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Day 114 – One day and counting – tears and sadness and fond goodbyes

Denis was up and out by 4:45 am to go to see the students off.  There were lots of tears and no one wanted to get on the bus. They each sat alone on the bus probably to hide their tears and to go back to sleep on the ride to Dublin.  A few of them were not leaving with the rest and some of their Irish roommates came to see them off. Very nice at that hour of the morning although it could be that none of them had been to bed yet.  Denis returned and went back to sleep.

Arabica for breakfast was our first stop of the day.. Denis wanted to eat a full Irish Breakfast before we left.  It was way more than he would normally eat and he could not finish it all.  Looked good but was way too much for me.  Even the bowl of granola and yougurt was too much for me.  But it was nice to be there and we will probably be there again tomorrow.

We got up to another day of packing, sorting and going to the post office to mail what we thought were just too heavy to put in the suitcases.  The books we bought for ourselves are going via ship so we won’t see them for several weeks. The other items will be at the house in about 7 days.  Wow, what a life.. We also went to the Farmers Market to replace Eleana’s gift and get it right this time. Spelt her name wrong the first time. We were not shopping for food and the temptation to purchase other items was so strong.  We enjoyed that walk and felt better once we had sent off that box of books.

I set up a date to meet Irene for coffee at 2 pm.  Denis went off to the post office again with one more package and then he met us at Arabica.  It was a lovely visit and I am so sad to be losing this new friend.  Irene is so warm and friendly and has helped me so much during our stay.  She is a Kerry girl and so proud of it.  Her sister also came along and we got to meet her as well.  I gave Irene some little gifts and she answered our final questions – things like where to put the keys to the apt, where to store the items we are leaving for the next professor etc.

We then took a walk out on the Promenade, will try to go again tomorrow but if it is raining too much at least we walked a bit there today.  Denis plans to run the distance and kick the wall tomorrow – that is running all the way to Salt Hill and there is a wall there that they say they kicked which signifies that they did it.  We walked back up Shop Street. There are so many people there this weekend shopping. Wall to wall people.  We stopped in a couple of shops and said farewell to some of the folks we have gotten to know a bit.

At 6 we are going to the Spanish Arch for dinner so will finish this when we return.  Just wanted to start now.

We went to the Spanish Arch for dinner. Fish and Chips for our last meal in Galway.  It was very good and we had a lovely dessert which was called something else but certainly tasted like “Death by Chocolate’. It was sooooo good.  We stayed an hour longer to listen to the music and talked about what we liked about our stay here.  One thing for sure was that the time we spent together in evenings was actually more like dating. We shared wonderful walks along the water, and in town and stopping to shop or to have a drink in a pub.  As we left the Spanish Arch we got hugs goodbye which was nice.  We have enjoyed listening to Feedback and are bringing back their cd.

The Irish people have been so kind and welcoming to us and it has been nice as we walked around the town having people say goodbye and wishing us well..  They remember when we were leaving and have been so good to us and helpful all the time.

Well, going to try and post some pictures of Galway I took today of some of our favorite places and sites.

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Day 107 – Such a day….. or why nothing works! But we still had fun… and you never know who you will meet!

Well, waking up to still having no internet was like going into full blown withdrawl. I am really hooked on my network.  So what to do. Sarah who went to bed very early in the morning was finally up before noon, I woke her at 10:30 thinking she had gotten in at one time when in truth it was much later.  But being a trooper she got up. We called Gerald about the internet being out and he said he would be down to work on it.

We went to the farmers market and met up with five Union/HWS students.  They are such lovely young people, how lucky are we to have them with us. We got some of the wonderful yummy  donuts and a few little gift items. Denis got his bagel and I got some muffins for tomorrow on the bus to Dublin.

We went back. Sarah went to the coffee shop to write and we went up to see about the internet.  We finally were able to connect to the net in the apt next door and turns out our internet machine was blown. So no wonder it has not been working very well.  Once that was fixed and we had a bit of a visit with Irene and then Gerald and Sarah returned. First she went out and took pictures of the Farmers Market and then the three of us went to Charlie Byrnes wonderful Book Store and then to the Christmas Market.  We finally had some of the little Belgian pancakes with lemon and sugar. They were yummy, like the donuts this morning, bad for one but so good to eat.

