Ireland - Day 1
August 15-August 21, 2018
Sitting here typing and thinking about how amazing and unreal Ireland was. Ireland is truly a place like no other. It's so green, hilly, mountainous, and the countryside is much more beautiful than I ever imagined. Also, the grass there is SO nice that it looks like a painting.
So let me start at the beginning and why I travelled to Ireland in the first place. My sister, Katlynn, was offered an opportunity to work for a company that is based out of Dublin. After a few weeks of deciding whether to jump on the opportunity and move to Ireland for 3 months, we finally convinced her that this was an opportunity she couldn't pass up. I'm personally so happy she decided to go because, hello....free travel, free home stay, and you're getting paid. That sounds like a no brainer to me! Before she even left I had the idea that I was going to visit her in Ireland no matter what. A new place I had never been and the traveller in me was already planning everything. Fast forward a couple months, I made it happen.
Once Katlynn got settled in Ireland and at her job, she did some talkin' with her bosses and home stay family to make sure it was okay for me to come visit. Everything was arranged and the only thing left to do was book a ticket. I booked my ticket a few weeks before I left and started researching Ireland and things to do.
August 15 creeps up....finally, the day I get to leave and the day I get to see my sister after 2 months! I worked half a day, drove 3-ish hours to Chicago, parked my car and visited with our family friends (who are angels for always watching my car and taking/picking me up at the airport). Except this time, I had to be at the airport around Chicago rush hour (not ideal), so I took the train to the airport. Easy peasy, got there with more than enough time before the night flight.
Once I was in the pre-TSA line, I turn the corner and see my sister's friend, Teddi. Teddi has been Katlynn's friend since elementary school and is the one who found this Irish company in the first place. Teddi is the one who presented the opportunity to Katlynn about this company. Teddi was heading back for the rest of her training. So after TSA, we met up and hung around until our flight at 9:20 p.m. EST.
Day 1: August 16, 2018
8 hours later, hellllllllo Dublin immigration. After a long flight of barely sleeping, the last thing you want to do is get interrogated by immigration. It's always so nerve wracking and even if you have nothing to be worried about, the pressure makes you come up with all these ideas of why they wouldn't let you in. But all went well and I was on my way to see Katlynn, yay!
There she was at the gate waiting for Teddi and I. We greeted each other with a big ol' hug! Leaving the airport, their co-worker, Margaret, picked us up and drove us to Teddi's homestay. While Teddi took her things to her room, Katlynn and I went to say hey to her old "house mom", who I had heard so much about. She was the sweetest, cutest, Irish woman with pretty flowers all around her front patio. After chatting with her briefly, we all got back in the car and stopped by their work. I got to see where Katlynn has been working the last couple of months, as well as meet her co-workers I have been hearing about. All such lovely people.
Margaret and Teddi stayed behind at the office while we went to her house so I could freshen up and put my suitcase away. We walked to the Luas and bought a 7 day pass that I can use throughout my stay. The Luas is one of the many public transports through Dublin. We rode this every day to get to and from the city. We hopped on the tram to go to her stop at Saggart. Once at Saggart we had to walk about 5-10 minutes to the house. The house she has been staying at was very cute and minimalistic. Of course, her room was on the third floor, so I had to drag my heavy carry-on up all the stairs (okay, it wasn't that bad, I'm just being dramatic). After relaxing for a little bit, we showered and got ready to head into the city. At this point in the day, I am completely exhausted but I have such a short amount of time to see the city so I sucked it up and decided that sleep is for the weak.
It's about 3 pm now and we are both starving. First things first, we need to find food. I'd say it's about a 20 minute tram ride into the city from Saggart. I was taking all the stops in, getting a feel for my surroundings, and just enjoying being with my sister in a place she seemed so comfortable. We get to our stop near downtown, Jervis, and start our search for food. We passed so many cute restaurants and cafes, but we decided to stop in at Bobo's Gourmet Burgers. They had tons of yummy burger and chicken options. We both got a different burger and split. And of course, you can't forget the chips (french fries). I don't know why but french fries in Europe taste so much better than fries in the states. As we're eating, we make a plan for what to do after. But as we're eating, it starts pouring rain. Very typical weather in Ireland. One minute it can be sunny and breezy and the next minute it can be cloudy and storming. So we finish eating and we're waiting for the downpour to pass. About 20 minutes go by and it's only sprinkling so we make a dash for this department store called Penneys. Similar to a JCPenny or Kohls. I told myself I couldn't buy anything because I only brought a carry on but there I was buying a couple sweaters, a shirt, and some socks.
Continuing on, we walk through the streets of downtown passing statues and historic buildings. We stop in some souvenir shops and walk around The Spire, which is a huge monument in the middle of the popular O'Connell street. My sister has another name for it but that's not to be said in the blog....haha. I'll leave it up to ya'lls imaginations.
After spending some time on just one side of downtown, we called it a day and headed back home. I was so, so tired that I was falling asleep on the Luas. Jetlag is a real thing people! We arrive home and I crash...hard. It's around 9pm now and we have to be up at 6am to get ready for a busy day seeing some of Irelands best sights. Look forward to my next blog to read all about our adventure to Cliffs of Moher and Galway!