Last Legs: Ireland and Beyond

by Megan M. on August 18, 2006 (Blog) |

My tentative friend visiting plans in Dublin didn’t pan out, but that was okay – we spent Tuesday doing whatever the hell we wanted and resting up for our flights the next day. Mom and Grandma occupied themselves one way or another, and Dad and I took a taxi into the city center and walked miles of street shopping, stopping here and there, enjoying the new environment and taking pictures. It started to rain eventually, and I had to put away my camera – hence the limited Irish photos I have available in Flickr – but we had a good time and when we headed back to the hotel we were pleased and in a good mood, if tuckered out.

Tuesday night I’ve already described – it was the dinner at Raglan’s, that last meal overseas that was just so incredible. And of course, at 4:30 the next morning, my family and I left Dublin in the dead of night for our flights.

We were all exhausted at the airport but we managed to get ourselves from place to place. We were all so sleepy! We had a little bit of a snack and then they all went down to customs – hugs all around – and I stayed upstairs, to wait a few more hours for my flight. I was tired and it was hard to relax in the airport, but with the help of a pretty new Avoca blanket (so many pretty colors!) and some good reading material, I passed the time just fine. Well, that and the Bailey’s hot chocolate I had a guy in an airport bar make for me. (Yum!)

It’s all a big blur now – Dublin to Shannon, Shannon to Newark. Going through security with my family, it wasn’t too bad. It was a MESS, but it wasn’t bad. It took forever, but it wasn’t that bad. It exhausted me, and melted my brain, and got me to the point where I just had to tell myself to put one foot in front of the other… but it wasn’t awful. It was just, you know, awful. And Shannon security, that was a mess too – a very efficient, prompt mess, a very organized mess, but, you know, checking everyone’s carryons, it was a mess. I got through just fine… but the lines were incredibly, incredibly long. Everywhere.

Went through every shop I could find in every airport where I waited. It was neat to look, but it wasn’t enough – still so much time to kill. By the time I hit Newark, exhausted from the six hour flight, a litany of dirty words was marching through my brain, over and over and over. It kept me moving, it kept me going. Oh, if the security staff could have read my mind in Newark! They would’ve sent me back to the UK!

But I survived Newark. And I even survived the flight to Austin, which was still a good four hours. Night flights are the worst, especially in the back, where the seats don’t recline – but I had three seats to myself back there, and I eventually gave up and sprawled across them. I slept a little on that flight. And you know, none of the flights on Wednesday were bad. None of the waiting was bad. It was long, but it was ultimately HALF as bad as my trip to the UK had been, several weeks before. It was very reasonable. Hell, it was almost enjoyable in comparison. (I say this so I can mark that item off my list! Sneaky!)

And my luggage survived, somehow. And eventually I was in Austin baggage claim, spotting Marty way across the room, feeling blank and dead but relieved. And he drove me home. And it was good. It was so good!

So, I made it. Do you even believe that I made it back? Don’t ask me how, beats me!!

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