Hello from the Camden Court Hotel, just a short stroll from Grafton Street in wonderful Dublin City! Although we’ve been to Ireland twice since last Thanksgiving, we have not been in Dublin for a year, so it’s wonderful being back. Returning to Dublin always feels like returning home. I love this city with its odd quirks; great food and favorite restaurants; familiar sights, lanes, streets, rivers and canals; and both historic and oddly modern buildings and neighborhoods! Dublin is a unique combination of historic, modern, beautiful and grungy and I feel at home and comfortable here!

We arrived in Dublin Airport at around 7:15 a.m Sunday, after a white knuckled, bumpy flight that ended in a very wobbly landing. We realized why the landing had been so wobbly as we fought to walk to the car rental kiosk through extremely high winds that blew dust into our eyes and my hair into a mass of wild chaos! Compared with the hot weather in Chicago, it was downright autumnal when we arrived – grey, windy and very cool. Eventually the sun came out and has stayed out for the most part, but it is still cool enough for a sweater and light scarf. At least the rain has stayed away so far.

Bewleys on Grafton Street, courtesy Dublin Photo Galleries http://www.dublin30.com

We’ve already managed to visit a cousin and a brother (both Declan’s) and to do a tiny bit of sight-seeing, some necessary shopping and a lot of eating! Yesterday we had a very “American” moment when we found ourselves looking out at the historic Bewley’s on Grafton Street while sipping iced mochas at Starbucks, of all places! I thought a photo of Bewley’s through a Starbucks window would have made a wonderful photo for the blog, but alas, with the camera left in my luggage at the hotel, I had to settle for photo of this landmark Dublin cafe that I swiped off the net!

Ranked just below his long anticipated opportunity to visit with a his cousins in Dundrum, a highlight of Eoin’s trip so far was sticking his fingers into the bullet holes on the columns outside the General Post Office (GPO) on O’Connell Street, which were left by British soldiers during the 1916 Easter Rising. Afterwards, he walked through Grafton Street holding my umbrella as though it were a rifle, pretending he was one of the Easter Rising heros!

We ended our Grafton Street sight-seeing/shopping spree by watching a Canadian street performer escape Houdini-esqu from a straightjacket… a feat he managed to carry out by first dislocating his left shoulder with a popping noise so loud that it made me cringe! Pretty amazing “entertainment” for the mere 3 euro donation we dropped into Canadian-Houdini’s hat! Message to Kate and Kevin – there is work for theatre majors in Dublin!

Tomorrow, after collecting The Traveling Butter Dish and Co. we’re leaving Dublin and heading out west to Kilkee. Although I’ll miss Dublin, I am looking forward to being in the cottage again. Meanwhile though, just to give you an idea of how great this city is, right now, while typing this blog entry at nearly 2 a.m., I am being serenaded by a group of revellers in the street below singing The Rare Auld Times! Yes, I love Dublin!