McKinney Gypsy Caravan

One part travel blog. One part nerdy history lesson.

Day 1 -Dublin

We arrived around 7am Dublin time (really like 3am our East coast time) but no rest for the wicked…we had a full day planned!

So, a change of clothes and off to the rental car counter to rent our home away from home. We were given a Hyundai crossover SUV with ZERO trunk space. Cars are just different over here! Lol

Now, the massive fun part- I got to try my hand at driving on the “wrong” side of the road…and the wrong side of the car none the less! That is no easy task to retrain your brain …driving on no sleep…into the heart of downtown. Lol

But…it was a success and we arrived at the “car park” in one piece…and only a couple minor scares 🙂 I’m an old pro now. Ha! Kegan and Mom “yelled” at me because my ADD brain saw a TicTac billboard that said #MadeInIreland… “Erin! Eyes off the billboards” haha no faith in me…at all. Lol

We grabbed coffee at this cool little market next to the hotel and then hitched an Uber ride across Dublin to start walking our way back through the city.

We started at the Famine Memorial. If you have Irish heritage in the US… More than likely you can trace it back to people who immigrated to the U.S. Between around 1835-1855. The Irish claim their greatest export has always been people…and it’s true. There have historically always been few opportunities for Irish farmers. Even back during the time of the famine- farmers weren’t farming for themselves like we think of. They farmed rich English landowner’s lands- in return, they were allowed to build a shack of a house on the land and were usually paid for most of their work in potatoes. The Great Potato Famine was due to a fungus or blite to the potato crop that year… And therefore, millions of Irish starved or emigrated before they starved… And what’s really sad is that we imagine a destitute country with no food, but actually there were plenty of crops still growing and being exported at the time in Ireland…but their government demanded that no impact to trade occur and would not recognize the fact that land barons were literally watching their workers and “commonfolk” starve and wouldn’t pass any laws that would help the irish people. An all too common disconnect throughout Irish history. (*Democrat alert- haha I venture to say this may be a very early case study in why trickle down economics doesnt work)

This British Protestant vs Irish Catholic feud is the major theme through much of the history of modern Ireland. The Easter Rebellion of 1916 was a major outbreak of violence that eventually led to the independence of an Irish free state in 1920.

The site they erected the famine memorial is where the first ship took off out of Dublin bound for the U.S. with its first set of passengers. I imagine a boat like that one tied up to the anchors still visible on the street.






Next we were on a mission to find SIM cards for our phones. AT&T has plans but nothing that actually included any data and they charge $19.99 a MB over their tiny plan. A MB…not a GB. My normally monthly data usage would have cost me about $2,000!

So… To further prove what crooks US Cell carriers are- we were able to get a SIM card for my phone for $20 that included unlimited calls, texts and data for 30 days.

An iPad data card with unlimited is $15….and we think everything is so much more expensive over here. Lol

We crossed the Trinity bridge to the campus of Trinity College. 



I had been waiting to see this for years. The long room of Trinity Library. An amazing site! It houses books that are hundreds of years old. Some hand written and bound on vellum…including the famous Book of Kells. This is probably Ireland’s most famous antiquity. It was handwritten and handdrawn in Latin in a monestary around the year 800. 





It’s kind of amazing, that around the time the rest of Europe was in its dark ages, Ireland’s new found Christian religion (brought to them by none other than St Patrick- a Roman boy who was kidnapped and sold into slavery by the Irish, only to escape years later, study to be a minister and came back to Ireland to spead the word of Christianity) was producing the greatest works in a very enlightened era.

Next we were supposed to walk along to Christ Church Cathedral but Norah was too cold…poor thing was shaking in her stroller, so we headed back to the hotel because really we all needed naps anyway. Lol





After naps, we were thirsty! Good thing there is the Guinness Storehouse…and on St Patrick’s Day no less. They had appetizers and live music. A pretty cool U2 cover band. It was quite the party. The Guinness served here really is better. Anything shipped out of Ireland has to be pasteurized and this really changes the texture and flavor of the beer. I still didn’t think it was anything amazing… But it was good.









Note the skill in the pour…he poured a 4 leaf clover in the head foam from the tap! Bravo.





Norah and Donna were done for the night- but we had dinner plans.

I had made reservations at L.Mulligan’s Grocer, a cool little restaurant and bar I found online. It did not disappoint.

I had a Saison beer to start and Kegan had a really dark ale.



We had Scotch Eggs and Black Pudding appetizers





Kegan had a wild boar stew and I had pork belly on a whim because Kegan ordered what I was going to… This was cooked so that the skin on the top basically became a pork rind. I cannot emphasize how amazing this was. Haha 





I’m a food porn picture taker…better get used to it 🙂

So, we didn’t see everything we had hoped to…it was freezing and rained a bit… But overall, it was a really good day! 

4 Comments

  1. History lesson, photo album, travel journal, food pics, and cute pictures of Norah…all in one blog. Loving it and looking forward to tomorrow. Hope that you get some sleep.

    • Just woke up…5am. Wide awake. Lol Time change is hard! Norah adjusted pretty well. She fought us a little going to sleep and cried for 10-15 minutes because life was just too much…ha but she should be back on schedule today. I hope. 🙂

  2. Patricia Woodward

    March 18, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Sounds like an amazing 1st day. I’m impressed you caught on to backward driving so quickly. You’re good Erin.

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