Well best laid plans…what’s the saying? Often go awry. Getting the kids, and ourselves for that matter, to go to sleep proved to be very difficult. I am talking about the plane flight.
Flight from Boston to Dublin
Dinner was served at 7:45pm, then they picked up trash, and then served coffee/tea. So, the lights weren’t dimmed until around 9pm. Then of course people kept getting up and the stewardesses came by with duty free options. My husband wasn’t able to sleep at all and I was able to only fall asleep for 2 hours. The kids slept on and off for about 3 hours. But on a good note, the plane landed earlier than expected. Our luggage took almost 45 minutes to come once we deplaned and made it through the airport to the carousel! But no worries, everything else is set and so we just need to get our car and head into town to find some coffee and breakfast. Or so we thought!
Getting out of the Dublin Airport
We had rented an economy car, as noted in last post. But the employee at the rental car company informed us that the car we had reserved didn’t have a trunk and wouldn’t fit our luggage. Good thing we didn’t bring a suitcase for each of us! So we decided to go up a size in the car which cost us $200 extra :-(. We were assured that we would make up the difference quickly in mileage. The larger car is a diesel engine and gets 55mpg while the smaller one was petrol getting 30mpg. We declined car insurance since our credit card includes this service for free. This requires the rental company to charge a $5000 release in case the car in damaged, which would be refunded when we return the car. So we needed to charge $5200 to our credit card. It was denied. Hmm, we called yesterday to inform the credit card company that we were traveling internationally and received an automated message that this wasn’t necessary any longer. So they tried to run my other credit card which was also denied! Ugh!!! This led to a very annoying conversation for us, thankfully the rental car agent found it humorous, with the credit card company that lasted almost 30 minutes. And unfortunately the credit card company representative couldn’t guarantee we wouldn’t have the same issue later on our vacation.
But finally we got our car. Our 2 large and 1 carry-on suitcase barely fit in the trunk. Thank God we switched to the larger vehicle! Once we got going we had some issues with the address using a borrowed GPS. (Thanks to my parents for letting us borrow their Garmin. All we had to do was purchase a SD card with Ireland maps from Ebay.) We finally got one address entered into the GPS and headed on our way trying to get used to driving on the left side of the road while sitting on the right side of the car, and driving through lots of roundabouts.
Things to Do in Dublin After Landing
Have I mentioned that we are nauseous since we haven’t eaten or slept and the kids are wound up for the same reasons? We had some issues finding the AirBnB apartment, so just decided to park the car in the pre-reserved car lot albeit 1 hour early. We walked to a coffee shop and had some coffee and hot chocolate costing us 10.45 Euros. It is much colder here at 6am than we expected. After the warm drink, we were feeling recharged and decided that we would now locate our AirBnB. It was much easier to locate our lodging on foot. We walked around Dublin a little and headed to Trinity College Library to see the Book of Kells. This was my 10 year old son’s desire to check out. He LOVES to read. It cost 36 Euros for a family to see the Book of Kells and seeing the “Turning Darkness into Light” exhibit. For those that don’t know, Trinity College is Ireland’s oldest University founded in 1592. It has beautiful architecture modeled after Cambridge, Oxford, and the like. The Book of Kells is a “lavishly decorated copy, in Latin of the four gospels.” The Long Room of the Trinity College Library houses almost 200,000 of the libraries oldest books. Looking at the stories of books was breathtaking.
We walked around town some more to kill time until 12 noon (Dublin time) to meet and check in to our AirBnB. I had identified the Powerscourt Center as a local shopping area, so we headed there. It was a neatly designed indoor 3 story shopping area with an atrium of sorts in the center. But, the stores were too expensive for us…so we just did some window shopping. And of course my daughter enjoyed riding the glass elevator. I went into one clothing shop just to look around and found a rather ugly shirt that was marked at a price of 390 euros….. WTF?
Another snack on the way to the apartment cost is 3.50 Euros at Tesco, just enough to hold us over.
Dublin AirBnB and Dinner
So we finally got settled in the apartment with our luggage and wifi connected on all our devices. The children were glued to the tv watching some Netflix while my husband and I tried to stay awake for a bit longer so we could get dinner. We choose a recommendation made by our AirBnB host and ate dinner at a local Irish pub called The Porterhouse. For 40Euros we had a locally brewed half-pint, fish and chips, and ham and cheese croquettes. The kids choose a hamburger and chips and sausages and chips, and their meals came with ice-cream! The food was delicious and the atmosphere was charming.
Do You Have to Ask for the Check in Ireland?
We were so tired, my son and I literally fell asleep sitting up while we were waiting for our check. We did a quick internet search and found that in Ireland it is typical for the bill to take a while to be delivered. Maybe it’s because they don’t want to rush people? We got back to the apartment and took warm showers and it was 6:30pm local time, but it feels like 1pm without going to bed the night before…reminds me of Black Friday shopping with my parents. Derek was awake for a total of 31.5 straight hours before we finally went to bed! Tomorrow we plan on a full day of walking around Dublin and experiencing the city.