Thursday, October 30, 2014

Our Bags Aren't Packed, but, We're Ready To Go!!

That is how I felt on the Monday we left for our trip to Ireland!
"Our bags aren't packed, but we're ready to go."

After months of planning we finally headed off to Ireland.
We left Monday afternoon and arrived in Dublin at 8 am Tuesday morning.
We flew 2 airlines that we have never flown before.  I am happy to report that it was a good experience on both!!
 Jet Blue and Aer Lingus had good customer service and were fairly comfortable.  Well, as comfortable as coach can get!!  On Aer Lingus we got to sit by the bulk head, so we had plenty of leg room.  
Sam did very well on both flights.  The layover in New York was looonnng.  But, we staked out a little bit of the airport and made ourselves comfortable.
Jim checking out Euros
 Sam hanging out in the play area
Jessica pacing back and forth listening to her iPod

As I said, earlier, we arrived at 8 am, forty minutes ahead of schedule. 
Customs was a breeze.
All our bags made it.
Picked up our rental car.
Let the fun begin!!!!

Check-in wasn't until 2 pm, so we decided to go and check out
Malahide Castle
 Beautiful old church on the grounds
There were many signs that we found curious.
 We were the first tour of the day and thankfully, the only ones in it!!
The next group was HUGE.
I mean in numbers, not girth......
 You can still buy this particular paint colour.  It is called, "Malahide Orange."
Our tour guide was lovely.  She had Samuel count all the lion's heads throughout the castle.  She also let Sam step over the barrier and stand by her in some of the restricted areas.
A little bit of home!!  
A gum tree in the walled garden.
 Hah!!  Finally found Samuel in the secret garden.
The coolest experience for me at Malahide Castle was that there was a strong tie linking back to Tasmania.  
"Malahide Castle and Demesne was eventually inherited by the seventh Baron Talbot and on his death in 1973, passed to his sister, Rose. In 1975, Rose sold the castle to the Irish State, partly to fund inheritance taxes. Many of the contents, notably furnishings, of the castle, had been sold in advance, leading to considerable public controversy, but private and governmental parties were able to retrieve some. Rose Talbot, one of the last surviving members of the Talbot family died at Malahide House, Tasmania in 2009. "
Malahide House, Fingal, Tasmania, Australia

We had lunch in the restaurant, looked around the wonderful gift shop and then braved the Dublin traffic.
Jim is fine driving on the left hand side, but, the traffic was crazy and the roads in the city were very, very, very, narrow.
We are staying in Dublin for 2 nights.  It was hard to pick where to stay.  Most of the time when you check out reviews for a nice looking place on Trip Adviser or other similar web sites, there are a few bad reviews sprinkled among the majority of good reviews.  In this case, it wasn't the case!!
There was about 50/50 when it came to what people thought!  Even with 4 star accommodations. 
In the end we decided to stay 2 nights at
Found the hotel with a minimum of fuss.  Thank heavens for GPS!!
In the future we will always check to see if there is an elevator.
We had to climb to the 4th floor.  It was OK first thing in the morning, but after gallivanting all over the city, tired legs made it difficult.
After check-in, we walked around the area a bit to get our bearings.
Fish and chips for dinner.
We went to
 They are supposed to be the best.
It was OK, but not the best we have had.
It did taste good to us however!  It has been a long time since we have had "proper" fish and chips.
We went to bed fairly early.
It had been a long day.
It was a good day.
Looking forward to tomorrow!!
The room was comfortable.  Mattresses as hard as rocks and you had to flush the toilet a minimum of 3 times to get it to flush.  There was also a lot of noise from the street, even though we were on the 4th floor.  That first night however, none of that mattered.......SLEEP!

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