It's funny to me how much can happen in such a short amount of time. Monday felt like it never ended. We all woke up at 3AM and just sat in the hotel watching Strawberry Shortcake over and over again because that was the only child appropriate channel at this hotel. The channel is called Tiny Pop and all they have between 3AM-7AM is Strawberry Shortcake. I gave the boys a big bubble bath super early, and after Stan and I showered and dressed we went downstairs for the hotel breakfast. It begins every morning at 6:30 AM, and yes, we were the very first people there. We had the place to ourselves which was honestly very nice. The boys loved the toast and butter, scrambled eggs, and juice. Every morning they serve all sorts of fun and interesting foods at breakfast. They have large tomatoes sliced in half and cooked with spices, potatoes wedges, blood pudding (very strange), fried and scrambled eggs, a large assortment of breads, croissants, pain au chocolat, fruit, hot porridge, and juice. We all finished eating around 7AM, and there was nothing open yet so we went back upstairs and took a short nap.
First on our list was to go to the bank. We had "walked over" a bunch of money so we wanted to deposit this and pick up our bank cards and check book. After hanging out at the branch for an hour, they figured out that our bank cards and check book had been canceled. Normally, this would not be a big issue, but for us new in Ireland it has become one. We went ahead and ordered new ones, but it will take at least two weeks for it to arrive at our new address. We have also been advised that we must go to our local post office and introduce ourselves so that our mail will be delivered. Since we are new, they might not deliver our mail if we do not introduce ourselves. That makes me laugh.
We then tried to get a phone. We did not realize that in Ireland, your debit card or bank card acts like an identity. It's called a chip and pin identification. Unless you own a bank card, and no our U.S. debit cards don't have this capability, then you cannot get a phone, car insurance, and it makes it difficult to purchase anything. We don't like having to carry around cash everywhere.
So after not being successful at the bank or getting a mobile phone, we decided to try and purchase a car. I really wanted to buy a Hyundai Trajet. It's a great family van, a seven seater which are hard to find. Most cars only have between two and five seats. But with another baby coming and our desire to travel around we don't want to be squished in a five seater with no room for the stroller and luggage. The first places we went to were terrible. They had to jump the car because it hadn't been driven in, and we couldn't test drive it because the batter had gone bad on it. They said they'd replace it, but it made me wonder what else did not work. We found out that the automatic locks didn't function right, and it looked like it had been in a little accident--the rear view mirror was shattered and the bumper was damaged. The office was literally dirty, full of leaves and dirt all over. It just felt kind of ghetto. After seeing these sort of options it was such a relief to find a more sophisticated dealership. I wasn't sure if we were going to find a decent seven seater within our budget, but to our relief we did. We found a very nice place, the van was clean, well taken care of, it ran well, the engine sounded clean, the test drive went well and we felt so happy that the price was the same as the others. So we bought our first van in Ireland! Soooo grateful and happy.
Since before this point, we did not have a vehicle to travel in, so we were traveling by taxi. This is nice and convenient but very expensive. Anyway, as we went from one dealership to another we put our brand new stroller in the back. At the final dealership we forgot to take it out of the back and Stan and I didn't even realize that our $450 stroller was gone until George yelled in the dealership... "STROLLER"!!! Such a smart boy! We were able to call the company that sent us the taxi and the gentleman who drove it was kind enough to drop it off to us after he completed his next run. So happy George remembered as quickly as he did not five minutes after we entered the dealership.
After lunch at the hotel we walked to the nearest Vodafone place to figure how we were going to get a phone. Unfortunately, my pregnant body decided it was done walking all over everywhere and even though on our way back I made it within 10 minutes of the hotel I had to pay seven euros to have the taxi driver take me the rest of the way.
By 6PM we were all asleep in our beds except Stan. He was busy working, answering work emails, doing conference calls, and getting things squared away for Tuesday. What a great man Stan is, I could not keep my eyes open and he was still chugging along. We woke up around 9PM and ordered room service. The 15 euro pizza almost looked like a personal pan pizza, but we all had our one small piece and called it good. Everyone fell asleep by 11PM and I thought we were going to wake up late the next morning and maybe get on the right time schedule, however we all woke up at 4AM. So it's now 6AM, the boys have already had their bubble bath, and yes we are now watching Strawberry Shortcake on our new favorite channel Tiny Pop!