Sunday 22 July 2012

Pt.2 of 2: Birthdays, Nenagh and No Cigars!

Monday morning I awoke a little bit groggy. It was the Mrs' ACTUAL birthday and we were going down the country to spend a few days with her niece. The In-Laws were also spending Monday night with us so we all pilled in the van and made our way. Destination : Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.

If you were to believe the song, Its a Long Way To Tipperary. Its not really!! With new motorways and dual-carriageways, the journey is a little over two hours.

Before leaving Dublin, we stopped at a garage for petrol and a hot deli counter breakfast. Deli counters in Ireland differs from the rest of the world. You mention a Deli to someone from the USofA and they picture an array of fresh meats, salads, various breads and wraps. In Ireland we have overcooked food sitting under hot lights to the point of cremation.

That said, there is no better sight first thing in the morning than a greasy breakfast roll. Unfortunately I was out of luck. What I did see was two Ham & Cheese Jambons with my name on them, so I thought. The idea of sinking my hungover head into the overcooked pastry, processed cheese and the odd hint of a bacon lardon had me salivating. That though was ripped from me as the woman in front of me ordered the last two. I almost cried.

Back on the road, without my Jambons, it didn't take long before we arrived in Nenagh and pulled into the Abbey Court Hotel. We checked in, paid for the room and dropped our bags off. The Hotel had a leisure center and we decided to check it out straight away.

An average pool, with no deep end I may add, didn't instill much excitement, however in a separate area at the end of the pool I spotted what I though was a very large Jacuzzi. What it turned out to be was much better, a Hydro-massage pool. I spent a good half hour or more having jets of water massage the tired parts of my body. A small spell in the sauna and steam room and I was as good as new.

Hangover gone, it was time to eat. We strolled through the vast metropolis that is Nenagh town and decided to head into the Hibernian bar for some pub grub. The food was OK and with full bellies we headed to Louise bar. A few pints and a few games of pool we stumbled back to the hotel with happy heads on us!!

A trip to the leisure center again on Tuesday morning ensured no onset of another hangover. We had a busy day ahead of us entertaining a seven year old girl and a clear head was needed.

First item on the agenda was a trip to Nenagh Castle. Not much of the Castle is left and the attraction is a renovated Round Tower. We duly climbed to the top, took pictures, and scaled our way back down the narrow steps.

With our excitement in check, our next stop was Jump 'n' Gyms. An indoor assault course type thing with slides and tunnels and all that stuff. The Mrs and her niece were in there element. Shoes off, socks on, they ran towards the big blue slide, crawled through the tunnels, navigated through rollers and poles, jumped around on the bouncy castle and danced in the disco room. I, on the other hand, found a massage chair, popped in my euro and sat back!!

After Jump 'n' Gyms the In-Laws had to make there way back to Dublin. We said our goodbyes and they left us to fend for ourselves. At that point sun was shining and I found the perfect spot for a cigar in the lovely gardens of the hotel. My plans were scuppered when I was informed that we were going back into the town to do a bit of shopping.

Many hours later, exhausted and hungry we were back in the hotel. We decided to go into the hotel restaurant for dinner. We had a fantastic meal. My order of Pork Buns to start, Spicy Cajun Crab and Corn Cakes for main and Hazelnut Sticky Toffee Pavlova for dessert was delicious. The fantastic meal could only be topped of with the Partagas Series P No.2 that I grabbed on the way out to the hotel gardens.

I got as far as the front door. The blanket of rain that greeted me scuppered all hopes. Another day, another cigar free evening. I wasn't happy. We went back to the room for the evening. The two girls spent their time applying transfer tattoos while I read a book. A relaxing evening but not what I had planned.

Wednesday morning I had a lie in while the girls went to the pool. We checked out of our room for 12pm. Stored our bags behind reception and hit Nenagh Town again. We decided to check out the Heritage Center which was housed in an old County Gaol (Jail) Governors house. After watching a far too long introduction video, we were left to peruse the house at our own ease. They have recreated an old Irish school room, Pub/shop, Dairy and kitchen. The latter two were closed for renovations so the Governors house was short lived.

The best part of the center was the old Gatehouse. This was where prisoners were placed before they were publicly hung. You have to ask for a member of staff to take you there as it is not open permanently. A pleasant woman walked us around the gatehouse, informing us of the history. We got too see the jail cells where the prisoners would spend there last nights. We also saw where the prisoners were hung. What was surprising was the location of the hanging was right on the main street of Nenagh. It made me wonder how many people who walk past that spot on a daily basis actually realise that seventeen men's dead bodies swung lifelessly in the spot where they passed.

We had an average carvery lunch when we returned to the hotel. We dropped the niece back to her mother and the Mrs and I made our way to the bus. A short while later we were back in Dublin.

Suffering from Cigar withdrawals, that night I sparked up a CAO Italia Ciao. This was the first CAO cigar I have smoked. It was part of a sampler pack sent to me from @Cigar_G. I enjoyed it very much but i think it would have befitted from more of a rest in my humidor

We went to Alfies for lunch on Thursday to finish off our mini holiday. Alfies never disappoints for a tasty, economical lunch. That evening it was back to business for me. I had to attend a meeting with the football league. Our new team South William St Celtic FC has been accepted into division 2B. Higher than we expected, we will have to step up the training!!

Fri/Sat and it was back to work. Nondescript as always which is a good thing when you work in security!!

Sunday now and I have watched the Donegal GAA team make history by wining back to back Ulster Championships. Blog update is almost finished so it time for dinner and later on a Cigar.

Its been a tough week. I deserve it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nenagh Castle

Jump n Gyms - Blue Slide

Nenagh's Bouncy Castle

Old Irish Classroom

Old Irish Shop

Old Irish Bar

The Bench that I never got to use
CAO Italia Ciao

The End
Cuba Libra's at Alfies

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