It's our last day here in Ireland and we are spending it touring Dublin on a hop on hop off tour bus. Bennett was pumped because
It was a double decker. We saw sights such as St. Patrick's Church, Christ's Church and a bunch of other things. I know that's not specific but Ireland is just so old that there is so much history here and hard for us to follow sometimes! The highlight of our day and the number one attraction in Dublin is the Guinness tour. I don't like beer but I have to admit it was really good actually (the tour, not the beer). They have been brewing Guinness for 250 years..that's older than Canada! When the founder first started the brewery he had so much faith in it that he signed a 9000 year lease. They used to employ 5000 people and have residences for the employees and their families but nowadays they employ 800 because of automation taking away jobs. The tour itself is in a 7 floor building which from the inside is supposed to looked like a pint glass apparently. They have a few floors explaining the process of making the beer but it was all in a really cool format that kept you (and the kids) entertained..ie. there was a small waterfall, lots of videos, and props like trains. The third
floor is dedicated to tasting. We got there just in time for a tasting demonstration where they pass out a cup filled with a type of Guinness (for free) and a master brewer talks about to drink it, and what you should taste. Right before we enters the room there was a little stall selling pretzels so we bought one for Bennett and that happily entertained him during the brief tasting. At the end, a viking on a drum started drumming and all the servers jumped up on some small stages scattered across the room and on the hardwood floor in the middle and did some Irish dancing..it was awesome actually. Tyler was at the bar ordering and somehow missed this! Tyler also got a little flight of 3 different types of Guinness (which was included in the ticket price. As we left the tasting room we walked by the pretzels again and before we could stop it..like ok the blink of an eye, Bennett had run over to it and taken a pretzel off a stand and bit into it. We faced a moral dilemma...nobody saw him except one person in line. Our options were to wait in line to pay for the stolen pretzel or
walk away like it never happened. We are not perfect...lol...I pretended to take money from Tyler's hand and walk to the line and when the one person who saw the burglary was out of sight we walked quickly away. The next floor was a Guinness academy where they teach you how to put a perfect pint and then you get a certificate..it sounded fun but the place was getting so crazy busy and we didn't wait in line. The next few floors had restaurants and the 7th floor was the gravity bar. The entire floor was encased in glass and you had awesome views of Dublin. You also got a pint of Guinness included with your ticket (we you get either the flight of beer from the tasting room on this pint but we had two tickets so we did one of each). Periodically everyone would cheers. They definitely know how to put on a good show. I did have a bit of beer but Tyler "had" to drink most of it so was feeling good by the end of the tour and the stolen pretzel was definitely a nice accompaniment to soak up some alcohol. Bennett had said he wanted to try it so we said ok and he dipped his finger in it and was too scared to try it and put his finger in Clark's mouth of course! Clark was a fan. We then jumped back on the bus and headed to Phoenix park which is a huge park where the Dublin zoo is, and where the president lives. We had lunch in a little tea room and played outside on the grass for a bit. Bennett has learned how to roll down hills on this trip. We hopped back on the bus and went to O'Connell street which is the Main Street in Ireland and widest street in Europe. It has pedestrian streets coming of or it with lots of shopping, tonnes of people and bridges to cross over the river. By this time both the boys were asleep in the stroller so we enjoyed a donut and a quiet stroll amid the chaos of the crowds (sshhh don't tell them). We ended the day at Dublin castle and out for dinner. What was our last dinner you might wonder? Italian.
We have a flight tomorrow at 10am, whish us luck in containing Clark for 7 hours when all he wants to do is crawl.
A few things we learned while here.
Slainte means cheers.
Twenty five percent of the population died during the potato famine.
Ireland was liberated from the British in 1916.
There really are a lot of red heads.
And in case your wondering, Tyler did learn how to drive quite well on the wrong side of the road, in a manual car, on unfamiliar roads, with children crying and asking questions...
Tyler's favorite part of the trip was the coastal drive from Doolin to Galway. My favorite was either our time at the Dromoland castle or staying in Doolin...oh wait maybe also the jaunting car to the GAO of Dunloe. When we ask Bennett be just says "piggies" and well Clark, he liked the food and has learned how to feed himself off a spoon (a silver spoon of course!).
As with any trip, we've had a great time but are ready to come home (although Bennett may not agree and well maybe not me either). This trip signals the end of maternity leave for me and I head back to work in a week so I feel dread and sadness. These last few weeks have been a little love affair with my cute little family and I feel fortunate that we are able to do this. I'm trying to put things into perspective though by reminding myself that I love being able to travel and now that we have kids I have so many places I want to take them so going back to work is a necessary evil to be able to finance that!
Thanks for reading along with our travels and hope to write again soon....destination unknown.