Dublin Day 2

As I mentioned at the end of my last post, we got a bit of a late start to our second day.  Jet lag is a killer, man.  Anyway, after we finally got around to getting out of the door around 1230/1 we headed to  back out into the rain for a tour of the city.

We headed across the Ha'Penny Bridge (right down the street from where we were staying).  We didn't spy any trolls though.  

Our first stop was Trinity College.  However, we took a little detour.  We first came across this Church thinking it was Trinity College.  Wrong.  This is Christ Church Cathedral.  What a gorgeous church.  Once I stepped off the bus from the airport I was immediately blown away by the gorgeous architecture of the different churches and buildings in the city and Christ Church Cathedral was no different.  As I mentioned in my last post, this was my first time in this part of the world and I was - and still am - amazed at how much detail is in the architecture and all without modern technologies.  Just amazing!

PINK DOOR!!! I want a pink door.  
Anyway, we walked in a few more circles (this was the kind of detour that took us about an hour to find Trinity College but only 5 minutes to get home) but finally found Trinity College.  I was just thankful for a dry place to hide out for a few hours.  Now, I know the draw to Trinity College is to see the Book of Kells, which was really cool and beautiful to see, but I was more excited to see the library. In case you do not know (or may have forgotten) I am kinda obsessed with Harry Potter.  Pretty much anything Harry Potter and I get excited.  So I was thrilled to be in a place that inspired the Hogwarts library for the all the movies.  Since cameras were not allowed I was not able to get a photo with my DSLR but being the sneaky photographer I am, the trusty iPhone saved the day yet again.  

Can't you just see Hermione searching for one of her books to help save Harry's and Ron's asses? 
Since it was still rainy and cold we decided to next head to Dublin Castle.  Because it was later in the afternoon when we got to the castle the tours were over but the nice reception/ticket collector lady suggested we head over to the Chapel Royal that are also on the grounds. What a beautiful building.  Again, I was completely blown away by the detail that went into building it and hundreds of years ago - and hundreds of years before America was even "discovered."  A fun little fact though, Chapel Royal was the set for scenes of The Tudors - a Showtime series about King Henry VIII and all his wives.  I just finished the series before our trip so I was pretty excited to learn that.  Look familiar?  

Since it finally decided to stop raining for a bit we decided to walk around the grounds a little (and search for a toilet). 

We decided Friday night was to be our night out since we had an early flight Sunday morning (that was an adventure that I will tell you more about in a later post...) so we headed back to the apartment after a pit stop for wine, beer, champagne and snacks for pre-gaming with UNO before heading to The Temple Bar for a night out on the town.  

Euros are so much prettier than American money. 
I quit my job of 6 years and my last day was the day I left for our trip.  It was decided without talking to any of us that each room on our floor was to have a purple wall (must have been cheap because who else buys Purple paint for walls?).  It was hideous and continued to be running joke among everyone I worked with.  But go figure, our apartment we stayed in had purple walls.  I seem to not be able to escape hideous purple walls. 

Guinness 'staches
group shot
For grandmal? 
And of course a night out would not be complete with a feast of greasy deliciousness.  

The next day was slow going as some of us (cough Melissa cough) were pretty hungover but we were able to accomplish a lot and was my favorite day of our weekend in Dublin.  

Stay tuned...


Ireland Day 1

Okay, I am finally feeling motivated to upload some photos from my trip to Ireland & Scotland with my sisters in June - only took almost 2 months.  Oopsy Poopsy.  I took close to 1500 photos on my DSLR alone and about 600 with the trusty iPhone so needless to say I have been pretty overwhelmed.  But about a week ago I decided to just tackle about 10, at least, photos a day and have been making considerable progress.  I have also decided to share my trip with you per day rather than the entire thing.  That would be one long post and quite honestly I would never read a post that long.

So, without further adieu....

My sisters, Cameron and Melissa, and I met in Philly from our different cities and took the red-eye over to Dublin.  I am not a huge fan of flying - but have gotten so much better - so I did not sleep but maybe an hour.  I'm pretty sure a lot had to do with the excitement of my first trip across the big pond.  
Excited for our Brantley adventure. 
Early morning view as we descend into Dublin
Our reason for heading to Ireland & Scotland was to visit Melissa's (left) two best friends from college, K and Barry (and Barry's fiance).  Since there was not a direct flight from Philly to Glasgow (where they live) we chose to spend a long weekend in Dublin where we met up with K and her Belgian boyfriend, Bert.  

