Ah, another airport day. I wonder how we would design airports if we started from scratch, know the silly rules we'd arbitrarily enforce in the name of safety and the need to get people on and off large chunks of metal in a fast and organized manner. I do know one thing.
If you built a new airport from scratch, you would avoid this.
As luck would have it, our plane was filled with two large groups of Spanish students. (It seems quite common in Barcelona for students to spend a semester in Ireland, perfecting their English.) This benefited us tremendously. When we checked in, the woman behind the counter was relieved that we were native English speakers and gave us exit-row seats, which on this plane meant twice the leg room. We were flying Aer Lingus, which has an English only crew, and they had to have people who could definitely understand the flight attendants ready to open those emergency exit doors.
Did I mention Aer Lingus? I could not have asked for a better way to enter Ireland.
Aer Lingus plane, green.
Aer Lingus flight attendant jacket, green.
Aer lingus safety card, green. And why would I forget to mention all the clovers?
And then, as I looked out the window, I saw Ireland for the first time.
No pictures of this, but I noticed as we waited in passport control that on occasion the officer would have a person pose for an extra picture that was taken by a webcam attached to their computer. They did this against a section of wall that had a ruler showing how tall the person is. First, I saw this happen to a Nigerian looking guy. Then, a while later, they asked a Pakistani looking woman to step to the side to have her picture taken. Then... nobody else. We both noticed this and I said, "You know what that means." She said, "What?" "In Ireland they can't get busted for racial profiling."
When we got up to the window, the gentleman asked Barbie how long she would be in Ireland and she told him, "Six days." Then he looked up from my passport and I gave him the "dude nod," a slight lift of the chin with steady eye contact, and he looked back down and stamped our passports. As we walked away, I pointed out the power of the dude nod. Never doubt it.
Finally, a car. Sure, we'd ridden in taxis, but that doesn't count. We got into our rental Volvo, with the steering wheel to the right, and completed the set; we have now traveled by Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. (And Boats.)
The usual, "Every highway in every city looks the same," pic that Jeff takes in every new country.
We drove 45 minutes South of Dublin to Enniskerry, where you find the Ritz Carlton Powerscourt.
Let me speak briefly about hate. You shouldn't hate someone for something they have, or something they do, or somewhere they stay. That's jealousy. That's small. That only hurts you. So you shouldn't hate us for staying here.
We got to the hotel and they gave us the spiel about the place. We learned it is the newest Ritz Carlton, and you can eat at these places, and relax at those places...
And if you see peasants on the lawn all you have to do is shout, "Release the hounds," and the eyesore soon disappears.
Then they walked us to our room.
I had to take this one. Full-on "The Shining" moment, no?
This is the view of our room as you enter the door. The powder room is that door to the left.
This is the living room, with the desk in the distance.
The desk and dining table, with the bedroom door.
The bedroom, bathroom on the left.
Bedroom and bathroom, and I totally blew it because you cannot see the TV in the bathroom mirror. The guy who showed us our suite grinned when he said they're the first and only Ritz Carlton to have that. It even comes with a waterproof remote.
The tub, where I shall be holding the waterproof remote.
The walk in closet, where Barbie has to sleep. I need my space and her birthday is so two weeks ago.
Okay, so that's the room. I then walked out on our balcony and got this pic.
Yes, that's what you think it is. A large metal statue representing a huge paper airplane. I think my nephew Charlie will love this. Tomorrow we'll walk the grounds for a closer look, and I'll try to pose with it for the boy.
Hunger overtook us, and it was the time of day when the restaurant and pub were closed, so we had to slum it here at the lounge.
I always order the local faire, and this is the, "Irish Tipperary Beef Sandwich." There is blue cheese in there, and I will eat most anything that involves cow meet and blue cheese.
Barbie got the Club Sandwich.
We didn't get much sleep, and immediately after lunch I leaped into bed and grabbed the TV remote.