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I'm not quite sure what happened between our last trip and this one, but our bags were packed the night before, my toes were painted and dry before trying to rush them into shoes on the way to the airport, g'bye emails and voicemails were on, and our early morning leave came with a sense of calmness and welcome. Hmmm. I wonder if Luke feels this way all the time? There might be something to this pre-packing and being organized thing. It's quite nice, to be honest. Our flight left on time with a small reroute through San Fran (wanted to make sure we flew across the ENTIRE US before hitting the ocean! We had the pleasure of flying the best airline that we've ever been on for the duration of our flight into Dublin... Air Lingus! There is a slim possibility that our success may have had something to do with the two gentlemen that took care of us for 9 hours and 27 minutes, but I'm not going to bank only on that. Let me back up...

We were greeted at the door of the plane by a sweet lady in a green business dress suit that extended a hurried apology to us and asked us to wait while she called one of the other attendants via phone. I assured her that waiting was of no worry to us and stood mesmerized as the lovely Irish accent drifted off her lips! My ears are so excited for accents! Our attendants in green were Harvey and another gentleman that he referred to as the Galway Princess. They were quite a pair and oh so good to the kids and us. We had more sodas than we had room for tucked away for the evening (they didn't want us to get "tursty") and they loaded the kids up with a goodie bag from the crew before we left for being the best kids on the plane. The kids were excited about Irish candies, Cokes, and Fantas!

We caught a cab to our room, passed out for a couple hours, and headed out to find some Guinness. I mean, a pub. We ran samplings at home before we left and were eager to provide the results of US vs. Dublin Guinness. Per block, I swear you can find more pubs than stores, gas stations, or any other type of building that seems to think it has importance. Houses are scattered about in their own neighborhoods, but you don't have to go far to find what you're looking for.

We found ourselves a long row with O'Every Pub (under the sun) and in trying to make a decision, I realized that it is quite intimidating to walk into the very local and small pub in the neighborhood that we are in and pull up a barstool and pretend to know what we are doing. To elevate matters, the pubs are dark and the doors are Alice in Wonderland Style and are about 17 inches wide. Hmmmm. I put on my best non-American (we totally know what we are doing here) face and in we strolled. It couldn't have been more picture perfect. There was a fire burning next to the door. The entirety of the inside walls were carved out in beautiful wood. A couple small groups of guys were scattered throughout and the word Guinness was plastered periodically on signs across the walls. We weren't sure if we were welcome in or we should just help ourselves to a seat. It was an incredibly intimate setting - almost like inviting yourself into a friend's house without knocking (the door was too small - they wouldn't have heard us anyway!) We casually strolled up to the bar where a small group sat and laughed together. I was sure they'd been friends since birth. I was assuring myself that Ireland doesn't have Sesame Street, so they couldn't be singing "Four of these things are not like the other!" - it must have just been playing in my head! Do we ask if we can grab a seat? Do we ask if they are serving food? I didn't want to interrupt - nor did I want to eavesdrop. Ummmm. Thankfully, the bartender saved us with a gentle smile and a gesture to find ourselves a seat wherever we'd like. We tucked into a cozy booth with wooden walls and settled in like locals.

As we toasted our first Guinness, I told Luke that tonight's experience felt as though we were sitting in the bar on the set of Cheers. "Yes", he agreed, "except everybody knows your name there... And my name's not Norm". Quite well-spoken.

Results of US vs. Dublin Guinness: I polished mine off before Luke did. Enough said!

Posted by akgearhard 02:50 Archived in Ireland

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