worried to fall asleep. Now I knew somebody would probably come looking for me if I did not show up at the bus...well I hoped they would. (Everybody showed up the next morning, so I did not get to test that assumption). I finally just got a book out and started to read. Soon it was time to take a shower and head down to the lobby. Everybody was pretty beat up from the goings on the night before, and we were a pretty subdued group. The hotel had put out a few things to eat, mostly just ceral and coffee. And soon we were on our way to Shannon airport.
Our bus driver John was a riot when we arrived at Shannon. He informed us that he had never "dropped off" at Shannon, he had always picked up there. He wondered if he were going in the right direction. Well he found the departures terminal and we all piled off the bus and retrieved our bags. We all thanked John for such a great time and into the terminal we went....we were the only people there. And I mean the only people there. None of the ticket windows were staffed yet. Well we stood around in line...and later found out we were in the wrong place. So then we had to move to the other end of the terminal. Once moved, we settled in for our airline reps to arrive. One of the hearty travelers was so trashed, he just crashed there on the floor of the terminal were we were all lined up. We all took turns checking on him to make sure he was still breathing. Finally the airline staff arrived and started checking us in. As was the case at LAX there seemed to be a ticketing problem. It would be a race to get everybody checked in for the flight before it was scheduled to leave. Once again, being nice and friendly to the ticket clerk paid off. I was given an aisle seats for both legs of our flight home. The flight from Shannon to Dublin was short and uneventful.
Once at Dublin we had about 3 hours to kill before our flight was leaving. I took my time getting thru Customs (we did our Customs check here in Dublin, which was nice since we would not have to worry about it upon arriving back at LAX. I was very grateful since I was pretty sure I would be exhuasted once back in the States. After clearing customs I decided to get something to eat, and then did some Duty Free shopping. I got the boys gifts, something for my mom, and a little something to share with my friends at work. I also bought a crock of meade to share wth the boys when they get older. It caught my attention because they both had been studing something this year that had to do with societies that made the stuff. It is just ok to drink :) Once my shopping was done, I headed for the gate. Slowly those that would be sharing the final part of my vacation started trickling in. As I looked around I saw all the people that had been strangers on that first flight from LAX to Dublin. Now we all had a shared experience, and a sense of comraderie. There were friendly nods and smiles as we all settled down to await our plane. Once on the plane I received another very pleasant surprise. The ticket clerk had arranged for me to have another aisle seat. But it soon became clear the the entire bulk head center row in my section was empty. I asked and got permission to move there. I thought surely somebody else would join me...but no...I had the entire 4 seat section to my self. Lots of leg room, lots of elbow room...life is good!!!!
Once again the flight home was very comfortible....well as comfortible as a plane flight can be for me. While we were flying I was approached by Slater. He was concerned that his and his wifes ride might not be meeting them at LAX. They also live in SD county so I told him not to sweat it. I had plenty of room in my SUV if they needed a ride. We arrived at LAX and retrieved our bags. I looked around for Slater and his wife and could not find them. I had to assume they were ok, and called the long term lot where I had left my vehicle and then waited for them to come pick me up. I made it back to the long term lot, settled up my bill, and then made way home. It was about a 2 hour drive home, and I was oh so glad to see the green hillside of Santee as I drove down into the El Cajon valley. My boys were not home when I arrived they where still with their mother, so I had a chance to unpack my vehicle and relax a bit before they arrived.
All in all I really enjoyed myself on this trip. I met a lot of really fun people, went to 2 really good concerts, got to do 2 very nice hikes, and saw lots and lots of a very pretty place. I will deff be returning (I promised to try to save up and take my kids on the next trip). If we go, I will be more aware of what I can do to make the trip more exciting for myself. I will deff pass up on seeing Kilkenny Castle and will take the time to visit the Rock of Cashel. I would also like to try to get over to the Cliffs of Moher.