Over the next 10 days we have decided that it would be a good idea to see what Ireland is all about. We also decided it would be a good idea to bring our 1 year old, and now that he has begun to walk, it is seeming like this may have been a better idea 6 months ago than it is today. Oh well, no turning back now…here is our planned route through Dublin, Galway, Kinsale, Dingle, and Shannon:
The flight was actually quite easy. We flew Aer Lingus and were given seats in the exit row, but on the inside group of seats. You know…it was one of those 2-4-2 things. The best part about it was that on the wall in front of us was mounted a baby bassinet holder, meaning that the little guy wouldn’t have to spend the whole flight on one of our laps. Sure enough, once we got to cruising altitude, the flight attendant came by, dropped the holder, and delivered us a bassinet. A…”bassinet”.
It was basically a cardboard box with some pillows in it…no, it WAS a cardboard box…but the little guy didn’t seem to mind and was able to sleep for a good 4-5 hours without making a peep so Aer Lingus is officially the best airline.
We landed in Dublin, our first stop on the adventure, and caught a cab from the airport to our hotel in the city center, a joint by the name of the Fitzwilliam Hotel which is just west of St. Stephan’s Green. We took a minute to check in (our room wasn’t yet ready) and exhale from the plane ride, and then headed out to explore the surrounding area. We also had a few missions: cash, a SIM card for our old unlocked iPhone, and some food for the little guy. We succeeded in all these along Grafton street which is a pedestrian walk in the part of city we are in; Grafton is basically a giant outdoor shopping mall.
At the end of Grafton we took a right into Trinity College where this famous book called the Book of Kells is kept, but we didn’t really do anything there except look to everyone else like the most tired people on earth. After figuring out what the Book of Kells was, and admitting to each other that we really had no interest in seeing it, we headed back to our hotel to see if our room was ready. It was. We went up. …well okay all 3 of us took a 2 hour nap.
After our snooze and some deserved showers, we took off again, this time heading out to a place called O’Neills. Out cab driver had told us that it was a proper Irish pub and that we should go there for some eats. Our cab driver also described himself as “not a fussy eater” and included a place called Captain America among his favorite restaurants. We walked into Captain America and it looked like TGIFriday’s mixed with a Johnny Rocket’s. So…after peeking in the window at O’Neills and walking out we settled at a little pub called Sheehan’s where we ordered some Bangers & Mash and some Corned Beef & Cabbage…for some reason this device keeps wanting to autocorrect “corned” to “adorned”… The food was good but not great; I can’t remember the last time I added salt to a meal, but I did for this one. The Gordon Ramsay in my head was screaming “It’s blaaaand”. So yeah it was probably tourist food, but the pints of Guiness were on point, and we had a lovely, if not wandering, conversation with our neighbors about Margaret Thatcher, The Isle of Man: Spring Break Destination, the 2016 Presidential election, and why it is racist to talk about the British Empire.
In the middle of our conversation, […Redacted!!! See us in person to learn more!…]. Needless to say, that was a learning experience.
Later that evening, and taking advantage of the fact that it doesn’t get dark untill 930ish, we went across the street from our place to St Stephen’s Green which is basically a nice big park. We let the little guy chase some birds, laugh at ducks, practice walking, and play on the expansive playground that they have set up in the north-west quadrant. It’s nice having a child with you at a park, otherwise I’d be inclined to just be like “oh look some trees and some water and flowers and stuff, great so let’s go”…but the little guy is so pumped up about things that it makes you appreciate it all the more.
Back on Grafton we grabbed a Gelato and walked down to the river via the Temple Bar area. Finding ourselves not super motivated to much more we eventually just went back to the hotel for some sleep; we have a lot “planned” for the second day in Dublin.
Edited 3/18/2017 for spelling, “grammar”, image rendering, and Google Maps API v2.