I was off to the airport on Saturday. My first order of business was scoring a better car. Fortunately, the people who work at the car rental agencies know all cars are NOT created equal, so they didn’t require a list of reasons why I wanted to swap vehicles.
In only a few minutes, my crappy 2008 Chevy Lacetti was pulled into the return bay, and I was handed the keys to a 2008 Opel Astra. This car was a definite improvement… it didn’t have nearly as many rattling parts.
While I was there, I scanned the lot and noticed every car was a 2008 – a sure sign Ireland is in tougher economic times. I remember the days when a car more than six months old was a rarity.
Back inside the terminal, I stopped at the Aer Lingus desk to change the date on my return ticket. Then, I asked the agent about booking Tom’s ticket… €800 ($1,100)! Ouch! The woman whispered over the counter, “You’ll get it for a lot less if you book online.
I explained to her that I had tried looking up fares online, but a strange screen kept popping up that wouldn’t let me view the flights. She confessed the site had been going down a lot lately, and encouraged me to keep trying.
The escalator then took me to the Estuary Café where I tapped into the airport’s free wi-fi while I waited for my friend Tony to arrive. My thoughts drifted to the first time I picked him up at the airport five years ago, he was arriving as a guest at Knockahopple Cottage. Now, he owns a cottage of his own in a nearby valley… a place called Glenculloo.
The airport was quiet, and from my seat in the café I could spot anyone coming in… just in case Tony arrived before I went down to the Arrivals Hall. All of us “regulars” use the café as our default meeting place because they serve a decent cuppa and fresh scones.
His flight arrived on schedule, and after a stop at Crowe’s shop in Bunratty for a few odd and ends Tony needed, we were heading up the mountain… home.