Mom and I have talked about going to Ireland for only about 15 years – now we are finally making it happen! My Chromebook says 3:26 a.m. as I write this, but it is actually 9:26 a.m. Dublin time. I had planned to write my first post last night before we finally went to bed, but I think if I would have made the attempt it would have been completely indecipherable gibberish.
I remember being tired when I flew into Madrid and London, but this was a whole new level of jet lag for me. I didn’t get nearly the sleep I wanted to on the plane, mostly because everyone and everything on the plane seemed determined to keep that from happening.
We arrived in Dublin with no real problems besides sleep deprivation and I was immediately determined to find a way to get to the hotel without taking a cab. Enter Gruff Tourist Information Man who managed to supply me with all the information and maps I needed while maintaining a snarky demeanor throughout.
The Dublin native sitting in front of us on the bus got us in the Irish spirit by telling stories interspersed with great sayings in the perfect Irish accent. He recalled being sent to his grandparents in the countryside every summer because his parents wanted to “send the devil to the farm where he’ll do no harm” and later he described his 15-year-old son as “fit as a butcher’s dog.” To any of my students still reading this blog, I expect you to be able to identify what figure of speech he used in that last one.
We dropped our bags at the hotel and then staggered around Phoenix Park for a while. I say staggered for one because we had absolutely no idea where we were going and two because we were so tired that we never quite managed to walk in a straight line.
Eventually we made it on to one of those hop on hop off bus tours of the city. We elected to hop on and stay on, hoping the wind from the top level of the bus would perk us up a bit. We were only marginally successful. I remember several 10-second bursts of history and then things go fuzzy for a bit until the next time Mom poked me out of my jet lag haze. One of those 10-second facts I was awake for was that on December 31, 1759, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease at 45 pounds per year for the unused brewery in downtown Dublin that would later become world famous.
Here are some of the other highlights I was awake enough to photo:
This Spire of Dublin is 390 feet high and was part of a renovation of O’Connell Street in downtown Dublin:
When I saw this, I knew it was there specifically for jet-lagged Americans like myself:
We ended the day at a pub for pizza and the beer Mom had been looking forward to all day. She was very satisfied. I was less satisfied with the size of my Diet Coke, which, although you cannot tell from the angle of this photo, could have been accurately described as a thimble.
We crashed around 7:30 and slept somewhat successfully until 8 this morning. Mom had a bit of trouble with people making noise outside the room and I had a bit of trouble with Mom’s snoring. I have discovered that if I say “Mom” in my sternest inside voice, she will usually not wake up but will stop snoring for approximately 5.2 minutes. As long as I can fall back asleep in that amount of time, all is well.
This morning we had a nice breakfast at our hotel and Mom got to do some people-watching from the window, so that is the highlight of the trip for her so far. Today we take the train to Ennis to join our Rick Steve’s tour group. They have no idea what is about to hit them.