We got a late start on our second day in Dublin, our plan was to get on the hop-on-hop-off bus and go see St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Guinness Storehouse, but our traveling companion had other ideas. It was probably best, we were all pretty exhausted.
We got going around 11am which I am still chalking up to being pretty good for having a jet-lagged baby. We used Yelp to find a little cafe for breakfast and walked to a neighborhood a bit south of where we were staying called, I think, Camden. Judging from the proliferation of strollers and families it seemed more local than the Grafton street area, but what do I know. The place we ate was called Cafe Bliss and I had a serviceable eggs Benedict & coffee while Erin had a breakfast burrito…and fries.
We scarfed our food to what could only have been every U2 CD in existence and headed toward Iveagh Gardens which is another park just south of St Stephan’s Green; I guess a lot of concerts are held here. It was a banner day for weather so we spread out a blanket under the sun and let the little guy run around crazy for a half an hour, which he was happy to do.
We left the park heading north and took a left to head west at Grafton along King St which is another pedestrian walkway. For reasons that will go unmentioned we needed another pair of pants for the little guy so we popped into H&M and Zara to find him some (because, Europe!) but instead just bought Erin a hat and I bought a scarf (because, again, Europe!).
We decided that of the two places that we wanted to see earlier, that St Patrick’s Cathedral would be the best option because it was close and there is a nice park adjacent to it. Yes, people, it is a different trip! We center a lot of our activity around 1) things the little guy can do, and/or 2) things that won’t make me too anxious to do with him. With these criteria in place, hitting the bars till 2am is right out, but seeking out parks and playgrounds is spot on.
We arrived at St. Patrick’s Park with the rest of Dublin (remember, banner weather day) and spread out on the grounds again for a bit of lunch and then had a go at the playground before entering the actual cathedral. The Cathedral did not disappoint. Though I’m never very good at describing these places, because I don’t know what church things are called, it will suffice to say that inside was more or less a giant memorial to the soldiers of Ireland, and to a lesser extent, Jonathan Swift (known to me until now as only the author of Gulliver’s Travels), who it turns out was the Dean (head bro) of the Cathedral, and all around seriously smart guy; look him up…again.
I’ll say this: maybe I was asleep or cutting class when it when it happened but I don’t really remember spending a whole lot of time on English history (in which Irish history is inextricable linked it seems) in school despite the fact that our country was a by product of it. I really feel a lack of context on this trip so far, even more so than I’ve felt in places like Japan and Hong Kong…
The little guy mostly behaved himself in the church, but you can only cage the dragon for so long, so we left and decided to seek out some live music in the Temple Bar area closer to the river.
Okay, so our cab driver from the airport told us when we arrived on Friday that Ireland was putting the question of marriage equality to its people in the form of a referendum. The vote was Friday and ended at 9pm and we could tell because there was signage everywhere and people handing out stickers to anyone who would take 100. We gladly took one for the Yes side when it was offered to us and slapped it on the stroller.
The referendum results (Yes in a landslide) were officially announced on Saturday from the courtyard at Dublin Castle, just in time for us to walk through looking for that live music. What we found was an absolute mob of people crammed in the courtyard and the surrounded streets. We shuffled through the crowds (the stroller helps getting people to move) along Castle St and down Cook Hill, across the main road and onto Essex street. Somewhere along the way we had been given a balloon.
We had a tip from a friend to look for GoGarty’s so we headed East along Essex till we passed through Temple Bar square and past the famed pub of the same name. After counting 10-12 Hen Parties we both agreed that, whether it be the jubilation from the vote results, or the fact that we were basically walking down Bourbon Street, we were in no place to take the little guy. A different trip…
We eventually settled into a pub called the Hairy Lemon (if there is a pun, I don’t get it) which lacked for music but was good enough to serve a decent Shepherds Pie and a few pints to a few parents who needed to get off their feet. The little guy crushed some Cheerios and eventually fell asleep on my chest; we took advantage and ordered another round…
…the we took advantage some more. [Redacted! See us in person to learn more!] Oh well, it was totally worth it and Hogan’s is a fun place.
We wheeled back to the hotel around 10pm, put the room in a bit of order, and just hung out for a hour before the little guy got sleepy and drifted off. Tomorrow we are checking out and heading to Galway on the west coast of the country.