It's the end of our third day in Ireland and we spent our first evening in Dublin.
Yesterday, after getting back to sleep, we got up around 9am and had some tea and coffee with Tony and Margaret before Tony took us out to see the Kelly land and Feakle while Margaret cooked breakfast. We started just looking around the various buildings by the house.
On our tour, we saw the foundation where the Kelly house had stood before it was burnt down and the small building my grandfather and his family lived in after the house was burnt. Then we walked down the tree lined dirt road that leads to the house toward "downtown" Feakle. We stopped in the very small cemetery at the intersection of the dirt road and the main road to see my cousin's grave and those of my great great great great(?) grandparents. In Feakle, Tony knew everyone. The whole town was only a few blocks long with two stores/pubs and one church. At the church, Tony told us about how my great grandfather stood up in the middle of church, walked down the aisle, and straight up to the priest to confront him when he said some people weren't fit to become priests after having refused a letter of recommendation for my great uncle for the seminary. In the church an older woman eventually recognized Tony and came to talk with us; she said my mother looked and sounded Irish. We also saw the school, several cows, and the post office where my family tried to hide their furniture when they knew the British were coming to burn down their house; unfortunately the British burned down the post office too, so the furniture was lost anyway.
When we arrived back at the house, Margaret had prepared a lovely Irish breakfast for us with eggs, potatoes, tomatoes, toast, scones, bacon, sausage, and tea. We took our time with the meal, enjoying it so long Greta came while we were still at the table to take us to Ennis.
Once we packed up, we were on our way to Ennis to meet our other cousin, Tim. Along the way we stopped for photos at an Abbey and then at the Walled Garden at Dromoland Castle, which was lovely. In Ennis we stopped to have tea with Tim, then went for a drive around old Ennis before coming back and having a Hurling lesson from Tim. I left with two hurlies and two slíotars to take home with me. After that, Tim drove us all to Limerick where we checked into our swanky hotel. After check in we had an early dinner with Tim and Greta before they headed back to Ennis. Once settled we "hit" the town... sort of. We walked around a few blocks and checked out a park before grabbing a drink at a local bar on the other side of the Shannon. Once back in the hotel we stayed up for a while before bed.
The next day we barely made it to our complimentary breakfast before getting ready for our day. We didn't spend much time in Limerick after that and headed straight for the train station. We got there just in time for the noon train to Dublin. Then we relaxed, enjoyed the scenery, and I fell asleep for a bit. In Dublin we quickly found our hostel and checked in. We left a key for Sarah who would be showing up that afternoon and went for some tea. Only about 5 minutes after we got back we heard Sarah coming to check in. We all chatted for a bit before grabbing a taxi, in which Sarah told some hilarious and slightly inappropriate tales of her journey that made the taxi driver snicker and gasp, toward Temple Bar for dinner and drinks.
We ended up at not the best restaurant because we got it confused with another, but we ended up at the intended one for drinks and some Irish Folk Music. Sarah went home a bit early to sleep after getting in that day, and mom and I looked around some shops before calling it a night ourselves and walking back to the hostel from Temple Bar, singing and being silly the whole way (not even drunk though!).
Upon arriving at the hostel, I came online to start writing this and discovered the UCSF is accepting applications for midwifery this year and that since they failed to notify me, they gave me a small extension... Just enough to get home and finish up the app, I think. Anyway, it turned into a stressful, exciting, late night.... and I'm just now finishing this post two nights later because of all the stuff we did the next couple days - details to come!
For now, we're in Dublin; it's late; we have to be up in 6 hours to get our bus to Blarney Castle and then on to Killarney! Off to bed I go!