By the way, you may be wondering how I managed to keep Finn McSpool from throwing a tantrum over being denied his weekly moment of glory on the Blogosphere last Saturday. Let me just sum it up in three words: sensory deprivation chamber. It worked so well, he still thinks it’s last week and that we’re right on schedule for our first day in Dublin. Oh, and by “sensory deprivation chamber” I mean “my desk drawer.”
As the picture below will show, we woke up at the crack of dawn to catch the early morning ferry from Inishmore back to Ros a Mhil where we would catch the shuttle that would take us to Galway where we would then catch the bus that would whisk us straight across the country to Dublin.
Thankfully, the Evil One had cleared out of Galway so there were far fewer hormonal pre-teens lurking around town, but in a few days we would learn we hadn’t fully escaped the Sheeran curse.
The first order of business in Dublin wasn’t, as you might expect, grabbing a pint. It was finding our home away from home. Thankfully, the owner met us on an easy-to-find street corner because he then guided us along many twists and turns and, I do believe a few wormholes into alternate universes, to get to our little cottage.
After the long bus ride, Finn was eager to check in, as you can see….
Now, Mr Husband and I, despite our bargain hunting ways, have stayed in some pretty cool vacation rentals, but this place took the prize for adorableness (is that a word?). The rental was one in a cluster of little red brick cottages that used to be the homes of the workers for Guinness Brewery. I can’t imagine raising a family in the wee space, but for a couple people and a Beastie, it was great. There was even a little garden and patio!
Meeting Finn’s Maker
After cramming some laundry into the washing machine, it was time to head a couple blocks over to meet up with the famous Helen of Crawcrafts Beasties.
But wait, there were all those twists and turns and wormholes, and all these red cottages look the same. Worried we’d never find our way back, I took a picture of what our little cul-de-sac looked like so we could find our way back (I suppose a trail of bread crumbs could have worked, but Finn might have eaten them all).
After being super helpful in assisting me with picking a place to stay, Helen was eager to see our disgustingly cute cottage. So, we did exactly what they tell you NOT to do and invited a stranger from the Internet into our (temporary) home.
Helen turned out to not be an axe murderer (well, not on this day), and, as you’ll remember, soon after she arrived I was glad we’d gotten a place with two rooms because our Beastie numbers increased two hundred percent!!
Time for Sightseeing
Besides being an amazing maker of all things Beastie (seriously, check out her most recent work, it’s crazy amazing!), Helen happens to be a knower of all things Dublin (yes, knower is now a word) and has special powers to get frazzled Americans into a book lover’s dream location.
But before we headed to this book-filled wonderland, we got a whirlwind tour of our neighborhood full of tidbits of information and the sights of Dublin including the saucy statue of Molly Malone, known more correctly as The Tart with the Cart. Finn did his best to mimic her stoic, gazing-far-off-in-the-distance look.
Then he found a more comfortable perch. The statue is now known as The Buxom Beauty with a Beastie, or The Finn-Infested Floozy. Take your pick.
And Onto Those Books
As an alumnus of Trinity College (sooooo jealous!!), Helen has magic powers: she can get people into the Trinity College Library for free. Mr Husband and I later discovered another way to get into the library for free, but unless you’re quite fast and can play it cool, I don’t recommend it.
The library houses the illuminated manuscript, The Book of Kells, but to be honest unless you happen to be there on a day an amazing page is on display, it’s a tiny bit disappointing (if you’re interested in fancy books, I’ll share a better option with you in a couple weeks). For me though, the highlight was the library itself.
You’ve probably seen gobs of pictures of the Trinity College Library’s Long Room, which consists of two tall stories of books, books, and more books . Of course, with our own private tour guide, we learned the library used to only be one story, but they needed more room for more books and so threw another story onto the library.
Fun tidbit: When we got back to the cottage we noticed a picture on the wall that showed the interior of the library before the second story was added! I have to say the remodel was an impressive improvement.
I thought we’d left all signs of critters behind on Inishmore, but Helen informed us that there were stables near our humble abode and not to be surprised if we see kids racing in pony-drawn carts on weekend evenings. She wasn’t wrong. One evening we did see a few rascals trotting their cart and pony down a nearby thoroughfare, and sights like this weren’t uncommon…
And that is Dublin Day One! What do you think? Next week, Finn will be back with a tour of some ancient wonders and I’ll be back next Wednesday with a little bit of writing-related housekeeping, updates, and an announcement. Hope to see you then!!
Oh, and please please PLEASE be sure to take a minute to vote in Round Two of my book cover survey, if you haven’t done so already. The results are painfully close so every vote matters!!!