Leaves, Rain, Love

(falling.)

Any seasoned spouse will tell you it’s important to spend quality time alone with your significant other… be it a weekly date night, a shared hobby, or even a night away once in a while.  It seems Frank and I don’t get enough time to do this (probably most people would say the same), but when we do it’s all the more appreciated.  We had a short getaway for our 4th Anniversary last week and I have to say – as much fun as it was to fall more in love with Frank, it was equally fun to reignite my fondness for Ireland, too.

There are so many places we’ve never been together in this lovely country – Cork, Galway, Kerry, Donegal, Clare… time, money and lack of transportation has really stifled our desires to travel for the present.   That’s why I am so happy to tell you we spent a very quick, very lovely day in Wicklow, the mountainous county just south of Dublin.  Our destination was the Glenview Hotel, situated in the lush forested hills west of Greystones.

Irish Sea Views from the DART

We took the bus to Dublin on Thursday, had a lovely lunch of Tapas in Bailey, a restaurant/bar off Grafton Street, did a bit of window shopping, then took the DART (train) down to Greystones, catching the last magnificent views of the rocky cliffs and the Irish Sea as the sun began its descent.  We arrived at the hotel in time for a nice rest before going down for dinner in the cozy dining room.  We had a three course meal included in our stay, and it was really delicious and comforting.  I had smoked duck for a starter, then a huge steak with salad, veg and chips, and then berry cheesecake for dessert.  We settled in for an early night, reading books and writing in our journals.

Glenview Hotel Room View

The next morning, we unfortunately woke to a steady drizzling rain, but I was nonetheless delighted when I looked out our window and saw a gorgeous display of fall foliage!  We don’t get a huge amount of colour up in Drogheda before the winter hits, so this was a wonderful surprise and the photo above really does not do it justice.  We went downstairs for a nice breakfast in the beautiful dining room, then put on our swimming togs for a dip in the spa pool.  This was one of my favourite parts – we were like kids, playing around in the water and just enjoying the luxury of a morning to ourselves in a pool!

Rainy walk to the bus

Then it was a walk down the hill to catch the bus into Greystones.  This was probably the least fun part because as soon as we reached the unsheltered bus stop, it started to rain again, a heavy mist that soaked our winter coats and hats and bags… for about 40 minutes. 😦 But we made it through, got on the bus and popped around Greystones for a little while before boarding the DART North again.  We stopped into a cool little old-fashioned sweet shop (Aunty Nellie’s) and bought some special stuff to bring home and we checked out a bookstore as well, but the rain sort of urged us back onto the train.  I would love to go back down to Greystones and the other towns and scenic areas around Wicklow – perhaps this Spring we can go again.

Frank hopped off the train at Sandymount so he could stop by his brother, Noel’s, booth at Art Source in the RDS.  I went back up into Dublin and got my fill of admiring all the Christmas decorations and items for sale in the Kilkenny Shop on Nassau St.,  Avoca (always my favourite), and of course, the magnificent displays at Brown Thomas (sort of an Irish version of Saks Fifth Avenue).  We met up at the CHQ Building, which is sadly nearly empty of shops now, thanks to the Recession.  I grabbed one last Starbucks and then we ran to catch our bus back to Drogheda.  Whew!

Now home again and glad for the rest after our rest!  It’s so nice to get away, though, and remember why this island home of ours is so unique and wonderful. Even on the rainy days and in the downturn of  economy, you can still find people in every new place who love to chat and share bits of their lives here with you.  Ireland is a special place, indeed, and I am very glad I’ve had the chance to live and travel here, even just a bit.

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One thought on “Leaves, Rain, Love

  1. You are such a good writer, Maryann.. I love your reflections on life, and your positive outlook. So glad you and Frank had this anniversary getaway. Even the sound of “Wicklow” is charming!

    love you, MOM

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