I'm back!! Everything went smoothly until the very last bit of the last flight home. Weather was a problem, causing back-ups and delays at O'Hare, and the powers-that-be diverted us to Detroit. It all went south from there for a bunch of reasons and, after several (overnight) hours of waiting, we ended up taking a train to Chicago and making our way from downtown to O'Hare to fetch the car and drive home. Soooo tired. It was a struggle, and we frequently switched drivers; we arrived home at 7 pm and I was in bed by 8!
I ended up taking half the day off on Friday to do the things I'd intended to do on Thursday (fetch Maddy's vehicle, reinstate insurance, reactivate mobile phone, unpack, do laundry, etc). I did some other errands on Saturday, and on Sunday I had an unplanned but well deserved Pajama Day! I didn't even venture outside far enough to see if the paper had arrived... I found it this morning in the driveway.
Anyway, here's the total of my luggage for a one-week international vacation! The tote was my "personal item" while traveling, and the suitcase is carry-on size; I checked the suitcase only on the return flight home, as Maddy had to check her backpack, anyway. I folded & packed my new Baggallini Medium Avenue Tote inside my suitcase for my everyday running around purse (so many ways to carry that bag, including cross-body). I plan to do a more detailed post about What I Packed (used/didn't use), but this is the lightest I ever packed for a trip of any length in my life!
Our flight departed O'Hare on Tuesday evening. Kate & I both worked until noon that day and she picked me up right from work; we arrived with plenty of time to spare, and that's always better than the stress of rushing!
There was a 24-hour layover in Dublin on our itinerary, and we took advantage of that! (I got a new stamp in my passport, too.) We'd booked a room in a hotel at the airport, took the shuttle over and they allowed us to check in upon arrival on Wednesday morning. We freshened up and changed clothes, and then hopped a bus into the city.
There was a little panic & confusion and we ended up getting off the bus a bit too early, so there was a metro ride involved, too! Haha!
Our first destination was the Irish Museum of Modern Art to see the exhibitions As Above, So Below: Portals, Visions, Spirits & Mystics and IMMA Collection: Freud Project.
The museum is housed in a portion of the former Royal Hospital Kilmainham, which is an astounding property. It was interesting to imagine the gallery rooms as hospital rooms (they were quite nice, with lovely windows!).
This was one of my favorite exhibition pieces:
Hilma af Klint, Altarpiece, No 1, Group X, Series Altarpieces, 1915 , Oil and metal leaf on canvas
But these! All this!! This was an installation outside of the museum by Brazilian artist Stephan Doitschinoff (you can see the panels in the photo of the building above).
He speaks about the work in the video about the exhibition below (at about 4:23).
We sort of rushed through this art museum (in what turned out to be a recurring theme) because we had tickets for The Book of Kells. Turns out we needn't have rushed, as they weren't particularly strict about the time at TBoK -- as long as our ticket was dated that day, we could have gone at any time. Oh well.
We were positively agape in The Long Room, but pulled ourselves together for a selfie.
We weren't far from the National Gallery of Ireland, so walked over there, too. They were "between" things, preparing for the opening of a Vermeer show (which would have been wonderful to see), but we did enjoy the Margaret Clarke exhibition.
I didn't realize, until it began to rain, how lucky we were that it wasn't raining as we made our way about Dublin, as that had been the forecast.
We ducked out of the rain and into a pub for some grub and beer. Kate had Irish stew and I had shepherd's pie -- it was delicious!!
We made our way back to the hotel. I had a message from Norma, who was also in Dublin that day (life is so weird sometimes)!! And we were up super early on Thursday to catch our shuttle for the flight to Spain!
Stay tuned for Day 2!