Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ireland and Queen Mary 2 cruise...we're home

We're back. Yes we finally are. The last day was exhausting trying to make our way back from New York. We disembarked from the Queen Mary 2 to sit at JFK airport for about 5 hours for our flight to Chicago then home. A couple of hours into our wait we accidently found out that our flight to Chicago was canceled due to weather. Great! Now what do we do. We had 21 people in our group we needed to shuffle to find flights for. We were lucky I guess to be able to find flights to Dallas, spend the night then fly out at 6 am home the next morning. So here we are. The flight to DFW was not without its drama as one of our group suddenly got sick then had seizures on the flight. The call from the pilots was made for doctors, nurses or EMT to aid. The lady at the center of the scare had her husband at her side and their daughter sitting at the middle of the plane. When we finally landed the paramedics came on board and took her immediately to the hospital. I am very happy to say that she is going to be fine but probably won't fly for a long time. It was explained to us that sometimes when you get off a cruise ship and fly immediately you can develop the vertigo and a little swelling of the brain which is what happened in this. She was sent to the hotel and was told to not fly, so rent a car was their next stop. Scary stuff... now on to the trip.

Between The Hubby and I, we took over 600 pictures so I will try to cull out some them to share and forgive me if I'm not to witty or pick a few blurry ones. The Hubby and I both got sick on this trip and are trying to recover, mine a head cold and his pharangitis and upper respiratory. YUCK!

This is us on the tour bus. We spent a lot of time on the tour bus and usually the minute we sat down and started moving The Hubby would nod off, every time.

Our first place to stay, Hotel Dunloe Castle in Killarney. This place was stunning. I mean absolutely stunning. I could have stayed the entire two weeks here and never leave.

This is the view from our room. I was in heaven. We also got a little floor show from the stallion of the group and his little filly. I have pictures but will not post. I was standing at the outside door and the big guy ran up to the filly, snorted and mounted. This was only 10 minutes after we arrived to our digs.

The view every morning. Did you know that in June the sun does not go down until about 11 pm in Ireland and it rises about 4:45 or 5 am. I didn't realize that.

The outside of our temporary abode.

The inside and some of our traveling companions.

This wonderful bar was not used but just a pretty to look at.

Muckross House

This was on the grounds of our hotel. An old castle, I'm assuming the original Dunloe Castle.

Our day tour around the Ring of Kerry.

We visited an actual sheep farm and were able to watch the sheering of sheep. The only thing we didn't like here was being swarmed by midges that bit. I still have a few places on my hand. The red dye on the sheep is their branding.

This was a trip to Muckross house via ;jaunty car or jaunting car.

Muckross House

Irish stud farm.

Japanese gardens on the farm.

Think I'll paint this.

Finally we are on the ship. What a day but way cool, at least the first 3 days or so. Queen Mary 2. I really got tired of gray water with white foam and waves and waves. Thank goodness for the patches. There were a couple of days where I walked like I was a complete drunk but had not touched a drop. On a sad note, one of our group had a major kink in her arrival on the boat. We had to fly from Dublin to Heathrow/London and then take a tour bus to South Hampton to catch the cruise. When the airline, Aer Lingus was putting the luggage on the plane the baggage handlers decided that we were overweight on the luggage and took hers off and left it sitting. That meant she arrived on the ship without her stuff for a 6 day trip. She was so upset and rightly so because all she had was her carry on and the clothes she was wearing, a t-shirt and jeans and tennis shoes. What a nightmare but we all pulled together to attire her and she was able to find clothes to buy. She was a trooper.

Our balcony. The room. Yeah they brought us champagne.

Ahhhh...we're moving...6 days of moving, back and forth, back and forth. Actually, it wasn't too awfully bad but I did get tired of walking like an intoxicated person.
Let the party begin! I was wrong, really wrong. I have dubbed this cruise, Branson on Water. This trip, I think may have been more for the older set as there were walkers, canes and wheelchairs in abundance. Don't get me wrong there was a nice night club we danced in but the majority of the population on this trip were over 65. EGADS...

The was beautiful.

Our dining room...The Britannia Room

The tour of the main kitchen.

Sunrise. We had sunshine the first day then nothing but clouds and no land until the last day. Finally we have sun.

There were several lectures during the week and one was by Erica Jong who wrote The Fear of Flying. I didn't do the lectures but The Hubby did a few. I wanted to read and do nothing which is exactly what I did. We did attend several of the shows after dinner several times. They had dancers and singers and a live band and there was a club G32

where we danced to the sounds of the DJ Graham Cracker (yeah I know) and a Caribean band called Fusion. The Hubby was in heaven.

Spent most of my time here reading and journaling. There were several areas to play games, read, write, jigsaw puzzles and visit.

We awoke at 5am to shower, dress and catch some breakfast before we disembarked. After breakfast we spied the Statue of Liberty in the fog. Finally we're home.

We took over 600 pictures so it was hard to find a select few to share here. I will share more later of some of the flowers from the gardens we saw.


Lisa said...

from my perspective on the other side of the world, this all looks so amazingly wonderful- except for the waiting around ofcourse which is universally awful...........

lagirl/Sweet Tea said...

Welcome Home, Traveler!!
I've enjoyed reading your posts about your trip and now it's even MORE fun to be able to see the things you tell us about. Rest up then come back with more posts & photos. I'm looking forward to hearing more.

Kay said...

Welcome home! I loved seeing your terrific photos. It made me feel like I was on the trip with you. How scary about your fellow traveler who got sick on the airplane. I had no idea that you could have a problem if you go from boat to plane. Sheesh! I hate biting insects. We had sand flies in New Zealand that must have been like your midges. I'm looking forward to seeing more photos.

Kathryn Magendie said...

How wonderful to see these photos! *smiling* . . . I'm glad the woman is okay now, too! *whew* I bet that was scary for her and nerve-wracking for everyone else!

Love the horses, and also love the one of the room with the bare feet!

Susan said...

Sounds like a fun and interesting trip. The photos are wonderful. Enjoy the weekend. Susan

Char said...

sounds like lots of fun - it was always a dream to sail across the ocean and see Ireland. :) I can't wait to see more of the shots.