Merry Christmas and a happy 2013 to you all! I hope that the holiday season was kind to you, because it was to me :) I was working a lot (A LOT) over Christmas, but you gotta love that triple pay I guess. Mom, Dad and Murray arrived late on Boxing Day (St Stephen's Day) and I went to pick them up from the airport and took them to our rented apartment. I realized that I hadn't seen my beloved brother in exactly a year - I couldn't believe it! Mom had chosen out a nice StayCity apartment, which I would venture to say was even bigger than my apartment that I've been living in for the past 3 months with 3 other girls haha. We exchanged Christmas presents and planned out our next week and a bit.
|Thanks grandma and grandpa!|
I was working for half of the time that they were here, but I got a couple days off at the beginning of their trip and a day and a half off at the end. We knocked a lot of things off of my Irish to do list; the first day we went to Kilmainham Gaol (Kill-main-am Jail) and did a really interesting tour and learnt all about the Irish history that took place in the jail. Then we did a hop-on hop-off bus tour and learnt more about the city as we drove around. Of course, we did some shopping on Henry Street and I showed mom the wonders of Pennies :) The best store in Dublin, hands down!
The next day we took a tour to the Hill of Tara and Newgrange, which is a burial tomb 600 years older than the pyramids...so interesting! It was pretty cool that we got to explore an area with so much history. We went into the tomb (which was difficult for my claustrophobic mother), but it was neat and they showed us what the winter solstice looked like at dawn. The thing about Newgrange is that the entrance is exactly lined up with the sun from December 19th-23rd (around the solstice on the 21st) so for a few minutes on those mornings the tomb is lit up until the sun rises too high in the sky. Our tour guide (Mary Higgens) obviously knew her history like the back of her hand, and it was a lot of information to absorb for one day haha, but it was still a great tour!
|That's Newgrange in the background...looks like a big pile of rock and grass (which, I guess, it is)|
I was working for the next little while, so my famjam went on a tour of Belfast and explored Dublin city on their own. Over New Year's Eve we didn't do too much - city centre was mental and full of people, so we just went out for dinner at a nice bistro near Christchurch and then went home, played some card games and watched the concert and fireworks on TV. I'm pretty sure I was asleep by 12:06AM, but it was still lovely to spend New Year's Eve with my family :)
On their last full day in Dublin, we did a free walking tour, which was also really great! (Seriously...these Irish tour guides are fantastic. It's true when they say that the Irish are natural story tellers). I was slightly concerned that I would run into someone I knew on the tour because I've lived in this city for 8 months, but it was actually really interesting and while I knew some of the things, I definitely didn't know enough about my own city. Highly recommended!
|The Christophersons at Dublin Castle|
Nollaig shona (noll-egg hunna) aka...Merry Christmas!