Limerick, Ireland – August 2008

Day 4 – Bunratty Castle

Wednesday 6th August

It was a slow start to the day this morning. So slow, in fact, that I ended up going back to bed for another couple of hours of sleep. We often ‘shift change’ in the mornings like this so that we each can get a few extra winks in. Looking after two toddlers is just as much hard work on holiday as it is at any other time. Sandy is a bit disappointed that there isn’t much to do around these parts but the truth is that I’m quite glad for the chance to just relax a bit. I suppose her point is that we didn’t have to travel fourteen hours to do this but then we wouldn’t have been able to see Shalina perform otherwise. It hasn’t helped that the weather has been less than ideal. There has been a fair bit of rain (although mainly at night) but this has kept the ground wet and made it difficult to allow the kids free range outside. It’s still warm enough for short sleeves and short trousers so it isn’t all that bad.

By mid-day, the kids had napped and were again active so we decided to wander over to Bunratty Castle (literally just a few minutes walk from the house) to see what we could see. The castle itself was just as we remembered it a few years ago and those narrow, circular, stone stairs were a bit of a challenge with people trying to go both up and down at the same time. Whilst at the castle, I booked seven seats for this Thursday’s medieval four-course banquet at one of Bunratty’s two sister castles just up the road. Unfortunately, we later had to cancel Shalina’s ticket in light of the fact that she was to be training for her performance on the Friday.

We spent most of the afternoon wandering around Bunratty’s Folk Park. It was actually quite busy today both in the castle itself as well as around the park but the kids seemed to enjoy themselves and it was an afternoon well spent.

By late afternoon, the park was showing signs of closing up for the day so we set off towards Shannon to pick up some supermarket provisions before setting off back home again for the evening routine. These houses have only been here about a year and although they are comfortable given that they are holiday accommodation, they don’t seem to be too terribly well built. We keep finding fault in small but annoying ways. It took them two days to install the missing smoke detectors that we pointed out when we moved in and we’ve had to do battle with things like getting the hot water to work correctly. For some unknown reason yesterday a fuse blew and knocked out all the wall sockets as well as the main water pump – just as I was taking a shower. Today we put the kids into the downstairs shower (the first time it’s been used) and noticed that there is a blockage that’s preventing the water from draining away fast enough. Some fixtures are a bit loose here and there and the remote for the DVD is missing. All in all, there’s nothing serious enough on it’s own to cause any real grief (although I must say I was a bit concerned about the lack of smoke detectors) but added all together, it’s an annoyance nevertheless.

I finished up the evening with a quick trip over to the hotel for some Internet access and have now just finished writing this blog entry. The rest of the week is going to be wet and it’ll be a challenge for me to find something that we can all do together just to prevent Sandy from going stir crazy.