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There’s Quare Things In Dublin – But We’re Leaving At Dinner time…

Again with the land of my people!  We arrive oh so early this morning in Dublin’s Fair City, Where the Girls are So Pretty – and I know you all know that song, despite the fact that apparently my husband and 2/3 of my children did not.

After another buffet breakfast – featuring a bowl of grits this morning!! – we head to the Princess Theatre to meet our tour group.  Dot and Russ don’t take any chances this time, and they wait in the back, as instructed, to head down ahead of the rest of us.  We opt to stay with the group, because if they board the bus too early, the kids will be way to antsy before it’s time for them to be antsy.  Not that there’s a good time for them to be antsy, but you moms know what I mean.

The tour guide in Dublin is really great – she’s funny, she’s knowledgable, and I have to say that I find on nearly every excursion, the guides really have a sense of humor about things, which makes the trip much more enjoyable.  We visit Trinity College, but not before we drive past the General Post Office – Ard-Oifig an Phoist – the headquarters for the Easter rebellion in 1916.  Allegedly, you can still see bullet holes in the building, but this is a bus tour, so we didn’t get to see the holes.  We did get out and tour the grounds of Trinity College, but we didn’t get to see the Book of Kells.  The tour of Dublin, while interesting and informative, was probably my biggest disappointment, as there is SO much I want to see in Dublin that we didn’t get to see.

After leaving the college, we headed out to the Phoenix Park, the Dublin Zoo, the Pope’s Cross, and then we saw the home of the President of Ireland, who apparently has heard a few of the Motel Six Commercials.  You know the ones where they say, “We’ll leave the light on for you.”?  Well, there is always a light on in the home of the President to let Irish people everywhere know they are welcome home at any time.  I love that.  I think it’s a beautiful thing, and maybe it helps contribute to the very warm welcome we received everywhere we went in Ireland. 

They talk about cruising like this as kind of an appetizer sampler.  You get a little taste of a few different things, and then at some other time, you might come back for the full entree.  I think Dublin – and all of Ireland – is going to be that for me.  I love that I am here, but now I’m dying to go back and see everything I missed.

Our visit here is over WAY too quickly, and we head back to the ship right around lunch time.  Again, we have a great lunch – how can you not with so many options open to you.  We really try to eat in the dining room for lunch each time we are on the ship.  Not only does it keep you from over indulging on the buffet, but it’s just a nice way to relax and reconnect.  The kids are learning what behavior is appropriate and inappropriate on this voyage, and it’s not always an easy lesson.  There are a few meltdowns along the way, but I think they really did come away from the trip with some valuable lessons.

Anyway, Eilis, again, wants to go to the kids club, and that’s fine.  Granuaile is starting to want to spend time there as well, and they have a lot of crafts and activities for the kids to do.  They stay until it’s time to shower and get ready for dinner, which is again the Smart Casual attire. 

Dinner is great, as always, and the service and attention is unparalleled.  The shows tonight are A classical Concert with a string quartet, or a show featuring Billy Richard’s Coasters – the people who sang Charlie Brown and Yakety Yak.  We skip the shows, check out the pictures, and have a little break before we have to go pick the kids up at kids’ club.  Our night time routine is to pick them up, walk to get a snack (salad for me, and pizza for them), and head to bed.  They aren’t getting as much sleep as they probably need, but they are enjoying every minute.