I want to try to write about this trip before I forget any of the details. This is such a cool experience for Wade and I to spend with my grandparents. We had so many people tell us they would love to visit us in Germany, and who actually shows up—papaw and Barb.
day 92 // fri april 13
Since Papaw and Barbara arrived on Thursday, we had a relaxing morning on Friday. Our flight to Dublin was around 4PM. We loaded up and took the bus to the Bonn-Cologne Airport. We had no problems and made it through security/passport checks in a breeze! We were flying RyanAir and you guys all know how I feel about that. We had a delay, but nothing too bad.
Once we landed we got our baggage and headed for our bus. I had pre-bought tickets on a charter bus to take us into the city. We used AirCoach, I would recommend—very easy to find and they dropped us in a very central part of the city. From there we walked to our Airbnb. It was a decent place, not my favorite but it worked for our needs!
We rested up for just a bit then decided to go find some dinner. Since we had all had a long few days we took a cab. The first place we went to was in the Temple Bar area and it was PACKED. We decided it probably wasn’t our scene (haha) and headed to a place across the street. We had Thai fish cakes for a starter, and then I ordered a beef Guinness stew with mash and had an Irish Cidre—it was yummy!
We took a cab back to the apartment and hit the hay to rest up for the next full couple of days.
day 93 // sat april 14
Our first day in Dublin was packed to the brim. We 'dubbed' (haha) this day as our day in the city to explore. We had breakfast at a little cafe near our airbnb called Candy Cafe. We all had coffee and scones. They were delicious. Served with butter and jam! First up on the sights was the Book of Kells. We bought tickets online which was cheaper and there was no real line to wait in-definitely recommend. We spent about 1.5 hours in the exhibition and library. Supposedly the library inspired the Harry Potter library, I guess I could see that. After that we walked around the Trinity College campus.
The day before we actually left for Dublin my grandpa said he really wanted to visit an Irish golf course. He said it was something he had been wanting to do. Not sure why I didn't think about it before? (Also, talk about last minute!) I looked around online and found a few cool options. We decided on one called The Carton House which is the home of the Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI). It was a little out of town, but when I called on Thursday to inquire if we could even go see the golf course without being members and/or paying for a round of golf, they were so great. A very friendly man answered the phone, he said his name was Gerry. I told him it had been a dream of my grandpa's to see a course in Ireland. He said no problem and to tell them Gerry sent you.
We took a city bus about 45 minutes out of town and arrived. It was a very pretty course, but the people made it great, seriously the nicest staff around. We walked up to the club house, which happened to be a castle, no big deal. There was a guy outside messing with the carts. I asked, "you don't happen to be Gerry, do you?" Sure enough it was our friend Gerry! We chatted for a long time, then he walked us inside to show us where we could grab some food. He then came back and gave us a bag of little goodies to take back to the boys. Seriously THE nicest. We stopped in the clubhouse restaurant for some lunch. I had fish & chips. It didn't disappoint. Only sad thing was that we couldn't go into the main part of the club they were filming a L'Oreal commercial in there. Cool though! Another employee gave papaw a personal tour on a golf cart. Afterwards we were saying our goodbyes and Gerry asked where we were headed. We told him the bus stop, he insisted on giving us a ride in the nicest BMW ever. Overall a really, really cool experience.
I will never forget the smile papaw had the whole time. He even offered for me to take his picture. Normally I make him, haha! It doesn't take much to make him happy. Really, a Pepsi and a snickers will do, but I get teary-eyed thinking about the joy he had that day. A special moment for sure.
We took the city bus back to the city and had a little bit of time to kill before our Guinness Storehouse Tour. Wade found us a little coffee shop, called Wuff. Papaw ordered a fancy tea which he thought was hilarious. Then I made him take my picture with my ice coffee. Seriously the cutest. We all felt refreshed and recaffeinated.
Next up was the Guinness tour. I also had booked those tickets online. To be honest, none of us are beer drinkers really but I had read online that the storehouse was still a cool experience. I would agree. From a design standpoint the environment was very thought through. Once we were all tuckered out we hopped on one of the big red tour buses and took it back to the nearest stop. We didn’t feel like eating a huge dinner so Wade and I went to the nearest store to grab baguettes, cheese and chorizo. We made little sandwiches and ate some snacks we had packed. It was a nice evening after a full day of sightseeing.
day 94 // sun april 15
When planning this trip I knew I wanted to keep things as easy as possible for my grandpa. I booked a tour with a company called PaddyWagon. It was a day trip that left at 7:45AM and returned 12 hours later. We drove across the entire island of Ireland. We made a few stops along the way. This was a great way for us to see a lot of Ireland with very little walking or planning on my end!
We stopped in a little fishing village called, Kinvara . We only had a few minutes there but enough to walk around and snap a few photos. Our tour guide was nice enough. He was very knowledgeable about Ireland, it’s history and landmarks.
We stopped for lunch in another village nearby the Cliffs of Moher. I had salmon—papaw had beef and potatoes. Afterwards we had ice cream of course. I knew my grandpa liked ice cream but it was nice to be reminded how much he enjoyed strawberry ice cream. The last stop before the main event were the “baby cliffs” at Fanore Beach which were just a little preview of what was to come.
We arrived at the Cliffs of MOher and got off the charter bus. The visitor center is very cool. It’s built into the sides of the Cliffs. You wouldn’t really know it’s there if you weren’t looking for it. We trekked up to the 2nd cliff to get a good view. It is SO windy up there. I honestly felt like I could have blown over. I was proud of papaw, he was a trooper climbing tons of stairs and walking miles on end. You would definitely not know he was 81 years old.
Ps–the cliffs are no joke, y'all. They were even taller than I had imagined. So pretty!
day 95 // mon april 16
Dangit, Burger King! Looking back at this day I get SO cracked up. We got to the airport at a normal time. We thought we had enough time to sit and have lunch. We ordered Burger King (options were pretty limited). Next thing we know the time to load our plane had come and gone. Apparently I read the "gate closing" time as the "start boarding" time. We literally ran to our gate! They even said our names on the loudspeaker. It was intense. Just picture it. Running through the Dublin with my 81 year old grandpa. It was quite the show!
Needless to say we barely made it to our gate. Thank you to the sassy flight attendant, the experience wouldn't have been the same without you. The flight back to Germany was only an hour and half. We made it back to Bonn safely. When we got back Papaw and Barb wanted to buy us a set of Dominoes. SO we stopped by toy store on the way to the apartment and found a decent set. We rested up, played some dominos and had sandwiches for dinner. It was pretty perfect.