Our first 2 full days in Dublin have been cold, windy, and alternately rainy and sunny. Monday, SNG and I got to roam free while the grandmothers took the kids to a playground at St Stephen's Green.
In the morning, we did the historical walking tour. This is a tour that is led by historians from Trinity College, and gives you, in about 2 hours, the history of people in Ireland. I had done this tour 3 years ago, and it was easily the best tour I've ever been on, and the second time around was just as good. Different historian this time, and so the stories, perspectives, and analysis were different. Our tour guide, BTW, got his doctorate at Trinity, then was on faculty at Notre Dame (in Indiana), and decided he wanted to come back home so he's back in Dublin. I'm sure he'd prefer something more lucrative and stable than leading history tours, but it was to our benefit to have such a knowledgeable guide, and his thoughtful discussion of the factors leading to what we see in Ireland today was something you don't just find Googling Dublin.
After the tour, we visited the book of Kells (meh) and the Trinity College library Long Room. Oh. Wow. What a library. It is breathtaking.
Today, we had the kids while the grandmothers went on the history tour, etc. We took the kids to the playground again (they can never get too much of a good playground. I can. But, that's why we switch off days!), and Jambuca was tired and grumpy before lunchtime. We went to Bewley's for lunch, and I have to give the kids credit. They've been away from home for 5 days, been to 3 different cities in that time, endured a 5-hour time change, weird food that they don't like very much, and some pretty crazy travel/sleep arrangements. You'd never know it to look at them. I am so proud. They sometimes get a little noisy in restaurants, but I think they are doing better than I expected under the circumstances.
By afternoon, they were ready for some down time, so we came back to the apartment and they played with their toys, while SNG and I took turns either napping on the couch or going out to walk around town alone. Each of us visited Merrion Square gardens and the Oscar Wilde memorial. Merrion Square is prettier than St Stephen's Green, and less crowded. Their playground is kind of sad, though. For my own time, I'd prefer Merrion Square. With the kids, it's definitely Stephen's Green.
We've been cooking dinner in the apartment each night, and the kids get to watch the bedtime BBC show, on their Ceebebees channel, which is called "In the Night Garden." It is Just. Plain. Horrible. I can't begin to describe how inane this show is, people. But my kids are completely entranced. I do not get it. Apparently, I'm not meant to.
Tomorrow, SNG and I are heading out of Dublin for a bus ride to Newgrange, in the Bru Na Boine (Boyne valley). Newgrange is a UNESCO World Heritage site that is older than Stonehenge or the pyramid at Giza. I'll let you know how it goes!