Dublin and Back

So a week and a half ago, Josh got the dates for us to go over to Ireland and do a pre-move tour.  It was for four days from them.

Let the run-around ensue!

I spent those four days running about, finishing up Christmas shopping, doing laundry, re-homed the turtle, did more shopping and laundry and then packed up everything for Christmas, plus four kids and two dogs into the Suburban.  And then, the day before it left, we got hit with snow.  Because driving with four kids and two dogs in a jammed packed Suburban isn’t fun enough, let’s add wintery mix to it!  Woohoo!

But despite everything, we made it to Arkansas, where we deposited four kids and two dogs with my very lovely in-laws, and the next day we flew to Dublin.  It was strange to think that on Monday we were in Michigan, Tuesday we were in Little Rock and Wednesday we were in Dublin. But so be it.

Sadly, I did not run into Bono this trip.  And yes, it as cloudy for a bit.  Ireland’s been having what they consider horribly frigid temperatures, or as we call it, normal Michigan winter weather.  Actually, it was sunny for part of a couple days and very much so another day.  We missed out on the snow that happened before we came and the snow that happened right after we left.  Snow shuts down Ireland.  They don’t know what to do with it.  They were explaining this to us and we said “Oh no, we get it.  We’ve lived in a Southern state.  Same thing happens there.”

Wednesday was spent figuring out the area a bit on our own, meeting with our relocation agent Declan, meeting with a friend over there for drinks.  Eventually we had to call it a night because of jet lag.  Thursday was spent talking to someone about schools, then Josh went into the office and I went off with Declan to look at houses – I knew they’d be smaller, but the reality of it all was still a bit daunting.  Not so much the size but the lack of storage and the size of the refrigerators (some of them are what we’d consider dorm fridges.)  That evening we went out to dinner with some of Josh’s co-workers, which was loads of fun.  Friday, after running around in the morning, I gave up and made Josh take me back to the hotel so I could nap while he went to the office.  It was a very good nap.  Then we went back into City Centre to meet another friend for drinks.

I have to say, I like Grafton Street in Dublin.  It’s fun.  There was a group of musicians playing “Little Lion Man” by Mumford and Sons and some random guy started doing interpretive dance in the middle of it all.  Another woman assured us that “we’re not all like that”, which made me laugh.   There were lights decorating the street, people wearing Santa hats, some group of guys wearing Santa suits (they looked like boys pledging a fraternity, because soon they were doing push ups in the  middle of the street), other groups singing Christmas carols collecting money for charities, gaggles of girls in tiny skirts complaining about the cold,boys in their school uniforms (which looked like Harry Potter outfits to me at one point),  moms with strollers and dads with kids on their shoulders.  It all made up for the more worrisome things like learning how to drive there on the wrong side of the road and roundabouts and finding schools for the kids.

For now though, I have to get back to American Standards and finish up Christmas here.  Then we rush back home so I can turn around and drive Maura to the Cleveland Clinic next week.  And then work on getting rid of even more of our stuff.  Hopefully I’ll get Christmas cards out before then!