Part Two of our Trip to the Emerald Isle!
Betcha' thought I forgot all about you guys! Sorry for the delay but my cold turned into bronchitis which in turn became border line pneumonia so I haven't been much good to anyone for the last two weeks. I am feeling much better, thank you, just a touch of a slightly nagging cough which I can deal with. I don't know what bug I caught but it was a doozy! On with the trip report ...let's see...where did I leave off...
SUNDAY After a longggg walk around Dublin (it was a lovely day, sunny and almost 70 degrees!) we arrived back to the hotel to freshen up for our Welcome Dinner. We got back to our room only to find an ABD goody bag waiting for us ( a lovely surprise ). After a quick peruse of our goodies, we headed down to the lobby to meet our group. Courtney , along with shadow guides Sarah and Adam, distributed nametags and then guided us upstairs, to a private room, for dinner. Francesce meets us at the door distributing lanyards as my DH states, "It wouldn't be Disney without a lanyard!". Let me just say this...if you are a pin collector/trader, you will be in seventh heaven - no more on this subject!!!
After introductions and a few "getting to know your fellow traveler" games, we had a marvelous buffet dinner, fresh shrimp and oysters, some tasty salads, a selection of awesome local cheeses and fresh fruit, a lamb and beef entree, veggies, breads and just like any other Disney Resort Hotel, a kid friendly buffet for the junior adventurers (hamburgers, mac and cheese, pizza, etc.). It was an early night, since alot of folks had arrived just that morning and were travel weary. Our little well-rested group decided to head over to Oliver St. John Gogarty's pub in the Temple Bar area for one last round of Guinness and music before our adventure officially began the next morning.
MONDAY 0745 - Time for breakfast! The breakfast buffet at the Westin is very good. They have hot items that consist of scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, waffles and white and black pudding ( a type of sausage/scrapple like meat my husband tried until he found out what it contained. Let's just say the black pudding contains animal blood, the white does not, haha). There's a cold cereal bar, porridge (you MUST try, the porridge at the Killarney Plaza and Dromoland was OUTSTANDING), a smoothie bar, fresh cheeses, fresh fruit, breads and even salmon. Also you choices of juice, coffee, tea and hot chocolate.
After breakfast, we boarded our bus (Jackie was our bus driver for the week and he did an outstanding job!) and headed over for a tour of Dublinia (to learn about the history of Ireland and Dublin) and of the outside grounds of Christchurch Cathedral (if you want to see the inside of the church, come back in the afternoon on your own...you will have some free time that afternoon) and Dublin Castle. Traveling with us for the day was a local expert, Georgette who very happily shared her knowledge of Dublin. The tours were very interesting , the building architecture was just beautiful - we took lots of pictures. Around noon, it was time to head over to...the Guinness storehouse for lunch and a tour! The Guinness storehouse is huge, seven stories if I recall. At the top you, there is a bar and you can get a 360 view of the city of Dublin. Our lunch was held in a private room on the 5th floor which also had great views of the city. After lunch, it was tour time! The tour was about a hour long with time afterwards to shop in their massive gift store or to take the lift to the top floor for a panoramic view of the city.
I must give kudos to Disney and the guides for making the tours fun for the kids. In Dublinia, adults would look at artifacts, while the kids went off to a "secret" part of the museum. At the storehouse, when it was time for the adults to sample the Guinness, the junior adventurers got to explore hidden passageways. Our 9 year old companion loved be able to go off and do things with the other kids that we couldn't do, haha!
It's back to the hotel for a quick break and then an optional walking tour of Trinity College and the Book of Kells. The college is right next door to the hotel, less than a block away. I would say most of our group did go on the tour - how many chances does one get to see the Book of Kells!? We also saw the library known as the long room (think Harry Potter, the library where the books float in the air across from shelf to shelf). I kept waiting for books to magically float in the air, haha.
After Trinity College, we had the rest of the afternoon and evening to ourselves. On the advice of Courtney, we opted for dinner at a pub called Galllaghers in the temple bar area. The food was delicious (we had Fish and Chips) and live music was playing. We then took a long walked, ended up back on Grafton Street at Butler's Chocolates for a sweet ending for our busy day! Tomorrow, it's off to Killarney!
Glad to hear you are feeling better. Thanks for the report can't wait to read the next installment.
After Italy (Sept 2008), Ireland would be my next fav ABD. You have given me more reasons to keep it at the top of the list. Thanks!
Pneumonia is not an ailment to take lightly so we are glad you are feeling better and hopefully on to a full recovery.
Glad to hear that you are feeling better! I love reading your trip reports! Only 14 more days till we leave for our trip to the Emerald Isle! :cool1:
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