Well, hello good friends! It's almost 11pm here and I'm just about to get on skype to talk with my girls back home, but before I do I needed to catch you up on my first day in Ireland. We arrived at Dublin Airport at 6:31am, which is not terribly early, however when you factor in that our flight left Newark at 7pm the previous evening and we time traveled five hours ahead, it was pretty rough for me. Somehow I got into a routine of every 30 minutes changing my position in my seat in fruitless attempt to find comfort. You can imagine my elation when with an hour left in the flight I realized that I sat in every combination possible except for just sitting there and crossing my legs! Seriously people, it's the little things for me and sitting in that position, first one leg crossed, then the other, kept me sane for that last hour.
We're doing a self-tour around the beautiful country of Ireland arranged by CIE Tours. Our first two nights are spent in Dublin in the Davenport Hotel. Today we were lucky enough to be able to check in when we arrived in the morning. After a quick cat nap, we hopped on the “Hop On – Hop Off” bus, a tour that takes you around the city of Dublin and allows you to get off at different stops, explore, then get back on at your choosing.
Some of our stops on the tour…
St. Patrick's Cathedral
St. James Gate for a Guinness Tour
I couldn't believe how smooth Guinness is over here. I really don't know if I'll be able to drink Guinness back at home after this… ok, I know, that's a stretch, but still, I'm telling ya folks, it's like drinking silk. At one of the cafe's in the Guinness Storehouse we drank the water that is used to make the beer and that was the softest water I've ever had. I'm not sure if you can use “soft” to describe water, but really, I can't describe it any other way.
For dinner we ate O'Neill's a true, traditional Irish pub. It was quite an experience since we had no idea what the hell we were doing. Used to the American way of dining of walking in and being seated, we meandered around three floors trying to figure out where do we sit and where everyone was getting the food. We couldn't see any waiters or waitresses but food was appearing and drinks were disappearing.
Mustering up some courage we jumped in a line and low and behold we ordered food and were served. Now that we had our food, we needed to find a place to sit. Which was no easy matter. Balancing an overflowing Irish stew with an overflowing Guinness we did our best not to spill everything. There were clusters of tables in the corner, one random table with two small stools by the stairs, a row of chairs by the bar; it was nerve-wracking and exciting and relaxing all at once. The Irish music streaming down the steps lulled our tense traveling nerves and encouraged us to just sit down and relax, and we did.
So, that was our first day, now it is way past my bed time (I talked to the girls in between trying to upload these pictures!) so I'll be going to bed now. Tomorrow we'll be visiting a church with crypts, a gaol and we're doing a ghost tour around Dublin at night! Hope to see you tomorrow night!