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A Galway Weekend

A Galway Weekend

This post gives you an idea of what took place during the days of June 18th to the 21st.

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Mom and I decided that Saturday would be a “quiet day,” during which we would just sleep in, hang around the house, catch up on work (me), and nap if we so desired (we both did!).

On Sunday, Father’s Day, I wanted Mom to experience the jazz at Busker Brownes in the city centre, so we planned to arrive shortly before the jazz began in order to have our meal and be able to converse throughout. We started with the delicious lamb and apricot Thai spring rolls, then Mom had the amazing Hereford Beef and Guinness Stew (HUGE portions and very tasty, served with mash on top), and I had their famous Colleran’s Baked Ham & Dubliner Cheddar Cheese Toasted Sour Dough Sandwich…so good!

We had decided that we would take the 2:30pm sailing of the Corrib Princess that afternoon, and so we enjoyed the jazz until about 2pm. As we were leaving Busker Brownes, I spotted my friend Iris Lynch, and we invited her to join us for the cruise. Happily, she said yes, as she is always up for an adventure at a moment’s notice, and the three of us made our way to the quay. Despite the weather being gray, with rain and wind, and low visibility, we thought we would go ahead and enjoy the cruise up the Corrib River and into Lough Corrib, and we settled in with the other 2 passengers. Although we couldn’t see very much, we did get to see the local boys’ and girls’ rowing competition (video), a heron of some kind, and many swans.

Once the cruise was over, we had a photo taken in the wind and rain, not caring that our hair was messed up and we were rather bedraggled. Iris invited us to her apartment, but we were unable to stay because we had a dinner engagement with my good friends Yvonne and Eric. We stopped home to quickly freshen up, then drove out to the Hannagens’ and had an evening filled with great fun, food, and conversation, topped off by a visit from Declan and Joanne of Kangen water.

Something funny that came up was a discussion about what size of spoon (large or small) we preferred to eat our dessert with. Eric prefers a small spoon, as do I, and Mom chimed in that she did as well, which led to a lot of laughter and Yvonne joking about Eric being the spoon god and that we were all his “spoon followers.” When the Kangen water reps arrived, Yvonne asked them what size spoon they preferred for their dessert (she served rhubarb pie), and it turns out they were “spoon followers,” too, which led to more laughs and jokes. We had such a great time at the Hannagens, and finally headed home 6 hours later!

There was a bit of a downer later that night as Mom talked to my Grandma Phyllis and learned that my Grandpa Braun (Mom’s 91.5-year-old dad) had been put on hospice and was not likely to last much longer.

Monday was another day spent around Galway. I took Mom to the Galway Crystal showroom, where she found some gifts for friends and family, as well as herself. Afterward, we went to the city centre and she found some more souvenirs before we took a quick break at Gino’s Gelato. Oh. My. Gosh. A scoop of Rocher (named for its resemblance to the Ferrero Rocher candy) and a scoop of Caramel gelato…what an amazing treat on a sunny Galway day!

I had a meeting at St. Mary’s, and then cooked dinner for Mom (peppered beef patties and wild rice, with berries for dessert, plus tea of course!). We decided that evening that we would try to go to Brigit’s Garden the next day, and then to our pre-booked dinner and a show at Trad on the Prom in the Galway Bay Hotel. Wednesday we would depart for a quick trip into Northern Ireland before ending up in Dublin prior to Mom’s flight on Friday the 24th.

On Tuesday, the home health supply folks picked up the rented recliner. The rain foiled our plans for Brigit’s Garden, but we replaced that activity with packing: Mom for the rest of her trip as well as her trip back to the States, and me for the week plus a suitcase full of items returning to the States with Mom. The dinner at the hotel restaurant was very good, and afterward we made our way to the entrance of the theater, where we had to wait in the queue for only a short while before being seated in the front row! We were very pleased with our seats, and really enjoyed the show.

The Irish dancers were incredible! There were 4 female dancers and 2 male dancers, with two dancers who were presently the world champions, Colm Coneely (male) and Claire Greaney (female-6x world champ!). The musicians were equally amazing, if not more so, and featured Mairín (pronounced Mah-reen) Fahy of Riverdance fiddling fame. Her sister Yvonne Fahy, who plays more than 20 instruments, was the percussionist of the evening, and brother Ger Fahy of Lord of the Dance fame (composer and master of the Uileann Pipes, Whistles, and Bouzuki) was a guest musician.

Ger’s playing of his composition Magh Seola (pronounced Mah Show-lah) on the Uileann pipes (elbow pipes, similar to bagpipes but powered instead of the breath with elbow bellows) made me cry…it was so beautiful. I felt like everything I loved and would miss about the Galway area was encapsulated in that haunting melody (YouTube link to Ger playing Magh Seola).

Also playing that night were Brendan Hayes on the keyboards (loved his songs Go Lassie Go and The Rare Old Times), Padraig Rynne who is one of Ireland’s best concertina players, and of course the show director and Mairín’s husband, Chris Kelly. We were absolutely spellbound throughout the entire 2-hour show!

A late-night stop by Tesco completed the day, and we headed back home for some rest before Mom’s final Irish journey.

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