Dublin, Ireland - Day 2

Trip Start Jun 25, 2008
Trip End Sep 01, 2008

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Flag of Ireland  , County Dublin,
Friday, June 27, 2008

  Jetlag hit us big time last night. I was up 'till 11pm working ... Janice and the kids crashed around 10pm (after selling some insurance to a brand new client via Skpe I might add!). Ella woke up at 1am informing us she couldn't sleep. Janice worked her magic and by 3am, Ella was out like a light. All of us slept until about 6am, at which point Janice and I started waking up. We each took a shower and got ready, but the kids still weren't awake so we decided we should lay down with them to try to catch up on our sleep. The sun finally woke us all up. I guessed it was 9am .. "latest, maybe 10am" ... turns out it was 2:30pm! Doh! Half of our day gone, but we decided to soldier through with our plans.

First taxi ride of the trip took us to our first stop: Avoca. Awesome, amazing food served on the 3rd floor of a local clothing and furniture boutique. Photos below. Drool worth grub.

Next, a nice stroll down Grafton Street (famous shopping strip in downtown Dublin). A couple of street performers, window shopping, etc. ... Which landed us in St. Stephens Green. A huge park with a huge pond. Locals and tourists alike enjoying the fair weather (cloudy skies, no rain all day!), grassy areas, fountains, and historic statues.

After enjoying the play area at the park, we hoofed it about a mile to the nearest DART station. All of the research I had done on Dublin told me that for a true Ireland experience, one must travel to the countryside. Unfortunately for us, time wouldn't allow for that this trip. BUT, we could come close. A trip to Dublin's outlying areas would give us at least a taste of the countryside.

For 14 Euros, we secured a family day pass with unlimited usage on the local train system. We quickly hopped on a train, and then after two stops hopped off after a last minute realization that we were on a commuter train that was going to ship us in the wrong direction! Thankfully an Irish native had eavesdropped on our conversation and spoke up in the nick of time, allowing us to jump out of the train just as the door started to close. A very close call! ... We ultimately ended up on the right train, and headed to our first destination, Malahide ... home of Malahide Castle. Although dark ominous clouds threatened to ruin our day out and about, we pressed on ... and were spared all but a couple of drops of rain! Malahide castle is a tremendously large, public area with several rugby and soccer fields, miles of walking / jogging trails, a kids museum, a cafe, a newly refurbished kids play area, and ... of course ...the castle itself. Getting out of Dublin was a fabulous idea and we thoroughly enjoyed the fresh air and long walks that Malahide offered. For us, having been cooped up in a plan one day and a busy city the next, the kids play area was a better experience than the castle. A local gal informed us it had just been re-opened a couple of weeks earlier and now sported all sorts of cool new kids stuff. Best of all a 40 yard zip line ... fun to be had by all. (photos below)

After a couple of hours of play time and exploration, we headed back to the DART station and took off towards Howth, a typical Irish fishing town with great views and the smell of fish in the air from all the fishing boats. At that point, we were now very much ready for dinner (approx 9:30pm when we boarded the train) and so I asked a fellow train rider where we should eat. He was happy to oblige ... offering us a tip to eat at Beshoff Bros., home of world famous Fish'n'Chips. Owned by the same family for over 100 years, supposed to be perty darn good. Well, he wasn't joking. Hands down, no-contest, best fish'n'chips I've ever had. A big ol' chunk of daily caught fresh cod, perfectly fried, salt and vinegar sprinkled on at the end with a wedge of lemon and tartar sauce on the side. Just big enough for Janice and I to split. We were in fried food heaven.

As we waited for our food to be prepared, I happened to strike up a conversation with an older gentleman who was enjoying some ice cream. Short version of the story is ... he is a local Irishman, traveling to northern CA next month at the same time my house is going to be vacant for a week. Naturally, I offer him the place. He is blown away and very interested, but a bit taken off guard (understandably if you think about the fact we'd met only minutes prior to my offer). We keep chatting and to show him I'm serious about my offer, I ask the store manager for a pen and provide Mr. Chris Crowley with my office phone number and instructions on how to use my home. Red with shock, he very pleasantly extends an invitation of his own ... he'd like me and the family to join him for tea in the morning ... at his church. Turns out Mr. Crowley is the 'boss' (lower cased b of course) at Whitefriar Street Church, age old Roman Catholic church and home of the remains of St. Valentine, one of Dublin's top tourist attractions! How stinkin' cool, no? So ... tomorrow, just before we head to the airport to travel to Spain, we get a private tour and tea with fifteen friars at a super famous church ... not exactly something we'd planned on. I can't wait!

Off to bed for now.
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burtmommie on

What an amazing story on meeting the guy from the church! Look what being friendly can get you! :)

Let us know if the guy is actually coming to stay at your house and perhaps we could welcome him somehow.

Love your little travel blog, feels like we are almost there with ya :)

kstyrsky on

Fun travels
Great stories! Keep having fun. Love you all!

Karl & Ginger

nicoleisjealous on

Strengths Finders

Remember the personality test I was telling you about that time we took that weird inner game of tennis class in Roseville? After reading about Asher meeting the monk, I would put money on WOO for Asher - winning others over. He is so good with people!

Go Asher.

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