Steven and Mike
 

The new day dawned quietly.  We gathered for a quick Irish breakfast – no such thing really – then off to the Cliffs of Moher prior to teeing off at Lahinch.  The weather was rainy off and on during the morning, accompanied by cyclonic winds of up to 50 mph.  No wonder they put fences up around the cliffs, to keep the tourists and sheep from blowing over the edge.  The cliffs are quite a sight, lazy meadows that suddenly turn into a 204 meter drop into the Atlantic Ocean.  Quite dramatic.  The path around the cliff’s edge wound up to a 15th century watchtower built by the O’Brien clan – the same clan that built Dromoland. 

 

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After an hour of sightseeing we proceeded to the golf course for the first tee times.  So far so good.  Just the wind and even some sun.  So what usually happens when you drop the credit card on the counter and pay top Euro for your round?  Storms looming in the distance all of sudden are at the edge of the course….then within 3 holes of play, the skies open and the rain comes down in sheets.  Ask me what it was like?  Like playing golf in a car wash.  Steve asked his caddie if this was as bad as it gets – the answer was yes.  But they assured all of us that when you play Irish golf you also must play the elements.  Imagine trying to swing a golf club while Dave Yanagamachi is shoving you around the tee box.  That’s what it was like for 18 holes of golf.  When I took out my umbrella on the 5th hole, one caddie nudged the other and said “watch this”.  The umbrella expanded briefly, quickly inverted, then collapsed like Larry Ohmie on a press.  It was totally useless.  The foursome behind us noticed the handle sticking out of the trashcan on the next tee-box.  Suffice to say, the weather was Ireland at its best or worst, depending on where you stood;  In the clubhouse or on the course.  We regrouped at the clubhouse, soaking wet, but happy to have had the experience; kind of exhilarating really.  The course was in great shape with smooth perfect greens and fairways.  Thick grasses bordered each fairway forcing accuracy off the tee.  One par 3 on the back nine required a 3 wood to hit 147 yards.  Truly amazing.  We’ll be back, and hope the weather is a little less severe.

 

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As the group boarded the bus for our ride to the Atlantic Hotel for dinner, Susan and Terry rushed everyone around to grab a glass and fill it with some ice.  They had conveniently brought Irish whiskey and McCallum scotch. Anticipating the customary toast to Ron and Jane for their efforts into putting together such a fabulous trip, we listened as Terry’s toast droned on… suddenly we realized that the romance and spender of Dromoland Castle had brought Terry (or Susan) the realization that it was time to make an honest man out of him and a wife out of her.  Yes, Terry announced to a somewhat stunned audience, that the preceding night while embracing in the moonlit rose garden, Susan had proposed to him and he of course, said yes.  The moment was spontaneous and genuine,  and we all cheered their decision, paper cups clinking as we drank to their health and their future.  It really took us all by surprise as there was no hint that such an announcement was in the offing.  Congratulations to Susan and Terry – we all wish you the best.  What an honor it is for us to be the one’s to make their announcement to via the World Wide Web.

 

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