After weeks of go-go-go we decided we needed a change of pace. We all had a good lie-in, with everyone slowly making their way into the kitchen. We had a grand breakfast together, with Colm having come over to join us.
The kids headed out for a day of hiking, with Colm leading the way to the Galty Mountains. There wasn’t really a path, more of a way up the mountain, into the clouds on a misty, soft day.
In the meantime, Tony dropped Stephanie and I off on the center of Limerick for a day of wandering. It was wonderful to have a slow paced day with no set things planned. We stopped in a few shops for me to get several things to remind me of the trip. We then went into the Hunt Museum for a coffee and scone break. Once at the museum we saw that they had an exhibition of two well known Irish artists, Lavery and Osborne. It was a lovely exhibit, not large so easy to see it all and enjoy the paintings without many others there. After we had given them a once over a docent gave a quick tour, which gave details about the artists, the subjects, and the paintings.
We proceeded to walk along the River Shannon, enjoying the bridges, the abundant swans, the old buildings. We stopped for a bag of chips to share while enjoying the park in the center of the city. By then we decided a glass of wine was in order so we went to an area with Georgian buildings and found a boutique hotel bar. Charming.
Tony came and picked us up and by the time we reached the house the kids had returned from their hike. They also had a good day off and about with a contemporary who enjoyed what they did. We fixed dinner and had a wonderful last evening together.
This morning we were up and packed up for our farewell. Before we left Tony and I went to a local nursery and bought a copper maple tree to plant where they previously had a large sycamore tree. Unfortunately it had fallen in a recent storm. The new tree will be a nice reminder of our stay as it grows.
We finally had to give hugs and kisses and wave goodbye. It has been so wonderful to catch up with our dear Camino friends, with it seeming not to have had any time elapsed. They’ve been such gracious hosts that we’ve felt totally at home. I hated to leave them but know it’s only the first of many visits. We headed off toward Kilkenny, where we would stay for the next three days. Along the way we stopped to view the Cahir Castle. We were able to wander through the castle and grounds and view them and the exhibition areas on our own. They had a rather interesting exhibit about life for women in the era between 1100-1500.
We drove on and found Martin’s house just outside the downtown area. Martin is a dear friend of a friend who graciously offered us the use of his vacation home. How amazing! It’s a totally charming Irish bungalow on the outside and thoroughly modern inside. Another home away from home.