08 December 2007

The Boxes of Dublin

Last week we had a brief visit with the Box Family from Tampa. Daughter Lindsay is doing a semester abroad in London, so they took the opportunity for a European vacation. We were thrilled they included us in their tour which consisted of London, Paris, the west of Ireland then Dublin. We only had one full day with them here, not enough! But we managed to squeeze a lot into that time. They got the official Arnold tour of Dublin: lots of walking, a few pints, some history, and plenty of The Dub's notable sights.

Night #1: Grafton street at night, in all it's Christmas finery. We went out for a pint and a bit of traditional music at O'Neil's and then the Oliver St. John Gogarty. Both bands did a fine job.

A little spontaneous dancing even broke out amongst the locals!
(pause music near top right before watching video)

Dave, Diana and Lindsay in St. Stephen's Green.

Here we are on the grounds of Trinity College, gawking at it's impressive architecture and absorbing the scholarly feel.
The boys went for a traditional Irish fry for breakfast while we gals did a little shopping. Here's Lindsay and Diana in Stephen's Green Shopping Center.
We visited Dublin Castle and got inspired by the gardens.

Diana is going to make one of these for her garden back in Tampa...the mosaic, not the castle.

One of my favorite things about showing people around our new home is you get a fresh perspective on things you have seen before. I never even noticed this magnificently laden fig tree in front of the old Norman tower.
New people also bring new ideas, new ways to have fun. For example, Dave insisted we play "ring and run" at the Garda station door. Thrilling AND naughty!!
(just teasing)

And visitors have the patience and mind-set to take great pictures. Here's a wonderful shot of Christchurch Cathedral, our next stop.

My favorite part was the tile work.
The baptismal font.

It's no Notre Dame, but it's pretty nonetheless.
Part of the Arnold Tour is the obligatory shot of our visitors posing as Vikings. Note Dave's Nordic snarl.

Evening found us north of the river where we discovered pears have replaced early fall's seedless grapes in the bizarre baby prams of the fruit vendors. And "Ten pears for two Euro" is the new sing-song sales pitch they call out.Diana and James Joyce (whom playful Dubliners have tagged "The Prick with the Stick").

We also did the Jameson Distillery tour on the north side. It was a good one, better than the Guinness factory. Three cheers for triple distillation!!
Hip Hip - Huzzah!
Hip Hip - Huzzah!
Hip Hip - Huzzah!
At the beginning of the tour they ask for four volunteers to do a special whiskey tasting. Dave enthusiastically raised his hand under our encouragement, not that he needed much prodding. They give you three Irish whiskeys, plus the best selling scotch and American whiskeys to compare. As you can see, Dave took his new job as Whiskey Taster very seriously. He did a damn fine job and was officially certified as a result.

Awww, look how proud!!

There was plenty more to the trip - including an amazing Lebanese dinner, and more than a few pubs. But I'll bring this to a close with a great shot the Boxes got of the Ha'penny bridge at night.
And last but not least, here's a goat our visitors must have seen before they arrived in Dublin. I snagged this pic along with the others above cause I got a thing for goats.


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