Saturday, July 4, 2015

Kevin's Posh Rest Stop

Glenlo Abbey Hotel is adjacent to the church
Desperate times call for desperate measures. On our way to Connemara, just outside of Galway, Kevin needed to answer the call of nature.  But we could find no filling stations (they still call them that here), nor even a pub on our route.  He was getting antsy.

Finally, he pulled into a beautiful tree-lined drive that led to the Glenlo Abbey Hotel and Country Club, an old stone structure which is situated on a very attractive golf course.  He steered the car around to the back of the hotel, which was right next to an old church.  Over the back door was a sign that said, “Golfers and non-residents welcome.” 

“Well,” Kevin said, “that’s for me.”

I waited in the car as he entered, and eventually he came out.  “It was perfect,” he said. “A very nice restroom and a nice bar, but I didn’t even have to buy anything, because the toilet was just down the hall.” (If you’ve been to Ireland or England, you know that they don’t use the term “restroom,” or “bathroom,” but instead use the direct term “toilet.” If you ask for a “restroom,” you could get a strange look.)

So we continued on our way.

Later, returning from Connemara, we found ourselves at the same spot in the road.  This time, both of us were sensing the call of nature.  So, once again, we pulled into the Glenlo Abbey Hotel and Country Club.
As we were getting out of car, a young woman, carrying an apron, greeted us with a “hello.” We responded, assuming she probably worked there, as she entered the staff entrance nearby.  We went into the bar entrance, and, as Kevin had before, we walked down the hall without entering the bar.  (We would probably have gone in and bought coffee, had we not been in a hurry, as a courtesy for using the toilet.)

While I was in the stall, I heard another person in the ladies room.  Because we had kind of sneaked in, I waited for her to leave, but she didn’t, so eventually I decided the heck with it, and came out to use the sink.  The young woman whom we had greeted on our way in was at the mirror fixing her hair.  She struck up a conversation about the weather, and I chatted with her for a moment before exiting.

Spotting Kevin emerging from the “gents” toilet, I whispered, we need to get out of here, and we set a brisk pace down the hall and out to the car. “What’s the matter,” he asked as we left the building. I explained that the woman staff member had seen me in the toilet and if she went into the bar, she might suspect we had sneaked in.

Now honestly, what would she or the manager have done anyway?  They would hardly throw us in jail for using the toilet without paying for anything!  But it was such a nice place that I felt a little awkward. If we’re ever in the area again, we must go to the bar of the Glenlo Abbey Hotel and Country Club and buy a drink. We owe them!

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