Well, shit howdy Ireland.
We’re now in a drastically new time-zone. Wednesday night we went for dinner with Christine’s family. During dinner I commented that we’d leave a bit early for the airport the next morning, as you never know if you’ll need some buffer time for an unexpected delay such as a flat tire. When we finished dinner and went out to the parking lot, we found our car with a flat tire! Better then than the next morning on the way to the airport, but arg. Christine jumped right in there with her high-heels on, to work-replacing the tire. I stood there like the a-mechancial dork that I am. It was a classic moment.
Our flight thursday had us going to Chicago before connecting to Dublin, so we had to go through US Customs. We were ‘randomly selected’ for a very invasive laptop search — they actually went through our laptops looking for kiddie-porn and terrorist plots. Thank the gods they weren’t looking for pirated TV shows. This was yet another fine example of America’s steady decline towards a liberty-free police state. I fully expect a mandatory cavity search next time I visit.
We flew the trans-atlantic stretch first-class on Aer Lingus. First-class is definitely something a guy could get used to. Lots of room, giant reclining seats with leg rests. Champagne before take-off, bottomless wine, gourmet meals, gift bags, individual TV sets, and so on. It made the 7-hour flight zip by.
Flying over Ireland….it really is GREEN. The Irish customs agent was far friendlier than the US one. He warned Christine to keep an eye on me because Irish women were dangerous.
We had a little trouble locating our driver at the airport. Our flight had been delayed 2 hours in Chicago, and our poor driver had been waiting all morning for us. He was a super friendly older gentleman, and answered all our questions on the way into the Dublin city center. Our temporary accommodations are right in the heart of Dublin — walking distance to all the old historic sites and touristy areas like the Temple Bar district. We’re a block off of St. Stephen’s Greens, a beautiful landscaped park — which has been packed this weekend as the weather has been gorgeous.
When we arrived, our apartment was not ready yet (it’s a strange mix between being an apartment and a hotel), so we had 2 hours to kill. We dropped off our luggage and then strolled through St. Stephen’s Greens and then found a pub for lunch. It was traditional Irish fare. I had a quiche with salad and a Guinness of course. The Guinness here is far more quaff-able than the foul stuff I’ve tried in Canada. I’m still not a fan (I prefer lighter ales and lagers), but it was not half-bad.
Our apartment is very nice. It has tall ceilings and a clean and crisply modern decor. The bed is a little stiff, but I had no problem sleeping (though that may have been the jet lag).
My Canadian cell phone doesn’t work at all here. That’s disappointing. When I went to England in 2000, my cell phone worked fine. Why the regression? The people here are quite friendly. They also look really Irish.
Also check out Christine’s blog. I’m sure she’ll be far more verbose and observant that I — She’s the artistic one, and I’m the autistic one.
Cheers from Dublin!