Minus all of our amazing travels, this weekend has turned into one of my favorites here in Dublin. I think anytime you head into a 3 day weekend, though, it’s bound to bring about adventures coupled with plenty of relaxation. I’ve recently been “hired” to work “full time” for a volunteer organization for the next month and a half, so almost every day until December I’ll be working. As excited as I am about it, it also means that I needed to make this 3 day weekend last, because come Tuesday, it won’t be an easy ride anymore.
Friday evening I had plans with some girlfriends, most of whom are American. I originally met our host, Britta, through the American Women’s Club, who in turn knows a couple other American girls that she invited. I invited a new friend I’ve made through the Club, Carrie, who in turn knew Britta, as well. Talk about 6 degrees of separation! We were joined by an Irish gal who had a great sense of humor, especially when it comes to Irish way of life. The plan was to have a “book club” at Britta’s home. The reason I throw quotations around “book club” is because it was actually a gathering of girls, enjoying dinner and alcohol, with plenty of conversation, and only some of that centering around books. We did all bring a couple of books to exchange, so I think we can safely continue calling it “book club.” It was a really fun evening, but it didn’t stop there. A few of us met Matt and some of his friends out for continued enjoyment lasting into the wee hours of the morning. It was easily one of the funnest Fridays I’ve had here.
On Saturday, Matt and I were pretty wrecked from the previous evening and the resulting lack of sleep, so we just took it easy around the house. However, I’m going to bypass Saturday, because even though I truly enjoy Matt’s company, nothing could make up for my Oklahoma Sooner’s loss. Enough said.
We awoke on Sunday to beautiful, sunny skies. Even though the temperature here is already pretty frigid, the lack of rain on a weekend means there is no excuse to stay in. We decided to head into town for a little shopping and to check out an old jail I’ve been interested in seeing. City Centre on the weekends is quite the spectacle. Street performers are everywhere; there are musicians, dancers, human statues, jugglers, etc. My favorite is a man that looks like the wind is pushing him back. He stands completely still unless someone drops money in his hat, when he drops his briefcase to startle them, then smiles and picks it back up. Another favorite of mine on Grafton Street are the flower stands on every corner. They are no small thing, either. Matt and I made our way to North Face to check out the jackets, since my birthday request was a good North Face jacket. We were successful, and I walked out with a charcoal gray ski jacket with a furry hood. Happy birthday to me!
We went to the Kilmainham Gaol next, a former prison that now serves as a museum. I’ve been interested in seeing this for awhile, and I hoped that it wasn’t a dud like the Conciergerie in Paris. Though it wasn’t much more than old cells, old stonework, and narrow passageways, the tour itself was rather interesting. The prison housed some of Ireland’s most famous rebels during their war for independence from Great Britain. Our tour guide also told us that during the Irish Famine, people preferred the jail to their starving lives, because then it at least meant a meal, clothes, and a blanket. We saw the original cells of famous rebels who were executed and a mural painted by Grace Gifford – the wife of Joseph Plunkett – still exists on the back wall of her old cell. It was cold throughout the entire tour as the place isn’t heated, so we kept our jackets on the entire time. Other than that, though, it was an interesting tour and was definitely worth learning a bit about Irish history.
We finished up our Sunday at the Rockfield with a few pints and a yummy dinner. Matt loves their food, because they happen to have fajitas that taste just like they were made in Texas. We watched a bit of NFL football on our computer and just relaxed. Today, we bought a new plant for our apartment along with some new home decor. We have a couple Halloween movies downloaded to begin our countdown to the festive holiday, so it’s looking like a lazy Monday. I do love 3 day weekends, and this weekend did not fall short.