First, a quick summary of Thursday, May 25. We drove back to Exeter, dealt with the car damage, took the bus to the train station, and given the tragedy that had just happened in Manchester, I did not want to go back into London. We got off the train in Reading, took a bus to Heathrow, and took a hotel shuttle to our room at a Doubletree Hilton in Hounslow, where we had dinner at the hotel restaurant and relaxed for the flight to Ireland the next day. The police presence at the Tube station at Heathrow was a little disturbing. We couldn’t get our Oyster cards loaded for a ride into London if we had wanted or needed to, at least not right then, because they closed the station.
However, Sandy did get this shot from the train. We thought it was the White Horse of Uffington, but it turned out to be the Pewsey White Horse. Still cool, and the most interesting photo from this day.
The next day, we flew back to Ireland, got back on the bus and DART train to Howth, then took a taxi with our luggage back to Gleann Na Smol, where Sean met us at the door. This time we had energy to walk to the harbour and back. Sean recommended the Oarhouse on the pier, but they were having a record day because of the lovely weather and we hung around for a long time on the pier before they let us sit at the bar and eat. (At first, they turned us away but we pleaded.) The family that owned the restaurant also owned the boats that brought in the seafood, so I rated this the best meal we had on our trip.
On the way back, we stopped at the Cock Tavern, which was recommended as a pub where the locals go to hear and play music. A couple at a table offered to share it with us, we ordered pints of Smithwick’s at the bar, and enjoyed the rest of the night listening to a local musician who sang everything from traditional music to Prince to Guns and Roses (in honor of the superfan patrons on their way to a GNR concert the next day). The friendly couple told me stories about the “local lunatics.” One of the best nights ever!
AND, the next day we got up at the crack of dawn, took a taxi to the airport, and flew to JFK on Aer Lingus, which I liked a lot despite being in enormous pain seated in a middle seat of the middle row of the plane. They had a good selection of movies and TV shows, which allowed Sandy to almost get caught up on Games of Thrones while I watched La La Land and Bridget Jones’s Baby. At JFK, we found out that we were lucky that we decided to fly from London to Ireland on Friday when the British Airways computer system and created chaos at Heathrow. We had some delays, but finally we walked in our front door at about 10 p.m. that night.