|One last picture of the lake and the castle....|
So...backtracking to last week....on Thursday, some went to Tolleymore Forest, some to Castlewellan, some to New Castle, some did the Peace Maze and walked around the lake and maybe some to another place but I don't remember... We had spent the morning getting all the preparations made for the women's banquet and were ready for an outing before the guests arrived.
|Walking in Tolleymore|
I went to New Castle for some shopping. Deirdre had asked me to pick up traybakes for the gathering (things like tarts and bar cookies and cupcakes). I had a good experience in bakery. I told the girl what they were for and said, "This is Americans throwing a party for Irish so would you pick out the traybakes that are most popular here?" She was happy to oblige. I was trying to get 20 pounds worth. I added a couple of package of biscuits (cookies) and she totaled it up....22,04. I started digging for the additional 2 pounds and 4 pence and she said, "no, just 20 pounds". Very kind of her!
I stopped in Wadsworth Department store and found a stunning purple sweater! Yep, it's mine. I also went to a couple of accessory shops and the chemist. The cough is worse so I got some cough syrup...very foul tasting, but effective!
Donna, Barb, Phil and I ate supper at Doc's---fish and chips for me! The server was very nice and even called a cab for us after our meal. We saw the sea in the afternoon and the Christmas lights after we ate. We were ready to be back at the castle to greet our guests. We did want to send a few message. It was a bit more palatable.
I'm not sure what is causing my cough...no other symptoms....but it's not just me. I counted at least seven others while we were in the sanctuary. Of course, mine always goes to that bronchial raspy deep cough. Not pleasant!
Thursday evening through Sunday Evening was the women's weekend.
|The Kitchen Team!|
On Sunday night Richie came to pick up Jen and brought Charlie and Addie...in the Sofia dresses I had brought them. So sweet....and so happy to see their mama!!
|Addie will be 2 and Charlie will be 3 in February.|
The team had leftovers for a late supper. We were tired but still excited and had lots to talk about. And we were glad the wifi was back up. It had been off most of the weekend.
Monday was up and out to the North Coast for those who were not here last week. They left at 9 am. The rest of us were off to Belfast for a day of shopping or sightseeing. Chartered buses for both excursions. Belfast was very busy for a Monday!! At least that was our impression.
I hung out with Donna, Barb and Phil for the first part. We went to a chemist for more cough drops and to a couple of souvenir shops. I think Barb did all her Christmas shopping!! We took a break for coffee/tea and then headed for the International Market at City Hall. I had been at this market three years ago and it is great. Donna and I looked at everything and did some eating....canolli, bruschetta, macaroons. We saw venison and alligator steaks, tiny delightful pancakes, fudge, giant charros, and much more. There were also booths of crafts from Peru, Zimbabwe, Kenya, India and more. We saw beautiful hand crafted jewelry, purses, wood items, chocolate tools! (yes, chocolate hammers and wrenches and drills) and wreaths and garden items. There were coffee kiosks and sausage and Potatoes Provencal. It was a great outdoor festival.
Then it was back to the bus for the last trip in to the castle...or so we thought! The plan had been to order fish and chips and eat at the castle. BUT...when we got back, the electricity was off in the castle and the town of Castlewellan. Now what? But one restaurant had a backup system so we placed our dinner orders and went to Castlewellan. Some walked, some were taken by car. It was an unexpected surprise and great food...as usual!
|Donna's dinner...fish and chips with mushy peas|
|My dinner....steak and Guinness with champ|
Then we did make our last trip to the castle. Andrew took several on a tour including a climb up the turret. Then it was collecting all our items that were in the common areas and packing up. I had brought a suitcase full of things for my Irish friends and thought I would have lots of room...even an empty suitcase. But no, I will be stuffing a few more things in. I had hoped I could use my big bag to carry my smaller one. Nope....the bags are full! I really do think that some of my things have doubled in size though...surely I didn't buy that much!
|The Main Hall|
Note: Please pray for one of our guests, Brenda. She fell and broke her leg today. She is older and will be staying with her son. Also pray for one of the Castle guests, Simon, with the group of college students. He accidently put his hand through a door window and has serious damage to his left wrist..tendon damage.