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Trip Report 7 Days, 7 Counties, 3 Generations Southwest Sampler

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Trip to Ireland #8 for Gran; she took along her son M and granddaughter E. As a bonus, E's uncle D was able to join us for the first 2 days, dropping by from his own vacation in London.

Day One began for G in Kingsville, Texas with a Breakfast on a Bun and giant Dr Pepper from the local Whataburger, on the road to gather up the other participants in Bay City, Texas. Also aided on the road by James, the voice of our satnav, and the Ireland/UK mini-card.

Day Two, D-I-L and grandson drove us to Bush International in Houston (after a wee detour to retrieve G's forgotten hearing aids) and then they headed for Boerne, Texas to attend family graduations. The flights to Newark and then on to Shannon were uneventful. Sound didn't work on G's movies but oh well.

Day Three found us arriving half an hour early in Shannon After collecting our checked luggage, clearing customs and immigration, and hitting the ATM, we found D who had flown in yesterday and stayed at the Park Inn. We had breakfast in the Limestone Café. Dan Dooley Car Rentals has moved from the airport proper so took their shuttle to get our two rental cars. Seemed to take forever to get the paperwork done which threw us late for the rest of the day. But everyone was nice and friendly and eventually we hit the road in our little red Nissan Pulsar. E rode with D in his car, G and M along with James in the lead.

We had planned to attend Mass in Doolin but were late and didn't want to go tromping in in the middle. (There is a website for all the Catholic churches in Ireland with Mass times and maps) So we went to Doolin Cave (drove right past Holy Rosary Church to get there) and the rest of the group took the 11:00 tour (we had booked an afternoon tour online but no problem to switch) while G basked in the sun. She had seen the stalactite on a prior trip and knew that her aging knees would not appreciate another visit. No mobile phone signal so the really nice young lady at the checkout loaned their phone so G could change arrangements. After petting the donkeys on the nature walk we headed into Doolin.

Parking was impossible near the pubs so we had lunch of pizza and sandwiches at the Doolin Hostel. Did a bit of shopping and then went down to the pier to await our boat trip to the Cliffs of Moher. It was scheduled for 4:00 but got started somewhat later and was a disappointment as the water was extremely choppy, no stop at the cliffs and no canned music/story about the cliffs. This was G's 3rd excursion with Doolin2Aran Ferries and the most disappointing. Of course, who can control or predict what the Atlantic will do?

On to Shannonbridge to our B&B--Kajon House. G had chosen based mostly on proximity to Clonmacnoise and it was an inspired choice. We knew we would be exhausted on our first busy day in country so had booked dinner at the B&B. Delicious 4 courses with choice of lamb cutlets or fresh salmon cooked and served by the most delightful hostess. Kate is just a wonder! Her husband John (Kajon--get it?) was in hospital but Kate was bubbly and full of energy.

Showers and early bedtime. G, M & E in a triple room and D in a single. We paid €150 for our triple room and three dinners.

Weather today was sunny and cool.

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