Monday, January 20, 2014

Dublin and my 30th Birthday



Stan and I knew that we needed to register William's birth at the U.S. Embassy which is located in Dublin, so we decided to go the same weekend as my birthday. It was our first over night trip here in Ireland. We woke up very early Thursday morning and traveled the three hour drive up to Dublin. We arrived to Dublin at eight in the morning. It took us an hour to drive through Dublin city to the embassy. After we registered William's birth, applied for his American passport, and social security card, we went to the hotel to check in. We purchased our "hop on hop off" bus tickets and started on our way to the bus station. It was great because we could ride around on the bus until we got to a place that we were interested in then just hop off. The first day we rode the bus around the entire way to just get a feel for what it had to offer. There was also live and recorded commentary, depending on the bus, so it was fun to listen to on the top of the bus. The front third of the bus was covered but the back didn't have a roof. The boys loved it!




King William III
Downstairs of Christ Church there was a crypt. All three boys were fast asleep at this point, so Stan and I took turns going downstairs to view it. It was kind of creepy, but they turned it into a museum which was included in our ticket. It was cool to see the different items that were on display. They did have a dead cat and mouse under glass. Stan took a photo of it, so weird looking at it, and very creepy. There is another place in Dublin where they allow visitors to go down to a crypt where you will see many dead bodies. That seemed too creepy for me, so Stan is going to see that one on his own another time.




Entrance to the Crypt at Christ Church







Christ Church

Christ Church


Christ Church getting ready to cross the street







Inside Christ Church, this is the Lady's Chapel. It was breathtaking. This photo does not do it justice...






The next few photos are taken inside St. Patrick's Cathedral. I think this was my favorite cathedral that I've seen in Ireland so far. It's very beautiful inside and out.






I love the tile work


We are at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Right outside the cathedral there's a lovely green with a water fountain. Here the boys were able to stretch their legs and run around.





St. Patrick's Cathedral


The Chester Beatty Library was a wonderful place to visit. They had several large exhibits full of cool artifacts. One room was filled with "Costumes Parisiens, fashion plates from 1912-1914"
Another interesting room was focused on the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.


Dublin Castle was very cool as well. Most of it has been destroyed, but we were able to take a guided tour into what was left of the original building. They have built around it newer buildings and they are also very lovely. The Irish government and Garda use these buildings even today.






Sitting inside the Dublin Castle Cathedral



Cathedral at Dublin Castle


Inside Dublin Castle, the thrown room, and above it is the Harp which is the symbol of Ireland.


Outside, in the courtyard of Dublin Castle

Cathedral at Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle





Inside the bus, the first day we rode on top, but when we were on the bus for just a short trip we rode inside.


Waiting for the bus to come




We were so lucky. The sun was shinning and there was blue skies... not even one drop of rain fell until we were driving home. That was a huge blessing! This stop was the closest one to our hotel, so it is where we began and ended each day. Each morning we'd all get up early, I'd run down to the mini market and bakery and get pain au chocolat, apple turnovers, juice, and yogurts. It was a yummy way to start off the day. We put the baby in the baby carrier, and the older two boys in the double stroller. This way the kids didn't tire too quickly. Each day they would be so exhausted that they'd fall asleep in the stroller. It was nice to tour around when they were sleeping. I thought it was nice that the different attractions didn't charge us for our kids when they were fast asleep in the stroller. It was perfect!


Stan sitting on a bench watching the kids play in the park inside of Merrion Square

Merrion Square Park


Baby William fast asleep. He was such a great kid on the trip!





I really loved this trip to Dublin because we had a great time together as a family. I had a really fun birthday just traveling around seeing the sights and spending time with Stan and my three boys. I feel super lucky that we had beautiful weather, and that things just went our way. The last night we ate at a cute little place called KC Peaches. After dinner I wanted to order dessert and Stan was like okay, let's find a bakery or something as we walk back to our hotel. I thought that sounded good, so I started to gather our stuff when a few of the waitresses brought out birthday cheesecake! They sang, I blew out the candle, people around us said "Happy Birthday" it was perfect! :)

Saturday, we woke up, had our yummy breakfast, packed and left. We had left the lights on so the mini van was dead. Stan went up to the hotel desk and asked for help, they didn't offer any so Stan headed out to find some. He didn't walk far when he came to a bike shop and they were so kind to bring down a little machine to jump start our car. We offered to pay for their service but they said no thanks. They were so kind to help us out!

Afterwards we started our trek home. We drove through the longest tunnel in Ireland which took us from the city centre to IKEA. There we purchased a rug and TV stand, then we drove home. It was such a nice drive home. They boys fell asleep, I had a chat with my parents, and Stan and I had a couple of hours to visit. We stopped for petrol at at little town called Thurles pronounced without the "h". Right beside the petrol station there was a little fish and chip or "chipper"... It was so delicious, best fish and chips! It was so convenient that it was located next door to the petrol station, Stan left the car parked there and just ran over while I took the older boys to the restroom and changed William's diaper and fed him. Stan brought back the hot food and "fizzy drinks" or soda pop and we were off again. Things just worked out so well for us on this trip... it was wonderful!

When we arrived home we started to assemble our new furniture and eventually it got put together. Last night, the boys went to bed around 9pm and Stan and I watched Thor. It is very fun to have an entertainment room to watch movies in!


I think the boys are enjoying the new room as well!