A few relaxing hours in the spa suite of a comfortable hotel on a much-anticipated weekend away….
And thus it was with very high expectations of a wonderful few days away that we embarked on our search for the unexplored, the energizing, the sustaining, the stimulating aura of well-being promised by any such long-awaited trip. (To Donegal??? Well – maybe….!)
I had assured all at work and restated to any at bookclub who were interested, that this would be that most unusual of days for us. An early start to a trip away. Oh we shouldn’t be doing a late Friday night – we had to pack and prepare everything for our 9.30 – 10.00am get-away.
But wasn’t that the truth?? We shouldn’t be doing the late Friday night!! Unfortunately we fell at this first hurdle! We weren’t actually getting home until 02.00am on Saturday. Not immediately conducive to a 9.30 -10.00 start!!! Indeed, partly, if not entirely, to blame for the 3.00pm start!!
Still – nothing was rushed (as you will have gathered! After all, the journey is such an intrinsic part of the break – it’s so important to get it right!) We reached Letterkenny (for that was, indeed, our destination) by tea-time and eventually found the hotel, having eschewed the simple clues googlemaps may have offered. And having carefully left the sat nav safe at home.
And so to the room. At our arrival the room was unfinished. The previous guests had clearly had an extra bed made up. The furniture was still not re-arranged although the extra bed had been removed.
Sadly the view was not what had been visualized – although what would you visualize a view from a hotel room in Letterkenny to be? My Guiding Light felt I was being over-ambitious hoping for the Hanging Gardens of Babylon or hordes of wildebeest swarming across the Plains. But to be honest I had simply hoped for something other than the blank wall of the leisure suite and windows from a corridor which looked directly into our room. My request for a change of room was, however, very civilly responded to by the offer of a bigger, better, room the next morning. All of which left the unsettling impression that they had sort of expected such a request from someone in this room.
Anyway. My aim for this weekend was to chiiiillllll!!! To steam and sauna, to eat well and to maybe finish off with a little red relax liquid. Others had (foolishly, as it turned out) suggested that we might do some sight-seeing, tour the beautiful beaches and coastlines of north Donegal. Ahh yes, I had said – such possibilities do, indeed, exist. Donegal is well famed for all that sort of stuff – tourists/travellers etc doing the Irish heritage thing.
On the other hand. That, I suppose, fails to recognize my very basic instincts: where shops are, there I will be also. And Letterkenny is, surprizingly to one who has only ever skirted around the town on the way to elsewhere, well endowed with retail opportunities! A veritable Northern Aladdin’s cave! An unsung gem glistening against the backdrop of a county full of tourist traps.
THIS was my sort of holiday ecstasy!
And what was even better was that the fun of trawling the shops was not accompanied by the guilt of spending too much money. No clothes were actually purchased!!!
Those who know me may query (or even doubt!!!) this, but it is the honest-to-God truth!!!
Now. Along with having lots of time for the original plan – the spa suite, the food, the red, relax liquid, don’t you remember?? – aren’t you impressed by how seamlessly we managed to fit in this most favourite pastime to spell weekend perfection???