The drive down to Holyhead was uneventful. I had planned to stay awake and keep the Husband company so he wouldn't accidentally fall asleep at the wheel, but that only lasted about an hour. Since I had not been able to get any sleep, the car ride quickly worked its magic on me and I soon found myself nodding off. I woke up again around 5 am, and we listened to BBC radio 1 and the random chatter of the early morning DJs as we crossed from England and into Wales.
I tried to get pictures of the sun rising. I really did try. But that didn't happen. So I tried to get pictures of the scenery but that didn't happen either. My camera's stabilization mode just wasn't up to the task. So I settled for memorizing how everything looked and promised myself that the next time we came to the UK and Ireland we would stay in Wales for a day or two (I don't know if I've mentioned this or not, but medieval Wales plays a bit part in one of the stories I fiddle around with, so I'm a bit obsessed with it.)
Eventually we made it to Holyhead, parked the car, dropped off the keys at the car rental desk, and tried to get some breakfast. The Holyhead terminal has a little newstand that sold coffee - but their coffee was too hot, and the pastries they had to offer were really bland. We decided we would get breakfast on the ferry then instead.
Since it was only 8 am the ferry terminal was empty, so we just sat around using the free wi-fi (remember, our hotel in Castlecarry didn't have working internet, so we were starved for outside contact) We boarded the ferry around 9, spent some more time using the free wi-fi, letting friends and family know that we were still alive, and then we were on the move and promptly lost the internet connection.
The Husband stretched out in a booth in the dining area and fell asleep, and I spent the trip reading on my nook. Since I was a bit more awake on the trip back to Ireland than the trip away from Ireland, I also walked around a bit. The last time I was on a ferry was when the Girl Scout troop I was a member of visited Michigan, and this ferry was quite a bit bigger than that one. I visited the duty free store in the back, and did a lap around the ship before returning to our seats. That was a bit of an experience. Since it was REALLY windy and stormy out, it was damn near impossible to walk in a straight line because of all the heaving too and fro and back and forth that the ferry did. You wouldn't think that a ship that big would move around that much!
We arrived in Ireland around noon and promptly caught a cab to our hotel, which was the Liffey Valley Clarion. Supposedly it was near the airport, which is why we had chosen it because we had originally planned to rent a car in Ireland, and since we were going to be flying out of Dublin it made since to rent the car at the airport. Only we decided at the last moment not to rent the car in Ireland at all, and just stay in Dublin the whole time rather than driving around. After driving around Scotland and England the Husband was tired of driving on the opposite side of the road, and we figured if we skipped the rental car, it would help us save money. More money = more food and souvenirs. It was a win win situation.
The problem was that our cabbie had no idea where the hotel was. At first I thought maybe he was trying to rip us off, but then he admitted that he had no idea where he was going and stopped the meter until he found the hotel (which we had to point out to him) I was beginning to have my doubts about not renting a car, but I figured maybe the Dublin bus system would make up for it (I had temporarily forgotten about our issues when we first arrived in Ireland)
The hotel was much nicer than the one we stayed at in Scotland; our room came with three beds (a double and a single) and the pipes didn't scream at us every time we took a shower. As soon as we were checked in the Husband promptly passed out for a bit while I surfed around on the internet and watched TV (for my friends with youngsters; Super Pets is just as annoying in Gaelic as it is in English)
When the Husband woke up we walked over to a shopping center down the street (this was before we knew the neighborhood wasn't so great) and grabbed a late dinner at a restaurant that was sort of a Johnny Rocket's knock off. Afterwards we wandered around the mall, and eventually caught a movie. (Harry Potter, of course) Then, once it ended, we walked back to the hotel, watched some X Factor, and then passed out for the night.