for the week of 07/17/16.
Wed, 07/20/16. Flight home.
We decided to get to the airport early this time, but it still didn't help. Our taxi came almost 4 hours before our flight, and the ride took about 45 min, so we got to the airport at 11:50 for our 3pm flight. But after an hour of trying to print boarding passes unsuccessfully and waiting in line, we checked in our 4 bags. Jean had packed them brilliantly, so that the 2 big ones were 22.6 and 22.4 kg each, just making the 23kg limit. Then we went through the metal detector, ate a quick bite of lunch, and still had 1.5 hours before departure time. The only thing left was US customs prescreening. In US Customs, the woman asked Jean a lot about her trip to Africa, and Jean unfortunately answered honestly and said she had packed a wooden carving she bought in South Africa in one of our checked bags. So they made us wait in this special area while they got all our checked bags. This took us right up til 15 min before the flight was supposed to leave. Jean then quickly found the wooden carving, and they hurried us out and we made the flight, but it was again a nailbiter and once again I thought we wouldn't make it. Anyway, everything went well and we had a great time in Ireland. It's a very bittersweet, or sucre sale, ending of our year in Paris. We had a great time and are kinda sad it's over, but also excited to get back to good old LA. Farewell, Ireland, farewell.
Tue, 07/19/16. Last day in Europe.
Today we went to the National Leprechaun museum in Dublin and, though Tony and the other family on the tour with us didn't seem to love it, the kids and I loved it. They told us these great stories and Irish legends, and there were lots of cool things like hidden doors and fake rainbows, and a room with huge furniture to make it feel like you had shrunk. In the evening we had a nice long dinner at an Italian restaurant and walked along the ocean. It was 3 beautiful days in a row here, which the people here seem to think is like unimagineable.
Mon, 07/18/16. Bray.
Today we took the train into beautiful Bray, where there was a cool carnival of rides right on the seaside, and we took a little hike up this hill with views overlooking the sea. Afterwards we let the kids each choose one ride to go on and Gemma chose a jumpaline thing and Max a train, where the guy who ran it had to physically push the train to get it started. There were playgrounds there too and the kids played for a long time. Dublin is so kid friendly and has kids' menus and playgrounds everywhere. Everyone has so many kids, too. The Kims said they only know one other person here with an only child. It was a beautiful day and people everywhere were just ecstatic about having two beautiful days in a row. They couldn't believe it. Margaret said a coworker of hers often says "I love summer. It's my favorite day of the year." At night we met up with Margaret, who leaves for work at 530 or 6am and only gets back around 7 or 730, for dinner at a Nepali restaurant which was slow but delicious. The kids got really tired and antsy but were basically good. They wore their matching Euro Cup Super 3 tshirts all day. Tomorrow is our last full day here and we plan to go into the Dublin city center and see the Leprekaun Museum.