Saying Goodbye…on to Dublin

I met Padraig, Grainne and the grandkids at the ferry for our journey back to Westport to catch the train to Dublin. The grandkids, Liam and Roise, live in Dublin and I said to Grainne a few days prior, “why don’t they ride with me on the train, so you don’t have to make the drive?” She agreed! ….but we had one more stop to meet a relative who lived in Westport.

Padriag, Liam, Roise and Agnes, my dad’s first cousin.

As we said goodbye on the train I got very teary-eyed saying goodbye to Padraig & Grainne…my newly found family. The train to Dublin is through the gorgeous, green countryside and it was fun to have the kids along…and meet their mom in Dublin. I will definitely be going back someday…and have extended an invitation for them to visit California!

After delivering the kids safely to their mom, I hopped in Gina’s car for the start of my three night stay in Dublin. You know those friends who you don’t see hardly at all, but you just pick up where you left off?? Well, that’s how I feel about Gina and Andy. I hadn’t been to their home since 2013 ….although we do keep in contact via WhatsApp now and then…but we chatted the whole way to her home, as if it were yesterday. The first night she had invited her neighbor, Liz (whom I’d met), over for an amazing dinner…Gina is quite the chef! She asked if I liked oysters…and I don’t…but she convinced me to try them baked, not raw. I’m a convert! She made this gorgeous plate of food…just the appetizer…

I will definitely be ordering cooked oysters at restaurants now! She also made yummy steak for dinner and we stayed up ’til 1am chatting (they are late night people!)

I’d been to Dublin a couple of times before, but still wanted to walk around and go to a few favorite spots. It was a gorgeous day to stroll the streets, hopping into little shops and pubs along the way. Here’s day two in pics…which I now realize is mostly food…

little church on my walk to the Luas from their home
breakfast at a little cafe on the River Liffey

wandered the stalls of Georges St. Arcade

lunch at one of my faves, the gastro bar at Fade St. Social…foie gras burger with skinny fries

I returned to the house for the afternoon, before heading back out for dinner in Dublin at the rooftop restaurant Sophie’s at the Dean Hotel. There was recently a controversy about their swings in the lobby of the restaurant…read about #swinggate here.

outdoor deck area

I’d heard there was a lighthouse in Howth and that it was a cute seaside town, so Gina graciously offered to take me up there for the day. We walked out to the lighthouse, had lunch at King Sitric’s and spent a couple of hours just sauntering the area.

huge, intricate, wood sculpture in St. Anne’s Park on the way to Howth

Howth Lighthouse

Apparently there’s a gorgeous hike/walk out to Howth Head peninsula, with Bailey Lighthouse at the end, but it takes around 90 minutes to two hours to get there, & back, and we didn’t have time (note to self for next trip to Ireland!) We did get some delicious seafood for dinner. Gina, once again, cooked the fish perfectly….along with a bunch of potato cakes for an international food fair at her school the next day.

I also learned that I loved fennel…had it two or three time on this trip!

Thanks to Gina & Andy for their warm & hospitality. I loved seeing their kids this trip!

….on to Paris for 48 hours and then four fun-filled days with adorable Jude….

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

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