Jennifer and John have planned for a three week trip to Ireland for the past three years. It was the home of her ancestors. This year, their dreams would come true; they booked the tour through Magical Escapes. On the fifth of March they'd fly to Dublin, see the sites, look up distant relatives, and immerse themselves in Irish culture.
She could hardly contain her excitement as they boarded Delta Airlines, destination: Dublin, Ireland.
They quickly found their seat and when the plane took flight, Jennifer began to reread the brochure about Ireland; "For centuries, the iconic images of Ireland were the shamrock, St. Patrick, and the Blarney Stone. The small country of Ireland holds an almost mythical place in the stories of our childhood, home to fairies and leprechauns and amazing adventures. The lush green countryside is often overcast with rain. The weather makes it possible to experience the amazing sights of some brilliant, beautiful rainbows. When the sun comes out you will quickly learn why Ireland is called the "Emerald Isle." There aren't enough words to describe the shades of green blanketing the rolling hills when the sunlight brings the countryside alive.
An hour's drive from Dublin will bring you to the Wicklow Mountains, an exhilarating country where rock-strewn glens provide sharp contrast to the forested mountains, and heather paints the bog lands with a purple sheen. For food lovers, a stop in Ballymaloe is a must (dine at the Ballymaloe House.). Visitors should continue their tour onto Kinsale, the culinary capital of Ireland, which has an annual Gourmet Festival.
From there you can visit Blarney Castle and kiss the famous Blarney Stone — said to grant eloquence to those who kiss it. If you dislike heights, keep in mind that to kiss the stone, you have to lean out over the edge of one of the castle towers to do so. An assistant holds on to you so you won't fall, but it can be unnerving!
After a long and uneventful light, they were in Dublin at two p.m. After gathering their luggage and going through customs, they rented a car and drove to the Clontarf Castle Hotel.
The hotel is situated only two miles from Dublins City Center and five miles from the airport. While offering centrality, the coastal location allows easy access to a variety of water sports, historical houses, nature reserves, and several challenging golf courses. Located within the hotel is "The, Fahrenheit Grill." It's regarded as one of Dublin's finest restaurants, which are the perfect setting for a business lunch or quiet dinner, specializing in dry aged beef and seafood.
The bellboy escorted them into their suite and John tipped him for his help.
Jennifer looked around the room and gasped. It was beautiful. The design retained the castle setting. Against one wall was a four-posted oak bed covered with a bright red-velvet bedspread. On the other side of the room was a desk. Beside it was an armoire which contained a twenty-eight inch television. The room also had a climate controlled air conditioner, mini-bars, garment press, tea and coffee makers, hairdryers, and U.S and European electrical sockets.
She immediately kicked her shoes off and lay down on the bed. Its pillow top softness was just what she needed after an exhausting trip.
Jennifer stretched, sighed, and purred, "Wow, John you should come feel this bed, it's so comfy and romantic."
John placed his laptop case on the desk. He walked toward her with a devilish smile on his face. He climbed on the bed next to her and said, "Romantic, huh. Feels like a bed that's good to make love on. Shall we try it out, baby?"
She licked her lips hungrily and cooed, "Maybe later darling, I'm a wee bit exhausted from the trip."
He pulled her into his arms and replied, "Okay love, but keep in mind there's magic in the air of Ireland. After the stroke of midnight you might just see a leprechaun."
She giggled, "Leprechaun's are fictional, whimsical characters that you read about in books."
John was about to reply when he noticed that Jennifer had drifted off to sleep. "Sleep, my precious darling."
As she slept, Jennifer began to dream of mythical Ireland, fairies and leprechauns.
Around five p.m, John touched her on the arm. Once he was sure she was awake, he asked, "Hey sleepy head, aren't you getting hungry for dinner?"
She stretched, yawned and suggested, "How about ordering something from room service, and spending the evening just relaxing and preparing ourselves for the tour we booked?"
John replied, "That's a great idea. If I remember right, we go down to the lobby and await the tour bus which is scheduled to arrive here at eight a.m. tomorrow."
Jennifer sat up crossed-legged on the bed and John handed her the menu. He then climbed next to her and looked over her shoulder as she reviewed the items.
