t. elizabeth renich

author of historical fiction

To Be Determined…

Monday, 31-Jan-2011 

Bernadette and I, when initially planning my visit, deliberately left Monday unscheduled just in case the weather turned bad or any original plans needed to be rearranged.  Since everything went pretty close to how we’d intended, we chose to do a few things that filled up my “last” day.

 By Sunday night, both Frances and Bernadette had finished reading the pages of my rough draft.  On our way into Galway to go shopping for some last minute gifts and souvenirs, Bernadette and I talked about some ideas and discussed some more details at length.  At Easons, I found a book and some maps while she was perusing the home improvement and bridal magazines.  Among the gifts I brought home were a tweed cap, a tapestry cosmetic bag, Cadbury bars, key chains of Connemara marble, and dark chocolate flavored with Guinness.  Little small things that I could fit into my rucksack…

This was also my chance to re-take any other pictures that I thought might be missing.  We went back to the library, chatted with Peter Rabbitt for just a few minutes before thanking him again for his assistance, passed by the Mustard Restaurant at Bridge Mills, but decided it wasn’t necessary to revisit the museum. 

We had stopped at Taylor’s to check the post, but the box I’d shipped over was still nowhere to be found.  Bernadette took me to see the church she and Leonard will be married in.  We counted 39 steps from the back door to the altar in front – not trying to make her nervous, or anything, just to give her an accurate count…she had just about 53 weeks to go, at that point.  A quick drive by Tulira revealed swans swimming out in front of the castle, which is across the street from where the Whelans live.  In the meantime, the sky above was growing darker.

Before going to Gort, we visited Coole Park, where Bernadette and I walked most of the 1.75 mile “family trail” through the estate grounds, past a stone staircase, by the Autograph Tree with names of famous Irish authors and poets engraved in the trunk, and alongside the lake.  I could only imagine what the place must look like in the spring, when everything would be green and growing again.  The quaint little lodge house seemed a darker shade of gray beneath the heavy pewter sky.

For lunch, we ate at the Supermac’s, not far from the internet café in Gort.  To me, it seemed sort of like a blend between McDonald’s (or Burger King) and Chick-fil-A.  The batter on the chicken tenders reminded me of some of the chicken schnitzel I’d had while in Israel last summer, although in Ireland it seemed someone got a little heavy-handed with the pepper…  and of course there was garlic mayo for dipping.  After returning a rented DVD (Letters to Juliet), the rain poured down in earnest.  (It’s a good thing we did the walking trail before the rain came…)

After I finished getting everything I could back into the carry-on and backpack, I joined the Whelans in the living room, watching a bit of the Irish soap opera called Fair City.  Bernadette had missed an episode or two of her favorite, Home and Away, but she was sure she’d be able to figure out what she missed.

Leonard came over to say goodbye on Monday night.  The days had flown by so quickly and it was hard to believe I was already leaving in the morning.  That always seems to be the way of it, though, as lunch time, holidays, and vacations pass swifter than any other hours in a regular day.  Colm consumed enough tea to keep us all awake through the night, but he wasn’t quite hungry enough that he’d ate the handlebars of a bike.

About The Author

Author of the Shadowcreek Chronicles


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