The first day of this trip was one of the most stressful travel days I've ever endured. Why, you ask? I have no clue. There was no big storm, no hurricane, just a random flight delay into Chicago that caused all the stress. Apparently, Chicago, or maybe United, overbooks their flights and/or runway space because a 10 minute delay on our end for a safety check incurred an hour delay into Chicago. Which was the exact amount of time we had between that flight and the one into Newark. When we landed, we had 16 minutes to book it to our gate, across the entire Chicago airport from F to C (the very last gate in C) and we made it in time. Well, James made it 2 minutes early. I made it on the dot, but they had already closed the door and changed our flight til the next day. Meaning we would lose an entire day in Dublin. I cried, panicked, and stood in line at customer service while I sent James to the gate of another flight to Newark that was supposed to leave in 30 minutes. Miracle of miracles, we got on the waiting list, and then the flight. But guess what?! Yep, it was delayed. It reached Newark at the exact moment our Dublin flight was to close. As we raced off the plane, I accosted the first person I saw in uniform and asked him to call and hold our flight. To my surprise, he did, and a airport golf cart whizzed James and I there in time to take off. I still can't believe we made that flight and got here in time.
Our first view of Ireland was very green, as expected. While here these few days, I've learned why it is so green. It rains constantly. Well, constantly may not be fair, but there is always the possibility of rain looming. Our first experience with AirBnb went well as we checked into our room that we were renting from a great guy who happens to work for the Spanish tourism office in Dublin. It was clean, well-located and exactly as advertised. I'll admit, it was a little weird staying in someone's house, but it was much cheaper than hotels in Dublin. Another plus? The WiFi worked great. ;)
My first impressions of Dublin are that it is a very easy city to be in. It is probably the most American of any European city we've visited. Water is free, people speak English, toilets are what you'd expect. (Aka, they have seats, toilet paper, and don't charge you) And the people are so gracious. Seriously, I've never seen people who were so kind to tourists, who seemed to genuinely pleased to have you there. And you gotta love the accents. Downsides? Well, Dublin itself doesn't have the most historic sites in Ireland. It's best church pales in comparison to most churches in Europe, and most of the city is relatively new. Think Boston with no skyscrapers and more Irish pubs. (If that was possible.) Although it rained on us off and on all day, I still thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the city, seeing Christschurch, which looks an awful lot like Hogwarts, and having my first meal in an Irish pub (not counting Raglan Road at Disney World). Stay tuned for much more tomorrow!