We have arrived safe and sound- the flight was quick and easy, although sleeping on the plane was difficult (too many lights, children, and good movies on demand). We got into Shannon, waited a few minutes for our cab to Ennis which was about a 15 minute drive. Drizzly morning, we got to the hotel, a stately one, at about 7 AM, expecting to have to kill 5 hours before our room was ready. The manager looked over the rooms, and discovered one free room, and let us check in super early- we quickly went up and crashed for about 5 hours, catching up on our sleep (in my case, all of my sleep; in Diane's case, just about 2/3 of it). We got up, it was pouring rain, so we ate in the hotel pub- a delicious lunch while watching the Scottish Open. We then strolled all around Ennis, a very typical looking Irish town with dozens of local shops, pubs, etc. We did this for about 2 hours, and saw three other couples in the hotel lobby that would be on the trip with us- there will be 10 people total on it. More on these folks as we meet them formally later.
The people here are quite nice and friendly, and aside from their driving on the wrong side of the road, we have enjoyed everything thus far! A wedding across the street has brought a lot of people into the hotel- this place is bustling!