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Report 1922: Coasting Through Ireland on Pints of Cider

By Green Dragon from FL, Spring 2011

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Page 2 of 21: Thursday, May 12th: Into the Bowels of the Theatre...

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We were up at 3:30am to catch the shuttle to the airport, print out our boarding passes at the kiosk, and get through security. We were checking no luggage on the way over, as we were able to pack carry-on sized bags. I have had poor luck with checked luggage in the past, and didn't want a repeat of my Scottish trip, where I didn't get my bag for five days.

The security was my first full body scan experience, but it went rather smoothly. We now had about 1.5 hours until our flight boarded, so we snuck in some WiFi time on our digital demons. V had an iPad to keep in touch with work each day, and I had my iPhone to keep in touch with everyone else. I introduced V to Shaun the Sheep videos, and came across an article about the 111 Most "Bangable" English literature characters (link in Resources) . We laughed very hard about some of the choices on this seemingly random list. I get some of the Jane Austen characters, but Aslan? Really? And why would Frankenstein's Monster even be on this list? Peter Pan? We posited that the list was created by scattering corn on a keyboard and letting a chicken pick the winners.

The flight ran about 15 minutes late, but we had a 12 hour layover in Newark, so this was no problem for us whatsoever. My friend S met us there, as arranged, and proceeded to show us a lovely day in Newark and New York City. We visited the Loew's Theatre, which he has helped in restoring to its original state. It is a beautiful old theatre and well deserves the chance to shine and glitter once more. We explored it from projection room to the bowels of the theatre at certain points we had to pull out our cell phones and use them as flashlights, as the lights didn't work!

We then found the hop-on/hop-off bus tours and went around to various touristy sites, taking pictures and having fun. We wandered around Chinatown a bit and S took us to a dim sum restaurant in the heart of it for a late lunch. Unfortunately, we probably got the last bits of lunch, as it was later in the afternoon, but it was an interesting experience. There was serious police presence in town, and we discovered that there was a budget cut protest being planned we skedaddled elsewhere. There was also a cluster of news vans around the courthouse a local police rape case was being decided that afternoon, and the vans were all awaiting the verdict.

Back to Newark, and this was the longest security line of our trip about 40 minutes, which isn't too bad. They did check my CPAP, but it was no big deal, and the TSA were polite throughout the process. We had some dinner at the Guinness Irish Pub at the airport to get into the mood some salad and some pints (usually cider for me, Guinness for V).

We were on the plane by 9pm. Our carry-ons were gate-checked, which was fine it's the full checking that always gives me ulcers. And, for the first time in many, many years, I didn't need a seat belt extender! I had lost 100 pounds since the previous summer, and it was a fantastic feeling. I also didn't feel like I intruded into the next seat, even better. I did need some back support, so that silly little pillow became my lower back pillow for the trip. V went right asleep, and made sure I didn't wake her up for dinner or anything, she would rather sleep right through the flight. I watched an episode of Castle on the in-flight entertainment system, and then took some Xanax and actually got several hours of sleep myself. I ended up skipping dinner as well, as a result. I did wake about an hour before we landed, had some breakfast, and got our gate-checked bags.

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