As my husband and I drove away from Dublin Airport, a pink and orange sunrise maneuvered its way through dark clouds, a sky pretty enough to quell the effects of jet lag while sending a giddy reminder: “This is why you love to travel.” Tossing our face masks and gloves in the back seat, we settled in the rental car, happy to have made it.
It had been six months since I’d been on a plane and the immigration line required new levels of patience as the officers inspected virus-related documents for incoming Americans. Their procedure seemed to be working. Thus far Ireland had resisted the higher percentage of case numbers from some of its European neighbors and America.
When it came time to answer questions from an officer behind a plexiglass wall, we agreed to quarantine for 14 days, provided a phone number and address for our hotel, and carry our negative results from our recent nasal swab. The dwelling of our choosing was no ordinary residence, though. Rather, it was a luxurious hotel and golf resort called Adare Manor in County Limerick. We were in Ireland for my husband’s job, and he lobbied to stay here where fresh air and social distancing were followed.
Pulling into an elegant front gate, a masked attendant instructed us to drive through the immaculate grounds and lovely green landscapes, presenting a stark contrast to the smoky skies of an early wildfire season back home in LA.