July 13, 2011
The very first stop on my trip was Dublin, Ireland. Now, I have told you before that going to the airport and getting on an airplane makes me feel important for whatever reason – probably because I am lucky to be going places and feel very privileged because some people don’t get that chance. There is a whole new feeling of importance and privilege sitting at a gate that will soon have a plane that will be taking me to another country. It was pretty awesome. Lucky for me, I got an emergency exit seat for the whole flight right by the main cabin door. Unlucky for me this seat was literally right by the door and while I had a lot of leg room I did not have a lot of knee room and for some crazy crazy crazy reason all I could feel was air flowing in on my uncovered toes. But none of that mattered because I was going to wake up and be in Ireland!!!
I was probably overly excited to be at the customs counter getting a new stamp in my passport book because the guy could have cared less about how exciting I thought it was and looked like he just wanted me to shut the hell up. At least that is what his raised eye brows told me when I excitedly told him this was my first time on this side of the Atlantic and I was so excited to be in his country. Ha. I know. A bit much. Especially since it was 6:50 in the morning there. Lucky for me, I had booked my hotel for the night before so I was able to go straight to my room and get a nap in before Daren, my brother, got there later that day. Seriously having somewhere to throw my stuff and plop down for a nice long nap was totally worth the measly $100 I paid for the room for the night before. I was wiped.
One of my personal favs:
The first day there we went to the National Leprechaun Museum. It was actually pretty educational. The guy told us about how leprechauns are people who live out in the woods, don’t bathe, usually have dreadlocks and are covered in the earth to become camouflaged who like gold and bury it n the ground. The wear a red hat to help them easily disappear and are incredibly tricky. BUT then the Americans got a hold of him and decided that this nasty 2 foot tall thing could not sell cereal so they made him clean and had him wear green clothes and stuck him on a cardboard box thereby changing the way most of the world thinks of the leprechaun. The tour guide acted totally bitter so us Americans hung towards the back. Cute tour though – we got to go into a room where everything was huge sized so we could see what it was like to be a leprechaun.
The next morning I went on the Viking Splash Tour….by myself. Clearly this tour was geared to 10 year olds but it was informative and you got to wear a viking hat! What could be better?? Here are some photos from the awesome tour.
Ireland’s Facebook Headquarters.
Checkboard Hotel that was never finished because they ran out of money. 😉 See how informative??
Part of Bono’s home/recording studio….my memory is fuzzy on that one.
Christ’s Church Cathedral.
The tour guide joked and said it was so clear you could see the London Eye – very much so untrue.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Building at Trinity College. Funny thing about buildings being built around that time is that you can clearly see where there should have been windows BUT there was a very large window tax then so many architects just did without.
Another funny thing about windows there is that on the row houses you will notice that the windows at the bottom are significantly taller than the ones at the top. This was done on purpose to give the building the illusion that it is taller than it really is.
Last crazy things about houses there – back in the day there were no house numbers, so everyone had a different color door to identify whose house was whose. The tradition carries on.
I met up with Daren and his friends for an evening of drinks before they headed out the next morning. We hung out in Temple Bar which is literally a mini Bourbon Street. Pretty fun, tons of live music and Guiness and Smithwick’s as far as the eye can see. 🙂
Apparently, green man is universal. 🙂
Random. Also weird – the crazy amount of people ordering Coors Light when I was out. Really???
The next day I hung out by myself, took in a film at the Irish Film Institute and got lunch at their cafe before wandering around and taking it easy before my flight to London the next day. Of course, my hotel was right next to a bar and bars in Ireland don’t let out until about 5am so it wasn’t the most restful sleep I have ever had.
Mom! I took this one for you – it’s their criminal courthouse!
My mom got a fortune cookie recently when we got Chinese food that said “Your feet will touch the ground of many countries.” She said I was supposed to open that one.
The mall. Where you have to pay to go to the toilet.
I accidentally walked into a protest of some sort. This was my favorite sign.
Right before the movie I ducked into this little bar to get a drink and chill for just a bit because I was exhausted from walking around literally all day. I was super confused as to what country I was in. Even at the airport there were balloon arches with red white and blue balloons. Apparently, they heart us. I knew I wouldn’t be getting that welcoming at Heathrow. Hell, I wouldn’t even get a balloon arch in the US! We take our airports seriously. Which reminds me – you would never believe how lax all the Europe airports are, you can always tell who the Americans are in security because they are the only ones to remove their shoes.
When I got to the airport the next day I made a note of what I clearly take for granted just given the few days I was in Ireland. This list was comprised of: ice, air conditioning, wash cloths and purse handles on the back of bathroom stall doors. Oh sorry, toilets. No one says bathrooms in Europe. Check back tomorrow for a London re-cap!!
(Just a side note: all of these photos were taken with my Panasonic Lumix DMC LX5K)
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I’m based in Maryland, DC and Northern VA but don’t worry, I LOVE to travel.
I love me a new passport stamp.