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Monday, June 23, 2014

Ireland (month 39)

For Easter weekend we ventured to Ireland, somewhere Brad and I had always wanted to visit.  Plus, not only were tickets cheap, but we could have a respite in an English speaking country for a long weekend!  I will say, poor Levi was not as sure about the trip.  He liked the plane ride part enough, naturally, but the whole leaving his dogs, friends, and toys behind is still something that really puts a damper on travel adventures for him.  (He has a hard enough time being far from home without leaving his safe place, I think?)  This trip, similar to some of our French vacation and also Slovenia, was particularly difficult and we even considered cutting it short.  However, we managed to turn it around and I am still grateful that I have now seen at least a part of Ireland!  I think you'll see below that Levi managed to find some fun as well.  
Checking out the green shamrock Aer Lingus plane
Day 1 - Good Friday
This was one of the first things I saw in our hotel.  Perfect.  I love that the "Communion Child Eats Free".  Similar to our time in Istanbul, you really feel the religious culture of the country as soon as you arrive.  
First things first in Dublin: find a big park.  It was fun to see what I've come to think of as an "American style" park.  Levi loved it.
Walking around the old streets of Dublin and along the water.
Stumbling upon one of our favorite kinds of food for lunch - Nepalese.
A beautiful seaside town on the outskirts of Dublin for dinner on Good Friday.  Huge revelation though: There is absolutely no liquor whatsoever to be had anywhere in the country on Good Friday.  No wine with dinner in a restaurant, pubs shuttered up, nothing to be sold in a store.  After a long day with a fussy 4 year-old this came as a hard truth by dinner time.  
Analyzing how the fishing boats work.
Day 2 - Saturday
We started out Saturday by heading out to the country to see some hills and ruins of a monastic settlement.

This sign is NOT messing around!  Never worry an Irish sheep!
Practicing map reading with Daddy
Levi's favorite activity this month: chasing birds.
Anyone else out there enjoy the Irish show Ballykissangel? My parents were hooked and I've enjoyed the old series with them on many visits.  This is the pub where many outside scenes were filmed, so we had to stop for lunch!
A Guinness with a kid's book
Cast photos all over the walls.
Enjoying another coastal neighborhood.  Chilly day, but plenty of rocks for tossing in the water!
I love this series of reactions as Levi listens to Daddy telling him a "story prompt" at dinner.
Prayer time. 
Sunday - Easter
This day we explored more of the lovely city parks Dublin has to offer.  This one had a good little hill for climbing an
Checking out some of the old pubs….
and the university where our friend, Kyle, attended (hence the picture to send him).
Catching a procession for the Irish president!….
I enjoyed this very literally named street
Where we ended up for lunch.  I thought, "This will be a lovely place for Easter lunch!" and it started out so well.  Unfortunately, this is also where Levi had one of his biggest meltdowns and we hurried out, food uneaten!
Regrouping in another coastal neighborhood where we enjoyed a great Mexican (they LOVE Mexican food in Ireland, it seems!) dinner.  They even had veggies as a side with the kids' menu (I have NEVER seen that in Germany) and I almost cried with happiness. I think the waitress thought I was crazy!  Levi gobbled it all and was thrilled too.  So, we ended on a high note!

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