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From Joyce Kilmer's Trees to William Drennan's Emerald Isle

EWR to Heathrow to Shannon


View 2007 The Sparkling Emerald Isle & Back to Back 2006 Holland American Cruises on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

The New Jersey Turnpike has 13 rest areas named after notable residents of New Jersey, One of the rest areas is named for Joyce Kilmer who wrote "Trees"
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

My sister said she would NEVER go to JFK. So we flew from EWR (Newark).

We packed ourselves up (and my sister took my grandson to get his hair cut) and she off loaded us and took our photo about 3:30 (1530)
My grandson and me at the curb

My grandson and me at the curb


I had printed out boarding passes, but the website told me that I still had to check in. I knew there was a fast drop for baggage, if you didn't need to check in and I went there - I figured the worst it could be is that they'd tell us we couldn't do it.

The man at the counter was effusive - he said OF COURSE we were checked in - we had boarding passes. So he took our suitcases and checked them through to SNN (Shannon). Then he tagged our boarding passes with a green sticker for a wheelchair. He did not ask to see my authorization for my grandson.

The sign at the gate said there was wi-fi, so I found a plug to plug the computer in and tried it. But you had to pay. So I just sat and edited photos.
Me using computer in gate area

Me using computer in gate area


I sent my grandson to see if there was anything to eat. He said there was just a bar. I bought a turkey sandwich ($8.29) and a smoothie ($3.39). We each ate half of the sandwich. But the smoothie was too dense and sweet.

The plane was loaded and ready to leave early (1815). However the pilot told us that Newark ATC was really screwed up and told us that we couldn't leave for a hour or so. After an hour he came on again and said that ATC didn't know when we would leave.
3535294-photo_from_inside_the_plane_Newark.jpgFrom plane

From plane

EWR tower

EWR tower

About 2100, they decided to go ahead and feed us dinner - the problem being that if a call came to take off, they'd have to take up the dinner and we wouldn't get any. Then as soon as everyone got their dinner the pilot announced that we were moving "off the stand" which I guess is the same as pulling away from the gate, and I told my grandson to eat fast, and eat the hot stuff first. He'd already finished his. We went out to the taxiway, and sat there. The pilot announced that they just wanted us 'off the stand' - we weren't going anywhere. I could feel my ankles swelling, but there wasn't anything I could do about it.
3535298-Finally_taking_off_Newark.jpgTaking off at night-finally

Taking off at night-finally


Seatback GPS shows plane in the air

Seatback GPS shows plane in the air


Finally about 11:30 or a little after, we were told to get back to our seats, and we took off. I tried to sleep a little.

Arriving at Heathrow
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Since the plane was 5 hours late (we arrived about 11:20), they had to get us off via a stair
3535339-Terminal_4_to_1_not_a_ratio.jpg
and bus us in to the terminal. We had missed our 10:30 connecting flight on Aer Lingus and would have to reschedule. The wheelchair man took me to the desk area and then took the wheelchair away - it was a BA wheelchair and I could not use it since I was not flying out on BA. I went to the Aer Lingus counter to reschedule. There are only two flights a day to Shannon - the one me missed and one in the afternoon. The man there was in a heated argument with two other men and he did not want to talk to me. He dismissed me by saying that I would have to have a reservation for him to reschedule the flight.

I went to the BA counter and she printed out our reservation and told me to take it back to Aer Lingus. I did. The man looked at it and said - this has no reservation number on it. I can't process it without the reservation number.

I went back to the BA counter, and the lady was closing her terminal to leave, so I jumped up and down in the line and waved, and yelled quietly (grandson was sitting with the bags so he didn't have to observe this). She came back and wrote the reservation numbers on the paper. I went back to the EI (Aer Lingus) counter and got the boarding passes. I had heard it was a long walk to terminal 1, so I wanted a wheelchair. He said I should go down to the next level and get a wheelchair at the help desk.
3535341-Terminal_4_to_1_not_a_ratio.jpg
The help desk lady said she'd phone for a wheelchair. We sat there for some time, and then about 1400,
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I went and bought a BLT and a coke at Est Presso around the corner from where we were sitting. I gave them a $20 and got £4.85 in change.

Our boarding pass said that plane doors would close at 14:50 and it was now 2:30. Finally about 2:45, the wheelchair came, and took us up to immigration. THEN they asked about what relation my grandson was to me, and did I have anything from his parents. He looked at it and said it was good that I was responsible. As he gave it back to me, I asked what he could have done about it if I hadn't had it, and he admitted that he couldn't have done much at that point. After all, we were already IN the UK.

