alternatively titled: an almost-never-ending bank holiday well spent.

this past monday was a bank holiday in ireland (yay, bank holidays!) which i decided to make the most of by taking a day trip to adare, a small village 20 minutes or so outside of limerick. 
i was a little worried with it being a bank holiday and all about the accessibility of this small village and whether it would even be worth the trip on a day like today.  will the buses still run?  if so, will they operate according to the regular route timetable?  will stores be open?  will there be food?  more specifically, will there be ice cream?  will the sun still rise?  very legitimate concerns about the workings of bank holidays i did have, you see.
i did my research as thoroughly as possible.  i grilled the four different hostel desk workers i encountered in the 24 hours leading up to monday.  i asked another guest whom i thought was irish but turns out she is south african?  i made phone calls.  i searched every bus website and travel forum imaginable.  after the irish south african simply reassured me that "oh silly, a bank holiday just means the banks are on holiday.  everything else is open and running."
so she didn't say the "oh silly" part but she was surely thinking it, because, duh.  bank.  holiday.  i pretended like i of course absolutely knew that i was just testing her irish south african knowledge and then i quickly grabbed my things, scurried away, and off to adare i went!

adare is the absolute sweetest, most quaint little town.  it is the epitome of rural ireland: rolling hills, castle ruins, abbeys, little cottages, and building fronts and doors representing every color of the rainbow.  it's simply lovely.  it's rather small and the main street is smattered with different boutiques, cafes, a hardware store, a couple of restaurants, a hair salon, some lodging facilities, the usual.  there's a creamery just outside of town, a golf course, and a beautiful park smack dab in the middle of the action.  there is also a really nice heritage center as you come into town that offers food, tours, light shopping, and free public restrooms!  a european rarity!

i spent the afternoon just wandering the streets, popping in and out of the shops on the main drag, walking a little big outside of town in every direction to scope out a hidden abbey or castle ruins.
one sign pointed very passionately towards the "creamery!!!" which triggered the ice cream alarm within me and instilled some sort of magnetic pull between us that led me swiftly to said creamery, about a half a mile outside of town.  it was a large, hot pink building with walls on each side and a gate closing off the front.  as i got closer, it turned out that the "creamery" was a fudge/gift shop?  and closed on mondays?  deceit is what i felt i tell you.
by then i was sweaty and dusty and hungry, but i made another lap around the little village before settling down at the bus station.  (PS, i'd actually considered running a 5k in adare that was hosted by the local abbey to raise funds for the school.  it was on my birthday and i thought, what a way to spend a birthday!  better things came up, but it was nice to see adare in action and try and imagine a 5k taking place in the little village.  hashtag hills hashtag i would have keeled over and died mid-run so i shall thank God for looking out for me on that blessed day).  by this time it was about 3:30 - the bus back to limerick was due to arrive at 3:45.  i'd seen one pass about 15 minutes before i walked back to the station, but i knew another one was expected in 20 minutes so i thought i'd take advantage of that time and walk through the park.
i should have trusted my instinct and taken that first bus - i'm not sure if they were off schedule or there was a hold up in the route, but i ended up waiting until after 5:00 for the next bus to come along.  i got caught up on a crowd of french students who couldn't speak english and an angry old irish man whom i accidentally gave away knowledge that i was the only other english-speaker in the group and got stuck listening to his angry ramblings and trying to translate them in to weak hand gestures to the french students.  we were all a little confused and i was definitely panicking inside, picturing myself walking all the way back to limerick because surely that 3:15 bus must have been the last bus that was ever running for the rest of eternity from adare to limerick and my phone was dying now i'm going to be stuck here - AND I HADN'T EVEN PACKED SNACKS.  I ALWAYS PACK SNACKS - rotting from hunger and loneliness.  have i mentioned i am a catastrophizer?

i remained externally calm and whilst internally cursing myself for not pretending to be french too so i could ignore mr krabs, the bus stop troll.  the funny thing is, just the night before i'd spent time with a french girl whom i'd met in the building i'm staying in... we giggled as she taught me how to say numbers 1-10 in french and i shared with her the difference between "kettle" and "cattle" and "three" and "tree."  i'm saying i think i could have passed!  before too long (and before i had to whip out my mad french skills, much to everyone's relief) the familiar big green bus rolled up and on i jumped, spending the short journey back to limerick reliving my beautiful day spent in adare.

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