Sunday, August 25, 2007
It’s always so sad when a vacation ends. We had our last breakfast at the Schoolhouse and said goodbye to the staff there. We schlepped our stuff to the lobby where they called us a van to take us to the airport. The driver was very nice, and told us how he spends all of his money on travel, just like we like do. The lines at the Dublin Airport were unbelievable. We thought we’d left plenty of time but we got through security only a half hour before our flight and we still needed to try to get the girls each a magazine with a toy on it for the plane ride. Mark dropped off the VAT refund forms while I found the magazines and we made it to the gate just as they were boarding families with children. We took them up on the early boarding because we were a bit frazzled, and got settled into our seats. Whew. Charlotte and I were seated next to a nice man who initially was glad to be near someone small but later realized his error when she tossed and turned trying to get comfortable. Genevieve managed to get some sleep on the first leg but Charlotte didn’t, probably because I had let her have free reign on her candy bag while Mark had limited Genevieve. Then in Chicago we made it through customs okay even though we had been on a farm, and I got the kids their Cinnabons they wanted even though they were quite a hike from our gate. The final leg was uneventful, and we made it to SF on time. We got a Silver Shuttle at the airport and rode home with a nice family who had been in Boston and a business man from the UK. And it was sunny and warm! The cat had done surprisingly little damage in our absence, and so we sorted our mail and started the laundry and let the reality of not being on vacation sink in.
In conclusion, although we found the weather a bit tiresome, on the whole we did like Ireland. I think if I were to return I would do it in the Spring or Fall when the weather here isn’t so gorgeous either, then it wouldn’t be so frustrating. Ireland is a great place to go with a family, and a good first European vacation if someone is nervous about traveling with kids.
I would also change the itinerary a bit and even though it would mean changing hotels more I would have stayed in Connemara one night and on the Dingle peninsula one night instead of doing them as day trips.