Rosslare, Ireland - August 2005
Saturday 13 August 2005
Uncle Bob kindly dropped us all at Luton Airport for the 10 a.m. Aer Aaran flight to Waterford Airport. Well, the sight of a 75-seat plane with propellers was enough to put me off (and I like flying, let alone David who is a bit apprehensive). The children were looking forward to the flight, especially Ethan, as he does not remember flying before. The flight was only an hour and twenty minutes.
When we arrived, we though that Waterford Airport is tiny. You walk off the plane and into a room about 30 square feet to collect your luggage from one manual conveyor belt through another door, and then the reception where you can hire cars. There were no cars available so we got a taxi to nearby Waterford town centre and attempted to find a car hire office. No cars available, so we asked the driver to drop us at Waterford railway station.
The next train to Rosslare was not for five hours! We had lunch at Brunches in Waterford Shopping Centre. We were all suffering from fatigue as David and I had just two hours sleep the night before. We then visited a Tower in the Centre of Waterford and then decided to find a "nice hotel" with a lounge for a rest. We found the Tower Hotel, ordered tea and water. David slept on one of their comfy couches for a few precious minutes sleep. 4½ hrs later, we caught the train.
Ninety minutes later we were at our accommodation. It consists of a small well-equipped kitchen diner, including a fridge-freezer, dish-washer and washer dryer. The living area 2 sofas, colour TV and coffee table. There is also a twin-bedroom shared by Elise and Ethan. Upstairs is a single bedroom occupied by Natasha, bathroom, a double bedroom shared by me and my husband with en-suite shower-room and toilet and walk-in wardrobe. The garden is ample with wooden table and bench. The whole complex is clean, well maintained and quiet. The caretaker sent a taxi to meet us at Rosslare Strand train station. Natasha & Elise were impressed with his nine-seater vehicle and think that we should get one. It was a very short three minute ride. We went straight to Londis supermarket, a five minute walk. It is open until 10 p.m. At the till, we discovered that Ireland has a 10p tax on plastic bags. What a great environmental idea. However, it proved costly for us, as we kept forgetting to take the bags back for reuse to avoid the extra expense.
Dad didn't like the plane much. I think the propellers scared him. He's a bit scared of heights. I did have to hold his hand when we went on the London Eye. I won't embarrass him any further now, so back to the story. Dad wasn't happy about getting on a plane, so the last few years, we've been going on the ferry to Normandy, France on holiday for the past few years. Last year, I was living on chocolate Nesquik™ cereal. I think I had a slice of pepperoni at one point, but I didn't enjoy it very much. I severely disliked France.
Yesterday, when we arrived in Ireland, it wasn't exactly fun. we had to wait for ages in the airport and on the flight everyone sounded like a robot. We caught a taxi to a car hire place, but they were all closed. So we went to the train station at around 1:30pm and the next train to Wexford was at 5:30pm! That gave us time to look around the shops and have some lunch. When the train did arrive, it took an hour and a half to get to Wexford.
I really liked the house we were staying in. Two storey. It had two bedrooms on the first floor: one master, one smaller and one double bedroom on the ground floor. I took the small bedroom on the first floor. I wanted it anyway. Elise wanted it too, but she ended up in the double room, with a set of twin beds on the ground floor. Mum and Dad got the master bedroom. It even came with its own 'en suite' bathroom. Lucky things. The rest of the ground floor was open plan. The kitchen doubled-up as a dining room, walk four paces forward and you were in the living room, six or seven paces right, and you reached the hallway. Small, but cosy. A good place to call home.
Sunday 14 August 2005
Today was another lovely day, about 20°C. We walked to Rosslare Beach - 15mins. You have to walk across a links golf course to get to the sandiest part. This was our first trip to Ireland, and an Irish beach, but it golden as we had been told. There were quite a lot of dead jellyfish on the beach.
We did not pack swim wear. The children were disappointed; however we managed by rolling up trousers etc. They really enjoyed the rock pool without bucket and spade. Ethan has so much energy and stamina; he just keeps running and running. He had to strip down to his underpants (which I would have taken off as well, but David wanted to protect his dignity) in order not to soak his clothes.
We had Sunday lunch at Brady's pub, just across the road from the beach. I would definitely recommend this. They are very accommodating to children. The children ordered chicken nuggets and chips from the obligatory menu offered to them. I ordered Sichuan chicken and sautéd vegetables. I think I would have preferred the salmon. David ordered the chicken and ham, with turnips, shredded cabbage, carrots, chips and mash potato. This was our first experience of a smoke free pub. It was very pleasant not having smoke in your face and food and on your clothes.
