I’ll have to be a bit backward and post about our arrival in Ireland before I recount our final days in the US and the traveling part, which I have to say, was worse than I even imagined. But thankfully we are done with that part. The boys did love the airport though, but getting through security, missing the pre-boarding, and trying to get the car seats installed properly made Sascha as sweat-drenched and tense as if he had been trying to defuse a bomb. I am already contemplating a crossing by sea for our return, whenever and if ever that is.
Despite being the absolute last people off the plane, all eleven of our bags and boxes arrived on the baggage carousel first, and things were smooth after that. We had two taxi vans waiting for us. One van ferried the family, while the other transported all our luggage. Our lovely drivers suggested we stop off at a store en route to pick up some essentials: “You’ve gotta get some tea,” Gary said. So we stopped at a petrol convenience store, because it was just past 6am local time. As we drove along the streets and headed toward Dublin Bay, I was able to orient myself and realize how familiar everything looked because of all the hours I spent looking at real estate and doing Google Street View, “walking” virtually around the neighborhoods where various listings were.
Sascha wasn’t kidding when he said our house was down a tiny lane, one he wasn’t certain taxis would even drive down. Gary and Aiden, our fearless leaders, seemed to take it as a challenge (although I think they were also just kindly and trying to get a weary family home as easily as possible). They boldly turned down the street, causing my mother and I to flinch at the tight squeeze. Cars were parked on the right, and the houses were on the left. We were so close that the taxi mirrors scraped a few of the houses as we made our way through.(“Better to scrape those than people’s cars,” Aiden said.) If the windows were open, I could have knocked on the front doors as we passed.
Once inside, the boys got a second wind and were thrilled at the pile of boxes and suitcases that awaited us. Unfortunately, C. and G. were playing on one of the suitcases and C. fell and got a terrible-looking bruise right between his eyes. This matches the egg on the side of his head he got earlier in the week when he vaulted himself out of the crib. Our new house is beautiful, but it is tricky to baby-proof.
We made surprisingly good progress unpacking boxes and things before we all crashed for a few hours. I am so glad I had packed some stuff to go with Sascha ahead of us when he was here on previous trips; having clean sheets and towels made things easier in our exhaustion. We do need to purchase some kitchen appliances, most importantly a coffee maker. We had instant Nescafe, to which my mom, when asked how it was, remarked “it tastes somewhat similar to coffee.”
When we awoke, it was raining so we put on the boys’ new rainboots and went for a little walk to splash in puddles. After our second collective nap, it was like an entirely different day. The sun was brilliant and when I opened the shades in our bedroom, with the window box full of lavender, I could have mistaken it for California. Except of course, we left NYC in 80 degree weather, where it still felt like summer, and here it is brisk autumn already. As a marker of the difference in climate, my mom was amazed at the geraniums, so vibrant and fresh-looking instead of the heat-stressed, withered-looking plants one might find this time of year in CT.
We put the boys in the stroller and headed down to Herbert Park. It was so heartening to hear the laughter and squeals of the packed playground before we could even see it. It was just half five and there were so many parents and kids and wonderful playscapes for many different age groups. Seeing G. and C. exploring and meeting the other children and the walk itself did us all a lot of good. In the little chit-chat I made with other mums, I told them we just moved to Ireland as of 5am this morning, to which they said, “Welcome!” And we did feel welcomed there.
After the park, we figured we would head to a pub to eat dinner before going home. We went to nearby Ballsbridge, and discovered most unfortunately that pubs don’t serve food past five. I became a bit panicked, as I knew we were treading dangerous waters. The boys were overtired already, and if they got too hungry we would be in full-on meltdown time. Even worse, we are now urban and carless so it would be a very public meltdown. We circled back to Roly’s and got prepared foods that they heated for us, and had a picnic dinner back in the park, this time near the duck pond, until a man walking along the path ringing a bell informed us the park would be closing for sunset.
It is almost midnight here, and G and C just woke up crying. They seem a little frightened and disoriented. It is going to be a long night. I am glad we had a such a good day.