A Day Without (M)Eee

Trip Start Dec 15, 2009
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Trip End Aug 27, 2010


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Flag of United Kingdom  , N Ireland,
Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Being woken yet again by the heat of the sun, we were up and about early Monday morning and by 9am we'd taken down our tent, packed everything up, said farewell to a sleeping Uncle Trevor and Auntie Fiona and were in the car on our way to Liverpool. Why Liverpool??? In preparing to leave for the festival, we realized that we had forgotten to actually book our flights to Northern Ireland and the best priced flights left for Monday departed from Liverpool and when you have all day to get there, why not??? When you’re researching and booking as many transfers as we have been lately, it’s quite easy to overlook the occasional item ;-)

The drive was fairly traffic free, rental car return was easy, bag-drop was smooth and all seemed well as we made our way through the renovations to security, but as we rounded the corner we met the longest line for security that we have encountered in the last six months! The inefficiency of the security system was quite staggering and despite our early arrival at security the departure boards were already showing final call for our flight by the time we exited. The flight itself was smooth for the quick hop across the Irish Sea and we soon landed in Belfast where Derek’s Uncle Arthur was waiting for us and kindly drove us to Londonderry – Derek’s home town.

Granny was excited to see the kids and after our first hot meal in five days and warm showers all round we had a relaxed evening recounting tales of adventure. It wasn’t until the following morning and time to start planning our onward travels that we made a horrifying discovery…..we had left our laptop (which we affectionately call Eee) on the airplane! After a few frantic phone calls and a couple agonizing hours of waiting, we were relieved to discover that the cleaning crew had found Eee and that it would be held at the airport until we picked it up. OK, panic over, but how would we get to Belfast to collect it? Derek and Sarah had already planned to go away for a day or two without the kids, so we decided that we’d have to go somewhere in the same direction as Belfast and collect Eee en route. It’s not until you’re without something like a laptop that you realize just how much you rely on it….all of our travel plans are stored on Eee and we were quite lost without it. Good or bad, you be the judge, but it’s essential for efficient travel in this day and age.

Templepatrick is a small town just a stone’s throw from Belfast airport and has a Hilton, so once again we took advantage of our Hilton points. After picking up Eee and a little retail therapy en route, we arrived at Hilton Templepatrick in time to make use of their fantastic gym before walking to Raffles restaurant for a superb dinner. Unbeknown to us, the Hilton had a beautiful golf course on site and so we took advantage of the kid-free time to play a leisurely round finishing on the nineteenth with a sublime pint of Guinness! Our brief foray away from the kids was rounded out with dinner in Northern Ireland’s pub of the year (Mary’s Bar in Magherafelt) and a drive through the Sperrins back to Londonderry in time for the kids bedtime…..
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