My friends were going to meet me in Shannon. We all flew in and out of that airport. My flights went fine from Orlando to Ireland. Not so for them. They had a late flight leaving Chicago and their transfer was in Atlanta. I'll rank airports in another post, but let's just say Atlanta is not on the top of my love list for quick transfers. My friends ran to their next plane and made it just as the doors were closing. Unfortunately, their luggage was not so athletic and did not make it on the plane. They didn't realize this until they arrived in Shannon. This would have been a more devastating predicament had the newest, and last Harry Potter book not come out that very day. When I stepped out into the main terminal I saw them at the rental car desk, each with a huge book in hand.
We left the address to our cottage in County Wicklow with the airline, got in our Yaris, and headed east. It took us a few hours to find our cottage. First, the Irish don't believe in posting street name signs. When reading the map, go from town to town, don't bother looking for street names, you'll just get lost and confused. Once you let go of this ingrained way of driving it's a snap to get around Ireland. Too bad it took us till almost the end of the trip to learn this trick.
The airline said we should call them in a day and they would give us more details about the luggage. The gentleman we rented the cabin from was nice enough to call them for us that next day and he said they would be delivering it the following day. Since we knew nothing was being delivered that first day, we took off and explored County Wicklow. Did you know there is a beautiful waterfall just south of Dublin? And sheep will get REALLY close to the edge of the road.
The day for delivery arrived. We were a bit stomped on how they were going to get ahold of us since we didn't have a phone in the cabin and no international coverage on our phones. The plan was to hang out all day waiting for the arrival of our luggage. Once it came we were jumping in the car and heading up to Dublin! What to do all day? My friends settled in with their Harry Potter books and I took lots of naps.
By midday we were getting a bit concerned that the luggage had not arrived. Heidi and I decided we would walk down to the nearest gas station and call the airline. This was a dangerous task since the gas station was about a mile away down a road with no shoulder and lots of big trucks. With cat-like reflexes we made it safely to the gas station. We first tried to find a pay phone outside of the store. Found one, but it wasn't working. Guess we'd have to see if they have a phone inside.
The lady at the counter was really nice and let us use the phone. It was a pay rotary phone. First time for everything I suppose. Heidi called the airline, but the call dropped. Arg! Not to be dismayed, she called again. While she was talking to the airline an older gentleman walked into the gas station. We were at the counter making the phone call and he walked up next to us to get directions. As we listened in on his conversation, we realized he was looking for our cottage. He was our baggage guy!! Heidi quickly hung up the phone and we introduced ourselves as the owners of the luggage. He explained that he couldn't find the cottage and was about to give up and drive back to Shannon.
We went out to his truck, got the packs out of his car and walked triumphantly back to the cottage. And that night we headed up to Dublin to celebrate our little miracle.
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