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November 5th 2014
Published: November 5th 2014
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Last night after my short 90 minute nap, I went to seek out some dinner. (And a 3-prong converter, which I obtained immediately - wahoo!) I knew I'd be having breakfast at the hotel restaurant, so I didn't want to have dinner there too. After wandering around, I stopped at a pub/restaurant on a corner and took a peek at the menu posted in the window. After I noticed at least one meat free option, I popped in right behind 2 guys that had also been checking out the menu. They picked a table by the door and I chose one closer to the bar - the only 2 empties in the whole place. I waited a while, trying to look inconspicuous. As I scanned the place I noticed those 2 guys were wearing nametags around their necks. Hello Tourists! After 10 or 15 minutes with no service (the only server caught my eye once but never stopped over), I waltzed over to the other untended table and said, "Hi, you guys are tourists too, right?" "Yeah." "OK. Do you want to go somewhere else where they'll actually pay attention to us?" They agreed, so the three of us left and went to spend our Euros elsewhere.

We ended up at this place called Fitzsimons, and they had live music! The service was great, the food was amazing, the cider was OK (Lee, cider appears to be more common here than it was for you on your recent trip, but still doesn't compare to back home), and I made some new friends. Their names are Christoph and Andreas (you can see Christoph still wearing said 'giveaway' nametag in the picture) and they're from Switzerland, visiting Dublin for a week long tech conference. They live in ski cabins at the top of a mountain. Just kidding. I did ask them that though, only half kidding. J We chatted about the states, both of them have visited before, though never to Minnesota - they hadn't heard of the Mall of America! To be fair, they've seen some things I haven't, and I know nothing about Switzerland, so they get way more points than I do. Well - I told them what I did know of Switzerland: skiing, chocolate, watches. I'm horribly uncultured. Looks like Switzerland is on the bucket list now. After we finished dinner and our pints, we shook hands and parted ways.

Even though this is a solo trip, and I've been looking forward to some serious me-time, it was nice to have a meal and conversation with other people. I've only spoken to about 6 other people since I've left home, and they were all short business transactions. (My car rental guy was Ryan Gosling's doppelganger in a suit, and was very chatty and kind, but I wasn't alert enough to care at the time.)

I left Dublin this morning and headed west to Galway. I took a few detours since I'm not on any type of schedule, and got off the freeway when I saw a sign for a castle. Turns out it was a stinking restaurant, but I still took a picture from the parking lot. There were tons of fields with cows and sheep, there were also several good photo ops, but I'd rather not die over here because I veered off the freeway and into a stone wall while attempting to photograph some grazing livestock on a hill in front of a hazy sunrise. I made it around town for a few hours and so far have only once almost turned into the wrong lane. Saved at the last moment by the observation of oncoming traffic down the way.

After I checked in to my B&B, I settled in a little then drove into the city centre. There was a really cool shopping area that reminded me a bit of Nicollet Mall (outdoors, pedestrian-only 'roads') and also a little indoor mall. Nothing extravagant to note, bought a few souvenirs and saw a few street performers (they are fairly common here - tonight I saw a violinist, a guitarist, and a woman singing while cranking on some player-pianoesque wheely-cart/machine I'd never seen before). Oh, and some grumpy lady marched up to me and demanded if I'd just taken a picture of her. I'd moved over to the side of the street to photograph the shops and she was walking toward me. She was maybe 10 feet away and took up a good portion of the frame so I waited until she was out, then snapped the pic. When she asked, I thought it was silly, so I smiled and said no I hadn't. She gave me an awful stare for a few seconds and then stomped off. Afterward, I thought maybe she didn't believe me because I was smiling and it could've looked like I was trying to hide something. I was just trying to be friendly. Oh well.

Now I’m in for the night even though it's only 7:00. My schedule is still goofed up, but I’m getting up early tomorrow for another long day, though less driving. I'm going to the Cliffs of Moher, then staying the night in Limerick.

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6th November 2014

Im glad you are having a good trip. Have fun today love the sweet shop. love mom
6th November 2014

Loving your stories!

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