Thursday, April 20th-Saturday, April 21st, Shannon airport to home

Flying home & final thoughts


Thursday was of course the best weather of the entire time I was in Ireland, sunny and almost warm.

I shaved, showered, dressed before I even opened the curtains covering my room's windows and it was a lovely sunny day. On the way down to the hotel's restaurant for breakfast I stopped off at the reception desk to donate my UK/Ireland extension cord/power strips for the use of any further guests who might need them. They would take up too much room in my bags for me to want to take them back home with me, and they're cheap enough for me to just buy one or two more the next time I travel back to Ireland, Scotland, or London which might not be for a very long time.

While I was at the reception desk I looked out the window and saw some airport baggage trolleys outside which was a very pleasant sight. Shortly after 10 AM I was checked out and wheeling a cart with my bags on it across the parking lot to the departures entrance which was quite easy and only took a minimal amount of planning to get from the hotel to the terminal on the flat parts and up any wheelchair ramps. I was checked in and through security and US customs and immigration early enough to be able to spend a bit over an hour in Aer Lingus's business class lounge before heading on over to my departure gate for boarding. I had realized that I had actually packed my only pair of headphones and shipped it back on Tuesday with all the CDs I'd bought this trip and a bunch of other stuff I wasn't going to need my last day in Ireland so I used some of my Euros to buy another pair. I like ear buds quite a bit and had a pair with me but find them kind of painful to wear for extended periods of time.

The business class section on this plane and the one I had flown over from JFK on has a single seat, then two seats, then a single seat, then two more seats along each side of the plane and I had chosen one of the single seats for each trip. I had slept pretty well but was still feeling a bit tired and read on my Kindle or one of my iPhones and watched some things I had downloaded to my Kindle or my older iPhone most of the time. I also made the seat fully recline and stretched out for a while although as usual I don't think I ever really fell asleep. I did have a moment of panic when I was trying to make the seat unrecline and it wouldn't until after I had managed to sit up and get off the seat entirely.

I had enough time between arriving at JFK and my JetBlue flight leaving for Ft Lauderdale that I could spend some time in the Aer Lingus lounge there and have something to eat for a late lunch; this time my departure gate was directly across from the lounge so I could hang out there until about half an hour before actual boarding. I should have taken advantage of early boarding for anyone with mobility problems or who "needs more time" because my seat was in row 33, the second to last row on the plane, and the luggage bins were already quite full but I did find room for my book pack, the only piece of carry on luggage I had with me, and my cane.

The flight from JFK to Ft Lauderdale was relatively smooth and we actually got in about 20 minutes early. I watched a couple more programs I had downloaded to my iPhone and Kindle and just sort of sat and rested until we arrived. It didn't take too long for our bags to arrive but it seemed like my third and final bag was one of the last ones to show up.

Because I'm never sure how far I need to go to find the Go Airport Shuttle dispatch desk I paid the $5.00 to rent one of the luggage carts. I didn't have to wait long for a private driver and once we actually got out of the airport it didn't take long to get home around 10 PM.

I wasn't very hungry but needed to have something to last me until Friday morning and really didn't feel like having any of my leftovers in the freezer or trying to find somewhere still open so I had one of my Ensures, a yogurt, and some toast with the marmalade made from their own oranges at her home in St Augustine my harper friend Kathleen had given me when she came to dinner with six other people the Friday before the last weekend of the Renaissance Festival. I didn't feel like unpacking so I just watched TV for a bit and went to bed downstairs.

Friday, yesterday, I felt kind of mediocre. My stomach was bothering me a bit and I really didn't feel like doing much of anything so I unpacked some, went out to lunch, unpacked the rest, put stuff away, did some laundry including the sweatshirt and vest I'd been wearing all the time I was in Killarney, and just basically hung out at home and rested. I went out to dinner again because I still didn't feel like going to the grocery store or having any of my leftovers. I was feeling just a bit dizzy last night so I decided to not come upstairs at all but slept downstairs again.

Today, Saturday, I feel much better although I might be coming down with a bit of a cold or having some mild allergy problems and didn't sleep very well last night, waking up earlier than I really wanted to. There isn't much in the way of movies I want to see playing this weekend so I wasn't in a hurry to get moving and finished watching the streaming show I'd started last night and then finished reading the book I was working on.

I came up here to the second floor about forty five minutes ago and have been using my desktop computer out on the loft after hanging up my clean shirts. I wanted to finish copying all the pictures I took during this last trip over to my laptop and my two backup external hard drives before I start checking to see if I need to just delete any or fix their exposures before I turn them all into slide shows for each day I was gone, as I've done for all my trips since I first went to Ireland on the trip Mom sent me on eleven years ago. And I also want to convert this journal into html with Internet links for all the places and shows I went to, as I've done for all of my other trips as well.


Every time I come back from a trip I think I should never leave here in South Florida because I always return a bit dissatisfied with being here. I have very few friends here, only really enjoy myself for the seven weeks the Renaissance Festival is running, and without a job the only thing tying me here is the house Mom found and bought for me. I love my house and its immediate area, but am not so fond of being back here in South Florida.

My long trip last summer, my trip back to Dublin and London over Christmas, and this most recent trip to Galway, Dingle, and Killarney took me to many places I could very happily live, places with wonderful scenery and many, many cultural offerings. I could easily live full time quite happily in Galway, although definitely not Dingle because it's a bit too small (just as I don't think I could have ever lived full time at Black Butte or Sisters, no matter how much I loved either place, because of their small size) although I probably could in Killarney even though it too is rather small and mostly serves as a jumping off point for nearby outdoor activities or scenic tours.

Return to journal