Okay so the first day of our journey – Mom and I left Syracuse at 1:25 p.m. on Saturday September 17. We took a two hour flight to Chicago, waited around for a few hours and then hopped a seven hour flight (complete with rude flight attendants, baggage that wouldn’t fit, and two babies) to Manchester, where we arrived at 8 a.m. Sunday. We waited in Manchester for a bit then hopped a third and final flight from Manchester to Cork Ireland. We’d been talking to an older lady in Manchester and when we got off the flight in Cork she had this huge bag coming down the carousel, so I offered to grab it and put it on her cart and then she kissed me! It was really funny. So one of my bags was ripped – we had a fun time sorting that out with Aer Lingus, who really did absolutely nothing for us. And then we went to the top of the line (not upstairs, just to the very front, you know) and grabbed a cab. Now as the cabby took us to our B&B (which you can find in Ireland every four feet) I started to ask him some stuff about the rules of the road because mom and I were going to be driving in friken Ireland (because we’re crazy bitches and that’s how we roll). So I started to ask him what to do at a red light because as you all know, we have right on red in the states after you’ve stopped for the red light, so I was just getting to that part, but I said “So when you come to a red light, do you…” and his immediate response was… “You fookin’ stop, that’s what!” As if I were insane (now here I must note that by this point we were both convinced that he was insane by the way he swerved in and out of traffic on the wrong side of the road). But we all thought this was hysterical.
We got to the B&B about 11:30 am and our room was not ready (check in had been moved from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. about a month after I booked our room and no one had told us. So the lovely ladies at the Gabriel Guest House helped us with our bags and set us loose in the city of Cork. We tried to shop – the stores were either extremely expensive or totally mobbed, and we were just too tired. So we walked a bit and we stopped at a pub for a late lunch which wasn’t too bad (it beat the hell out of airplane food). There we met some lovely Irishwomen (Tanya and her friend whose name I cannot remember). We talked for a bit and exchanged contact info so that we could facebook. Then we went back to the B&B and our room was almost ready. We got all five of our bags down the stairs into our room and freshened up (no sleeping though because that makes you all jet-lagy) and got ready to go on our walking tour.
John (our lovely tour guide) met us right at the B&B and took us on a walkabout of the city. It was really cool. We walked around and heard about the history of the city and we saw a bunch of monuments and parts of the city most tourists never visit and then we went into an old fort which had been converted into police barracks and we met a very nice policeman who showed us his pepper spray and his night stick and we chatted for a bit. Then we went to get some fish & chips (which you cannot just get at a sit-down pub, but you have to buy out of a take-out window) and shared them with John on our way back to Gabriel House – all in all a terrific first day and night in Ireland.