Days 30-32 of the Euro trip.
It’s another ham and cheese toasted sandwich before we slowly pack the car up again and are on our way. It’s 10:30 by the time we do leave, but we purposely don’t rush.
It’s been bloody exhausting dragging 2 kids across countries and checking all of the tourist sites.
We wanted this section of the trip to be a lot quieter.
We also know that the next place we are going will be intense for both kids and adults for various reasons.
We decide to check out the famous Cliffs of Moher, about an hour away.
We are both surprised by how popular a tourist attraction the cliffs are. A quick look around the exhibition, as the kids are going wild, well Tanami is anyway. He’s running everywhere.
So we decide to go and check out the cliffs. Much better idea as they’ve got them pretty well protected by an earth and stone wall so we have a bit of freedom with him. We have forgotten his blue wrist strap that allows us to strap one of us to him, but I think he would have been pretty hard to stop from running everywhere anyway.
I’m not that excited by the cliffs. I love natural beauty, but the cliffs, or maybe its cliffs in general, just are doing it for me. But we’ve spent almost 2 hours here.
Trying to convince Tanami its time to leave is one mighty effort. In fact I don’t think we did convince him. We just had to take him away, kicking and screaming. Once again plenty of looks from onlookers but we’re used to that by now.
It takes us 2 hours or so to get back to Galway as we go along the coastal route, a beautiful route known as the Wild Atlantic Way. The kids have had enough of the car. They definitely travel better in the morning than the afternoon.
Ewelina suggests we pull up to go grocery shopping. I suggest bad decision. I say let’s get to destination and then go after that, just to get the kids where we need them.
I lose. Then we both lose. Tanami throws the biggest tantrum I’ve ever seen from him. From the very moment we walk in the grocery store he’s screaming and crying as loud as his little lungs will go.
I grab him and take him outside for a walk, all whist the whole time he doesn’t let up. 5 minutes later we walk into another store, after he’d settled down a bit. Ice cream and a water and he’s back to his chatty self telling me stories in baby lingo.
Ewelina is not happy I left her, but I think it had to be done. I couldn’t stand him going off like that.
5 o’clock and we finally arrive at the destination. Pete is a former Reds assistant coach and him and his wife Sarah live in a village about 10 minutes west of Galway. They have 2 boys, 3 and 5, Oscar and Harry. So they have lots of toys and are used to kids going mad.
Lots of catching up with then that night as they’ve moved not that long ago from Edinburgh where we went and saw them, although it’s not too late as we’re both exhausted. Dinner is a beautiful home cooked Beef and Guinness pie.
Friday morning and I go and catch up with a mate from my time at the Reds, Jarrad Buttler. JB was at Reds for a few years before heading to the Brumbies for 4 years and has just recently moved to Galway
JB is loving the city, the team and his rugby. Good to see he has made the transition so easily and quickly as some blokes can really struggle with it.
I interview him also to see why he has left Aussie rugby in the first place.
If you want, check it out:
He drops me home and I’m there for a few hours before going into the game with Pete and he shows me around the Connacht setup, basic but they thrive on that, it’s not a bad mentality to have.
I then duck down to the pub with the computer to send some emails and write some blogs. It’s hard finding time on this trip.
Over an hour there and dinner I’m making my way back to ground to watch game and catch up with Harley Fox, another young Aussie who’s only 21 and moved to Connacht to play rugby. He’s a number 8 who’s been in full time squads and I’m baffled as to how and why we are losing blokes like this at that age.
So I hit him up and record that too:
Connacht has a great win against Munster, I’ve been fortunate enough to watch the big local derby and Pete is ecstatic. The teams defebce effort was sensational and probably the main reason they won.
It’s midnight be the time we get home and there are no beers. We are too tired and we’ve got a big one planned for tomorrow.
It’s Saturday and we are excited. With a Friday night game, Pete only has a review to do, which he does from home and then has the weekend off.
They have organised for a couple of babysitters to come and look after the kids… From 3pm!!! Oh my.
Ewelina and I get the kids out of the house as they keep running upstairs into Petes room. We take them drive to run some errands and catch up with our friend who we drove to Galway to say goodbye one last time.
Back and it’s time for lunch. After lunch I begin packing the car as everyone gets ready. Ewelina tells me to simply do it tomorrow but I’m not having a bar of that. Packing the car after a solid night of beers, no way. It takes me over an hour lugging them out and packing the car to perfection. I tell the others to head off and make the most of the babysitters whilst I finish packing the car and get myself right.
I’m relieved after packing the car as I know it would of been 10 times as hard tomorrow.
It’s 4 o’clock by the time I catch up with the other 3 at a beautiful traditional Irish pub in their local village. I could seriously stay there all night but we also want to go check out in town. After a few more ‘1 mores’ and an interview with Pete we finally leave there after 6.
The interview with Pete is quite interesting as it’s in the pub, with a little background noise, but mainly because he was never a professional player, so it’s a great story of how he got to be where he is today.
In town with mate up with an Aussie, Dave Howarth, who’s a Strength and conditioning coach at Connacht now after having worked at Oklahoma City Basketball team in the US, one of the biggest sporting organisations in the US.
Him and his American wife, who he met in Florida, seem to be enjoying the Galway and Irish lifestyle also.
It was great picking his brain on a few things too.
Baby sitters were booked til 10 but it’s after 11 by the time we get home as we’d simply been having too much fun and time absolutely flew. The babysitters were pretty cool about it, a little more pocket money for them.
Thankfully I didn’t go silly with the beers, had 3 big meals before, during and after with plenty of bread and water and wake up feeling pretty good Sunday. Solid day of travel ahead as we’re off to France!
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