Another early wake-up call! Each hotel we've stayed in has the phone on a different side of the bed, yesterday it was on Brett's side... today it's on mine. Needless to say I crawled over him to get the phone only to discover it's on my side! I gotta tell you that I'm loving having this luggage pick up, all you do is pack up everything and put the travel strap around it and set it in the hallway. They come get it and it gets loaded on the bus. All I have to do is make sure I have everything and head to breakfast.
It's interesting that they always put baskets of toast on the breakfast table. We always load up on water in our bottles before leaving the hotel (after coffee and tea with breakfast), I'm not a fan of the "bacon" here in Ireland or the black/white pudding. I do like the porridge though.
Today we're on our way to Waterford Crystal, somewhere we never thought we'd afford anything from, much less visit! I'll tell you I have a whole new appreciation for the cost of what you get from Waterford. The price is 100% worth it, there are no second chance/outlet items, if something has a flaw it is thrown in a smash bin, sent to the grinder and turned into something new again down the road. We saw items being blown, to being sent to the line drawers, to the cutters. They're just starting to experiment with CND machines, but everything else (especially custom orders) are created by hand. Brett and I each got to hold a Peacock vase that was in the process of being cut! The weight was absolutely amazing (definitely a double hand hold), I (Lora) wouldn't mind putting a couple dozen roses in that one! Brett even got to hold the BCS Trophy football!
Afterwards we headed to Blarney Woolen Mills to grab lunch and do a little shopping before heading up to the Blarney Castle. I don't do well with wool, but some folks from our group do so they bought a heavy amount of sweaters. I stuck with a beautiful purse that I love and get lots of compliments on and a pretty red scarf. We decided to pass on kissing the Blarney Stone (germs and fear of heights, I'll pass) but instead took in a hike to walk off a big lunch and spend some time together.
Upon leaving the Blarney area we head to Cork, and since a number of those on our tour have family that originate from the area John skips the bypass (they call it a ring road) and takes us through the center of town. On to Killarney where we're to stay in The International Hotel, but due to a convention there they don't have enough rooms so we're staying at The Scott Hotel instead. The Scott is just around the corner and John has gotten us an upgrade as newlyweds to a balcony suite! Two nights in a balcony suite!! YIPPEE! We rewarded ourselves with a bottle of red wine and sit in the lobby to people watch while we waited for dinner to start. After dinner we head over to Murphy's for drinks and live music. After chatting with everyone at Murphy's we ended the night at The Grand before heading back to the hotel with Rae Ann for another drink. No luggage because we get to spend two nights here in Killarney!