Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ireland Part 1: Christmas in Dublin

We landed in Dublin on Christmas Eve and as we walked out of security we were greeted by a huge gospel choir singing Christmas carols! As we waited for Fionn's parents to arrive we also noticed the Dublin Airport offers free wifi. So while we were dancing and singing along to a free concert, we got to check emails.


Fionn's parents arrived and we made our way into Dublin city. It was really bustling with last minute Christmas energy! We got settled into our hotel but soon learned that all the restaurants would be closing at 6, so after enjoying the Christmas lights on Grafton Street we bought some food at the grocery store and started looking for a restaurant. Naturally everything was booked solid, but we finally found a seat at a hamburger place. not exactly traditional, but very good and made for a funny story ;)

we walked down Grafton Street towards our hotel and saw this huge group of people gathered around some musicians. A friend of mine in Dublin had told me earlier that famous Irish musicians come down to Grafton Street on Christmas Eve to busk on the street and give the money to local organizations that help the homeless. Bono, Damien Rice, and Glen Hansard are all regulars at this tradition!

We managed to push our way through and Fionn lifted me onto his shoulders so I could get a better view. I could see Glen Hansard and a guy playing a guitar, but we couldn't get close enough to see anyone else. we stayed for a while but it was cold, so we left.

I was disappointed that I didn't see Bono, since my mom is a huge fan. So you can imagine my surprise when I found out Bono HAD been there just a little while after we left!! He might have even been there while I was taking pictures! And he sang his own songs AFTER I left. Figures! Still, a really cool experience.

as you can see, they're standing RIGHT where we were only a little earlier!

Fionn's parents were such troopers-they'd traveled all the way from the West Coast and were still going strong on minimal sleep! So we called it an early night, Fionn and I watched the Father Ted Christmas special and headed to bed.

Christmas Day we got up and had breakfast with Fionn's parents in their room. It was so nice and cozy and a great way to spend the morning. We headed out in search of a church service, but we arrived in time to see the service ending, thanks to an incorrect internet link. The people at the church were still so incredibly friendly and welcoming though!

Dublin was pretty much a ghost town apart from the occasional tourist. Most things were closed, but we still had fun walking around the city.

Naturally we found Guinness :)

After much walking we returned to the hotel for our Christmas dinner. It was an awesome dinner complete with Christmas crowns, those little party crackers that you pull open to find a prize inside, and amazing dinner. The starter was chips and dip in the form of laundry. Every course following was just as creative, but we left our camera! Boo!

I'm not wearing a crown because I ripped mine haha. It was pink!

Mmmmmmmmm still drooling over that dinner.

The day after Christmas we picked up our rental car and headed toward Kells, our next stop. Fionn's dad had to contend with driving on the left AND having the gear shift for our stick shift car on the left! Talk about concentration! He was a great driver during the trip!

And off we headed to Kells...

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