We landed in Dublin early Thursday June 7th exhausted and hungry.  We got through customs (WHERE I GOT MY FIRST PASSPORT STAMP!!!!), met up with K and Bert then headed outside to catch a bus to get to our hostel.  

And of course it was raining and COLD.  The picture does not do it justice but coming from sun and temperatures in the 90s to rainy and the 50s was a bit shocking.  I know, i know.  HTFU.  

Right off the bat we learned how friendly the Irish are.  We sat across from a sweet couple on the bus (after waiting what felt like FOREVER to get on the bus) who told us of different sights we should see.  They asked us where we are from.  Melissa said, "America."  The man chuckled and I said, "I know from America but what part?"  Haha that gave us all a good laugh.  

We got off the bus and immediately started looking for our apartment/hostel we would be staying in the for the weekend hoping to get rid of our luggage.  Not knowing where you are in a strange city is not fun but not knowing where you are in a strange when it is rainy and cold is just horrible.  So I just took pictures of everyone else trying to figure out where to go:)

"So I was in my map." Anyone get that reference? 

And WE FOUND IT.  If you are ever in Dublin and need a place to stay for a relatively cheap price, Dublin 1 Apartments is great.  Our apartment was just around the corner from here.  Within walking distance of anywhere you would want to see in the city and very close to Temple Bar where all the happening bars are.  

Since we were not able to check into our apartment/hostel until 3 (this was at like 10am) we decided to walk around the city for a place to grab some breakfast/early lunch.  This was the first place that was actually opened (I didn't realize bars ever closed in Ireland hehe).  We all ordered a beer - afterall we were on vacation - and stuffed our faces with delicious food.  
Glaway Hooker is a type of sailboat used by fishermen.  Get your mind out of the gutter.  
Drenched but happy with our breakfast beers:)
With our bellies full and sugar rush from the beer we headed back out into the rain to head to the Guinness Factory.

Dublin love

Dublin reflection
I love the different colors!
I also love cobble streets.
Guinness reflection.
We thought we were close since we saw the Guinness truck.  But then we remembered we were in Dublin and Guinness is everywhere (duh!).

We thought Guinness was closer than it actually was so we decided to head to another pub to get dry while we figured out how much longer we actually had, a bathroom break and more beer.  It is amazing how much energy just one beer can give you.  

Dublin sisters with delicious hard lemonade.  
Dublin cheers!
Because it was raining pretty much the entire day I was not able to break out the DSLR until it stopped and we were safely under shelter.  But WE FOUND GUINNESS!  I am not sure if it was because we were all pretty tired or what but none of us found the Guinness tour to be worth 15 Euros it was.  The only cool part was the "free" Guinness at the Gravity Bar at the top of factory with a view of the entire city from every direction you looked.  Unfortunately, it was - and I like I have been saying - it was a pretty dreary day so the view was not as nice as I would have liked.  But hey, I'll take what I can get.  After all, I was in Dublin drinking a Guinness in the Guinness Factory.  Doesn't get any cooler than that (even if the Guinness was 15 euros).

Crowded Gravity Bar. 

Isn't this old guy the cutest?  I'm not sure what it is about old people who appear to be alone but I just want to go up and give them a hug.

Cameron and Melissa's new friends.  Apparently these guys go every Thursday dressed up as Monkeys.  Who knows.  

After the tour we unanimously decided to pick our stuff up and finally settle into our home for the next 2 days.  After a long day of walking around in the wet and cold I was happy to be in dry clothes in a warm place.  We ordered pizza (which had corn on it!) and had a few beers until we decided to finally head to bed.  Unfortunately, for the jet-lagged three Brantleys and due to the loud drunken foreigner screaming outside our window we got up just three hours later wide awake.  We stayed up for about an hour, crawled back into bed and did not wake up until the 11am the next day.

Jet-lagged Brantleys 
Stay tuned...