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 ==>
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.
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!
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.
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
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
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
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!
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 :(