August Update

AugustI haven’t been very active this month because August.

Perhaps I’ll take my birth month off every year because I still had plenty to do.

But it hasn’t been all work. There was quite a lot of serious play as well. One does not take children on an international flight unless one is serious. In our case, we packed the kids up and headed overseas to the beautiful country of Ireland for 14 days of fun and exploration. I’ll go into depth about our trip here and in the coming weeks as we saw quite a bit, but not everything. And we did it with a 7 and a 3-year-old in tow. I’m pleased to report that after visiting various beaches, beachheads, and cliffs we still have children.

Our trip began in Dublin, but really it started in Chicago because just getting the car parked and everyone to the right terminal, together, can feel like an adventure. From Chicago, we caught a direct flight to Dublin arriving mid-morning. I spent a sleepless night in the air, albeit a short one, but the rest of my party squeezed in some shut-eye between movie viewings. We collected our bags, picked up our rental car and promptly got lost. Drive on the left!

Not too lost, because it is a major city and we had our cell phones, but my navigating skills were super rusty. Yes, I am the navigator in this scenario and will be for the duration. The Good Lord blessed me with a husband who doesn’t mind doing all the driving and I take full advantage, even if it means we walk more sometimes.

While we got ourselves oriented we found a grocery store, which we would need, as well as our hotel, but it wasn’t time to check in so we got lunch instead. After check-in, everyone got to take a nap. Then, mean Mommy made everyone get up and go outside so they would still sleep that night. There was a great green space near our hotel and a park where the kids could run through some energy.

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The next morning we all slept in (unheard of at home) and began exploring the city by heading to the Dublin Zoo in Phoenix Park after turning around a few times. The next day we successfully navigated public transit and grabbed a tour bus to get a better look at the city, hopping on and off whenever we wanted.

That brought our time in Dublin to a finish and we headed North, straight to the Giant’s Causeway. You might not know this about me, but I like rocks and these were awesome. Formed millions of years ago from a lava flow, the rocks have a fractured, mostly hexagonal appearance. Some have five sides. Some have seven. They’re all cool.

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We didn’t reach the Causeway until early afternoon and by then there was no parking to be had near the site. A guidebook I read suggested finding some parking and walking to the rocks to avoid the visitor center, but let me tell you there is nowhere to park around there. Perhaps someone without two kids in tow would have more time to explore parking options, but we did not. In fact, we ended up doing a park and ride deal where the ticket back to our car was proof that we paid to enter the visitor center, which we did. From there it was a ten minute or so walk down to the rocks.

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We were right on the water so jackets were a must, but the kids had a great time jumping from rock to rock in a strange game of hopscotch. We can debate the appropriateness of my footwear another time. If it were raining, I might have been in trouble, but the weather was as fine as we would come to have in our time there. If you’re ever in Northern Ireland, I would recommend a stop at the Giant’s Causeway including the visitor center.

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