Musing about Ireland-Day One

Top O’ the morning to ye!

Let’s muse over a cuppa and please have a scone!

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you that Cole and I are vacationing in Ireland. Before we left, I stood at the door taking a very long time to say goodbye before we bon voyaged.

We arrived in Dublin on a crispy cool Tuesday at around 8:30am to a blue sky. We could not help but grin like tourists when the train conductor offered us directions. There is no better introduction to Ireland than being spoken to in a heavy working man’s Irish brogue.

The day was a mixture of sightseeing and mishaps. After we arrived at Fitzpatrick Castle, our accommodations, we considered diving face first into the beds, laden with comforters and pillows, however we pulled on our walking shoes and took the train back into Dublin.

Ireland is impossible to find your way around, so we surrendered to a hop-on-and-hop-off bus and made our first rounds.

Our first hop-off was at the Queen of Tarts were we made our first purchase (note the small box Cole is tightly holding).

Next, we went to Dublin Castle and while the Chester Beatty Library is usually the big attraction, Cole and I love the chandlers.

St Patrick’s Cathedral was a must see on our list, but we found it rather disappointing on the inside, being overrun by a gift shop. Cole loved the architecture of the church and pointed out the flying buttresses, which help keep the Cathedral standing.  Cole’s fancy education is paying off!

We sat down at Trinity College...

and enjoyed our tart while we admired the vibrant green quadrangles.

We then strolled down Temple Bar, which is the cultural hub of the city,

and then walked down Parliament Street towards the Ha’penny bridge.

Our castle (we can’t say that often enough) hotel was further from Dublin than I believed when making the reservation, so we decided to pick up our rental car on the way back to our Castle.

Driving and directions proved to be challenging. I was driving a mini car, with a stick shift, while sitting on the wrong side of the car, driving on the wrong side of the road, with no idea of where I was going.  Getting from where we were  to were we were going was proving almost impossible. The castle is located between the villages of Dalkey and Killiney on a hilltop that overlooks Dublin bay.

My co-pilot was amazing. Cole handled the maps and told me when I was getting too close to the curb on his side. The streets were very narrow. I did hit one curb and while the car was not damaged, Cole got to change his first flat tire; proving what I have always believed… guys just know how to change a tire.

At first, I said we would call someone, and then when I learned that changing a tire would cost 75 euros, I said, we can do this… and by golly we could! Well, Cole could… I just did what mom’s are supposed to do – remind him not to lose the nuts and bolts, to be careful, and to make sure he put the damn wheel on tight enough. The job was accomplished in minutes and we were back on the road. Oddly enough, conquering the tire gave us the confidence to set out and find our hotel.

Here is the kicker…with all the amazing sites we are seeing in Ireland I know one of the things Cole will remember the most is successfully changing his first flat tire. There are two types of vacations–one where you sit by a sunny seashore with an umbrella drink in your hand and the other where you venture beyond the beyond. One day, I will sit by the sea shore….but right now I am traveling with my teen who relishes in adventures, map reading, having his mom follow his directions and changing tires. . .I could not be laughing harder or having more fun.

We are off to Wicklow and Kilkenny today. Just as soon as we have our scones and tea at the castle and buy a new tire.

Thanks for dropping by for some Irish mussing! See you tomorrow.


13 thoughts on “Musing about Ireland-Day One

  1. Katybeth, this is going to be one for the memory books — yours and Cole’s. Nothing like trying something new and finding out you can do it! I’m just pea-green with envy, but am so glad to be vicariously sharing in your adventures! Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

  2. The two of ye are brilliant! Thanks for sharing your holiday musings with your adoring public. Love your story telling.

  3. Have fun you two….Ireland is beautiful! Everytime I tried to use the blinkers in the car the windshield wipers would come on…too funny! Go Get lost in the countryside….you will find the most amazing treasures.

  4. What an adventure! I know how difficult it is to drive in Ireland but you do get use to it after a few days. What a shame you had to replace the tire but it was surely a great memory for Cole. You sound like you are having a blast! Take care and enjoy the amazing view!

  5. Glad you are having fun and cool that you changed your own tire! I hope to see Ireland someday. : ) 8)

  6. You are so brave to drive yourselves around Ireland! I’m proud of you, I don’t know if I have the courage to do that, but I promise that I’ll try. Have a wonderful trip – I look forward to reading your updates.

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