Guest blogger – Mike Simmons:


The castle is a great place – very elegant- with the nicest staff, very  polite and helpful – the receptionist coming out front to greet us then disappearing back behind the desk as lithely as a ferret returning to its hole.   We arrived in time to take a tour of the grounds before dark, which were quite extensive.  There is the main building – A real castle, just as anyone would picture it, right down to the armored knights in the lobby.  In front there was a circular drive with a fountain and a small hedge maze – I got in there by mistake and it took me an hour to get out in spite of the fact that the hedges were only two feet tall.  Whatever it takes to entertain Rose I always say…


There is also a spa and 18 hole golf course, a walled rose garden with mysterious gate, a gift shop full of Waterford crystal that beckoned Rose like a siren’s call to a lawyer.  There was also a golf academy complete with a driving range whose mats replaced each ball that was hit, automatically, from below.  We all gathered around it, watching and pointing at it like little kids.  So many things to keep us entertained and busy until it was time for the dinner in the Earl of Thromond restaurant.


We had a fantastic dinner in the castle. All of the gentlemen (including Mike) were dressed in their finest attire. Mike wore Goodyear.  This was the acme of fine dining.  The staff was attentive but discreet and didn’t fuss too much when Rose filled her purse with silverware and those delightful little spoons they use for tea.  Sandi was able to supplement her collection of salt and pepper shakers, cleverly concealing them in her ample cleavage.  The meal was outstanding, the wine plentiful and expensive, and the mood festive.  We concluded the evening with a toast to our upcoming adventures and hopes for sunny skies and low golf scores..all the while observing a torrential rainstorm raging outside the window.  Hey, we were filled with optimism.  After all, Ron had guaranteed the weather this time of the year was the best Ireland could offer.