Friday, January 18, 2013

Day 2 or Talking in My Sleep

A new day dawns...or does it?

Yesterday started with Ken having a conversation with me that I have NO recollection of whatsoever.  It seems that he was up and watching me sleep for about an hour.

Ken:  Are you getting up today?
Me:  I don't think so.
Ken:  I'm going for a walk.

An hour later Ken returned to the room.  I was still out cold.  I had no idea that he left and no idea that he woke me earlier.  I don't have any sense of having spoken with him at all.  Anyone who knows me 'in the morning' will know that the language I speak at that time of day often does not resemble English.  The fact that my response to him was intelligible speaks volumes (pun intended).  Apparently, I was in another universe entirely.  Needless to say - I did get up and we had a lovely day.

We walked around Dublin taking photos and heading in the direction of the Guinness Storehouse.  The beer itself hasn't been fermented there since 1988 but it is a nicely designed attraction that gives you the history of Guinness and it's importance and place in the history of Dublin and Ireland.  They have, of course, a gift shop with everything Guinness you can possibly think of.

We had a pint at the Gravity Bar.  This is the top floor of the building (7 stories if memory serves) and 360 degree views from the glass windows.  It reminded me of Windows on the World.  I also learned how to pour the perfect pint.  I have my certificate to prove it! 

What I don't have is any other photos as I have discovered that my very old laptop is not compatible with my very new (large) memory cards.  I guess most of the photos will have to wait until I return home and can upload then to my new laptop.  Originally, we weren't going to bring a laptop at all so I bought lots of memory.  It's good I didn't return said memory when we decided to bring the old laptop.  I will try to take some photos on my old, small memory cards so I can post a few.

Anyway - back to yesterday...

At one point in our walk over to St. James' Gate Ken stopped me from taking a picture of a church.  Apparently there were three guys who, as Ken put it, were either diabetic or shooting heroin.  I was oblivious. All I was interested in was taking a picture of the building!  Sometimes oblivious is a good thing.

We did get hit up 3 times in 5 blocks for money our first night in town.  Luckily, I put my 'New York' on and just (sing it with me) walked on by...

Ken tried to post our photo taken at the Storehouse on Facebook but it posted a photo of the people before us.  I tried to send it to myself as an e mail so I would have it and it doesn't appear to have made it into my in box.  I guess there isn't supposed to be any damaging evidence of our visit to Guinness.

When we left St. James' Gate, it was drizzling and misty and cold and damp.  All the things Ireland is famous for.  It was dark and we were hungry.  We had a 15 - 20 minute walk back to our hotel and to the restaurant where we planned to eat dinner.  Enter the magic of tourism.  Lined up outside the Guinness Storehouse was a row of horse and carriages.  We took a lovely, albeit, blustery ride back to the Temple Bar area where we were staying and got out of the carriage a block from our hotel.  We regrouped and headed on out to dinner at Eden Restaurant.

The service was lovely, the food excellent, and we had the added fun of being able to watch the kitchen from our table.  From there, we headed back to O'Neill's for another evening of Irish music.  We only wish they'd play longer and later.  The music doesn't start until 9 PM and ends at 11:30.  We wound up talking with a couple who had been to see Arlo (Guthrie) that night in Dublin.  We knew about the show but decided to pass on it.  It was nice to hear that it was a good show and just to hear folks talking about Woody and Arlo.

We walked back to our hotel and that is the end of Day Two.  Dublin was quieter on Thursday night than it had been on Wednesday.  That is a good thing as I wasn't nearly as tired!

Day One in Dublin (aka 3 days later but I finally have internet)

Welcome to Ireland!

We have been here a few days but this is the first time I have had reliable and usable internet.

I'll give you the short version - we left Massachusetts on time, we got to the airport on time, our flight left about half an hour late and still got in early.  I don't remember airplane seats being quite so uncomfortable but I did get to watch my choice of a movie.  I chose Bernie with Jack Black and Shirley MacClaine because someone (I can't remember who) just told me I should see it. Oh by they way - airplane food is as bad as I remember.

