Day Eight
Tralee to Binghamton

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Not-so-bright and early, at 5:15 in the AM, we woke up and got ready to leave. The travel time to Shannon Airport was about 2 hours, and we needed to be there three hours early for an 11:15AM flight, hence the early wakeup call. We were on the road shortly before 6:00, which worked out well because no one else was on the road.

We had purchased some drinks and a couple of muffins from a gas station the night before when fueling up the car so we had something to eat on the way, and they ended being really good blueberry muffins! We were a bit surprised considering how those types of things usually taste when you purchase them here in the states.

As a sidenote, when we were trying to get to the car at the castle, all of the lights outside were out, so it was pretty much pitch black. As I made my way up a small staircase from the hotel to parking lot, who was at the top of the stairs waiting to greet me but the castle’s large Irish Wolfhound! Talk about a wakeup call at 6:00 in the morning to have that staring at you as you came up the stairs into the pitch dark!

The drive to Shannon went quicker than expected, since we really didn’t start to hit legitimate traffic until about an hour into the drive. We ended up arriving at Shannon around 7:40, more than enough time to spare!

After the 1,000 miles that we drove, I was happy to report that we returned the car in the exact same condition that it was given to us – same dents and breakage, but nothing new! Hertz Shannon Airport concurred, and shuttled us to the main terminal.

Shannon Airport was pretty quiet for this time of the morning, with really only one other flight going out besides ours from the international side of things. Check in went well, and we went through security without a problem too. We thought we had avoided the ‘take your shoes off’ policy until we went through US Customs (in Shannon – we were already cleared when we set down at JFK, so arriving there was like any other domestic flight), where they made us take off our shoes and all of our stuff was re-scanned.

We found a spot in a lounge to set down for a while since there was a bit of lag time between when we got through security and when we would be able to pass through customs and get to the gate. While sitting there, I returned to the airport store and bought Jill a green fleece jacket.

Going through customs was as painless as the rest of the process (wish it was that way in the States), and we were through to our gate in no time.

Delta would be taking us back to the US, just like it had brought us to Ireland. Unfortunately, this time around, it was a smaller aircraft and a three and three seating configuration. That meant I had someone sitting next to me in the window seat. When a younger, normal looking man sat down there (instead of the creepy looking androgynous person I had seen walking around) I thought we’d be okay. That is, until I realized he was crying – and did so for about the first hour of the flight. I even offered him a couple of tissues, mostly because the fatherly instinct in me kicked in and I didn’t want to see him wiping his nose on his sleeve anymore!

We were given two meals on the flight over – both of the ‘lunch’ variety. For the first I had a pasta dish, and for the second I had pizza. Jill had chicken and rice for the first, and a turkey sandwich for the second.

Flight time was around 6 ˝ hours, and in that time we tried to snooze, watch tv, play a game, and read. Anything, really, to make the time go quicker, which of course it didn’t.

We arrived in New York at JFK around 1:00, deplaned and got our luggage rather quickly. The AirTrain took us to the long term lot, where we snagged the car and made our way back to Binghamton. The trip was slowed a bit when we came to a dead stop, in the express lane none the less, along 80 in Jersey just past the George Washington Bridge.

Along the way, we stopped at the Quaker Steak and Lube in Carbondale for some dinner. We also stopped at Schneiders in Five Mile Point to meet Michael who was coming back from a soccer game in Owego. We finally pulled into the house around 7:00PM.

Total Miles Travelled:
187,788 Miles!

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Page Last Updated: October 22, 2010