Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ireland trip, day 1: traveling and arriving

Thursday morning, ee-baby, Granny and I left RDU and flew to Chicago for a 7-hour layover. The flight was easy, and to kill while waiting for my mom (Tuti) to arrive, time we took a train to downtown. That was a good idea, since we had some o=good exercise and saw fun things, both good for keeping a 3-year old happy. We visited Millennium park where we admired our reflections in The Bean, and e-baby slip-slid on the piles of snow around the edges. After that, we visited the Art Institute and what luck! the entire month of February is FREE ADMISSION! We went to the family gallery and the Touch Galleries (where you can touch everything!) and finally wandered the Thorne Miniature gallery which was amazing. Google it, and if you're ever in Chicago, go see it. It was great, especially for e-baby who is a doll house enthusiast. To call these foll houses, though, is to belittle the artfulness and architectural beauty of them. It was getting to be time to get back to O'Hare, so off to the train station.

It's around this time that e-baby had her first fatigue meltdown, so I'll just say we got back to O'Hare with all our belongings and no injuries. That's all I'll say about that.

We still had 2 hours to make our flight, so the L-I-N-E at O'Hare security didn't worry us, and maybe it was good travel karma, but we were put into the shorter Priority line so by the time we got into the terminal, it was still nice and early. Tuti was waiting for us, we got onto our plane and were headed for Irekand!!

Nine hour flight (a delay and some headwind worked against us), slept about 2 hours of it, crocheted my brains out, landed in Dubin, immigration a blur, waited for a bus to Cork, and then, a five.hour.bus.ride. The driver was trying to kill us. He was slow, and he was cautious, but he BRAKED! accelerated BRAKED accelerated BRAKED accelerated up to every traffic circle and I was about to throw up the whole way. We met a really sweet man on the bus with a one-year old girl named Clara who really did look exactly like a cherub. He was taking her home to her mother and picking up his other daughter from her mother (a different woman) and just kissed and kissed lara the entire way. You've never seen a dad more smitten with his child, and it was kind of heartbreaking when he sid that when he could get a job, he planned to buy a car so he could drive and see them more frequently without taking long bus rides each way. He wasn't looking for pity, but he was tragic.

When we arrivied in Cork, we found our B&B and to see us, you'd think we'd never had indoor accomodations. Look! Beds! Look! Clean bathroom! Look! chairs and a table! Our B&B is called Gabriel House. It is situated atop a Long and Steep hill overlooking the city center. There's a simple garden and a chicken coop with 20 hens (e-baby's favorite part of Cork). Liam, one of the owners, showed her around when we arrived. People here are comfortble including children in conversations and activities, even though Ireland does not look like a kid-oriented place. It is beautiful here. Our nauseating bus ride through the southern-central countryside was all picturesque farms with distant mountains. I can't wait to see more.

And on that note, I'd better go get e-baby back from the chicken coops so we can start day 2!

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