Back on the Plane Gang

34,000 feet. Four hours and change to go. So, so bored.

Clearly, I’m not posting this from the plane – maybe someday, right? But blogging’s as good a way as any to pass four freaking hours. At least until my battery runs out.

Ireland was grand, no two ways about it. It’s a lot of travel for four days of visiting, but since I’m the guy who drives 5 hours each way to a 2 hour basketball game, whatevs. And the payoff is great: good food, good drink, and good company throughout my trip. My brother and his wife played perfect hosts, especially given the circumstances.

Matt and Kathleen, bearing snacks

What else is there to say? Plenty…I hope – still 4 hours, and lots of battery left.)

First, and to get this out of the way for The Mayor, you’re going to be sorely disappointed by my four Dublin pictures. I’m a horrible tourist when it comes to cities. When I visit a new city, my camera almost always stays in my pocket. I’m too busy with taking in that city’s vibe to worry about capturing good snaps. Out in the country I’m a photo whore, but in town I’m all about doing, not recording.

So what did we do? Sunday started out in Kildare with an 11am Gaelic Football (GAA) match.

GAA Under-21 match, Kildare Town, Co. Kildare

Ireland, unlike Great Britain, does not call soccer “football.” Soccer is soccer. Football is Gaelic, and it’s a heck of a sport. It’s an old sport, and you can see many football rules in it – including the quick kick. Kathleen’s cousin Padraig plays for both the U-21 and Masters teams out of Kildare Town – the Round Towers. He’s supposedly very good. Of course, Sunday’s game was a friendly, and the lads were out at pub until, oh, 3am… so the level of play wasn’t stellar. Still, game play is very fast, and very physical. No pads except shin guards. Defenders are allowed to swipe at the ball with one arm, and cannot wrap an opponent up. Very rugby-like, but without the mayhem. It’s a great sport to watch.

After the game was Mass with the family, and then a nice lunch at home. We headed to Dublin around 3, and got to Kathleen’s Aunt May’s house in about 45 minutes. After some time getting Matt and Kathleen’s stuff sorted out, we headed into Dublin via the Luas, Dublin’s light rail.

Graffiti seen in Dublin

(Some graffiti from the Luas stop. I love that anarchist youth graffiti now has website addresses along with the slogans.)

Once in Dublin, we did a nice walk around St. Stephen’s Green, past the Dáil Éireann, and to Grafton Street.

Bewley's, Grafton St., Dublin

Back in 2004, Liz, Emily and I had tea at Bewley’s on the day it was set to close for good. Well, it’s since re-opened in a reconfigured arrangement, with an upscale seafood restaurant and a table-service tearoom. Frankly, I didn’t like it.

After some coffee, we headed to Temple Bar for a pint, and then out to Ranelagh for dinner with Kathleen’s friends Sarah and Mick. Dinner was great, and true to form, I kept my camera in pocket and didn’t get any pictures. I know, I suck.

That’s it for my Dublin day…I told you, not too much there. Tomorrow I’ll have the rundown of the trip to the Giant’s Causeway.

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One response to “Back on the Plane Gang

  1. Hey Nick, You have got some great pics. I love the one of the Castle with the red vines going up the side and there are a few really good shots on that causeway thing. I know what you mean about Cameras in the city, it can be a distraction. I feel the same way about cell phones at concerts or at sporting events. People get so into the fact that they are at the show or game and they start calling their friends and they aren’t in the moment you know? Anyways, looks like you had a great time.

    The Mayor

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