We had trouble deciding about dinner, one place we wanted to eat in had a 40 minute wait so we decided to get a pizza and go back to the apt. So Denis went to get a pizza and Sarah and I went to get a bottle of wine to go with the dinner.  Sarah was hoping to do out with a new friend but that fizzled out.  We went to a concert at St. Nicholas Church and she stayed at the apt to take a nap. The group singing was the Cois Chadaigh. They were wonderful. They sang some lovely music from Spain, Ireland, Scotland, England etc. All Christmas themed music but not the normal Christmas Carols.  The concert was a fund raiser for a homeless aid organization called Galway Simon.

Now here was the interesting part, aside from the very good music, acoustics and setting.  At the start this woman asked everyone to shake hands with the person sitting next to them that they did not know – I turned to the fellow sitting next to me and he said his name was John and I said I was Margaret Brennan, He laughed and said well guess what? I am John Brennan. I got Denis’ attention and introduced them.  Then John says he has an Uncle Denis who lived in Albany NY.  Just then the concert started and he said he would tell us more afterwards.  Well for those of you who know the Albany Diocese, you might know about the story of Denis Brennan. Turns out that he was the uncle of this fellow and we knew the story of Denis’ going from Denis to Denise. It was quite the coincident.

Anyway, great evening for sure.  Ah the adventures of life. wonder what life will be like in three weeks when we are back home with Denis getting ready to start teaching and me getting the house back together and figuring out the next stage of my life.  Back to Tai Chi, Chair Yoga, no more Trad music, Jamison and Ginger, walks by the Bay, oh my dear, what is life going to be like…. bah… hate to think about it so will stop doing it now.

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Day 106 – So Sorry Barbara Reid and “Cup an Tae”

Going to start this again just now since we will be out late again this evening.  This morning was one of a bit of confusion.  We were going to get up and go to Connamara but then I really was not feeling great so Sarah was going to go on her own. Then we found out it would be the same tour leader as yesterday and she really was not prepared to go along with him.  So we ended up canceling out and I told the fellow why which of course upset Sarah since she did not want to get anyone in trouble, but then I told her I really like the company and the tours they provide and having a driver who has boundary issues is not good for business.  As you can tell there was much more to the story than I have shared.

Anyway, we took it very lazy and slow so did not get out very early.  We first, Denis, Sarah and I , walked out the Promenade as she had not had one sunny day to see how lovely it is. I just love being out there walking and enjoying the sunshine and the fresh air.  When Sarah went to get out her camera all the pigeons came from near and far because they figured she had bread for them, WRONG, they were quite disappointed and actually turned their backs on her. We had a good laugh over that.   It was a lovely walk and although dark clouds came and went we enjoyed it.

Then we went over to the Galway Museum and gave ourselves an hour to go through it.  They had some new displays that I really enjoyed.  They had old pictures of Galway and it was fun seeing what it looked like over 100 years ago. especially the center of the city.  They have great artifacts in there from pre-historic times and on up. It seems when ever they do any digging they find old coins, and metal items as well as pottery pieces etc from long ago. Love that stuff.

After the museum we went to Cup a Tae for just that and Sarah and I had the soup – Sweet potato, apple, carrots and turmeric. It was yummy… Denis had very tasty looking Bruscetta. It was nice. Then when we came out it was starting to rain so we went into the kids toy store for a bit. When  we came out it was raining more so we came back here since later we are going out to a concert at the Town Hall Theatre.  So quiet at the moment but who knows what will happen next.

Well, what an eventful evening. Right before we left for the Sean Keane Concert the power went out for the lights upstairs.  We waited for Gerald to come and fix the switches and then he gave us a ride up to the Town Hall Theatre which is very nice.. The concert was great.  Some Trad music but also some American Appalachian music as well.

Afterwards we walked down to the Spanish Arch. Turns out in Galway this was 12 pubs night – aka the 12 days of Christmas. There were young people all over the place with Christmas sweaters on who were trying to drink in 12 pubs. Not a great activity by nights end.  The band Feedback was playing although the drum player was at a gig somewhere else. They all seem to plan in multiple groups.  We listened to some music and then left Sarah there to hang out with some of the folks.  She met a fellow from the Netherlands who was here with a group visiting farms and seeing how the Irish farms work.

When we got home there was no internet available to us. Not one in the building was working so I am so sad that I broke my chain of not missing a day of blogging. So this is many hours late and Barbara, I love that you read this over breakfast so I guess on Sunday you can read two..

Will blog again later today before bed and then tomorrow night from Dublin.

And to make things complete, the pictures refuse to upload into this post.. go figure. been an interesting week of goofy things happening.

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