Our cabbie from the airport pretty much took us on the scenic aka expensive route (we figured that out when the trip back to the airport took less than half the time). But he also told us about places we should check out that we hadn't put on our list. And he told us about hurling, one of the national sports in Ireland. So I think of him as a paid tour guide.
I always find people watching to be quite good while traveling and this trip was no different. On the outbound flight, the couple sitting across the aisle from us made for interesting viewing. First, they hung all over each other in the gate area. Keep in mind, when I say hanging on, I don't mean an arm draped around each other. I mean full body contact in the gate house. Plus they changed into pajamas for the trip before take off. I could see that on other, longer international trips but by the time dinner gets served and cleared away, you've only got a couple more hours until you land. Changing into PJs in the tiny airplane bathroom and then back again into street clothes just isn't worth the effort to me. Obviously they thought otherwise.
While clearing immigration, we noticed a young, maybe early 20s couple from the U.S. one of whom wore a cheesy "Kiss me, I might be Irish" tee shirt, and the other wore something similar although the slogan (thankfully) escapes me now. Why, why, why would you wear a tee shirt like that? Even while walking the dog??
As we checked into our hotel (which Kent handles because he's the one with the loyalty program there), I stood back for a bit and then moved up by him. The woman at the desk immediately quit making any eye contact with him and only spoke to me the rest of the time. I wondered if it were a cultural thing; she was either from China or Korea. I couldn't entirely place her accent and couldn't read that part of her name badge that said where she's from.
Our server at dinner Friday made Kent's night when she introduced him to an Old Fashion with a different sort of twist. He gets frustrated with the way Old Fashions are made here in the U.S. because they'll often be made with water or soda water, and that's not a true Old Fashion. Hers was a proper one but with a bit of maraschino cherry juice and a cherry in it. And the cherry wasn't one of those gross, unnaturally red ones either. In fact, we will need to find a good source going forward because Kent really enjoyed that drink.
We were milling around in the gate house Sunday waiting for our plane from Atlanta back to Kansas City, I got in one of those small flyby conversations with another passenger who was boarding the plane at the gate before ours. He was an older gentleman and when he found out we'd just spent the weekend in Ireland, he got so excited. He kept telling his wife, "Hey! We can do that too! I've always wanted to go to Ireland!"
I hope he gets there.