Our journey to Ireland began with a red-eye flight from Dulles to Dublin and I have to admit I was more than excited about our nonstop flight! To ensure that I would be able to sleep on the plane (and hopefully minimize jet lag) I prescribed the following: 1 rum & coke followed by 2 Benadryl. Worked like a charm! I was pretty much out for the entire flight and didn’t wake up until they began serving our morning snack. I definitely slept more than my travel companions (more on this later).
Upon our arrival, we were all more than delighted about the weather conditions in Ireland. It was a cool 65 degrees and it felt absolutely amazing to be out of the heat wave back home (up to 110 degrees!). We picked up our rental car from Dan Dooley. After some lengthy modifications to vehicle size and insurance coverage, we were on the road! Prior to our trip, all of our friends and colleagues tried to convince us to upgrade to an automatic transmission. They assured us that paying extra for the automatic was essential to navigating successfully around the island. Not only do you have to deal with driving on the left (a.k.a. “wrong”) side of the road, but you also have to drive with the steering wheel on the right side of the car, which means you have to change gears with your left hand. We ignored all of their warnings and went rogue with a manual transmission! Rob proved to be a masterful driver and we were happy to save some cash on our rental that could later be applied to Guinness.
The drive from Dublin to Adare is about 2 ½ hours, so we stopped along the way for lunch. We stopped in a cute little town called Kildare and everyone took the opportunity to withdraw some euros from the ATM and then we had a really nice lunch at Harte’s Pub. After a short delay trying to figure out how to put the car in reverse, we were on our way again!
We arrived in Adare in good time and then we checked-in to Villa 35. Our accommodations were superb and everyone seemed quite pleased with the arrangement. The best part was that each of the 3 bedrooms had its own adjoining bathroom.
The villa had a full kitchen so we decided to go to the grocery store in town to pick up a few essentials (a.k.a. booze) and some food to cook for dinner since we were all way too exhausted to go out. After the shopping was complete, Rob, Winnie & Tom couldn’t fight the good fight any longer (they did not adhere to my prescription above) and all took naps. I was forcing myself to stay awake so that I would be able to sleep through the night and hopefully feel refreshed in the morning. Luckily, our villa had wi-fi so I was able to occupy myself on Netflix in order to stay awake while everyone else was sleeping.
We had a relaxing, low key evening and everyone was ready to get some rest and start touring around the country the following day.