So now ya know

Thursday, September 14, 2017
Limerick, County Limerick, Ireland
Today was a beautiful day.  Sunny and almost warm!  Only 1 cloudburst...so far!  Seeing that yesterday was all about culture, today was all about retail therapy.  After breakfast we traveled by bus to Bunratty.  About a 20 minute ride, give or take.  Why Bunratty, you ask?  Well, a couple of reasons.  Firstly, my friend Shelley and I were there 2 May's ago.  It was a stop on a bus tour we did to the Cliffs of Moher.  (For that trip, you'll have to refer to my old blog 'Kat's Away with Kim and Shelley).  Being that it was really just a bathroom break, we only had 30 minutes before all 40+ of us had to be back on the bus.  Not much time at all, especially considering there is a Blarney Woollen Mills store there.  Needless to say, I spent my allotted time in the store, and had no time to see the rest of Bunratty.  I got a glimpse of the token castle, cause every town has one in this country, but not the rest of what Bunratty has to offer.  And secondly, the aforementioned Blarney Woollen Mills store.  I love that place.  It has all the best Ireland made merchandise, plus the usual Chinese made souvenirs thrown in for good measure.
Upon arrival in Bunratty, our first stop was the Woollen Mill, of course.  Right across the street from it is the Bunratty Castle, so we've got that sorted.  But for the rest of the town, I'd have to get directions.  So while paying for my trove of treasures I casually asked the sales lady "So I know where the Castle is, but where is the rest of the town?", to which she replied "You're in it!".  Okay, so that explains it!   We did our Castle visit yesterday in Limerick, so no need to do another one, so that's Bunratty...done and dusted in an hour!
So we're traveling back to Limerick on the bus. Even though I didn't really notice her when I was boarding, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that the person seated behind us was a young woman and not a young girl, based solely on the phone call I overheard between her and her 3 year old.  Although, that alone may not be the most accurate of measuring sticks.  Anyway, that's not really the point of this story.  The point is this...for the entire duration of our bus trip, she just continuously made and received phone calls.  She would no sooner hang up from a call, and within seconds the phone would ring again.  Wow!  I was 'gobsmacked', and for no other reason than I recently got my first post-retirement cell phone...and I may have received 10 calls on it in the past 4 months.  I'm starting to think I'm not very popular!  This realization comes on the heels of a phone call I received on my cell before leaving home (yup, call #10) from my service provider.  Seems that my plan is so large, and my usage so small that they recommend that I find a friend to share it with.  Hmmm...guess that speaks volumes!
It was a beautiful afternoon for a stroll, so when we got back to town we finished walking the 3 bridges in Limerick.  Yes, it's a thing here.  We'd walked 2 of them yesterday, so walked the final 1 today.  We can now check that off our list of local 'attractions'.  We also completed our day of retail therapy by wandering through the pedestrian only shopping areas in the centre of town.  
Now this evening we finally succumbed.  There is a small casino around the corner of the hotel which we've passed every day since we've been here.  We're convinced it's run by the Soviet mob.  Mostly because there is this Russian fellow who works the door...every night.  He trolls the passers-by trying to lure them in.  We'll just call him Sergei Boltjed, (that's pronounced Sergay Bald-head, in case you're wondering).  Every day we resist his attempts.  Tonight, with nothing else on the agenda we decided to wander in.  It's a cozy little spot.  Not a lot of machines on the main floor, but they also have table games on the lower level.  We stuck to the machines, and I'm pleased to say, I came out with €5 more than I went in, thanks to 'the draw'.  After being there almost an hour, a fellow came around and handed out tickets for said draw.  It was going to be done right away.  I was fortunate enough to win!  I couldn't win the 50/50 draw at the Calgary Stampede, (for THAT story, you'll have to refer back to my previous blog Kat's Away at the Stampede), but this I win.  The long and short of it is this...I got to press the button on a board filled with euro amounts.  There were €10's, €20's and one €50.  You know which one I won, right?  But hey, like the cashier told me 'it's €10 you didn't come in with'.  All in all, I left with €5 more than I went in with.  Not bad for a couple of hours of entertainment.
Tomorrow is slated to be a busy day, so it's off to bed early.  Stay tuned!
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2020-08-06