Thanks everyone! Great day :)

Hey hello & hi… thank you to everyone for the awesome birthday wishes today, made me feel very at home! It was so cool to get those 🙂 I really appreciate every one!!!

Ireland’s gift to me was a day without rain today, so thank you IRELAND!!! Couldn’t have asked for a better gift! Still a bit chilly, but without the rain, not too bad. I will take it! So today was Day 2 in the lovely and awesome Dublin, yesterday I got in via flight around 3pm (picked up an hour, now at GMT +0), found my hostel pretty easily after taking the bus from the airport – quick and easy! And pretty cheap actually.

After I got into the hostel I decided I needed to go find a SIM card – two countries without now, I was going into withdrawal. So I set out in my black RCI coat, it started pouring cats and dogs, I got entirely soaked, finally got to Carphone Warehouse where I was going to get the SIM to find it closed for the season. A w e s o m e.

Returned to base, switched coats to the one Chere and Nicco gave me (thanks again!!!), set out (no longer soaked) to find another one about 15 mins away. Got there and was recommended a SIM on the “3” network – cool. But their printers were all out of order (seriously?) so they could not print the piece of paper to activate the pre-paid SIM for me. Seriously? Anyway, they sent me up the road to the “3” store… where I got it no hassle. Now I don’t mean to be picky here, but as a Best Buy shareholder… (Best Buy owns Carphone Warehouse)… really?

Anyway, a couple of small snags, but I got my SIM card – unlimited data for 30 days for 20€, works in Dublin and Galway. Awesome!

SIM put in, life good, I proceeded to find some food, having not yet eaten today (I KNOW!!!!). Found an awesome pizza place near the hostel that gave me a 9″ pizza, fries and a coke for 5€. A+!!!!! After coming from Stockholm, this was staggering lol.

Spent a bit more time wandering around the area to try to figure out exactly where I was before deciding to register for a Ghost Tour by bus at night! It was rather crappy out, I didn’t really feel like going out anymore than that, but I thought the bus would be cool, and there was a 20% discount for online bookings. So Ghost Bus Tour it was!

Fun little thing to do – not scary, but was pretty funny. The bus is pretty unique in itself – totally blacked out windows, it’s a two decker, the bottom is full of “haunted house” stuff, the fake skulls, skeletons, creepy lighting, etc. The top is a bunch of seats with red lighting and a seat for the guide at the front.

The guide was good – funny, tried to scare us a bit (and he did get to a few of the girls lol), driving around in pitch black was cool. We visited a cemetery and a crypt, both pretty cool – and closed at night, he had keys to both. So overall a pretty entertaining way to spend a couple hours at night, and a pretty decent price for it.

Got back around 11:30pm and crashed.

Woke up this morning to go on the free walking tour of Dublin, and it was awesome. Our guide was fantastic! Easily one of the best, he was so funny, really treated the role as a theatrical role. Awesome stories, great history, just a really amazing way to do the tour. A total natural. We saw/heard a bunch of stuff including…

• Dublin City Hall
• Dublin Castle
• Temple Bar
• Trinity College
• Viking & Medieval Dublin
• River Liffey
• James Joyce
• St. Stephen’s Green
• Christ Church Cathedral
• The Four Courts
• 1916 Rising
• The Stiletto in the Ghetto
• U2
• Wall of Fame

So highly entertaining. Also met a fellow traveller, Brian, who is from South Africa but working in London. Also a programmer, so we got into the geek talk and wound up hanging out for the rest of the afternoon. We originally intended to go to the Kilmainham Gaol, but unfortunately all the tours were booked up today so we walked in the other direction and visited the Guinness Storehouse.

Awesome place. 7 stories totally dedicated to a self guided tour. Extremely impressive, I actually did try some Guinness and DID like it – which surprised me a bit. So that was fun. Probably there for about two hours before we hopped aboard the tram and went back to the hostel.

And that was pretty much my day! We did stop for a very delicious lunch before we went to the Storehouse at an Irish pub, where Brian managed to really amusingly flash an obscene hand gesture at the waitress and not get himself killed lol. She was understanding, and he apologized profusely, though we’re pretty sure she may have spit in our food. It was pretty funny. And we got pizza at the pizza place for dinner. mmmm cheap pizza :p

So thanks again for all the Facebook/email/iMessage/whatever Happy Birthday’s, it was a terrific birthday! In addition to all that wonderful stuff my parents sent me some money (THANKS MOM AND DAD! A travelers dream :p) and my cousin Chere decided to be uber sweet and get me a hotel in Galway for a couple of nights, so I get a little break from hostels!!! *whew*

And that’s it! It’s getting late, I’m getting tired, and I am going to go to BED!

Still on the list for tomorrow… Kilmainham Gaol for sure, maybe the book of Kells, and I think I’ll go for the Dubh Linn garden behind Dublin Castle. (thanks again to Lynn for the awesome list of things to do!!!!).

Have a good <blank>! 😀