- Idiots Abroad: Taking Small Kids on a Whirlwind Tour of Europe
- I Flew Ryanair and I loved it!
- Challenges of Vacationing With a Large Family in Europe, and More!
- German Castles, Ausfahrt Jokes and the Sound of Music
- Amalfi Coast, Pompeii and Pizza Galore
- The Long Way Home to Belarus… Literally
- Searching for Bono and Licking Donuts in Ireland
Warning! Lots of U2 references ahead. In fact, I was writing this post while listening to some of their greatest hits. All I can say is U2 and Ireland are Magnificent
After our whirlwind tour of Europe (plus family visit), we had a one-night layover in Dublin before our flight back to the States. And naturally, I wanted to make the most of it. After going back and forth, I decided against staying in central Dublin and settled on Fitzpatrick Castle hotel, located in the suburbs. Good choice.
For $98 per night (with the help of $100 Orbitz coupon), it was a fantastic deal. I won’t focus on the hotel itself, you can check TripAdvisor for that. Short review: family rooms are basic, carpet is old, but hotel has lots of character and location can’t be beat. Oh, and breakfast (12 euros per person) is once again, magnificent.
When I told our taxi driver where we were staying, he said that Bono from group U2 lives in that neighborhood. He then proceeded to ask me if I knew who Bono was. Hmm, let me think, I might have heard the name. He only happens to be the frontman of the best music band of all time! Not to mention, the guy with the coolest pair of shades, always.
So, I decided to be on the lookout for Bono. Who knows, maybe we would run into each other. Our flight wasn’t scheduled till 2 PM, so we had some time to explore the area. The next morning I told my husband we are going for a walk, but he protested and said he just wanted to relax in the room. He didn’t sleep very well and was exhausted. Apparently, my daughter is a sleepwalker and he caught her trying to exit our room in the middle of the night. He had a hard time relaxing after that incident.
But I told him it’s not often that we are in Ireland. In fact, this was our first time. Who knows when or if we’ll be back. We are going to do some sightseeing, darn it! And we’ll enjoy it, too. I didn’t tell him about my quest to meet Bono because he wouldn’t understand. I’ve read about coastal village of Dalkey which is located not far from the hotel, so that’s where we went. I’ve noticed that the entire way was downhill which meant, we would have to be coming back uphill (more on that later).
But the weather was gorgeous, and I was enjoying my tiny sample of Irish life. I kept humming lyrics from “Beautiful day”
“It’s a beautiful day
Sky falls, you feel like
It’s a beautiful day
Don’t let it get away…”
Apparently, Irish people love to sleep in. It was 8:00 AM in the morning, and this is what the village of Dalkey looked like:
Dalkey castle, located on the main drag
I wanted to have breakfast in an authentic Irish pub, but nothing was open. Eventually, we saw a tiny grocery store and decided to just buy some snacks. The kids were starving at that point. When we entered the shop (we were the first customers of the day), my son spotted donuts and ran towards them. Before I could stop him, he licked three. Great, now I have to buy all of them! And he is no dummy. When he saw that his strategy paid off, he licked the fourth one for good measure.
Armed with snacks, we kept on exploring, while enjoying beautiful coastal views:
I’m pretty sure the view above inspired U2’s song Every Breaking Wave:
“Every breaking wave on the shore
Tells the next one there’ll be one more
And every gambler knows that to lose
Is what you’re really there for
Summer I was fearless
Now I speak into an answer phone
Like every fallen leaf on the breeze
Winter wouldn’t leave it alone
Of course, it didn’t take long for kids to say they are ready to go back to the hotel. Oh, and they wanted my husband and I to carry them. Uphill? I think not. I decided that taxi was our best option, otherwise, my husband would jump off the cliff in despair.
But how do we hail a taxi? Our phones weren’t working, and I wasn’t sure who to ask for help. I saw a gas station and decided to go there. The attendant lady was super helpful and offered to use her cell phone. I was beyond grateful and stupidly exclaimed: “You are a wonderful Irish person!” Facepalm.
Ten minutes later the taxi came and took us back to our castle. Best 8 Euros I’ve ever spent. Time for real Irish breakfast in a real Irish hotel. Since the kids were full after eating donuts, my husband and I took turns going to the fancy restaurant where we dined in peace.
I never got to eat in an Irish pub. I also didn’t run into Bono. But in a way, I feel like I’ve walked in his shoes. I’ve witnessed beautiful, rugged scenery of Ireland and met friendly, hospitable Irish people. I was grateful for miles and points, and the fact that Aer Lingus flies non-stop from Dublin to Orlando, which gave us an excuse to sample this remarkable country. A land of poets and musicians, land that gave us U2.
“If there is a light
You can’t always see
And there is a world
We can’t always be
If there is a dark
Now we shouldn’t doubt
And there is a light
Don’t let it go out.
And this is a song
A song for someone…”
Aaaand it’s a wrap of my 7-part series. Finally.
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.