The past week was another busy one, filled with significant progress on major projects at Mary’s. It was great to move them further along the path toward completion, and exciting to contemplate what is possible to help the school, which is dear to my heart, continue to grow and thrive!
Some of the highlights included:
- Receiving a gift of two rings from my friend Yvonne (!!!!) and sharing lunch with her.
- Lunch with a friend, Rowena Kelly, whom I got to know better and who introduced me to another restaurant I hadn’t yet been to (McCambridge’s).
- Enjoying Japanese cuisine for the first time in Galway (turnip roll and chicken teriyaki roll from Wa Cafe). You know I’m not a seafood person, so these choices were perfect for me!
- Receiving a surprise care package from Tim!
- Enjoying Japanese cuisine again in Dublin (saien soba from Wagamama).
- Enjoying brunch with Caitlín and Ciarán Murphy and my mom.
- Watching the Hookers race from Trá an Doilín in Carraroe.
I also managed to make another evening circle drive, this time out to Oughterard and taking Station Road through the bog to Derroe and along the Wild Atlantic Way back to Galway. The narrow, winding road took me across trickling waterfall streams (video), up and over rolling hills, past grazing sheep on the roadside and cows meandering on the road, all the while offering stunning views of distant mountains and up-close dark and secretive forests. I think I grinned the entire time! Drives in this country never disappoint.
On Friday morning I battled traffic for an hour in and around Galway to finish a series of errands in preparation for the arrival of my next houseguest, my Mom! In the afternoon I drove to Dublin and endured another 2.5 hours of traffic before making my way to a hotel near the airport. After 7 hours in the car and with some time to kill that evening, I spent some time walking around the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, and, miracle of miracles (!!), found a pair of shoes that actually don’t add to the pain I already have in my feet (I can’t say the same thing about any my other shoes). It’s the little things…
On Saturday I collected Mom from the airport after a 90-minute delay due to a baggage system malfunction. Her flights went well and she arrived in good shape despite some jet lag and stiffness from the long cross-Atlantic segment. As we drove back to Galway, I was able to introduce her to the Applegreen experience and we quickly caught up on the latest news and happenings. One big piece of news is that my grandfather (my Mom’s dad) has just been accepted into hospice care, which we are sad about, but happy that some of his suffering will be eased as a result of this new care level. We joined Caitlín and Ciarán Murphy for brunch at their home that afternoon, and I showed Mom around Salthill, the Prom, and the city center before making a quick stop at the grocery store and returning home.
Today we decided to attend the Galway Traditional Sailing Boats Festival in Carraroe. Making part of a circle drive (of course!), we took the same route I took earlier this week to Oughterard and on Station Road to Derroe and from there to Carraroe, before returning to Galway. The weather was gorgeous with sunshine and puffy white clouds, and we enjoyed the fresh, salty breeze off the bay while waiting for the boats to arrive (video). The race we wanted to see featured the Galway hooker boat, a traditional fishing boat with red sails, and 8 boats were sailed along the beach (Trá an Doilín). It was great to witness the ability of the crews of the 2-or-3-sail boats as they deftly maneuvered the boats in synchronicity (video). We could even hear the sound of the sails flapping in the wind!
As we were preparing to leave we realized that someone had boxed us into our parking spot. The owner of the offending vehicle was nowhere to be found, and so I tried a few times to squeeze out of the tiny gap available, but it simply wasn’t possible. So I asked a family picnicking nearby if they knew who owned the car. The teen boy and the father came over and said no, but wondered if the car was unlocked. They discovered it was, and the man suggested I get into the car, release the parking brake, and he would push the car back so I could leave. I said, “Do you think that’s ok?” and he looked at me, shrugged, and replied laconically, “Well, do you want to get out?” Next thing you know I was in the car being pushed back a few feet and we were on our way back home. I love the pragmatism!
We stopped in Spiddal at the Craft Village, a collection of small shops/studios in which local artists and artisans produce and sell their wares. The crafts included handwoven textiles, leather and silver jewelry, artwork in canvas, glass, wood, and basket mediums, and much more. Mom found a special ornament for her Christmas ornament collection–it features a Galway hooker boat. She has begun a creative photo project that she will be sharing on her Facebook page. Feel free to head over and friend her if you’re interested. It’s quite clever and has to do with a beloved children’s toy that we have lovingly named “Mrs. Fisher-Price.” The day ended with dinner at McSwiggan’s in Galway (excellent as always!), my Mom’s phone call to my Grandma, a chat with Tim, a decision about what is on tomorrow’s agenda, and a late-night delivery from Apache pizza.
The week ahead looks to be fun and interesting as well as busy with work projects. My cousin Katie Minion is returning to Ireland and will be staying with us for several days this week. We will likely be going to either Northern Ireland or southwestern Ireland for a few days. The next post will no doubt make clear which location was selected. 🙂