Day 11: Dublin Bound

Our day started early, at the boulangerie down the street. We have finally learned to NOT order lattes (unless we want the French shop girl to pop an artery) and instead ask for “cafe au lait” (coffee with milk). I’ve gotten more comfortable attempting reading the titles of things, rather than just pointing like a dumb tourist.

After a quick breakfast, we were off to the airport. Initially, it seemed like a super good idea to leave plenty of time to get there and through all of the necessary hoops. Traffic was dreadful, but we had a good conversation with the cabbie and arrived unscathed and plenty early.

Aer Lingus is definitely working out some major kinks. So far, it hasn’t been the best experience and today was no exception. Our flight, which had not reported any problems prior to our arrival at the airport, sneakily started reporting “delayed” on the monitors in the terminal about the time we were to begin boarding. When all was said and done, our two hour flight was delayed three hours. Ugh.

We were one of the lucky families, however, because we did not have a connection to make. All of those people had to retrace their steps through the terminal to retrieve their luggage and seek out alternate flights.

There wasn’t much we could do, so we just waited it out and arrived in Dublin a few hours later than initially expected.

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Dublin, named for the “black pool” (dubh linn) at the convergence of the Poddle and Liffey rivers was in fully in the throes of a heat wave.Our hotel room was hot and sticky, so we escaped to a neighborhood pub for a good Irish dinner and beer! 🍻 Slainte!

 

 

 

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Irish Stew

The kids wanted some alone time with WiFi, so we returned them to the hotel and Jeff and I set out for more beer!

We ended up at Temple Bar. Despite being rowdy, and touristy it was reminiscent of my favorite college watering hole, Rico’s, and I loved every minute of it.

Jeff and I got some drinks between live music sets and found some stools to take in the upcoming act. If we weren’t so tired (and old) we would’ve stayed into the wee hours.

But for today, it was time to catch up on some sleep and plan a strategy for seeing as much of Dublin as we could in the two days that we had.

Good night!

Day 1 Summer 2018: Travel to Amsterdam

I thought summer break would never arrive this year but here we are, on the way out of town to visit four countries in western Europe.

Our first stop is the Netherlands, which we will get to via Ireland. The last two times that flew across the Atlantic, we flew Icelandair via Reykjavik to continental Europe. It seems that perhaps Ireland was paying attention and didn’t want to miss out on the opportunities ty to ferry Americans to and from Europe. Aer Lingus started their direct flight service from Seattle to Dublin just about a month ago, on May 18. Like Icelandair, Aer Lingus also offers plenty of connections to points all over Europe.

Unfortunately, perhaps because their Seattle route is so new, they have not worked out all of the logistics to the point in of precision. What was supposed to be a roughly one hour window to get us off of one plane, through the passport check and onto another plane dwindled to about 25 minutes because of a late departure. Despite our nerves, Aer Lingus handled the transition beautifully, having “connecting agents” sift us out from the crowd and escort us through the airport, through the immigration check point and onto a bus to our gate. Which just happened to be the plane that was literally right next to the plane from which we had just disembarked.

The flight was lovely, just 90 minutes more from Dublin. What we didn’t realize at the time is that our luggage had other plans.

Upon arrival at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, after watching our flight mates collect their gear, we ended up in the baggage office filling out lost luggage paperwork. Since there wasn’t much we could do beyond that, and we had been traveling about 12 hours by now, we found a taxi and rode the 15 miles or so to Haarlem to check in to our cute little hotel: Boutiquehotel Straats.

It’s been a crazy day, but not as crazy as the slowest day at school.

Tomorrow, we’re off to Amsterdam (in yesterday’s clothes).