We expected our ferry from Holyhead to Dublin to be like the one we took once from Seattle to Bremerton – a floating metal box filled with hard wooden benches and cold drafts (breezes, not beers). But to our glorious surprise, this one was more like a cruise ship, filled with plush couches and armchairs, coffee bars, restaurants, shopping, and even an arcade. We lounged on a plush couch for the three-hour crossing, across from a couple from London in plush armchairs who were going to Dublin to visit their daughter. Outside, the light gray of the sky blended into the dark gray of the water. Whenever we tell people we’re spending the summer in Britain and Ireland, they always laugh at the word “summer.”

Our first day in Dublin was a blustery non-summer day, so we spent it exploring the museums of archaeology and natural history, and the national gallery of art, all for free!

In the museum of natural history we found glass cases full of stuffed birds…


…a skeleton of a Giant Irish Deer, which went extinct after the last ice age…


…intricate glass models of sea slugs…


…a huge crab that Karen tried to eat…


…a flying humpback whale skeleton…


…more glass cases filled with various stuffed stuff…




…and a mountain goat to which Ryan compared his beard.


Later in the National Gallery, Ryan became as excited and childish as Karen had been meeting Jessie Cave, for here before our very eyes (for free!) were paintings by Renoir…






…Van Ruisdael…






…a collaboration between Brueghel and Rubens…


…Van Gogh’s “Rooftops of Paris”…


…and a Picasso and a long-lost Caravaggio, which we weren’t allowed to photograph. Did I mention all of this was free??

We couldn’t find a couch surfing host in Dublin (for some reason it’s harder in big cities), so we stayed in a hostel, which was cheap and had a kitchen where we could cook our own food.

Next day we met up with our local friend Kevin and his family (wife Elaine, kids Eve and Callan) for a picnic in Phoenix Park, the largest city park in all of Europe. It was a spectacular picnic. Chicken drumsticks, tiny sausages, three different varieties of sandwich, crisps (potato chips), and Guinness in its native country. We have photos of neither park nor picnic because this time our hands were busy shoveling delicious food. The sun even came out, and it was actually warm, like a real summer day, but disaster was about to strike. It was the worst kind of disaster. It was…

The Guinness Disaster:

There sat the happy group upon picnic blankets square and bright, feasting upon rich foods and drinks, swapping tales of yore and yon, when suddenly from somewhere, as if from nowhere, and all at once, a football (soccer ball) swooped in upon the small utopia and blasted, exactly perfectly, as a lightning bolt aimed by Zeus himself, Karen’s cup of Guinness across the entire picnic.

After much gnashing of teeth and sorrowful mourning of the lost Guinness, we eventually pulled ourselves together and salvaged the day, ever watchful for stray footballs (soccer balls). For dessert, Kevin and family brought miniature apple pies “to make us feel more at home.”

This seems a good time to mention our music. Kevin runs a record label out of Dublin, and released our first Candy Claws album, called “In the Dream of the Sea Life,” back in 2008. After all this time we finally got to meet in person. We’ve just released our latest album on June 25. Click around on candyclaws.com to listen to all our music for free (for free!).

That’s it for Dublin – museums and a picnic. See you in County Wicklow!

  – k&r


2 thoughts on “Dublin

  1. The museum displays look like something that might have been at Hogwarts….or at least down Diagon Alley or at least the wrong alley Harry went to with the flue powder.

    Seems you are all enjoying your hunt for Harry Potter. I’m enjoying your posts.


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