The Last Trip to Dublin in 2012

My hostess, bridesmaid and great friend Lauren!

My hostess, bridesmaid and great friend Lauren!

Happy Monday! I’m only feeling chipper this morning because of coffee and the extra 30 minutes I gave myself to get ready so that I wouldn’t be rushing out of the house. This is actually one of my New Year’s resolutions – to get up a little earlier in the morning in an attempt to start the day right. I feel like it will make me more positive and productive. So far, I use this time to feed the cat (and myself) and then play with the cat under the warmth of a soft blanket. You gotta start somewhere!

This past weekend we had absolutely beautiful weather. However, when I woke up today and as we travelled to work, it was freezing. Well, freezing by Spanish standards – really, really cold but still sunny. This cold front got me thinking about what I wanted to share today. Whenever I think of cold, I think of Dublin, and last November I took an epic trip up to my old home that was never documented here. Better late than never, right?

I’d caught wind last October that a surprise birthday party was being thrown for one of my girlfriends and that the whole gang would be attending. What a better way to see all of my old buddies in one place! I called up my good friend Lauren to see if she’d have me for yet another weekend, and not surprisingly, she said yes. See, I always stay with Lauren, she’s come to visit me in Spain, and after my engagement to Matt, she became one of my bridesmaids! So it was really a no brainer. 🙂

The weekend tripled as a birthday celebration for my friend, a way for me to celebrate my birthday (I went up the weekend after my birthday), and an engagement celebration with Lauren since she wouldn’t be able to make it to the parties in the States like my other friends and family. We started the weekend with great one-on-one catching up – Lauren cooked us dinner, the two of us had drinks at a pub around the corner that played some great, classic music, then we finished the evening by meeting her boyfriend, Andrew, at another pub for a Guinness and a bit of live Irish jams.

Saturday was the surprise party and boy was it fun! Lauren and I started the night by having dinner with Andrew at a fantastic Japanese restaurant in the city. We had a big meal, sake and then were off to Eli’s for the bash. To say that our friend was surprised is an understatement. When she entered the room and saw everyone, the look of shock and happiness was just so genuine that it made me so glad to have been there to see it. From there the evening just got better. Not only did I get to party with all of my old friends from when I lived in the city, I even made new friends in the process. We laughed, we visited and the next morning at brunch we had some pretty funny stories to retell.

All in all it was a fantastic weekend. I enjoyed dinner out the next night with my good friend Karen, with whom it is always wonderful to see. My lovely hostess even planned a day out for the two of us that included…wait for it…wedding dress shopping! Obviously, I did this again with my Mom and sister while I was home, but it was great to be able to partake in some festive wedding traditions with one of my bridesmaids and to get an initial idea of what I like.  I was a bit bummed when the weekend was over; I always get a feeling of nostalgia when I visit Dublin. I had such a wonderful experience when I lived there that when I go back for a visit, it feels like I’m going home in a small way.

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