Monday, January 11, 2010


Our flight to Ireland had several bumps….our neighbors Dave & Shari drove us to the Bradley Terminal at LAX in our van….gas is very expensive right now…anywhere from $2.09 to $2.20 per gallon [that sounds really cheap today!]. We arrived at LAX about 5 pm. British Air had their ex-ray machine down so we were shuffled into a line for Quantas that was full of college kids on their way to Europe for School. We finally got through the process of checking in and settled down for a quick bite at McDonalds in the food court before going through the final check-in point.

The waiting room was nearly empty when we arrived about 6:30 pm. By eight the students were all there and the noise level was deafening. When they announced the seats for boarding they actually had to make them quiet down so the announcements could be heard. Jim was sure that we would have a terrible flight with no sleep. Actually, after a very nice and unexpected dinner; the cabin became very quiet and we had the best sleep ever on a flight to Europe. Arrived in London at 3 pm; a ten plus hour flight and nine hours lost! Immigration was a breeze and we didn’t have to collect our luggage until we arrived in Dublin.

After a long walk to the Transport we then had a thirty-minute wait for a bus behind a large group of Japanese students. Arriving at the transport area; we had another wait for a second Passport inspection. Then, after a very fast run-walk down a very long corridor we walked directly on the airplane!. So happy we had wheels on our carryon luggage. We were winded and sweaty by the time we got to our seats. Had not made a bathroom stop between planes and that was the first stop for Martha before sitting down on the Aer Lingus Airplane. We were in the air on time by 5:05 and arrived in Dublin on time at 6:05 pm.

We picked up our luggage and walked straight out into the waiting area to the arms of Barbara and John who had arrived an hour earlier. They had found our driver “Willy” who had been sent by Trafalgar to bring us to the hotel in Dublin. He was a very Irish, delightful man about 57 years old. He told us lots of information including the fact that the American CIA, FBI, etc. were here in Ireland studying the methods that the Irish use to trace the money of drug dealers.

Our hotel for the night in Dublin was The Gresham Hotel; a four star; located in downtown Dublin. We found our rooms and the bulletin board for the tour. The welcome drink has been postponed so we took to the street and had a very Irish dinner at a restaurant named Flanagan’s, complete with a pint of the Irish Guinness; a very dark beer that tends to be rather strong. After initial pouring it has to set about 5 minutes and then they top it off. Enjoyed a short walk afterwards to the river with a stop for shopping; Barbara needed some black shirts. I took a great photo of green lights under the bridge and felt that I really was in Ireland!

Off to bed early with a scheduled 6:30 am luggage call in the morning. We had checked on Mary and Phil when we arrived; no one answered when we knocked on their door so we put a note under the door before leaving for dinner. Before retiring for the night, we knocked again with no response. We found out the next morning that they’d gone to bed at 5 pm after enjoying the bus tour of Dublin during the afternoon. They’d arrive early in the morning and had taken advantage of the scheduled tour of Dublin by Trafalgar Tours.

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