Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Simply Wonderful Day Part 1

We started out the morning down in the kitchen with some toast (Eva discovered cinnamon sugar thanks to Mary) and coffee and lots of chitchat. It wasn't long until we were on our next adventure--The Giant's Causeway. Liz very kindly dropped us off in Ballymena, after pointing out the various places we might want to visit while we waited for the bus that would take us to the Giant's Causeway. We crossed the street to have a small breakfast at a local cafe. Eva ordered the Irish breakfast with the fatty bacon, and I had a lovely scone with jam and coffee. We still had a bit of time until the bus would arrive to take us to the coast, so we leisurely strolled down the street to a Celtic gift shop. Suddenly I realized that while we knew where to catch the bus, I could not remember what time to catch the bus. I searched through my purse for the brochure Liz had, but could not find it. Must have left it in her car. I asked the person at the shop if she knew what time the bus came, and she very nicely called the TI down the street, and then told us the time. I thanked her, but that didn't seem right to me, so I left Eva and decided to walk down the street to the TI and check it out, hoping they would have a brochure.

I talked with the woman there for awhile, and I found the brochure, checked the time, and it seemed she was right. We still had another 40 minutes to go, so I ducked into Joe's, a pub I had read about online. The pub was not open yet, but the restaurant was open upstairs. When I reached the restaurant, I explained to the very nice man that I didn't want to eat unfortunately, just have a drink. He said that would be fine. I chatted with him for awhile, then grabbed my cider and a table overlooking the street. Eva arrived just a few minutes later, and we killed time reviewing the photos on our cameras that we had taken. We still had about 10 minutes until the bus was supposed to show, but we headed across the street because we didn't want to miss it. As we were standing there a very nice woman stopped to ask us what we were waiting for. When we told her, she told us very nicely that the bus had already left, possibly an hour ago. Panic was starting to set in, as we would have no other way to get to the coast if we missed the bus. I kindly explained that she must be mistaken because I have the brochure and woman at the TI had told me this was the correct time. It was then that I noticed there were two timetables on the brochure. One was for coming from Belfast and one was for going to Belfast. We had been looking at the wrong timetable the whole time. I ran across the street hoping that I was wrong, and the lady at the TI assured me that the bus would be coming any minute. Needless to say, minutes later I was crying on the side of the street because there was no bus, and we were not going to be able to get to the Causeway.

Eva went to go talk to the lady at the TI to see if we could hire a cab or something, and all of a sudden she came back with a different woman and said that it was all fixed, and they had it all worked out. I got into the woman's car, not having a clue about what was going on, and not really caring. She drove us to another town about 15 minutes away or so to a different bus stop, and we were able to catch a different bus from there. I was so grateful that it worked out, and that people went out of their way to help us. Before we knew it, we were at the Causeway, trodding down the hill. Oh, what a sight! We spent a few hours there, enjoying the view, and listening to the folktale of how the Giant's Causeway was formed. We cannot wait to share it with our classrooms. We were also able to buy some books at the gift shop for our classrooms. It was hard to leave such a beautiful place, but the day wasn't over yet. We were very much anticipating the music/storytelling session at the barn that night.

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