August 26, 2003 GMT
Cork

Friday August 1st
Well we safely made it down the road from Dublin and made it to Cork. The roads were quite busy as we did this on a Friday afternoon.
We make it into Glounthaune just outside Cork and call my cousin Paula. She is absolutely fabulous and drives down to the shop we were at so that we wouldn't get lost up to her house. We haven't seen each other in 17 years if you can believe that !! Anyway we relax with her and our other cousin Jason and his wife Sinead and meet some of our new cousins (all the children) and have a good all catch up session.
Then it is off to our next cousinís house, Danielle's, as this is where we will be staying for the next 3 weeks. Danielle and her two children are off to West Cork which is a beach resort on the coast. Again more catch up and a few drinks and the next thing we know it's after one o'clock in the morning.
Saturday morning is again sunny and warm as it really never rains in Ireland. We have hit the best weather they have had in about 7 years. Danielle and kids head off on their vacation and Patrick and I start to unpack and do laundry. Again I am amazed at how excited we are at the thought of doing laundry.

Paula and her husband Declan then pick us up that night and take us into town for dinner. We have a great Italian meal and then head back to the local. The local we are discovering is what you call the pub that you would normally go into on a regular basis. Patrick is in heaven and would like to have his own local. The pubs here are so different from home. You are almost expected once you get to the pub to sit there until closing time. It's like being in your friendsí living room. Anyway, we eventually get home and get to sleep in the next morning for the first time in weeks.

Sunday August 3rd.
Huge excitement. We are going to our first hurling match with Paula and the children. We have Connor who is 11, Ciara who is 8, Brian who is 6, and Paula, Patrick and myself. (We had to leave Cillian the 2 1/2 year old at home with his dad) The kids play hurling themselves so we got the rules of play from them while watching the game. We have a fantastic time. Hurling is a great game that is fast and entertaining. The crowd was all into the game and of course it is another warm sunny night in Ireland.
We've decided that night when we go home that we are just going to steal Paula's kids instead of having our own as they are all such great lads and we are having such fun with them.

Monday August 4th
One of Paula's friends has given us a call because he has something to show us. His name is Martin and he rides a Harley Davidson. We are intrigued by this and Martin doesn't tell us really what we are going to be doing. We end up grabbing Declan, Ciara myself and Patrick and following Martin down over to Little Island which is about 15 minutes from where we were. We end up in a sub division of houses. All of us in the car are going what in the world are we doing here. Martin stops his car and we park behind him. He gets out and says follow me. So off we go into the back yard of an overgrown house and lot. We are still unsure why the heck we are here. When we get to the back of the house, we meet up with some men from an auction house who are cataloging the house. He says to us just go and walk around in the house and the out buildings. Well you can not imagine the shock. There are motorcycles there from the early 1900's to the 1950's and they are all over the place. There were probably at least 50 motorcycles there in various conditions from good to parts bikes. He had some of the first motorcycles ever made in the house and an old BMW in one of the out buildings. We are standing there in shock; it was just the most amazing site. So apparently Martin's uncle was the owner of the house and the bikes and had been collecting the bikes for years. The uncle had passed away and now the estate was trying to deal with all these motorcycles. It was truly something you do not see everyday.......

Posted by Danette Harkness at August 26, 2003 01:57 PM GMT
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