Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Today we woke up to an okay breakfast and what looked like sun, but quickly disappeared. We had promised the girls that we would go to the beach, so we kept our promise. The beach at Salthill wasn’t great, in fact in one area it reeked of sewage (we moved away) but the girls liked it. We checked out the rides, but they were closed because it was still morning. We went back to the B & B to change out of our shorts and into something warmer, and got the bus into downtown. A short ride later and we were in the Galway city center. We got off near the Spanish Arch (what is left of the old customs house area) and admired the swans. How cool is that, a flock of wild swans? We totally freaked some guys out when our (empty) stroller got blown off of the ledge and landed face-down on the rocks below. They thought it was occupied! We walked around the city, which is very nice, but there wasn’t much to tour as the English hadn’t prioritized preserving much Irish and even the old castle was in use as a bank. We went to a bakery for yummy things because the girls claimed they were hungry. Then we found the main park and the playground and the girls played for quite a while. Then we had lunch at the Irish version of McDonalds (the food was better than the actual McDonalds at least) and then the girls and I watched the Irish music performers while Mark browsed in the bookstore. While we were in Ireland the girls got lots of these kids’ magazines they sell everywhere that have little stories and games and toys attached to the front. Mark and I were amused to see that even some of the adult magazines had “toys” too. For example, the UK version of Marie Claire came with a little wallet thing (of course I bought the magazine). I do wish they sold those kids’ magazines here. After we’d hung out at the town for a while, went to the mall where the old city wall is located (seriously!) and then we went back to the arch. On the way we stopped at a pet shop and asked what food we could buy for the swans and they didn’t have a clue (I think dog food would have worked, though). so instead we fed the swans our leftover pastries. We got back on the bus and went back to Salthill where the rides were now open. We bought the kids tokens (more than they were expecting) and they rode some rides and were thrilled. Then we walked back to our B & B through a park and the kids rolled down the hill. We freshened up and then went to dinner. The place we were thinking of going was so crowded and the food didn’t look that good, so we convinced Genevieve what she really wanted was Thai food (Charlotte was by now totally asleep). They had singapore noodles on the menu, something that author Pete McCarthy always mentioned ordering although I had never seen it on a menu in the US. It was good. We got Charlotte awake enough to eat some rice, and then we went back to our B & B and off to bed.