Genevieve was at Trinity College for her Spring semester Junior year, and I (Monica) flew out ahead of our family vacation to see a little bit of what she’d been up to and to help her pack up. These are our adventures. Also if you just want to jump to the photo album, that’s cool.
May 7 & 8, 2022
Monica flew out from SFO on an Aer Lingus flight to Dublin. On my flight were some members of a graduate wine program at Sonoma State on their way to France. They were having some fun–drinking everything the plane had on the way out! I arrived in Dublin on time and then breezed through baggage claim at customs because there was nobody else there. I was so speedy that I beat Genevieve who met me at the airport after about a half hour bearing boba and flower. We promptly took the bus in the wrong direction, and then had to get off, cross the street and get on the right bus. I did not properly secure my roller bag and it nearly yeeted itself off the bus if not for the help of an alert passenger. Whoops!
We made it to Kavanaugh Court which had been Genevieve’s home for the past four months. I freshened up a bit after my overnight flight and we headed back out to see Trinity and the Book of Kells. We walked around campus a bit and then off campus and Genevieve showed me some of her favorite places (like clothing store & Other Stories). Then we met Hannah Franchetti, a San Jose friend of Genevieve’s who was at Trinity for graduate school. As it was a nice day in Dublin, and those are rare, the park was full of people enjoying the sun. We then headed to Cafe en Siene for drinks and dinner. Genevieve and I continued on our adventure with a stop at Mema’s for a porn star martini (passionfruit, and so good) as well as baby guiness and another shot I don’t remember. We managed to make it to the Schoolhouse hotel where we were staying, and then headed out to Ryan’s Beggars Bush, a local pub near there. I don’t know why I was still standing…
May 9, 2022
Today we had a nice breakfast at the Schoolhouse, and then took the bus to the Epic Museum which chronicles the Irish Emigration story. On the way we passed through the “Silicon Docks” where all of the tech companies are located, and Genevieve hopes to one day work. After the Epic Museum, we took the Luas to the Guinness Storehouse for our tour. We had to walk around quite a bit to find the actual entrance but we did. The tour was fun, Genevieve got to relive her childhood playing with the barley and she had reserved the “Guinness University” where we learned how to pour a proper pint so I will forever more be judging bartenders if they get it wrong. After almost two pints of beer (hair of the dog and all that) we walked to Phoenix Park to see the deer. Huge park and in contrast to Ireland’s usual ubiquitous public restrooms, none to be found. But we did make it to a local pub for a late lunch. We returned to the hotel and got ready for the concert that Genevieve was supposed to go to with Hannah but she wasn’t feeling well. We arrived to see Peach Pit maybe 10 minutes before they went on stage, which was good because I was feeling very self-conscious as I was the oldest person there by at least 20 years! Once the lights went down of course I could just enjoy the music and they were pretty good. I also liked the chants the lads did instead of just yelling “whoooo” like we do here in the US. More like what they do at a soccer game? While the concert was going on I realized that there was no way we were going to be able to go on the Northern Ireland bus tour that Genevieve had planned, because she had not even begun to pack up and we needed to mail stuff and we were going to the countryside for three days. I broke the bad news to Genevieve and she agreed to spend the next day moving out of Kavanaugh.
May 10, 2022
After breakfast the next day, we returned to Kavanaugh Court started packing up her stuff and had lunch at a nice pasta restaurant close by. Then we stopped by her local grocery store and the guy there gave us three boxes of dubious quality. We got all of her stuff packed into the dubious boxes and her suitcase, and her clothes set aside in a suitcase for Italy, and then loaded all the boxes that were shipping into the elevator for a trip to DHL. If she had not been there I might still be in the elevator because the tower of boxes fell over on me such that I could not stand or press elevator buttons! We took a cab to DHL and then repacked the stuff into their very nice and sturdy boxes. It cost over $600 to ship her stuff back! So let that be a lesson to you! It would have been far far cheaper to buy cheap luggage and fly back with it as extra baggage, but we hadn’t booked her return trip through Dublin so that option was off of the table. Once that was done we headed back over to near Trinity and had some drinks and then had a nice Thai dinner. I returned to the hotel on a bus by myself. When I first got on the bus there was only one other person there and then an automated message came on reminding me to be aware of who was around me at all times and I wondered if the guy behind me was getting ready to strangle me but at the next stop lots of people got on and my horror movie moment was over. And I made it to the hotel safely.
