May 19, 2004
We were up at 8 a.m. to shower, pack, and store our luggage until our fourth (and thankfully final) room was ready for us. Breakfast was had at the Keogh's Cafe and while I quite enjoyed my vegetarian fare of sauteed 'shrooms, potato pancakes, and French toast, it was hard to eat with my eyes closed. Why were my eyes closed? Across from me, Amelie was eating black (a.k.a. blood) pudding. Ahem. Moving on.

We walked around the now-familiar streets and continued to be captivated and thrilled by the sound that was triggered when the "Walk" signal flicked on at each pedestrian crossing. PEEEowwwww . . . tuk-a-tuk-a-tuk-a-tuk. HEE HEE!!! Ah, it's the little things that amuse us. We ventured north again in search of Amelie's non-existent lime green Puma's (shhh, don't tell her, but I just saw a pair at a Puma store) and ended up with a shirt from Mango in all the colors of the Irish flag for Amelie and a pair of red, fly kicks from Ecco for me. After hitting the architecturally lovely and historically important General Post Office to mail out some postcards, we pretty much spent the day popping in and out of various stores. A gentle, misty rain began as we returned to Avalon House to rescue our luggage and dump it in our new room - the best so far with a single bed suspended over a double bed below.

Lunch at the Lemon Crepe and Coffee Co. was followed by a visit to the tourist center, which was surprisingly unhelpful and disorganized, to purchase our bus tickets for the airport the next day. We began heading towards Dublin Castle when we were distracted, hypnotized, and beckoned by the charming used and discount bookstore, Books Upstairs. So bedazzled by cheap books, we spent more time in there than we intended and when we finally emerged, we forgot where we were going and ended up walking around in a huge circle before finally reaching the castle.

We spent more time in the castle's gardens than we did on the castle grounds itself. Instead, we breezed through the impressive collection of Islamic art at the nearby Chester Beatty Library (which gets full marks for its clean, comfy, and free bathrooms).

I'd like to say that the remainder of our time spent in Dublin involved visiting historical buildings, appreciating culturally significant sights, and immersing ourselves in the local culture and cuisine. But, no. Shoes, Butler's coffee, shoes, St. Stephen's Green, shoes shoes shoes.

We had our last supper at Wagamama. We packed up our stuff (sans a pair of torn jeans, two grungy t-shirts, and a pair of raggedy socks). And we tried to sleep without waking up every hour, on the hour, for fear that the alarm wouldn't wake us up in time to catch our 5 a.m. Airlink bus to the airport. So ended our stay in Ireland.

Next up: Scotland!

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