We based our trip out of Dublin and then took bus tours from there. As I was not sure how they would be with tours scheduled constantly (pretty sure they would have hated that), I arranged for down time in between. I also realized that I do not need to be with them constantly watching over them. I gave them time to explore on their own - the deal was they had to stay together. They were fascinated that the sun did not set until 10:30 pm and took some great pics. I did not put restrictions about comings/goings only that they have to be up and out on tour days. This was their first international travel so I wanted them to have fun, but understand being aware of surroundings.
I hoped to give them a fun adventure, but who knew it would start at the Dublin airport when I had a little problem in immigration. Yes, me who has traveled quite a bit for business and pleasure and always been responsible! The agent asked me if I ever reported my passport lost/stolen and I said not that I can remember. Well, it was on his computer that I was using a reported passport. So my passport was confiscated and I was given a letter and a copy of my passport to bring to the American Embassy. Now, that's the way to start a vacation...holding up the immigration line for over an hour. My nephew and niece just short of panicking. I can't believe I remained calm...keeping strong for them.
The next thing...because we were in immigration so long the driver I had previously arranged for transfer to/from airport left. (I think I have a few international calls on my cell now.) They called me and, of course, because I was in immigration I could not use my phone. We finally connected via phone and had to wait another hour for a new driver. It all worked out and the driver we had was a chatter box and a wonderful source of knowledge.
My adventure to the American Embassy the next day was just as fun. Almost missed my appointment because it took forever to get a taxi as one of the main roads (near our hotel) was shut down so all roads were backed up. Felt like I was in Boston. Luckily, I got there within a few minutes and was taken right away. Luckily, I had brought my drivers license so I did have 2nd form of picture ID with me. I was really embarrassed by the whole incident, but the Counselor Officer explained it happens all the time. She explained when it happened and we pieced together that I traveled on the reported passport and I that I must have active passport at home somewhere (which is also now invalid). Guess when I get back to VA, I better search the strong box. So I had to purchase a new one year passport (yes folks I'm on probation sort of). I also have specific instructions of what I need to do over the next year. Enough of that. The US immigration officer had a good chuckle when he asked what happened that I needed a new passport? I do love that you can go through US customs/immigration in Ireland - it's faster or perhaps we were early enough at the airport.
I have lots of reviews to write as I tried to capture information about tours we were on and restaurants we went to. My nephew and niece did try some different food and of course we had a Guinness together. The hard part was the air travel. For some reason when I purchased the tickets via trip advisor/expedia I was not allowed to pick seats. My nephew is 6'4" and my niece is 5'9". I can not say they were comfortable in coach. When I checked in online, I was advised I could not change seats. Oh well, live and learn - I think if that's the worst part of our trip then it's all ok. Perhaps next time, we can upgrade our travel...LOL!!
I will say, I have a heartfelt moment of grief when I was in one of the shops. The kids and I were looking at different things to purchase and there was a whole rack of scally or flat caps and my dad immediately came into my heart. I know tears popped into my eyes as I always looked for caps as gifts for him. I must say my nephew looks awesome in the caps (he tried them on), but he did not want one. As you all know, most men in the US wear baseball caps (which I can't stand).
My niece told me that although I told them they could sleep in that I would get mad if they did. I had to think about that. As most of you know when I'm up I'm up. So I would take a shower, get ready and leave the room. I tried not to bother them, but as I explained to my niece sleeping in until 1030 or 1100 to me is wasting the day. So I tried to wander and find coffee shops or parks to watch people...my favorite activity.
We did not get to meet with family while in Ireland. They are quite a distance away and had many things happening. I told them this will provide me a reason to go back.
I did manage to finish a book. "THE LAST WIDOW" by Karin Slaughter. It's a thriller involving family, terrorism, murder, etc. I did not realize until today that this is the 9th book in her Will Trent series. You know this means I may have to purchase all of them...LOL! It's funny as I started a Patterson novel this morning and a character in the book mentions her favorite author it Karin Slaughter.
The daily and wacky holidays for the week...provides something lighthearted to think about:
16 Father's Day - third Sunday
16 Fresh Veggies Day
17 Eat Your Vegetables Day
18 Go Fishing Day
18 International Panic Day
18 International Picnic Day
18 International Sushi Day
18 National Splurge Day - Oh yeah!!
19 National Kissing Day
19 World Sauntering Day
20 Ice Cream Soda Day
20 National Bald Eagle Day
21 Go Skate Day
21 International Yoga Day
21 National Selfie Day
21 Finally Summer Day / Summer Solstice - date varies
21 Take a Road Trip Day - third Friday in June
21 Take Your Dog to Work Day Friday after Father's Day
22 National Chocolate Eclair Day
I am going to leave it here for today. I really need to get moving and get some laundry done as well as a few other things. I hope you have a good week where you are...say hello to Summer! Take care. Chat soon. Marie
“If you organize your life around your passion, you can turn your passion into your story and then turn your story into something bigger―something that matters.” ―Blake Mycoskie
“People who use time wisely spend it on activities that advance their overall purpose in life.” ―John C. Maxwell
“There is no royal road to anything. One thing at a time, all things in succession. That which grows fast, withers as rapidly. That which grows slowly, endures.” – Josiah Gilbert Holland