Mike and I left for Ireland on Friday, June 1st. We had a 2 hour layover at DFW, and then a 6 hour layover at JFK. The total time from Austin to Dublin was going to be over 19 hours. Luckily, as we got to the Aer Lingus we had a friendly ticket agent that said she was pretty sure we could get on the flight right before ours. So we wait a few minutes and finally get our new tickets. One peculiar thing they said was you have to go to the gate NOW. It was like 5:10pm, and they had said the flight was at 8pm, so that seemed odd. But, we head that way. Mike wanted to get something to eat, but as we are headed down the escalator, I’m staring at the tickets and I notice that the flight time says 5:40pm. We got on 2 flights earlier, and we seriously needed to get to the gate NOW. We get through the security, such a freakin pain, and head to the gate and get on the plane, just like that. No 6 hour layover. Very nice indeed. One snag was that we spent over an hour on the tarmac in line for takeoff, but they seemed to make that up in the air.

We arrived in Dublin on Saturday, June 2nd around 6:00am. We did a package deal with flight/car/B&Bs for a STEAL. So we get our car, which they upgraded to a Ford Focus. Laugh if you will, but seriously, that was a pretty big upgrade. The other car would have been hardly bigger thanAt Guinness a Smart car. But at the same time, as we soon discovered, you really wouldn’t want anything much bigger than what we got. Ok, so got car, and fiddled with the GPS unit, and managed to get to our hotel. We dropped off our stuff, and caught a bus to get to the downtown Dublin area. We ate breakfast at a little place in the Temple Bar district. We then headed to O’Connell Street and then finally got on a City Tour bus. We saw some sights, but the stop we were looking forward was the Guinness Brewery. You just cannot go to Dublin and not catch this tour. Hell, you get a pint at the end. What more does one need to say? I’m not even a beer drinker but I can guzzle some Guinness.  We did a few self-paced tours here and there, so I can say this was by far the best one. It’s very well designed and keeps you interested. After that, we hopped back on the tour bus, and saw some more sights.Beshoff's Fish & Chips When we got to the end we were hungry hungry hungry. We got a recommendation for some fish & chips, so we headed there. Delish. Good way to start our fish & chip journey. I can’t remember exactly what we did after that. We did go back to our hotel kinda early-ish and we were in bed by 6 or 7pm. I took an ambien to make sure I wouldn’t wake up at some funky hour, and slept delightfully. Mike did not take an ambien so he did wake up at like 1am, and eventually got back to bed. I woke up early and waited for his butt to wake up. Hotel RoomI was kind and let him sleep.  When we left, it was a bit drippy, but not too bad. We caught a bus again and went to Trinity University to  see the Book of Kells.  It was pretty cool.  It’s from around 800 AD. Yah, us Americans really don’t know what old is. We eventually made our way back to our car and started to head out to Galway. Once we got there, we headed to Mike’s friend Des’ record shop. We hung around there and talked to him a bit. We also met up with some people from Alabama that were looking for some good Irish music. Mike & Des helped them find something. We left Des’ shop and it was crazy bright out. It wasn’t until we got back to the car did we realize that it was around 9:30pm. This was the day we discovered that Ireland has daylight much like Alaska or something. This time of year the sun sets close to 10pm, and the sun comes up around 5am. Later in the year it changes to 4pm & 8am. It took some getting used to. Most places that serve food stop serving it around 9pm. We seemed to almost always miss this time, and would have to find a pub still serving or anyplace still serving after 9pm. We still never had a bad meal. Anyhoooooo… back to Galway. We eventually made it to our B&B. We dropped off our bags and went out to try to find something to eat. We ended up finding a french restaurant down in a 6th-street like area. It was mmmmm-licious. Mike had an aubergine dish and I had a steak dish. We also had a supremely tasty desert. Some chocolate cake with a Bailey’s creamy type center. Bailey's DessertAfterwards we went back to the B&B. I had difficulty falling asleep that night because there was this apparently inebriated couple next door that was just screaming and hollering at ridiculous volumes. The reason this was so loud and clear was because our window was open. You see, they don’t seem to know what A/C is there. I generally can’t sleep unless it’s a bit on the chilly side, so a closed window was not an option. The next morning we went downstairs for our first traditional Irish breakfast. What is that you may ask? A traditional Irish breakfast consists of eggs, Irish bacon (which is more like ham), black sausage (or black pudding, a sausage that is held together with blood), white sausage, a grilled half tomato, and soda bread. I asked for no black pudding. However, our hostess convinced me that I have to try it. I can’t go to Ireland and not try it. So, I tried it. It wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be, but it’s not something I would choose to eat. I’m sure it’s just all in my head cuz I just think of blood when I’m eating it *GAG*.

To be continued…

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