We got onboard our completely full flight. Ready for this? You better start singing "It's a small world" now. My dad sat next to a man and got talking to him. He's from Orlando. He works at Animal Kingdom Lodge! How crazy is that?! We're on a flight to Dublin, to later take a Disney cruise out of Barcelona and my dad gets seated next to a CM who was flying to Dublin out of JFK, who works at the Disney Vacation Club Resort that I own in. Weird. It was a nice plane. Leather seats, TVs with a touchscreen and even a power outlet & usb port! Pretty nice if I needed to stay awake, but being that it was a redeye I never used any of it. So we got settled and we finally taxied off to take off. We were 10th in line for take off. It was finally our turn and as we got positioned on the runway... *Ding* "This is your captain speaking. Just as we were about to take off our fuel pump broke and we now need to taxi back to the terminal to get it fixed. It should take 20-30 minutes to fix. Please stay in your seats as we are still in active taxi position." Ok. So no big deal. We'll be okay. They can make the time up in the air. Our flight was supposed to depart at 10:40pm... we left at 1am!! So by the point we took off I knew we were missing our tour in the morning (tuesday). Originally we would have landed at 10:30am and would have time to go through customs, get our luggage, make it to the hotel, check in, have lunch and then make it to our 2pm tour. So me being the planner that I am, I started to rearrange our plans, trying to figure out how to still see it all with less time. I had it figured out, but I was disappointed, especially since we had pre-booked the tour and there was no way they'd give us the money back. So we take off at 1am. I slept on and off for the 3 hours we sat on the plane before taking off. Then once we the seatbelt sign went off they served us...dinner???? Okay. I got the tortellini and both my parents got the chicken with stuffing. Everything was very good, but on the last bite of the tortellini I got this little feeling that I was gonna be sick from it later. Can't even explain it. I don't know if it was because it was so rich or what, but on the last bite i thought, "I don't think I should have eaten this." Then I was fine. We all went back to sleep. About an hour and forty minutes until landing I woke up out of a sound sleep (well as sound of a sleep you can be in seated upright with a bunch of strangers all around you) feeling so sick. I was going to throw up, it was just a matter of when. I went to the bathroom, but that didn't help and only made it worse, as I had to stand online to wait for 3 people in front of me to go. I was so worried I was going to throw up standing there. I went back to my seat and looked for a air sickness bag. Nothing. Great! So my mom went and asked the flight attendant for one. She gave her one and as my mom got back to the seat, she began to feel sick. She had some of my pasta! So there me and my mom are green as can be, and this green had nothing to do with Ireland. The flight attendant brought us ginger ale, which my mom drank but I wanted nothing to do with. I don't know about you guys, but when I'm nauseous that last thing I want to do is eat or drink something! I fought it though and so did my mom. I made it an hour and 40 minutes holding it back. Once I got off the plane and got some fresh air I started to feel better, my mom started to feel better on the plane.
We got off the plane pretty quick and had the nicest guy at customs. Actually, you'll see a trend here. Every Irish person we've come in contact with are the nicest people ever. After about a 15 minute wait on line at customs and literally a 2 second exchange with the customs agent we were through. We got to baggage claim, where they still don't let anyone but passengers into and got our luggage (all 9 bags!!!) onto 2 carts...er...buggies. We went through the doors where all the men were with the signs. We looked up and down the rows of taxi drivers and no one with a sign for us! I had pre-paid so that we would have one less thing to worry about. We had our driver's phone number but no euro coins to call, so my dad's off trying to find him maybe outside and my mom is getting change from a "5 note" (I feel so european) so that she can use the pay phone, while I stand with the luggage looking for the guy as well. 30 minutes later we find out that he had another pick-up after us and because we were late he had to go. He'd be back for us in 20 minutes. It's now about 12:30. I thought about it and realized that if we left right away we probably still had a chance to make our tour, if we didn't stop for lunch. So it was either loose the 25 euro we paid for the taxi or loose the 70 euro we spent on the tour and miss out on the tour. So we called back our driver and told him to forget it and that we'd just get a taxi on our own. He was very apologetic about it and even credited us back the 25 euro. Totally unexpected. So we went out and it literally took us 2 minutes to get into a taxi. We made it to our hotel & checked in with just enough time to go up to our room, change and make it to our tour!
Our tour was the North Coast and Castles tour on the double decker bus. Our driver/tour guide, Damien, was the best. So funny! "I went golfing the other day. They don't call me a golfer, the call me an assassin. I almost killed two men just trying to play." "I'm not your regular driver, your regular driver is not here because he became irregular." He had so many and it's not even that they were that funny, it was his personality. He was such a dry sarcastic that my mom & I were the only ones laughing most of the tour. He was great and so was the tour. We saw the school where Bono & the rest of the guys from U2 met and came up with the band. We saw so many sights, but the highlight was one of Ireland's oldest castles, Malahide Castle. We took the tour of the fully furnished castle, but unfortunately no pictures were allowed indoors due to the value off all the original furniture, etc inside. It was unbelievable. I felt right at home.
We got back to where the tour started (2 blocks from our hotel) at about 5:20pm. We were starving! So we went for Fish & Chips at the most famous place here...don't remember how to spell it. After dinner we headed for a "stroll" and stopped in McDonalds (oh, how I love thee!) for some coffee. After we window shopped a little more and then headed back to the hotel to call it a night.
Ireland is beautiful! Dublin reminds us so much of Boston. Half the time I feel like I'm in Boston. The weather has been great... for Dublin. It's very unpredictable. It's sunny and beautiful, you blink, it's cloudy and raining, you blink again, it's sunny again. Crazy. I would say we had sunny skies 95% of the day which is amazing for Dublin.
I'm trying to upload today's pictures to my photo site (link on right) but it's taking forever! I can't even get one to upload on the blog. It's 8:45pm here so I think things are slow 'cause this is a busy time for the internet. Everything closes up around here by 5pm, except restaurants & pubs, so I think there are a lot of people on right now. I'll try to upload them early tomorrow morning.
Talk to you guys tomorrow!