May 11, 2022
I had a good breakfast at the Schoolhouse hotel and then checked out and took a cab to meet Genevieve at Kavanaugh Court where we hooked up with Hannah and Isabelle, one of Genevieve’s roommates who had offered to drive us. We embarked on our journey to Kenmare to stay at the Doire Cottages, where we had stayed on our first trip to Ireland when the girls were little. Unfortunately, Anne, the proprietor, was in Greece on holiday, so we didn’t get to reconnect but the cottage was just as lovely as I remembered. It came complete with a border collie and two cats (Marmalade and Smokey) for company. We headed out for groceries and then went to Kenmare where we met up with Carla Pollock, who I went to high school with, and her husband for dinner and drinks. So much fun to reconnect! I’m sorry she lives so far away. That night Marmalade slept on Genevieve’s and my bed.. such great service at this farmhouse!
May 12, 2022
After breakfast Isabelle, Genevieve and I headed out to a pet farm because Hannah had a meeting for a class. We returned to the farmhouse, grabbed Hannah, and then went out to Dingle because it seemed like the thing to do. The thing about that is, Dingle isn’t actually that nice. I didn’t think so 15 years ago and I didn’t think so this time either. It’s much colder than other areas of Ireland and there isn’t much to see there. But lesson learned. We had a beer in Dingle then went to Killarney where we had pizza at Milano’s and went to Dunne’s to get cat food for the kitties so we didn’t have to feed them all of our cheese!
May 13, 2022
Today we were driving part of the Ring of Kerry. After breakfast we went towards Killarney again this time on the scenic route, stopping at the Avoca gift shop for coffee and Genevieve got some cute egg cups as well as a nice stuffed lamb. Then we stopped at the Ladies View because after all we are ladies, and then in Killarney National park where we took a hike to a waterfall and it looked a lot like California. Then to the Muckross House which was as nice as I remember and to walk around their grounds and their farm. By now we were pretty hungry so we had to eat there at their cafeteria which was neither great nor terrible but was full of teenagers on bus tours. After that we went to Ross Castle but we didn’t go in because we’d seen enough castles. We went back to Killarney and had a pint at JM Reidy’s which is built into a former pharmacy and has so much charm and little snugs and everything you look for in an Irish pub. And then to a fancy but kind of strange Thai restaurant (strange because they don’t eat Thai food family style so they were freaked out by us sharing).
May 14, 2022
We said goodbye to our adopted cats and dog and the little farmhouse, and Isabelle drove us back to Kavanaugh Court. We picked up the rest of our bags, Genevieve checked out of her room for good and then, sweetheart that she is, Isabelle drove us to Swords even though it was in the opposite direction of her house. We were staying in the Carnegie Court Hotel, or at least we thought we were, but when we arrived we were told that all bookings had been canceled due to the hotel being used to house Ukranian refugees! While we sat in their lobby trying to find another place to stay their front desk staff tried to figure out what to do with us, and finally gave us a room. Yes, it was set up for Ukranian refugees, and yes, we were the only non-Ukranians there, but it was a room and we were grateful (no Ukranians were going to use that room that night so we didn’t displace anyone, don’t worry!). We headed out to a pub called the Cock Tavern and enjoyed a Guinness and then went over to Shaker and Vine wine bar for dinner and of course wine. And then to bed.
May 15, 2022
Breakfast was not served to guests at this hotel due to the refugee situation so we went over to the Gourmet Food Parlour which was a very bougie coffee and breakfast restaurant. After breakfast we went back to the hotel and checked out and asked to leave our luggage, and then we went to explore Swords. The castle was open (and free!) so we got to tour that, and then we walked to the old church and round tower and then off to see the swans in the estuary in the outskirts of town. We returned to the Carnegie Court Hotel where the bar was open, so we got a couple of pints, then ran over to a bakery to get scones in case there was no food on the plane, and caught a cab to the airport, where we met up with Mark and Charlotte. The Dublin airport terminal where Ryanair is was an absolute zoo and we had to stand in a ridiculous line for passport check and then another ridiculous line for security and then we had to walk and walk and walk to the Ryanair gates. Fortunately, we had allowed enough time that even with all that we were able to buy sandwiches and eat them in the bar with a Guinness (Charlotte’s first legal drink!). The plane to Palermo was normal enough, customs and luggage were fine, and our driver was waiting for us so we got checked into our apartment there with no problem.