The wheelchair guy walked very fast on each of the three long moving walkways My grandson was behind him carrying the carry-on bags. They had not opened the gate until about 3 - very late. We got in line at the end of the people boarding. We were in seats E and F - a middle and a window.
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Photo from inside the plane

Photo from inside the plane


Warning Note: Aer Lingus charges for food and drink on their flights. If you want anything to eat or drink, you will have to pay for it.

3533929-Flying_in_to_Shannon_Shannon.jpgFlying in to Shannon

Flying in to Shannon

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When we landed at Shannon airport, the weather was cool. I asked for a wheelchair. Shannon Airport has wheelchairs available free of charge for use within the airport. However, there are no people to push the wheelchairs - my grandson got to push. We went through the nothing to declare line, and then went to get our bags. Now it is not really possible for one person to push a wheelchair and pull two roller bags. So my grandson pushed me and I pulled at least one of the bags. We managed to get out to the money exchange window and bought some Euros before we called a taxi to take us to our hotel.
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Because we got into Shannon late in the day, the shuttle bus transportation to the Bunratty Castle Hotel was no longer available. There were no cabs lined up outside the airport at a taxi stand - just a sign saying "Taxi Desk Located In Arrivals Hall". Sign saying to call a taxi through the call desk

Sign saying to call a taxi through the call desk


3533893-Arrivals_sign_Shannon.jpgOutside Arrival Hall

Outside Arrival Hall


3533923-Outside_Arrivals_Hall_Shannon.jpgOutside Arrivals Hall

Outside Arrivals Hall


There is a desk in the airport where you can talk to a person who will call a cab for you.
Taxi call desk and waiting room

Taxi call desk and waiting room


Me with the taxi lady and the luggage trolley

Me with the taxi lady and the luggage trolley

Aer Lingus cargo area

Aer Lingus cargo area


The taxi when it came was an ordinary car with just a photo ID inside showing that the driver was a taxi driver.
From back seat of the taxi - driver ID on dash

From back seat of the taxi - driver ID on dash


The rate to Bunratty Castle Hotel was €20
Welcome to Ireland sign from the cab

Welcome to Ireland sign from the cab

Bunratty Castle Hotel

Bunratty Castle Hotel

Bunratty Castle Hotel - main entrance

Bunratty Castle Hotel - main entrance


The hotel was literally across the street from the Castle which you could see past the trees. I was pretty tired by the time we got to the hotel. They gave us room 409. We had to wait for some wedding photos to be taken in the lounge before we could get through from the lobby to the elevator because the photographer had the way blocked. My grandson took several photos of the hallway, which he thought was like the one in the movie "The Shining".
Hotel Corridor (like the Shining?)

Hotel Corridor (like the Shining?)


We unpacked a bit. I had intended to have dinner and shower, but I was too tired to shower.
The door of our first room

The door of our first room


The room had a TV, a luggage rack, wardrobe, ironing board, mirrors and shutter type windows which folded out. We had free wi-fi in the room which was excellent. I do not know exactly how much we paid but normal rack rates for a room including breakfast at the time we stayed there was €90.00 each.
Inside the room

Inside the room


My grandson gave me heart palpitations leaning out the window to take pictures. He was intrigued by the heated towel racks which he had not seen before
View of the parking lot and castle from our room

View of the parking lot and castle from our room


We didn't (or at least I didn't) want to eat dinner in a fancy place,
Fancy Restaurant entrance

Fancy Restaurant entrance


so we went to Kathleen's Bar which was the hotel pub type place.
Entrance

Entrance


100_0277.jpg
Behind the bar

Behind the bar


He had the handcut 8 oz cheeseburger, bacon, salad and chips (fries) for €14.50. He wanted catsup, but I didn't think to ask for it and don't know if we could have gotten it anyway They did give him some kind of steak sauce. He didn't like the cheddar cheese on the hamburger.
hamburger

hamburger


I had a steak sandwich (€12.95) on toasted foccacia, salad and jacket potato and the steak was tough.
steak sandwich

steak sandwich


Total €32.45 which I thought was expensive for a couple of sandwiches and a coke and juice. My grandson took my camera and stood on a bench to get a birds eye view of the table.
Birdseye view of the food -grandson's idea for picture

Birdseye view of the food -grandson's idea for picture


It was too much for me to eat, so we didn't get any of the desserts which looked good albeit expensive at €5.50 each. They had caramelized lemon tart with creme fraiche, bread and butter pudding with ice cream, chocolate brownie with fresh cream, and vanilla ice cream with butterscotch sauce.

I woke up about 11:45 and the TV was on - I spoke to to my grandson but he was asleep. I got the controller and turned off the TV, and then went to the bathroom and went back to bed.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 07:18 Archived in USA Tagged taxi airport

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