25 May 2013, Saturday
Gerry and I were in the dining room enjoying a Big Irish Breakfast when Orla and Clare showed up, cranky as a pair of wet hens. Oh, friends, I laughed ’til I cried, because there is nothing funnier than my two nieces having a good rant. 🙂
It seems their roommate snored. Very loudly. All night. Isn’t that always the way? The snorer is always the good sleeper, right? I can say this because I was a snorer until I had a sleep study done and found out I have sleep apnea. (Now I’m a very quiet sleeper, thanks to my CPAP, known as the Magic Sleep Machine in my house.) I’m betting the girls’ friend has sleep apnea too.
We hadn’t had the best sleep either, what with listening to inebriated guests on the stairs and the patio all night, so I wasn’t sorry to leave the Lakeside Hotel, which we did pretty much right after breakfast. And this time we took the R463 all the way back to Mountshannon, cheerfully ignoring Ms. Emily, Gp.S.
Saturdays are farmers market days in Mountshannon, and I adore a farmers market, so we stopped and walked around a bit.
It’s a small market … but Mountshannon is a small village. We did buy a gorgeous apple tart (we took it back to Dublin; there will be a photo later). The label (yes, I saved it) reads, “Eve’s Deep Filled Bramley Apple Pie. Contains Bramley Apples, Flour, Butter, Sugar, Salt.” That is an ingredient list I can appreciate. I understand all those words.
We were all exhausted, though, so we took ourselves back to the delightful Hawthorne Lodge and had a nice nap. One of the sweetest luxuries for me—and a vacation is about the only time I get to indulge—is a nap. Later Gerry worked on the wedding video and I worked on the manuscript I’d brought with me. (I’d really, really tried not to bring work with me, but … it couldn’t be avoided.)
At six o’clock we went down to one of the three pubs in town, Cois Na hAbhna, where there was an Irish-style barbeque planned (out back). This included a pig on a spit (and he was stuffed with sausages!), venison, lamb, and chicken, plus roasted root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, onions, sweet potatoes) and roasted potatoes, also some lovely salads.
Have a look at the street view here (because I failed to take a photograph):
If you see the little alley beside the bar, that leads back to a grassy backyard area. They’d been roasting that pig all day, and had picnic tables set up, with buffet-style serving. It was all so nice! But the weather was still chilly and some of us older folk ended up back inside the pub. 🙂 The place was packed, too, because there was a championship soccer game on, and eventually it was hot in there. Great craic, I must say. You know about craic, right?
And then we had a sweet surprise. I’d been hearing about Clare’s boyfriend, but was disappointed that I wouldn’t be meeting him. He had his own wedding to be at in Cork, a close friend. And you see how Irish wedding are now—you don’t just show up for a short ceremony, have a little mingle at the reception and go home. Oh no. These things start at midday on Friday and go all weekend. So I wasn’t going to be meeting Barry Kavanaugh.
But then I did. 🙂 Barry drove all the way from Cork to surprise his girl. And it was, truly, a surprise. (I get a little teary-eyed just thinking about it.) Everyone knew he was coming and kept it a secret from Clare. (I know this was difficult for Orla.) So I got to talk to him! He’s lovely, from Wexford, studying for his big accountancy test. (The ACCA? I’m not sure if I’ve got that right.) Bridie says “he’s very fresh-faced”; I say he’s a gem. And I think he’s well smitten. 🙂
Gerry and I didn’t stay long after that, thought it was, in fact, after ten o’clock. And it was still light enough outside to take photos!