We left our lovely cottage and Louisburgh behind around 9:30 AM. We all talked about what our favorite part of Ireland was. For me, it was petting the sheep. For the hubby, it was Croagh Patrick. For Kian, it was Clare Island. And of course, for Hannah, it was Sam the dog!
The drive to Dublin airport, which is 173 miles (279 km) away, was very smooth. We ate lunch on the way and my brilliant husband (no sarcasm this time :)) had the wonderful idea of just reserving a taxi online to pick us up at the Beauvais airport [More on this later].
We returned our darling Skoda at Europcar, and said farewell to driving on the "wrong" side of the road for now. In total, we drove 1,549 miles (2,493 km) in Ireland, not too shabby. Thankfully, after a little complaining, we were able to get a refund on the GPS that came with the rental car, because at no point during the vacation was the GPS even remotely useful, since the maps don't have most of the roads! If you find yourself traveling to Ireland, a word of advice, just skip the GPS. There aren't too many roads, and the signs are pretty good, so an old fashioned map will do the job just fine.
A shuttle brought us to the terminal around 3:30 PM. The check-in process for Ryanair at Dublin airport is much, much smoother than at Stansted airport in the UK. They also didn't hassle us over 2 extra kilograms in our luggage. Hurray!
We had lots and lots of time, so we decided to take the kids to the McDonalds play area before going through security. Since it was neither lunch nor dinner time for us, I was grateful the kids could play there without us having to buy any food.
The kids played for a while as I uploaded a ton of pictures for the last 5 days of blog posts. The internet at Dublin airport is mighty speedy!
After playing in the little obstacle course for a while and helping Hannah through a variety of up and downs, Kian joined us at the table to play a little bit on the Nintendo 3DS.
Hannah was happy playing with a balloon she had found.
We went through security and ate dinner at Burger King. During dinner, we were entertained by our silly Hannah making up and singing a France song that went something like this: France France, Francie France.... well, just listen for yourself :)
Our flight was supposed to be at 7:30 but it was delayed 1 hour. We all stayed in good spirits.. playing, chatting, and recharging all our devices for the next leg of the journey.
Eventually we all boarded and were on our way. The flight was quick and smooth and before we knew it we had landed at Beauvais airport.
Beauvais airport is a very tiny airport. At terminal 1 (I think there are 2 terminals there), you walk off the plane, and into the doors where a line of people is formed to get passports checked/stamped. Immediately behind passport control is where you pick up your luggage and you walk out of the door.
Remember I mentioned my husband's brilliance earlier on? Thank goodness there was a taxi driver waiting outside holding our name on a piece of paper, because at this airport there is no line up of buses or taxis. It is true that you can take a shuttle for 17 euros per adult from Beauvais to Paris, 20-25 mins after your flight lands, but that shuttle takes you to Porte Maillot in Paris. From there you will need to take a taxi or some other form of transportation to your hotel unless you have a hotel within walking distance.
Either way, since it was 11:00 PM, and the hotel we had booked wasn't in central Paris, but rather near where we will be picking up our next car, I was extremely grateful for the kind taxi driver who picked us up and gave us giant bottle of water.
The drive to our hotel took about 1 hour, and we were all in bed shortly after midnight.
It is definitely worth mentioning that despite the long, long day, the kids kept it together the entire time, we heard no whining or crying or fussing. At bedtime I was probably more cranky than them!
Bonne Nuit ... Zzzzzz