19th September, 2009. Laburnum Lodge. The options for breakfast were extensive; which I found impressive given a small bed and breakfast. There were several kinds of cereal (with milk and both brown and white sugar), fruits, and yogurt, and then a hot breakfast of eggs plus bacon, sausages, and black and white puddings. No need to mention plenty of toast, butter, jam, and marmalade.
Since we were heading further south, we checked out and thanked Mrs. Byrne for her hospitality. She had recommended that we travel to Kilkenny by way of Carlow, so we did. In Kilkenny, we found a Pay & Display lot next to the river—and it turned out that the lot was also next to the Kilkenny Public Library. We stepped inside (so that Jan could go to the potty) and I started chatting with the librarians.
Kilkenny Public Library serves a population of about 18,000 people in the city of Kilkenny. The librarian said that the most popular books are chick lit and crime fiction and their collection contained many more British authors than Americans. There are 6 other libraries and a mobile library in the county system. There is a fee to join the library and get a card, but it is only charged if you are employed. Those without jobs may use the library without any fees. I noticed that the building is probably smaller than the Sanger library, but didn't ask how many books they have. They do have a couple of computers and free Internet access, but they are severely limited in space and hope to someday be in larger quarters. In the meantime, they are celebrating the 100 years in this building. It was constructed specifically to be a library—or as the librarian said "purpose-built"—and they will be commemorating the 100th anniversary this year.
Leaving the library, we walked across the bridge and over to Kilkenny Castle. We took a side trip into the Kilkenny Design Craft Centre next to the castle. I saw several things that I was interested in, though I really don't want to carry a bunch of stuff around with us for the whole two weeks. Jan bought a wool shawl to replace the purple wrap she had left behind at the Chinese restaurant last night. The sale was clinched when the sales lady showed her a broach that brought out the colors in the shawl.
Lunch was soup and sandwiches in a nearby pub, then we went into the castle for the tour. Steven decided that the steps up and down would be too much for him so he stayed out on the grounds while the rest of us took the self-guided tour through Kilkenny Castle.
South from Kilkenny to Waterford, then just a little bit north to the village of Glenmore and we arrived at our B&B for the next two nights. Mrs. Kathleen Cody greeted us and welcomed us to Glendale Farmhouse, serving us tea and some light snacks of ginger cookies, shortbreads, and cream crackers. We arrived just before 5 pm and Mr. Cody was heading up the hill to get the cows and bring them down to the farm for milking. After unloading, Jan and Chris called home to talk with Ana, Eric, and Alex. Then we headed back to the highway to the Rhu Glen Country Club for supper. The food was really good, but the pub was overcrowded. Turns out that there was a Catholic Charismatic conference being held at the hotel and some 70 people were all trying to get supper in the pub. They had set up a cafeteria-style serving line to cope with the crowd and things went fine once we found a place to sit. Back to Glendale Farmhouse ... but no Internet!