Today is a day of lessons learned, I am reflecting on my preparation for Ireland and departure from the USA, a mile a minute, a fenzy of getting all in order at work, packing and saying goodbye to my family. The trip was a cruise, my sister Robbin is with me, my copilot for this trip, we are scheduled to leave Burlington at 7:15pm, fly to New York, than on to London Heathrow, 3 hours there, then it is time to board the plan to Cork, Ireland, 10:30am eastern time, 15 hours later, good going AND we have bags, perfect!
Next up car rental, that cracks me up, we get all the paper work squared away, ” it’s a small car, you know that right?” says Mark, who is helping us, ” yes, small”, I reply, ” good then, the car will be out front in a bit”, “OK, thanks for your help”, Robbin and I then push our heavily ladden cart outside with our bags. ” Wait where?”, I am thinking, there is a handicapped parking spot and a car rental shuttle area, neither good options to park a rental car, we wait anyway, after a bit a chap zips up in a 4 door car, ” can’t be ours I think, I reserved a 2-3 door, sketchy at best but the right price”, the chap locks the brakes and jumps out, he parks half in the road the rest in the shuttle spot, ” you know the one that says ” NO PARKING HERE LOSER”. He is clearly looking for someone, there are 12-14 people milling around, then he goes inside, I check out the car, nothing identifyable, then the guy comes back out, he has a dollar rental car shirt on, we rented an alamo, I thought it was worth a go anyway ” are you looking to drop a car off for Charlotte Brynn”, I ask, ” yes, keys are inside”, and with that he was gone! Oh dear, look at the car causing the traffic trouble, yip ours and with that I dash inside, snap up the keys and go about stuffing in our luggage with the help of Robbin, we jump in and are off.
Remeber at the start of this post…..when I told you about reflection, which to me means looking back to see what you can learn from the experience to do differently next time, gaining strength and confidence from the things that go well and learning and making adjustments in response to the things that don’t, well………. for starters next time directions from the airport to our apartment GOOD IDEA! I have quite a list of addtional points but for now lets leave it at that.
I leaped into the drivers seat, right hand drive, I know I am going to Kinsale and the street but not a clue how to get there, we are winging it, the roads are very narrow and I am grateful for a small car, we follow the signs to Kinsale, the car is manual, I feel luck that my car at home is also a stick shift, however I do catch myself occassionally wanting to change gears with my right hand instead of my left. The scenery is breathtaking, we arrive in Kinsale, it is a delightful little village bustling with cars and a mixture of tiny shops, some tourist shops and other village businesses. After far too long looking for our rental ( it took longer than the flight from London to Kinsale!) we make it at 6pm, a tiny 2 bedroom a five minute walk from the village. We unload and go about finding groceries for dinner, what is on the menu, steak and peas of course!
11:00pm it is off to bed, tomorrow’s swim is at Sandycove Island, we need to be there at 6:45am, that means up for me at 5:35am, I google diections and write them down, not to confidently, we found earlier today that some roads are marked, some are not, some look more like driveways but are actually roads, it may take little extra time to find where we are going to swim tomorrow.
As I turn in I look at the little houses all in a row, some 300 years old, how astounding, I imagine these little places first built, no running water, no electricity, oh and the temperature today16 degrees ( 60.8 F) , ok some sleep, the first bed rest in 23 hours, nite nite!