corey says…We had some time before we had to go to the airport, so we took a drive to Quin Abbey and climbed around there for a while. This is always a nice one because it has all kinds of stairs and rooms to explore. Afterwards we stopped at the Blarney Woolen Mills shop in Bunratty for some last minute shopping.
Then it was off to Shannon Airport. The car rental return went fine, and since Tony is an Aer Lingus Gold Circle Club Member, we managed to get in the Premier Line…no waiting. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get seats together, but that wasn’t much of a worry. We zipped through duty free…which was stripped of all meat and cheese items because of the foot and mouth disease outbreak in England (no signs of the disease in Ireland, but every precaution is being taken to avoid contamination).
Then it was off to use Tony’s Gold Circle Club membership in the lounge. Gotta love the free booze, biscuits, tea, soda, etc.
Our flight left on time (the folks from the American Airlines flight were 2.5 hours behind schedule that day, so we were glad we weren’t on that flight). The other good news was that this flight didn’t have a Dublin stopover. For the last five years or so, the Shannon to Chicago flight stopped in Dublin first…this time they stopped in Dublin first. Can’t complain about that…but that is also the reason why we couldn’t get seats together.
Once settled into my window seat in the very back of the plane, I offered to trade my seat with a French woman who was sitting across the aisle (her travel partner was sitting next to me). Then just before take off, the two men sitting in the center section next to me relocated. I had the ENTIRE CENTER ROW to myself. How the heck did that happen. Tony hopped over and sat in the other aisle seat in my row and after watching one of the movies, he and I watched a few shows on my computer.
We arrived on time, and right from our first breath upon exiting the plane, we knew we weren’t in cool, rainy Ireland any more. It was hot and humid, but fortunately, our friend Rudy picked us up in a borrowed SUV…A/C and plenty of room for luggage. Gotta love friends who plan ahead. The pickup was so much better than taking the bus!