Well, Kim and I made it home last night. The trip was exhausting, but filled with cool stuff. We had a great time in Ireland, seeing Dublin, Galway, the Cliffs of Moher, the last port of the Titanic and the Lusitania (a beautiful city called Cobh), Blarney and Blarney castle, Waterford (where Waterford Crystal comes from), and the area around Audrey's house South of Dublin. It was great seeing Audrey, Liam, and the Curry family again. But, not all went perfectly smooth on the Emerald Isle. Here's a few of the more humorous moments from the trip:
1: Finding our Hotel in Dublin. It was in the heart of Temple Bar, which is the nightlife district of Dublin. There's lots of small cobblestone streets, many of which aren't on our map and some of which are only for pedestrians. By some stroke of luck, we stumbled upon our hotel's street right away, found the hotel, but then tried to find parking. That was the last time we had the car near the hotel. For some reason, we drove around for about 45 minutes down every street in temple bar but were never able to find out how to get back on that street. After driving in circles forever, we found a parking ramp, dropped the car, and just walked about 6 blocks to the hotel. Never did figure out how to get back to it by car...
2: Guinness Tour. Kim and I wanted to tour the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. We were working off the map in my Let's Go book and knew we were in the right area because every building in sight was owned by Guinness. The only problem was that we couldn't find the right one for the tour. After walking around in frustration, I asked a gate guard at the brewery where the tour is. He looked at me, pointed down the street we'd been walking on and proceeded to (in very drawn out fashion) point to a gigantic sign with an arrow on it that very clearly told us where to go. It was about 1 block away and we had already passed beneath it more than once. Go us.
3: Locked In A Parking Ramp. Kim and I stayed in a hostel in Galway that claimed it had parking for cars. After finally finding the hostel amongst the nameless streets, we saw that right next to the hostel was a parking ramp with an iron gate. Not knowing how to get in, I stopped the car in front of the gate while Kim ran in to ask. About 10 seconds after she went in, the gate opened. Naturally, I proceeded inside and down the ramp. That was when I noticed that the ramp was virtually empty and the only exits I could see could not have led to the hostel. Nervously, I walked back to the gate (which was again sealed) only to find Kim peering through from the outside with a confused look on her face. She had come out to inform me that the Hostel didn't have parking and that we'd have to use a lot 2 blocks away. So, neither of us new how the gate had opened, but I was now trapped inside with our car and all of our luggage. With only about three other cars in the ramp, I was getting a bit nervous that I'd be spending the night in the car. As luck would have it, however, I heard a car door shut down in the ramp. I ran down, got in our car, and managed to get the car that was leaving to open the gate for me so I could get out. It was a bit tricky explaining how I had come to be in the ramp without a gate opener, but they were kind enough to just think me crazy and let me out.
There were many more funny things on the trip, but those were a few. I'll try to get some pictures posted with the trip blogs but it will probably take a few days.