Hi Ho Silver was ready to go early — so were we. We bade our thatched cottage goodbye and drove down the road to that gas station for one more full Irish breakfast. This time, I braved the black pudding, trying not to dwell on the fact that it was essentially a sausage made from blood, cooked until congealed. Sounds appetizing…not. In truth, it was a bit dry, but tasty enough, although I can’t say I’d ever eat it again.
With a few snacks tucked away for the drive and a full tank of gas, we headed south towards Dublin. Time to pull out that dreaded map again.
At Dorothy’s heeding, we planned to stick to the main highways for the return trip. It was a good choice since we found the signage much better than the northern route in and so made very few missteps. Still, it took all eyes on the road to catch the correct off-shoots at the numerous roundabouts and mergings onto different highways. Once again we laughed at the unprounceable town names and our attempts at pronouncing them.
We made great time to the outskirts of the airport and with much relief, found the hire car drop-off point without any problem. Holding my breath as the car was inspected for any damage (don’t anybody breathe a WORD about all those curbs I sideswiped), we were released with a bill of approval.
As is our usual M.O. when arriving at an airport, we had plenty of time to spare until our flight to Rome, so we found a bar and ordered one (er, Gino ordered two) last pint of Guinness Goodness before finding our departure gate.
A woman from the Ireland Tourist Bureau with an official badge and clipboard was walking around asking various travelers to participate in a survey about their experience in Ireland. I agreed to answer the several questions. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed that Gino kept disappearing and reappearing and wondered if he was having some bathroom issue. On the plane I asked him about it; sheepishly he confessed he had crept back to that last bar to down two more (that made a total of four) large pints of the famous frothy brew before bidding goodbye to Ireland.
As we walked up the metal stairs to board the plane that waited to whisk us to Rome, an Irish man behind me remarked to his fellow-traveler: “Wouldn’t you know? Today we’re leaving and it’s SUNNY!” Yes, wouldn’t you know…
Three hours later, we stepped off the plane to wondrously warm weather.
We were in Rome.