We decided to cram in a last minute visit trip to Dublin before submitting our visa applications, at which point we wouldn’t be able to visit the country until they were approved- and we were being quoted a 14 week turnaround. A visit trip made sense, and we’re thankful we did it. The trip was great, although not without its hiccups.
Flying there we had a layover in San Francisco. The weather in SF was horrendous – strong winds, heavy rain, and low visibility. We ended up getting delayed for about four hours leaving Portland, then after a mad dash across the SF airport to catch our connection to Dublin, we showed up at the gate not even 20 minutes after everyone boarded. Early enough to where we could see the plane sitting there within a stone’s throw, but just late enough to where they wouldn’t open the gates to let us board. My work ended up getting us a hotel close to the airport and we took a Lyft into South San Francisco for some Mexican food. I can’t visit the Bay Area without hitting up a local taqueria, of course.
We caught a late afternoon/ early evening flight to Dublin the next day and were so thankful when we finally landed. Right off the bat I was struck by the number of folks in the airport with tech company swag. A Google shirt here, Facebook and Indeed backpacks there… it felt a bit like we had never left San Francisco. We caught the bus to our hotel, cleaned up, then hit up a cafe for some locally sourced Irish caffeine prior to the first of two tours we’d have with our relocation agent that trip. I still don’t understand why drip coffee isn’t a thing in Europe, and you have to order dinky little espresso shots or a fancy cappuccino to get your coffee fix, but I digress. We had a great tour with our relocation agent, but we were exhausted from traveling. I took one picture that entire day, and it was a shot of Enya’s castle in the neighborhood of Dalkey. From her driveway. In the backseat of a car. We’re off to a good start. We actually enjoyed the neighborhood and it’s number 1 on our list of neighborhoods to live in around Dublin. We could be neighbors with a celebrity!
The rest of the trip- all three whole days of it- was enjoyable and we got a good taste of what to expect from life in Dublin. We did a historic walking tour, learning about the fascinating history of Dublin and Ireland, explored Trinity college and saw the Book of Kells, learned about the history of Irish emigration at EPIC in the CHQ building, coincidentally right across the street from what will be my new office, partook in pub culture at The Hairy Lemon and The Brazen Head, drinking Guinness and eating fish and chips, and wandered around the city. Shelby and I are casual planners. We like to have an idea of what we’re going to do when we travel to a city, but we often get the most out of starting in an interesting neighborhood and just wandering. We’ve stumbled onto hidden parks in London, side-street flea markets in Paris, and into seemingly private (but actually public) courtyards in the heart of Amsterdam. We wandered the streets of Dublin, through jam packed shopping promenades littered with street performers, through parks with historical monuments commemorating Easter Rising, and through Temple Bar, with it’s famous pubs. We left Dublin feeling confident that we could adapt to life there. Irish people are kind, warm, easy to talk to, and will call it as it is. There’s an apparent love of the outdoors and nature, and the rain doesn’t get anyone down or slow down the pace of life in any way. Coming from Portland, and more broadly Cascadia, we’ll fit right in.
A few of the sights walking the streets of Dublin.
Trinity College and the Long Library after the Book of Kells.
Finally some picture of us.