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  • Day21

    Last Day 🥲

    June 22 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 68 °F

    We begin to cross the middle of Ireland to position ourselves closer to Dublin for our flight on Thursday afternoon. Our plan today is to do some shopping in Athlone (town where Deni and Patrick Reilly, Barb’s niece, got married in 2005) and then to Tullamore and the Whiskey museum. The tours for today only had one vacancy, so Larry opted to spend money on take home stuff (ie: whiskey) than to do another tour by himself.
    Speaking of making choices - we opted to do this trip without internet or gps. It saved us a ton of money over the course of 3 weeks but also helped us to connect into the area we were driving through. It has been challenging at times but we had some good detailed maps and did use google maps at all of our stops to know where we were heading. Wi-Fi is widely available throughout the country. And, of course, it’s always a hoot to ask for directions because everyone knows everyone! The directions are usually “just a wee bit down the road past the farm” or “Turd (3rd!) turn off the roundabout”. Oh, how we will miss the beautiful brogue! Gaelic is still spoken in much of the country and there has been a resurgence of importance in last 15 years to ensure that the language does die off. Children are required to take the language in school and have a required testing in order to leave school. Many towns are strictly Gaeltacht, as are their signs. Most places have both English and Gaeltacht.
    Grogans pub in Athlone was closed on Wednesdays. What a bummer. We found the B and B that we stayed at and the golf course that the guys all played before the wedding. We couldn’t find the castle, someone told us they think it was sold off and is now private. Did a little shopping in town. We opted for the Brewery Tap to eat in Tullamore. Had great food, sidewalk table and people watching during the busy lunch hour. Larry was quite amused by the toilet facilities and they apparently rank in the top 50 of best urinals in Ireland. Yes, those are beer kegs.
    The Tullamore Whiskey factory has moved to a big brand new place out of town. Unfortunately, it’s has lost a lot of it’s charm that we experienced during our first visit there 15 years ago. Got a few things and hoping for access to more in the duty free shop at the airport. Nothing special that isn’t available in the US.
    Checked into our B and B for the night. Anne O’Brien is a talker! Lovely older woman who has been doing this for 25 years. Room is basic, older house but has upgraded electric so we could plug in all of our essentials. Perfect location to the airport. Dinner in town. Delicious seafood in a Spanish restaurant for our final meal. Early night and off to the airport after breakfast.
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    thanks for all the updates, amazing and beautiful trip!