Leaving Ireland

It is always hard for me to leave Ireland.  Each time I feel as though I leave a piece of me behind.  We were up and packed early enough this morning with no time for breakfast.  We caught the Air-Link Bus around the corner and were soon on our way to the airport.  There were eager taxi drivers offering non-stop rides for $20 but we’d purchased round trip tickets and by golly, we were using them!

If you should check in for a flight out of Dublin they will tell you that due to added security measures you should be sure to arrive two hours early.  They are not kidding!  First, the long wait for the “regular” security lines in which you have to take off your shoes, take out your laptop, liquids, etc.  At that first stop, the lady-in-charge circled something on my ticket and said I had some kind of special clearance.  “Yay! Lucky me!’  Not so fast…

We then went through the US security line where I discovered my special status got me additional security screening.  Isn’t that just special?  Bill tried to go with me, “I’m with her”, and the gentlemen advised him, “Not anymore.”  All of my luggage was opened and swabbed with whatever that thing was.  I was patted down from head to toe to hands.  I could see Bill waiting anxiously.  Now, I have to pose the question, if you were to see Bill and I and think one of us required extra screening, “Would you pick me?”  Come on man!  Eventually, I was finished repacking my bags and reapplying my additional clothing pieces.  We then stepped into the line for U.S. Customs.  

The good news is that you are pre-screened for Customs when leaving the Dublin airport making it unnecessary for you to clear Customs upon arrival in the USA.  The bad news is that we had absolutely nothing to declare but had to wait in yet, another long line.  I had made two take-home purchases while in Ireland; gifts for our cat-sitting neighbors.  I’d thought I might saunter through the duty free shop in Dublin on the way home.  Let me tell you, they make you walk through the shops to get to the various security lines; however, you have no time to shop!  Unless, you arrive at the airport 3 hours early  I’d even thought we might grab a little breakfast but there’s was no way time permitted.  We arrived at our gate as the plane was loading.

I had purchased our tickets in plenty of time to assure we would be sitting next to each other on both flights home. Shortly before we boarded , we realized we weren’t even in the same row!  Oh Delta, how you perplex me.  We were able to find someone on both flights to happily trade so that we could sit together.  As we taxied for take off I pointed out to Bill that I was the only one on this trip, who’d not had the chance for a window seat.  He offered me his as the plane took off.  I looked over his lap at the green patchwork below and declined.  We were over Ireland for nearly an hour, but seeing her pass beneath me only mades me sad.

With a little bit of a weather delay we were home by 12:30 a.m.

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