Day 5 – We’ll Never Be Royals

And we’ll never be royals,

It don’t run in our blood

That kind of luxe just ain’t for us, we crave a different kind of buzz.

Lorde

 

This afternoon we pulled into our digs for the evening. The Lough Eske Castle (and Spa) is a pretty sweet place to place our head for the evening. The castle, which is located just a bit outside of Donegal, was built somewhere around 1474, and it has an interesting history, as I suspect most castles do. This one is an Elizabethan style castle whose story features a typical fire (don’t they all?) and a guy who wanted the place so badly he changed his name to get what he wanted. I guess the end justifies the means for a lot of people, doesn’t it?

Even an ocean of distance isn’t enough to keep the news from finding us, and the news from home is so painful today with a peaceful protest turning into an execution of law enforcement officers. This is not the time nor place for me to climb aboard a soapbox, so I won’t. However, I wish we could all find a way to be more tolerant and accepting of one another; is it that hard to be kind? And wasn’t our country founded on the premise of accepting one another’s differences as okay? Dan and I think about that a lot back home, and we thought a lot about it a lot today, too. Silly little things made me think about accepting others where they are – like the bathrooms here (and no, I promise not to get into a protracted monologue about them today). The majority of the bathrooms I’ve encountered here are just labeled TOILET, not Men’s, Women’s, Gents’ or Ladies’. Even at the Catholic abbey yesterday, there were no choices to be made – other than #1 or #2, I suppose. They were just bathrooms, and there was no big deal about anything. I wish life would be less controversial. But you didn’t come to this space for me to get heavy and philosophical, did you?

Today’s drive was short by our standards – only about two and a half hours, and we didn’t even get lost! I had asked Becky Kehres, from It’s Vacation Time Travel, if she could possibly find us a castle to stay in for one night. And boy, did she do a good job. Lough Eske is so lovely that, as soon as we unpacked and stopped ogling the awesome extras and neat features in our room and bathroom (we’re digging the heated towel racks – especially since I packed light and have to do some in-room laundering). The grounds are so nice we walked to the nearby lake to see the view and wandered around the grounds a bit. We decided to stay in tonight, and I’m so glad we did.

There’s a wedding going on here at the castle today I guess, and watching the people come in wearing their netted pillboxes and fascinators while Dan and I were schlepping the grounds in jeans and sneakers made me realize that, while the room may be terrific and the place lovely – we’re like the Lorde song, “And we’ll never be royals, It don’t run in our blood. That kind of luxe just ain’t for us; we crave a different kind of buzz.” Instead of the fancy restaurant, we opted for the pub in the castle, which was a little closer to our comfort zone. I even opted for the house drink – a raspberry cheesecake martini – my food porn shot of the day, and maybe just the “different kind of buzz” I needed to relax and enjoy the day.

So maybe we didn’t stop at any tourist digs today, but we sure had a terrific day driving the Irish countryside and finding a castle to call our own for the night. And maybe we’ll never be royals, but that’s just fine with me. I think we’re pretty lucky.

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