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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Greetings from Ireland! - Days 1 and 2 (Now with pictures!!!)

We are safely in Ireland! I am writing this blog from an internet cafe in Killarney because our hotel does not have internet access. I think about half the choir is in here too to check their emails and get in touch with friends and family back home!

Today is already Day Two, so I guess I should backtrack and explain what all it takes to get 95 people from the States across the pond to Ireland. For most of us, our Thursdays started at about 4:45am! Many took a bus from Centenary to the Dallas airport - my mom drove me to Dallas from Houston early Thursday morning to meet those coming from Shreveport. Our flight from Dallas to Newark was delayed, so we had plenty of time in the airport to get something to eat and exchange money. Our first flight was about four hours, and as we were landing in the Newark airport, we could see New York City and the Statue of Liberty! Once we got to Newark we quickly took a shuttle to a different terminal in time to board the flight to Shannon, Ireland. Our second flight was about 6 hours long, so I was hoping to get a little sleep to make the time pass quickly. Unfortunately, I did not get any sleep on the plane - middle seats are not comfortable.

We finally landed in Shannon at 6:45am Ireland time. We then boarded two buses and drove to a small tourist stop in Adare. Since it was so early, nothing was open, so most of us just got back on the buses and tried to stay awake and adjust to the new time zone. We then bused to our hotel in Killarney. After all that travel, my roommate Chelsea and I decided we needed showers and time to get organized. We watched the news to get caught up with current events - it felt like we had been in such a time warp since leaving the States. At 6pm the entire group met in the hotel restaurant for a buffet meal. A small group of us then went exploring in Killarney to find a local pub. After 30 minutes of sitting in the pub and trying to blend in with the locals, we succumbed to our fatigue and headed back to the hotel. My roommate and I were both asleep by 8:30! It was still light outside! I slept well until about midnight when the rest of Killarney went to the pub next door to our hotel - luckily I was so tired from all the traveling that I quickly went back to sleep.

This morning we got up at about 7:30 this morning and had an Irish breakfast at the hotel before getting on the buses to travel around the Ring of Kerry. We stopped several times for photo opportunities in picturesque spots along the coast.

The following picture is of Carrie, myself, Michael, Rachel, and Jack on the Ring of Kerry.

We stopped in the small town of Waterville for lunch. On a side note, Charlie Chaplin spent his summers vacationing here. We ate in a local pub and then shopped in the tourist shops before getting back on the bus for more sightseeing.
This picture is of myself, Caitlin, Chelsea, and Virginia on the beach in Waterville.

On family vacations, I usually don't enjoy looking out the window at the sights, but I could have stayed on the bus all day just looking at the Irish countryside. The only thing I did not enjoy about the bus ride was the very narrow roads that wound around the mountains. At times it seemed like we were about to fall off a cliff, but of course, we did not. Now we are back in Killarney and have the rest of the evening free. A group of us plan on going to the local grocery to make a picnic for dinner and then may go enjoy a Saturday night in Killarney. Tomorrow we are going to kiss the Blarney stone (so maybe my next post will be a little more eloquent) and then go to Dublin!

The End. Love, Margaret

P.S. If I am unable to find a computer with internet tomorrow, I was to wish a Happy Mothers' Day to my mom a day early!


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