We got through customs quite quickly and our luggage was on the belt, undamaged and with nothing missing.  Always a plus!

We upgraded our rental car (I could have packed more stuff!). It is diesel so it will get much better mileage and is less expensive to fill up.  The car has a bigger trunk so all of our stuff in concealed, and I feel a little less vulnerable riding in it overall.  It is silver so I am happy - I am not a fan of red cars.

I would post a photo but my card reader does not appear to be working.  I don't know if it is the computer, the card reader or the card but I am trying not to panic.  I assume all will be well when I get the card into my new laptop back home.  This machine is pretty old and the card may just be too big for it to handle.  I know I had that problem with my old camera.

Onwards and upwards...

We got in our rent-a-put and drove into Dublin proper.  Actually, we sat in the car in the rental lot for half an hour looking at maps that made no sense.  We finally decided to just drive and see where we wound up.  Luckily, we wound up in Dublin!  We parked on the street, found a place to stay and left our luggage at the hotel until our room was ready.  Ken re-parked the car in a lot for the 2 days we'd be there and we walked everywhere we went.  Dublin sort of reminded me of New York.  It has pockets of neighborhoods, no parking and accommodations run the gamut from cheap to expensive.  We chose a place that doesn't make it into the guild books but suited our needs perfectly.

After the car was parked, we went in search of our first pint of Guinness.  We found ourselves at O'Neill's Bar and Restaurant.  The food was okay, the pint was good and we had a nice walk around the area.

We went back to our hotel - the River House Hotel in the Temple Bar district.  We decided a nap was in order.  We set the alarm for 5PM local time.  We'd been up for about 24 hours at this point and thought 5 hours of sleep was a good plan.  We both got up when the alarm went off though I don't think either of us was very happy about it at the time.  We took showers - and were human again!

We went out wandering and had dinner at Les Freres Jacques - a lovely French restaurant near our hotel.  After dinner, we strolled around looking for (listening for?) live music and found ourselves back at O'Neill's.  They had wonderful live music and a rowdy crowd on a pub crawl.  I was sitting next to two young guys - one from Australia and the other from 'back home'.  He was from near Saratoga in Glens Falls.  Small world.  On the way out we discovered the name of the band (just two guys on guitar and banjo) were called All Folked Up!  Gotta love it!

The music ended around 11:30 and we headed back to our room.  It was a noisy night out on the streets of Dublin but we didn't hear a thing.  We were out cold and enjoying dreamland.  End of Day 1.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


I know I said I'd 'fill you in' but that will have to wait.  I just wanted to pop on to let you know that I am officially freaking out and overwhelmed with the 'stuff that's left to do before I leave' piece of going on vacation.

My check book is 50 dollars off...
I have checks to deposit and I need to withdraw cash for the trip...and I have bills to pay before we leave town.

I have a book that has to go back to the library but I still need to get some information out of it for the trip.

I can't decide if I want to bring an umbrella or just get wet. (Feel free to weigh in on this one!)

I have paperwork I must drop off in town before we leave.

I can't decide what knitting project(s) to bring with me.

And the list goes on.....

On the up side -

All my camera batteries are charged and all my memory cards are empty.  (Must find my card reader if I am bringing the laptop).

I finished weaving in the ends to my new shawl - I will post photos eventually.

The whites are in the dryer and the rest of the clothes are in the wash.

I bought a pair of pjs and matching slippers on sale for 10 bucks and they will be the first things I put in the suitcase.  Oh yah - it's a new suitcase, too!

Norton (the 5 pound Yorkie) got a bath and he looks beautiful brushed.  He smells good, too!

Ok - sitting here typing at you guys isn't going to make my 'to do' list any shorter.  I feel better just having shared my panic with you.  Thanks, as always, for being there for me :)

Until next time.....