Dublin Travel Blog› entry 4 of 5 › view all entries
Dublin ��" October 19th, 2007.
There are no Irish left in Ireland, or so they say. It has been ten days since we landed on these hallowed shores and thus far I’ve met only three Irish men and countless Polish people. Indeed, the people working the front desk at The Clarence Hotel in Dublin ��" owned by Bono & Edge no less ��" is “manned” by a guy just in from Poland. Even the porter was just four weeks “off the boat”. He had a huge zit on his face and a big smile, so I could not begrudge the guy. I feel like I often do in the States ��" frustrated by those who don’t speak English as freely as I do, who are not accustomed to Westernized notions of hospitality or nationality ��" and frustration reigns as a result of those newly arrived not realizing the two are one in the same.
So here I am at the Octagon Bar ��" the site of so many drunken nights in Ireland ��" I am blessed really and that fact is not lost on me. The fact that I have been able to come here so many times and to share this with my parents & cousin Martha! But I am alone now & surrounded by what appears to be a swell of American tourists searching for Bono or some glimpse of U2. There is a lady with her husband at the bar ��" they both look about my age (a/k/a “Bono Boomers”) ��" and she has a Guinness bag, surely straight from the brewery down the street chock full o’ Guinness items such as oven mittens, salt & pepper shakers and the like. I certainly cannot begrudge the woman since my kitchen is adorned with many Guinness-labeled items, including the god-awful Toucan refrigerator magnet, but nevertheless I am utterly convinced this woman is on the prowl for a U2 sighting.
Horrors! Another group of Americans arriving at this very moment. Oh how awful ! And they are ordering a British ale, of all things. Jesus Mary & Joseph ��" help us and save us. Tourists adorned with cameras, guide books, maps and ½ pints of Guinness.
Anyway, it’s my third stay at the Clarence and I can’t really complain. My room is absolutely gorgeous ��" decorated in rich deep royal purple and a big, huge white king size bed complete with lovely white down comforter and big fluffy white pillows. I am on the second floor near the gym which I can only guess is God’s way of suggesting (given the proximity) that I get my fat Guinness-laden ass there at some point in the next 24 hours.
Anyway ��" it has been a lovely time here in ole Ireland. We took a train from Cork to Dublin today that was surprisingly, well, relaxing and enjoyable. You see, to save my sanity, my good cousin Martha permitted me to drive the majority of the time in Ireland, so I have essentially been behind the wheel for the good part of 10 days. Mind you, I am not complaining.
(Cue the awesome segue comment..)
Two days ago (on Wednesday, October 17th, 2007) we were sitting in the Blue Pool Bar in Glengarriff, Co. Cork, Ireland with our 3rd cousin, Mary McCarthy. Well, as we were enjoying some lovely pictures and pints (ok, I was enjoying some pints), Mary elbowed Mom saying “Oh, your cousins have just walked in” or something rather dramatic like that … well, Mom’s face just lit up like a Christmas tree.
After we met with our “relies” from Ireland, we met Hazel Vickery at the Snug in Bantry Bay. What a wonderful little place ��" very, well, … snug. Dad and I hung out ��" he read the paper, I read my book & enjoyed a few pints (are we starting to see a pattern here?) while we waited for Martha, Mom and Hazel to join us at 6pm. Hazel was right on time (thanks be to God because Dad was starved!), we ordered and had our wonderful dinner. Due to the fact that I am a challenged New Englander, I hate fish ��" I hate the smell, taste, texture and look of any kind of cooked fish ��" I know it’s strange given the region of my birth ��" but it is the truth. So Dad, sitting just to my left, ordered fish which, quite possibly, was the most disgusting thing I have ever seen. I didn’t say anything because I knew he was hungry. I am a good daughter. J
Isn’t it true that your parents’ job is to give you roots and wings? That is certainly true in my situation ��" my parents gave me an incredibly solid foundation complete with values, ideals and morals as well as the ability to apply them to various situations, i.e. work, friends, relationships, etc. Not that I have necessarily applied my “ahem” Catholic morals in all situations, but they are certainly a nice guiding post along the way. Suffice it to say, I know when I have completely f***** up and when I have not … so that’s a start.
Time for some grub ��" will try to find something other than pub food, but same is hard to find given Temple Bar area and freaking pub every 3 feet. (or meters, or whatever).
Will write more tomorrow - our last day in Ireland.