I didn’t see a single leprechaun

I’m going to preface this entry by saying I take 98% of the blame for the camera not being charged. Why am I not claiming the last 2%? Because 1) We are always taught to put things back the way we found them. Jay took the camera to Amsterdam (a trip he took without me, BTW) and knew when he got back that the camera needed to be charged. But did he charge it? No (=1%). 2) After Jay showed me his pictures of Amsterdam he said the camera probably needed to be charged. However, when I asked why the the battery icon looked full, he said something along the lines of, “that means the battery is full (duh, Kayla)”. Confusing, right? Nikon should look into this. Anyway, this brings me to the 98% blame that is mine… Did he ask me to charge the camera on Friday before we left? Yes. Did I look at the fairly full batter icon and assume that meant it was fine? Yes. Is it really that hard to plug a camera into the wall? Nope (but neither one of us did). So did the camera die before noon on Saturday? You bet your ass it did. What could make this worse? I brought our smaller camera as a back up; but guess what? It was died, too.

Yes, I am awesome.

To summarize, we spent two days in Dublin and have about five pictures to show for it. I aplogize, but I am going to ask that you a) accept some of these Google images and b) pretend.

Dublin had a cozy feel about it; it was much smaller than I expected. While it was clean, it was obvious that the city has had its fair share of financial struggles. Many of the historic buildings were dilapidated and sagging under the weight of so many unkept years. Despite this, the Irish are proud people and they are working with what they have. During our walking tour we hit all the key points of the city:

Trinity College

This used to be a male-only institution. In 1904 it began admitting females and the current student population is nearly 70% women (GIRL POWER). A funny tradition that has carried on through the years stems from this allowance. At graduation, many of the female students kiss the statue of the dean that sits in the middle of campus. This dean basically said that he would admit woman over his dead body. He died of a heart attack shortly after the first female was admitted. I’ll chalk that up to girl power as well.

Statues

We saw a fews statues that have significant meaning for the Irish people, but not so much meaning for American tourists. Sorry.

Ugly Architecture

The PhD student giving the tour pointed out hideous buildings that were put up during the 1960’s to infuse the city with some much needed revenue. They are quite the eye sore for this 19th century city.

The Market

Instead of stopping at Starbucks for a hot beverage, our guide took us to a small market filled with all kinds of goodies. If I hadn’t stuffed my face at breakfast I would have ditched the tour and spent the rest of the afternoon there. They had everything from organic chocolate coconut bark to sausages to granola, but I settled for a hot chocolate (which was fantastic).

Temple Bar

No, this is not a drinking establishment (athough it would make sense if you jumped to that conclusion given our location), this was actually a hip area of Dublin. One of the locations boasted that it was the meeting place of the men responsible for starting Ireland’s revolution. PS Next time you look at the Irish flag, compare it with England’s and France’s flags…

Dublin Castle

Not that I’ve seen a lot of castles (especially if Disney movies don’t count), but this was probably one of the lamest. Plus, by this point we had made friends with John Smith, a worldly traveler from Oklahoma, and we had stopped listening. Yes, I googled him. His name is actually John Smith.

Christ Church Cathedral

I always think of Irish Catholic, but no, Protestants ruled the land of Ireland… and they weren’t very nice about it. Here is the only real* picture we got of the two of us. Our friend John took it.

* Were you wondering how we posed in the exact same way for every photo? It’s a little thing I like to call Photoshop.

This tour was suppose to last two hours, but it went on for 3+. It was a real steal.

Fun Fact: The Romans called Ireland “Hiberna”, or the “land of winter”. They never attempted to conquer Ireland because it was too cold. Pansies.

Fun Fact: Ireland is the only country with a musical instrument as its national symbol. Which instrument? The harp.

Forget Holiday Inn, we stayed in a castle hotel… AWESOME.

Not to worry, we didn’t forget about the Guinnes Brewery. We stopped there after our walking tour. I never thought I wanted to know that much about beer making, but it was actually quite interesting. I now know what hops look like, do you?

Do you care? I didn’t think so.

There were roughly five levels and your reward for learning about how to make beer and the history of Guinness was a free glass of that thick, frothy beverage. I tried it — I promise. I’ll admit that it wasn’t terrible, but you all know where this is going… I gave my free drink ticket away.

To end the night, we walked to the Brazenhead Pub (which is officially Ireland’s oldest pub, est. 1198) for “A Night of Food, Folklore and Fairies”. We were served a delicious three course meal in a cozy room above the bar. In between courses we listened to traditional Irish stories and songs. If you ever in Dublin, I would absolutely recommend this, it was fabulous.

xo

Advertisements

I found my sole mate at John Lewis

Yes, that’s right, my sole mate. A classic Mary Jane in red patent leather with thick, creamy stitches. It was love at first sight.

About a week after we landed I had a day to myself. I stumbled upon these beautiful things in the John Lewis department store. Which, on a side note, is like a Wal-mart in the sense that it has everything from home insurance (actually, wait, it might have more than Wal-mart) to bathroom fixtures to electric toothbrushes*, but a Nordstrom’s in the sense of quality and pricing. I picked up the shoe, studied the heel, checked the price, and then (despite the warning flag that came on after I did the pound to USD conversion rate in my head) I tried them on. I just couldn’t help myself. And of course, they were lovely. They made my legs look nice. They had a sturdy heel. The strap provided extra support. What more could a girl want?

So after strutting my stuff for a while (just kidding, I’m pretty sure I had sweatpants on), I sat down and thought about the purchase…

Do I really need them? Of course not…

But they are comfortable…

And my old red heels don’t fit anymore…

And this could be the one big thing I buy in England…

But it’s the first week…

And they are expensive…

I wonder if they take Discover?

You see, the only credit card that most places took (without foreign transaction fees) was the one from our joint account. Which meant Jay would absolutely see how much these shoes cost. Considering I’ve seen him wear dress shoes with holes worn through the heels, I figured he just wouldn’t understand.

Unfortunately, John Lewis does not take Discover. So I waited it out. Every couple of weeks I would stop in and check to see if they had gone on sale. I even tried them on a couple more times, just to make sure they were as good as I remembered (and they were, of course). Then one day, three months later, I made my normal loop through the shoe department and found them 25% off.

WOOHOO.

I had to buy them.

I had shown such discipline.

Jay should be proud of me. I waited THREE WHOLE MONTHS before making the purchase.

I was proud of me.

I brought them back to America where they are sitting in my closet waiting to be worn. It will be like an extra Christmas present when I get home. I’m so excited!

ps I brought my rain boots with me this time and I finally got to wear them (watch out London).

Yay, for the small things in life. 🙂

* It also has wrapping paper, nail polish, shampoo, clothing, ellipticals, computers, kindle cases, tennis rackets, sewing machines, fabric, artwork, blinds, buttons, luggage, candles, crockpots, make-up, fancy watches… It’s unreal. I’m amazed every time I walk in the store.