Ireland 2008
April 12 - 19  Trip that was rescheduled from 2007 with Aunt Marian.  This was a truly wonderful time visiting
with Uncle Tom, Aunt Ann and Sorcha.  They are two of my most favorite people in this world and I can't thank
them enough for allowing me to visit and for spending so much time with me!  Since I have so much to say, I
have all of the pictures on another page.  Click here to see the pics ==>
Travelling
  • April 12th
    First day in Ireland.  We arrived early in the morning and Uncle Tom and Aunt Ann were waiting.  We
    dropped our luggage off at their house and then drove to Phoenix park.  I fell asleep but there's nothing
    new about that!   Quiet night at home after travelling.
  • April 13th
    Went to mass at St. Teresa's on Claredon Street.  You actually turn down an alley and there is the
    beautiful church attached to a monastery.  After mass we drove to St. Patrick's Cathedral which is the
    Church of Ireland (good ole Henry VIII).  Jonathan Swift is buried at the church.  After lunch, home  to
    watch TV  - Fair City is a pretty cool Irish soap opera!
  • April 14th
    Went to see the Casino at Marino which was the summer home of Lord Charlemont.  I wish I had a
    summer house like this - or even a regular house.    The house was closed since it was off season,
    but the grounds keeper let us walk around.  Drove to Howth for lunch which provided some beautiful
    views of the Irish Sea.  
  • April 15th
    Went on some errands with Uncle Tommy - to the post to pay bills.  While out we went to Trinity
    College - I wish I had gone to a real college like that!  Trinity is one of the 5 universities given a royal
    charter by Queen Elizabeth I.  Also interesting is that catholics that attended Trinity used to be
    excommunicated!  While at trinity we saw the Book of Kells - my art history professor would be so
    happy.   After Trinity we went to the Bank of Ireland  which doesn't sound interesting, but it was the
    original Parliament House.  They still have the room that was for the House of Lords and you can tour
    the room and look at old bank notes, roll calls, etc.  We walked to Grafton Street which has all of these
    little stores.  Went to the barge for dinner
  • April 16th
    Special day for us.  Uncle Tom and Aunt Ann arranged a tour of the residence of the US ambassador.  
    The house is in Phoenix Park.  There are only two houses in the park - one is for the US Ambassador
    and one is for the President of Ireland.   The house used to belong to the viceroy of Ireland.  Brian who
    works for the embassy and knows Aunt Ann served as our tour guide.  After the residence we went to
    the Phoenix park visitor  and then toured Ashtown Castle.  Ashtown is interesting because the building
    used to be home to the Papal Nuncio,  but they never took care of the building so it was being torn
    down and in the process of razing the building, they found an old medieval tower.  The kept the tower
    and then planted hedges to show the layout of the walls and rooms from the Papal Nuncio  building.   
    After the park we drove to Dublin City Galleries and saw an exhibition on Francis Bacon.  Uncle Tom
    ans I went across the street to see Monument Park which is for all people who died for the cause of
    Irish independence.
  • April 17th
    Ran some errands with Uncle Tom - to the butchers and the grocery store.  After lunch, Uncle Tom and
    Aunt Ann took me to Marsh's Library.  It was fantastic!  All those old books!  I met Dr. Muriel McCarthy
    who is the curator.  She knows Uncle Tom and Aunt Ann.  They had a special exhibit on Chinese
    history books, topical because of the Beijing Summer Olympics.  Even better is some of the books I
    used for my thesis (like Lord Stanton's journal) were on display.  You weren't allowed to touch the
    books for obvious reasons unless you were a student with a special permit.  As an interesting note,
    they used to lock student in the study cubicles to ensure no books were stolen.  Next on to the Chester
    Beatty Library and then to Dublin Castle -  which is now the Garda (police) station - while the interior of
    the castle used for the government of Ireland such as the Prime Minister  
  • April 18th
    Another day out with Uncle Tom and Aunt Ann.  We went to Grafton Street and I did some souvenir
    shopping.  Next was the National Library - all of the buildings are so cool!  After lunch we picked up
    Aunt Marian and Sorcha and went to the National Gallery.  The most famous painting is by
    Caravaggio.    They had a lot of Dutch painters and some Joshua Reynolds, however, their medieval
    rooms were very weak.  In that sense Cleveland is way better.  I did learn that Bono is now apparently
    Art as well as a tax dodger!
  • April 19th
    Went with Uncle Tom to Tempe Bar and saw the famous hotel and pub.  We went to city hall and
    looked at the museum in the basement.  I found out a lot of interesting things about Micheal Collins.  I
    also learned that Henry II is evil.  We went to Christ Church which is another old church that is now
    Church of Ireland (bad Henry VIII).  Connected to the church is Dublinia and the Viking World - which is
    a museum about the Vikings in Ireland and there are some interesting artifacts.  Stopped at the Long
    Haul for a "pint of Guinness" - I always wanted to say that.  Walked home through Stephen's Green.  
    Sadly this was my last day in Ireland :(
Link to Pictures