Natasha Today was a lot more fun! We didn't go to any amusement parks though! I had breakfast and then I read a bit. I went to the park and then we went shopping, to the park, then reading, to the park again, and so on. Only I turned The Simpsons on at 7:30 and I have just finished, for the fourth time, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince! An amazing achievement since it only came out in July! Before we went to the restaurant, we went to the beach and I got sand in my trousers and feet. Mum found a dead crab on the beach and I said "Mum, can I have this crab as a souvenir?" or at least I said something like that and Mum refused because it had something to do with rot and bad smells. I also found a squished crab, but obviously, I didn't want that and we were all hungry for lunch so we went to the restaurant and had something to eat and then we went shopping for dinner.
Monday 15 August 2005
We used Tony's Taxi again. A very local friendly taxi man. He seems to know the whole of Ireland as well as Rosslare. He took us to Wexford town centre where we tried to hire a car. We had a quick meander around the town, which is cosmopolitan and really has everything you need in the way of shopping. It was refreshing to see mostly independent shops of all sorts. The Tesco's is Wexford was not a pleasant shopping experience; dirty, not well stocked. Food in Ireland is not cheap. You must need a huge bank balance to live in Dublin (and I'm a Londoner).
Hiring car was exceedingly boooriiiiiing! Tony was nice though. His taxi is a 9-SEATER! Wexford sure has a lot of pebbles. Note to sel: - Never go shopping in Irish Tesco (no offence to the Irish). Additional note: - Get a nine-seater car when older.
Tuesday 16 August 2005
This morning we played tennis as a family. It was gard going as the children are too young to get any rallying going. In fact hitting a vague straight ball, in the direction of someone who has half a chance of hitting it back, was a stuggle for them. Natasha found it all very frustrating and had a bit of a sulk. Later we all returned to Rosslare beach - this time equipped with beach wear.
I so did NOT have a sulk. I was just annoyed that I could never serve right. Good weather for sunbathing and swimming. At least I didn't bring any homework with me.
Wednesday 17 August 2005
After a hard day at the beach yesterday, we had a lie-in today. After brunch we visited Kilmore Quay, much of which seemed to be shut today - half day closing perhaps?
Thursday 18 August 2005
We went to Curracloe beach today. Whilst walking along and I nearly trod on a JELLYFISH! Eek! Anyways … Avoid the jellyfish and went swimming AND sunbathing too. Then, it started raining! The perfect way to ruin your day! Ethan was fiddling around with his kite, trying to make it fly with dad. We all ran to the beach tent, while everyone else left the beach. Then we all realised, ETHAN'S KITE WAS STILL OUT THERE! We were arguing over who would go to get the kite. The reason being we couldn't reel it in. It kept getting stuck in the sand. So I was the brave one and ran out into the freezing cold in a BIKINI! Now you can't say that's not brave can you? I retrieved the kite and a few minutes later it stopped raining. YIPPEE! The jellyfish had all gone too. It was also a bit warmer. I took my chance and got a good bit of sunbathing in. Now I'm going to have a tan until July 3016, LOL! So, as we were the only ones on the beach, we got a lot of personal space! Note to self: Never go out when its raining - especially in a bikini.
Today was memorable, the cause by much fun in adversity. The dramatic and rapid change in the previously sunny weather, resulted in the whole family taking shelter from a heavy rain storm in a tiny beach tent, which was originally intended just to shelter the kids when they were babies. We were really crammed in, with adults legs left sticking out in the rain. There was something unplanned and exciting about the whole episode. After the storm passed, we emerged from the tent and had the whole beach to ourself.
Saturday 20 August 2005
Unlike yesterday, it was a beautifully warm and sunny day - ideal for holidaying. We went on a day trip to JFK Arbortarium. This is a beautiful location for a lazy, nature-based day out. There is a lot of walking, and we took the opportunity for a rest by taking the pony and trap ride. This was very enjoyable for adults and children. I am not sure who was older, the pony or the coachman! During the various conversations, and in a thick Irish accent he said "the pony needs shoding". Michelle misheard this as "the pony needs shooting"! and was briefly concerned about the animal's life expectancy, until I put her right!
Thursday 25 August 2005
Unfortunately, a technical problem led to the loss of notes for the last three days of our holiday. However, we visited Pirates Cove, Courtown Bay, spent more time on the beach, played mini-golf, and found a local hotel which sold public use of their private pool.