A Few More Days in Dublin
Our time in Ireland was quickly running out. We had several more days to enjoy the Irish hospitality and Dublin. What to do? What to do? We spent some time almost every day visiting with our friend from Ireland. She invited us to her house to meet her friends and cooked a great meal for all of us. It was great fun meeting friends’ of a friend of ours. We had lengthy conversations about the differences in Ireland and the US, the economy, the workplace, time off amounts, and just life in general. The differences in time off in the workplace seemed to be very dramatic. They couldn’t imagine not having 4-5 weeks of holiday a year – don’t you lose productivity by working so much? What a concept! It was especially fun for us to see our friend Aishling in her grown-up world. We met her when she was 19 years old and now she’s well, not 19 (but that was 20 years ago.) She invited us to her workplace to give us the grand tour. She works for the Irish national television station and we got the full backstage tour. We called it a career day for the kids. Aishling is a news producer at the station and we got to watch the mid-day news report and see how they do it all. Very hectic! She took us on a tour through lots of the different sets and we came across the daily filming of an Irish soap opera. Some big Irish soap star was filming but we didn’t know any of them. I was kindly asked to not take pictures!
On Aishling’s advice we spent a day hiking Howth. The city of Dublin is shaped like a big letter “C”. We were staying on the bottom part of the “C” and Howth is the top part of the “C”. It is a non-developed area with seaside cliffs, a lighthouse, seals, birds and relatively easy hiking trails. We took the DART to the last stop and just started walking. It’s a lovely little seaside town with a big harbor lined with restaurants and shops. We walked right past all of that and headed out to the cliff walk. They have a very well-marked trail system; we followed the green trail. From the harbor you walk up a pretty steep trail head but once you are at the top it’s all level trails or some with a slight elevation. The trail gives you great views out to the sea where you can watch the ferries coming into Ireland. We kept our eyes open for seals and spotted one in the water that was having something to eat. There were tons of sea birds and you could see their nests built into the cliffs. And after we hiked round the point we had a nice view of Dublin and the inner port. You felt like you were miles from civilization but really you are very close. The trail we walked was a circle trail that took us back into the little town of Howth and back to the train station.
While taking the trains and buses around Dublin we saw posters for Dublin ComicCon. Madison is a big fan girl of all things comics (mostly the Marvel universe) and she loves cosplay. We looked into the details of the convention and found it to be pretty reasonable and not at all far from where we were staying. Madison was psyched to go but needed a costume. We went shopping in downtown Dublin looking for accessories to make an appropriate costume. You really can’t go to a Con if you’re not in a costume. She found black leggings and a black shirt, a long red wig, and fake bullets. All she needed to put together a Black Widow costume and she did a great job with it. I took her one Saturday morning to the convention center and we hung out there all day. Basically there is a large vendor room where you can buy t-shirts, comic books, bobble head dolls, buttons, all types of merchandise with your favorite comic book hero featured. We negotiated spending money and she spent every bit of it. She met people who were dressed as other Marvel agents from the Avengers and took lots of pictures. I’ve taken her to several cons before and she has such a great time at them just as she did at this one.
Our last weekend in Dublin was Easter weekend. We didn’t make a big deal out of it but we did seek out and find Kinder eggs. Those are the egg-shaped chocolate balls with a surprise toy inside. Apparently they are sold all over the world except for the US (the little toys inside may be a choking hazard and clearly we Americans cannot take enough care to make sure we don’t swallow them.) We saw an advertisement for limited edition Marvel Kinder Eggs for Easter and had to have them. So basically our Easter included eating 12 Kinder Eggs and I cooked a ham. They don’t dye Easter Eggs in Ireland so we didn’t do that. I did read that there were several Easter Egg hunts taking place but with the kids now being 14 they had no interest in that.
We spent our last day in Ireland doing laundry and packing up. It was made a bit more complicated by the fact that the hot water heater in the rental apartment stopped working and they had to get a repairman out to take care of it but that was all taken care of in time for us to shower before we left the next morning. We took the airport express bus to the airport the next morning, checked in, went through security not once, not twice, but three times (I still don’t understand that), went through customs and waited a bit to board our plane home. We’re all both excited to be heading back to the US and a bit sad that our time in Europe has come to a close. But, our next adventure awaits us in the US!
Posted on May 12, 2014, in adventure, airport adventures, European travel, family travel, Homeschooling, Ireland, packing up, RV travel and tagged Dublin, Howth Ireland. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.