Going to Ireland is the first overseas trip for me!
My Dad dropped us at GRR around 2pm for check-in to our flight. First flew to DTW, then overnight to CDG on an Airbus 330. Had to go back through security in CDG, where we had a friendly agent (he told me I was gorgeous) and then a scary TSA agent lady who threw away our water from the plane #whyohwhy… Had a bit of a layover and attached to the wifi, which was sponsored by AXA (Corrie’s broker-dealer)! Then finally boarded our little tiny stinky bumpy commuter plane to Dublin. Arrived in one piece, then got our Nissan Micra gray rental from Dan Dooley – had opted for the CDW inclusive insurance coverage ahead of time and it turned out to be some of the best money we ever spent!! More on that later… now into the drizzly day!
Our vacation package included a tour of the Guinness Storehouse, so we turned our Micra towards downtown Dublin. Had a bit of a rough start, because the parking lot was full and once we finally took several turns (while driving on the opposite side of the car and the opposite side of the road – yikes) and found some street parking, we couldn’t actually pay because we only had large bills and no coins to feed the meter. Bad planning and bad luck all around, so we left the big city and headed for Bru na Boinne.
On the way, Corrie 100% freaked out and I pulled the car into a gravel lot so she could get out and catch her breath (she’s still super sorry about that, btw). The lovely car park was next to a field with grazing cattle (nice) but also 2 burnt husks of cars (what?!?).
Finally made it to Bru na Boinne and grabbed tickets for the 16:15 tour of Newgrange. Had a few minutes to kill and starting to feel woozy from lack of sleep and unfamiliar roads, so got veggie soup, brown bread, and water at the tea room. Went over the bridge to the bus stop and chatted with a friendly bus driver who told us about the bus and train strike – turns out that’s why we couldn’t find parking in Dublin – and then his take on Ireland’s economy and tourism. Had our RAINY tour of Newgrange. Could barely hear the guide past the rain/wind/hail combo, but it was impressive and super cool! Walked around the outside of the tomb a couple of times once the tour of the inside was over.
Relatively short (12km) drive to Drogheda to our hotel. Thought we’d charge our phones for a bit and get cleaned up and head to dinner, but we fell asleep for the whole night. Oops…