She then looked at him and suggested, "MMM, the Irish Stew sounds delicious. How's about we order that along with soda bread?"
John licked his lips and felt his tummy growl. "Yum, that does sound good. I'd like to order some Irish coffee."
Jennifer winked at him and with an Irish accent asked, "Laddy, are you ordering the whiskey-laden coffee so you can have you way later?"
John laughed, "You know I'm going to have my way with you darling, regardless of the spiked coffee."
They changed into comfortable clothing, turned on the television and awaited the delivery of their supper. Soon there was a knock on the door, and when John looked through the peek-hole there stood the waiter with their meal on a portable table.
He looked over his shoulder and yelled, "Dinner's here, darling!"
She rubbed her tummy and squealed, "Good, because I'm starving. I didn't eat that much on the flight."
The two of them settled down to eat. Afterward they snuggled for awhile on the bed. They soon drifted off to sleep.
It must have been a little after midnight when John was woken by a mysterious sound. When he looked toward the window, through it beamed a rainbow. He rubbed his eyes, shook his head and whispered, "I must have drunk too much Irish coffee."
His curiosity got the best of him and he carefully climbed off the bed to examine this strange light. When he walked over to the rainbow, he noticed a small black cauldron filled with gold coins. He rubbed his head and muttered, "I must be dreaming."
He knelt down to touch the pot when Jennifer grabbed his shoulder. With a scared voice she uttered, "What's that?"
John touched her arm and with a reassuring tone answered, "Looks like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. An Irish myth, but we must be dreaming."
Jennifer snickered and asked, "Pinch me for sure, I want to make sure I'm not dreaming."
John reached over and pinched her arm and she yelped, "Ouch, why'd yah do that?"
He answered, "Because you asked me too. So do you think we're dreaming?"
She looked cautiously around the room and responded, "If this is a dream, don't wake me!"
John turned toward Jennifer and suggested, "Why don't you sit down at the table and I will pick up the pot of gold so we can examine it more closely?"
She replied, "Okay, but I'm too scared to go over to the table."
John pulled her close and replied, "Don't worry baby, I'll guide you over to the table, then come back to pick up the pot of gold." In the back of his head he uttered these words, "If it's still there, after all, this might be an imaginary image."
Then he heard a wee Irish voice echoing inside his head. "Remember Ireland is a mythical place where our childhood stories of fairies and leprechauns come to life."
After making sure Jennifer was seated at the table, John went back to the rainbow. He closed his eyes, shook his head and sighed. After opening them, he saw the pot of gold was still there.
He knelt down and picked it up. It was small and heavy. He then placed it on the table to examine it more closely. As the two of them looked at the coins, they noticed, each coin in the crock was stamped with a four-leaf clover emblem.
Jennifer scooped up a handful of coins and uttered, "This can't be real."
All of a sudden, they heard a voice exclaim, "Aye, but it is real!"
They both jumped and John asked, "Who said that?"
Suddenly, before their eyes, there was a tiny man sitting atop the pot of gold.
He tipped his hat and said, "Top of the day to you!"
As they both looked in awe, there sat a man about ten inches tall. He was wearing a green tailcoat, knickerbockers, white stockings, brown shoes with gold buckles, and atop his red hair was a green bowler decorated with a shamrock.
Jennifer rubbed her eyes, leaned close to the man, and asked, "Who are you?"
The small man laughed and exclaimed, "Oh me shamrocks and shillelaghs! Don't you know a leprechaun when you see one?"
Before either of them could answer, the man stood up, tipped his hat and answered, "Tomas O'Neil's me name!"
John looked at him suspiciously. "Okay, Tomas, answer me this: did I drink too much Irish whiskey or is this a dream?"
Tomas laughed. "You're not dead, me boy, and you're not dreamin', I'm a real leprechaun!"
Jennifer spoke up and said, "Prove it."
The leprechaun leaned against the pot of gold and replied, "Since you found me pot o' gold, you're entitled to wishes."
She then asked, "How many?"
The leprechaun rubbed his chin and with a smug remark answered, "As many as I think you deserve."
Jennifer then stated, "Alright, I wish for a bottle of Kilbeggan Irish whiskey and two glasses."
.... There is more of this story ...