To Dublin or Not to Dublin?

Seasoned travelers will give you a multitude of opinions on where Dublin ranks as a destination for international travel. The majority of the people I have know have said skip it or keep it to a few days. After a bit less than 24 hours I can see why. Now let me
unnameddispel any opportunity for people to say that this vacation is not starting well or that I am judging a city that has been here for millennia on one day, but let’s just say it is not the Ireland that my beautiful Irish bride had in her vision. That Ireland lies on the other side of this next 24 hours in Dublin. More of the rolling hills and less of the Viking Splash amphibian vehicle full of viking hat wearing tourists sort of Ireland.

When we planned our trip we slated Dublin as our first stop mostly because that’s where the plane lands. We also chose it with intention because our wedding photographer Christina Brosnan had promised us a photo shoot in Ireland if we ever visited Dublin. Now if you know my bride and her love for photo shoots then you know that not too many years would pass before that promised would be fulfilled. One year to be exact. So as we prepare for our photo shoot tomorrow (which by the way will be in there rolling hills not in the city proper) we have a couple of days to soak up the sights of Dublin. Yesterday in our exhausted arrival state some important discoveries were made.

unnamed-1We discovered that Jim can in fact can drive a stick shift from the right side of a vehicle with his left hand on the wrong side of the road and only stall three times. Only once on the expressway. We discovered that the Hairy Lemon has one of the finest pints of Guinness in the city and that my cousin Harry Davis goes there every time he is in London. We discovered that Jim would get choked up while standing in the Post office which was the sight of the 1916 uprising that led to Irish independence because he realized how much it would have meant to his Dad. We discovered that we can get through 32 hours without sleeping and without killing each other if we respect the fact we are both tired, hungry, thirsty or whatever and that the world is not ending for us as a result of any of those inconveniences. We discovered that sometimes “tourist traps” like Gogarty’s are exactly where we tourists might need to unnamed-2go to hear some delightful Irish music while taking a load off for a spell in Temple Bar. We discovered that a lot of Dublin is a lot like the city we live in back home with its Starbucks, McDonald’s and ads on Busses. Nothing says Ireland quite like Molson Canadian, eh?

We also discovered that for this trip at least two days in Dublin is enough so when we got back to our somewhat mundane hotel after a really long day we notified the desk clerk that we wanted to check out on Wednesday instead of Thursday. She said no problem but that we would have to go on line and change our booking since we booked with a third party vendor. Now we could do that if the hotel’s internet actually worked, but…

So then Sarah (the desk clerk) did a very Irish Person thing. She brought us behind the desk and logged us onto her computer so we could do just that. When we couldn’t do it online she called from her phone while Christiana sat next to her behind the reception desk. In no time we had our booking amended from three nights to two and the Ireland on the other side of Dublin just got 24 hours closer. Yay! While wifey was finalizing all the details I ran off to the Dunnes store to grab a bottle of wine and a Cadbury bar. When I got back twenty minutes later Christiana was still sitting behind the desk chatting with Sarah about her family and our wedding. Sometimes you find the taste of your vacation in the strangest places. Everyone always says Ireland is about the people. Even at the end of a long day at the mundane hotel the truth rings loud and clear…


About Jim Herbert

I've been wanting to write my whole life. By age 45 it had amounted to nothing more than a storage locker of half full journals and a lot of unfulfilled dreams. Then Paris in the fall of 2011 happened. It was the catalyst I needed to consistently blog. At first I had a hard time hitting the publish button, but now two blog sites and over 300 posts later I'm hitting my stride. I'm also a budding speech writer. I've recently been heavily involved in the Chicago Storytelling scene and have also won the Chicago Toastmasters Area 66 International Speech Contest. Check out our website at for more details about the amazing things that are happening in my life. A book or two are nearing completion. With another Paris trip on tap for Easter of 2015 I can only imagine that there are Infinite Possibilities on the horizon!!!
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