Well, wouldn’t you think after last week’s shenanigans that I’d get a long rest before taking off again, but no. I barely got two days at Pat’s, my dog-minder, while the two were away in London throwing knickers at Tom Jones, before it was all systems go again. Don’t they know I’m a mature lady who needs her rest?
This time, it wasn’t a long drive as we headed north to one of my favourite places, The Twelve Hotel in Barna. They don’t have a resident dog but there’s always a lovely variety of doggos to chat to. I really enjoy my time there.
I was using my bone allowance to treat himself for Father’s Day. He really does a good job as a doggy-daddy so he deserves it. Unfortunately, after the weekend my bone account is fairly empty so maybe we need a campaign to get me an increase. A girl has to keep up her standards after all.
When we got up to our room, I was gobsmacked to see the beautiful gifts left by Monika, our lovely receptionist. Not only had she left thoughtful and useful presents, but she had drawn a magnificent picture of me on a card and the bag. She’s really talented and I love to see her when I walk in the front door.
I was delighted that on the first night, we just enjoyed pizza and a movie in the room. It was a lovely, lazy evening after the madness of the previous week and sometimes I just want to chill out.
I slept soundly and after breakfast, we headed into town, stopping on the way for a bracing walk on Salthill promenade.
I love strolling around Galway with himself, enjoying the sights and smells and we ended up at Tigh Nora, where they do a mean G&T. The nice barman told us about the Micil Distillery in Salthill, where they do experiences and cocktail classes.
We called in on the way back to the hotel, to discover that the Oslo bar itself is dog friendly but the distillery behind it couldn’t allow dogs into the production area. We had to come up with an Irish solution to the problem. I wouldn’t be allowed in the room itself, but I could sit just outside it in the next room. I’d have the virtual experience and I was happy with that.
In the old days, the poteen still had to be hidden from the excise man – now I’d have to be hidden from the health inspector.
It was fascinating to discover how poteen was distilled in olden times and how they evaded the excise men. Now, whisky and even poteen are distilled legally and we got to try some samples, including their gin and a very new cream liqueur. I stayed away from the drink in case I needed to take over the driving but we were grand in the end.
That evening, the weather was beautiful as we strolled down to Barna Pier. As an unexpected treat, we were going to have dinner at O’Grady’s on the pier, where they serve the most amazing fish.
The two were in their element and the aromas drove me mad. If only I could be let loose on those lovely, sizzling platters but I was stuck with my normal food as usual.
We went on a drive the next day, hoping to visit my old friends at Brigit’s Garden and Glengowla Mines but on a whim, we discovered that a cruise was leaving Oughterard at noon. Just what I fancied – a nice trip on Lough Corrib. I’ve taken a real shine to boats since our trip on Lough Derg a few weeks ago. I’ve discovered that a life on the ocean waves really suits me.
Before our voyage, we stopped for a dogguccino at O’Sullivan’s, a lovely little shop in Oughterard and as a special treat, had their famous cinnamon rolls. While we enjoyed our snack in the sunshine, himself did a bit more research and discovered that the cruise took six hours, with a walking tour on an island and a few hours free in Cong as part of the package. With dinner plans already made, it was too long a trip but we’ll certainly do it again when we’ve more time. I can’t wait.
Instead, we took off cross-country to Spiddal and for the first time properly explored the shoreline. There’s a beautiful walk from one pier to another and the scenery was breathtaking in the summer sunshine.
On then to Carraroe and already we could see the thunder clouds gathering. We even managed a quick paddle before the rain started. The water was lovely but the sand was very coarse on my delicate paws. It was like having a full pawdicure.
As we drove back to the hotel, the rain started in earnest with proper thunder and lighting. I was never so glad to be in my cosy bed in the back seat. It got so bad, we even had to stop for a while but we made it back safely.
The two went down for dinner in West Restaurant, leaving me snoozing in the room and I was happy enough with that as I was dog-tired after the long day.
More excitement was to follow the next day as we went back into Galway city and where did we end up only at the Pálas Cinema for another of their dog friendly screenings. This time it was ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’, one of my favourite films. I love it when we canines get the better of the hoomans. Only one dog barked and there was very little whining as we were all glued to the antics on the screen.
It really is lovely to enjoy a film with our hoomans. It would be even nicer if they let us loose at the popcorn stand but I suppose you can’t have everything in this life and I have to admit, my life is pretty good.
Their next dog-friendly screening is The Isle of Dogs, on Sunday, July 9 at 11.30am so why not come along and join us? We might see you after for a bite of lunch at The Twelve Hotel, where their cosy bar is also dog-friendly.
Motoring editor - The Clare Champion
Former Chairman and voting member of Irish Motoring Writers' Association