It’s a strange feeling the lack of bodies in your bed after so long. But it’s a luxurious feeling. So while spread out I called my kids to wish them a good morning. Their little voices were so sweet and innocent and my daughter told me how much she loved being with her daddy. My heart was full.
I headed rather late to our buffet breakfast at the Radisson, but I was not hungry so it was easy to grab some quick food before heading back onto the bus, ready for my final day as a travelling mum without her family.
A quick beach stop
Ireland has the kissing stone, but we were off to see the kicking stone. Located on the coast of Galway. But more importantly people were swimming in the freezing ocean. One little old lady got out and I asked her if she was cold, she said it was a lovely 17C that morning.
Try saying this three times fast – Cnoc Suain
In the Connemara hill-village set on 200 acres of ancient landscape scattered with bogs sit Cnoc Suain. It is situated in the Gaeltacht, about 25 minutes from Galway city. This was to be our educational part of the tour where we could learn about Irish culture, folklore, traditions, music and song.
We received several talks on cooking, plants, bogs and more before heading to a house for some great tin-whistle, accordian, fiddler music… and even a spot of dancing.
To be honest I had so much fun dancing without little ones stepping on my toes. But my daughter is a creative genius and I know she would have loved to have an Irish jig. It woudn’t be long now till I can dance the night away with her.
A truly delicious lunch
What else would you expect from the “Best Gastro Pub in Ireland”. We were wined (or rather beered) and dined at The Twelve. And when a plate of muscles came out and my good friend, Corey and I declined we were subsequently served up a lamb tasting plate that rocked my socks off. It was divine. I’m getting hungry just writing about it.
This place made such an impression on me I did manage to bring the family back during our road trip of Ireland. We were served just as well and even left with a chocolate, berry and marshmallow pizza! Top service and great food.
Never pass up a Segway tour
After lunch we had the option of a walking tour or a Segway tour. My husband was insanely jealous and when I was making my decision on which to do, he venomously preached at me waving his finger, “you never ever give up a Segway Tour.” And so the Segway Tour it was.
Only thing problem, it was pouring with rain. A complete drenching, soaked to the skin, pouring. My beautiful Guess jacket I brought in Las Vegas… not so waterproof as I found out. And those jeans I brought along… my only pair of bottoms!
But did it stop us? No. And to be honest I still had a blast. We raced around Galway like pros and not too long in our instructor, John, kindly donated his super fast Segway to me, after my protests of a turtle-speed ride. We rode the coastline in the wind and the rain and then uncharacteristically John took us down the pedestrian mall.
With little foot traffic due to the rain he thought we were safe. Some passersby begged for a turn, others scowled at our mob. But we flew through admiring all of Galway from our electronic two wheeled vehicles.
It was a close call near the river as one of our team members skidded out of control and fell off. Thankfully not into the river, although I am sure it would not have made a difference to the amount of water in her clothes.
No kids on a Segway Tour, but I was constantly reminded of how much my husband would have loved this ride. He will have massive brownie points for letting me ride without him, massive!
What to do when you have no pants
We rode our Segways back to the Radisson. They offered us their Leisure Centre to get warm and dressed. One problem, the bus was nowhere to be seen and we had no change of clothes.
Graciously I was provided a robe to sit in, while they attempted to place my clothes in the dryer with the limited amount of time we had left.
Myself and 3 other girls sat in the change room with hairdryers drying our shoes and socks, our hair, our underwear while waiting for the bus.
Finally I headed outside in my robe to see what was taking so long and spotted our tour guide across the way. She waved at me and I waved for her to come over, I’m not desperate enough to head across a road in my dressing gown.
Our bags are brought and I open it up to discover my suspicion as right, I only brought one pair of pants for this 3-day journey. With a 2-hour drive to Dublin I did not care to be wearing wet jeans.
One of the lovely girls generously donated a pair of Thai pants to me. Thankfully though at the last second before getting on the bus I retrieved my jeans from the dryer and they were dry! Yay!
Bus ride home
After 3 days of non-stop action and talking I was ready to have some cave-time, just like at the conference. I nestled into a front seat with my laptop and wedged in for the ride. Halfway through I headed to the back of the bus for some last-minute chats with my fellow travel bloggers. They had become great friends in this time and I am thankful that they were on the journey with me:
Mary Jo travelingwithmj.com
I am sure they will all have versions of these stories as well if you are interested in reading more about The Wild Atlantic Way West.
Missing you made me love you more
As the bus dropped me off at the front of my hotel and I carted my bag to my room. I was almost skipping. I waited patiently for the lift and lifted my feet across the plush carpet at the Ballsbridge Hotel, then paused and listened. I heard nothing; it was after all close to 10pm.
I knocked on the door and settled a grin onto my face as my husband opened the door and then there was nothing, but big warm arms and my head against his chest.
It was good to be home.
The kids were fast asleep and although I may have tried, would not wake. So I kissed their angel faces and snuggled into bed with my husband. Having my own bed had been a luxury, but a lonely one. Him here beside me, that was the luxury.
In the morning it was not so quiet, I did not wake on my own or lounge in bed. My son was instantly on top of me the moment he woke at 6 something and my daughter was quick to follow. We laughed and giggled and I loved them even more than the day I had left. But that is another post…
Prelude - Leaving my family for a press trip.
Day 1 - Tea & Scones, walking tour in Westport, cycling the coast, a warm place for home & eating overload.
Day 2 - Riding hookers, extreme sports, Galway city and more food.
Reader Comments..."I respond to every comment by direct private email. I look forward to your feedback" - Josh Bender
What a lovely post Erin! I really enjoyed reading it.
PLUS: great photos!
It looks like you had a great time!
I love the dancing video and the music in it! I would never have even thought about doing something like that till now.
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