Danny came home from work one evening and said, "you wanna go to Ireland?" and I was like "whaaaaat?" And he said "Nodeconfeu is gonna be In Dublin this year, and I can go for work. Do you wanna come too?" and I was like "yeeeeeeeessssssssss!!!!!!"
Yes, a million times yes.
So we bought my plane ticket and danced a little jig. Just kidding I don't dance.
I was sad to leave my bug behind, but she's a cat, so she's fine. I was super glad I got a bug hug before we went though.
We left in the morning, flew to NYC, and had to run to get to our connecting flight to Dublin. I was really hoping that since we had a 2 hour layover we'd have time to hit the Shake Shack in the airport but no, it was just enough time to run like crazy.
Just like last time, I had a hard time with being claustrophobic and wanting to punch strangers in the face and pacing the aisles. I did have my 3DS, and my beloved Animal Crossing game, but my 3DS died because I was the only one that had a power outlet that didn't freaking work. I was the only one that suffered, you guys, the world revolves around me and my misery, maybeI'mnotcutouttobeaworldtravelergetmeoffthisplaneIneedanap.
We arrived bright and early in Dublin. I was uh, cranky, and so was Danny. We figured out where we needed to meet everyone and got a taxi to the hotel.
Great! I said, lets check in and I can sleeeeeeep. Uh, no, this isn't our hotel. Remember we are staying at the castle? And that's like 2 hours away, in Waterford. We are meeting everyone here and getting bussed to the castle this afternoon.
I blew a fuse. I had no idea the castle was so far away from Dublin, I didn't know we had to wait for everyone else to show up, I didn't know I'd be sleep deprived, plane homicidal, in Dublin at 8 am with no chance of sleep or any kind of privacy until that night. I had to be a nice, loving and supportive wife that was super excited to be in Dublin for the day while we waited for everyone else to arrive so enjoy some time alone and explore the city, dammit.
I locked myself in the bathroom with my suitcase and tried not to cry, and changed into something better than my nicest set of pyjamas. I need my alone time, especially after being on a plane, and since I was not privy to all the details that were preventing me from my alone time it was making me crazy and mean and horrible. I sucked it up and suggested we go find something to eat.
I felt better, walking in the fresh air with Danny. We found a cute little cafe, and although they had horrible service, the food was amazing (I had porridge!) and we re-charged a bit.
Dublin was immediately charming, and so European. It was so exciting, and it was a gorgeous day. We walked around for hours....
They had candy shops everywhere. There was a huge one in the airport and then we found this one. We got a bunch of strange candy and set off again.
This park was so amazing. I wish we had stayed longer!
I spied a fabric shop!
We made it back to the hotel and Danny socialized with some nerds. I desperately wanting to get lost in my game, anything to take my mind off the fact that I wasn't alone in a huge fluffy bed, but it was dead and I had no way of charging it. Note to self, buy a damn converter!
After sitting around forever, we all went into a conference room and they had the opening talk. Of which, nothing that was said made any sort of sense to me. Nerd talk is in english, but it sounds like a different language. Once the talk was over, and good riddance, we got on busses.
Finally, maybe I can get some sleep! I can sleep in the car like a kid, so Danny and I leaned on each other and fell asleep.
Not long after, I was woken by screechy nerds arguing about the hidden conspiracies within Star Wars. I'm so not joking, it was so cliche, and they were all over it. At one point it got so heated that I thought punches would be thrown. But what they were arguing about was so totally hilarious, that I just pretended to sleep and listened to them geek out. I wish I would've recorded them, it was priceless.
We arrived at the castle at dusk, and there were vikings waiting for us! We checked into our lodge, (we shared a lodge with Jane and Visnu and another guy) and then walked to the castle for dinner.
We had roast pig and potato salad, delicious bread, and plenty of mead. Well, I didn't have any mead but I accidentally ordered the spiked cider instead of the regular, whoa that was a mouthful of no thank you.
There were viking LARP'ers pillaging our silver and demanding dessert, they were totally awesome. Apparently Waterford, Ireland was one of the first spots that the vikings settled. We had more roast pig, it was seriously fantastic, and got to know the other people at our table.
To my right, we had two kids from London that had literally just moved out of their parents house, and the red headed one was stuffing his face like Ron at the start of the first term feast. And with his accent, I just pretended that he was. Hey, we're in a castle, aren't we? Awesome then, I'm at Hogwarts. The Japanese dude to my left was eating all the roasted pig skin, like off my plate, it was a little strange. I started to feel loopy, like I was tipsy. I was worried that that small sip of cider totally knackered me, but Danny assured me it was just jet lag.
After a great night sleep, we awoke to a beautiful day. We walked to the castle to have breakfast, but we got there too late! Nobody told us breakfast was so early.
It's a small castle, but it's still a damn castle!!!
Jane had missed her flight the day before, so she was arrived that morning. I took the train back to Dublin to meet her so we could explore the city and take photos together.
And the whole two hours looked just like this. Gloriously green rolling hills, fluffy clouds and so many cows. Exactly what I needed, some relaxing, beautiful alone time.
I met Jane and we walked alllllll over Dublin. This church is so old, like 1600's old. Isn't Jane cute? I just love her. She's a lot of fun, but totally laid back, so I feel like I can be myself around her and not be judged for my laziness and inherently introverted ways.
This one's for my mom.
We pretended we were walking along the river Seine, aren't we dorks!
We also decided that the next nodeconeu needs to be in Paris, so we can walk along the actual river Seine. Hint hint.
We stopped for lunch at a tiny pub. I had Guinness beef stew, it was fabulous.
I grabbed a coke for the train ride home, and we blabbed the whole way back.
The next day we decided to explore the castle grounds. It's on an island right next to Waterford. There is a ferry that takes you back and forth from the mainland. The castle is home a huge golf course, and that's what takes up most of the island.
A little house right by the ferry.
Back of the castle details.
An old brick something that we found in the woods.
Back of the castle.
Front of the castle.
View from the ferry.
Usually conferences have two tracks; one for the attendees, and one for the significant others. We signed up for the SO track, but nobody ever gave up any info on it. Like they would get together, right in front of us, get in their bus, and leave. We could have said something, but the stuff they were doing didn't interest us anyway, so we did our own thing.
We had some dessert at the golf restaurant. Creme brulee, with mint chip ice cream. (?)
We had serious jet lag, so we went back to our lodge to chill.
Later that day, Jane came into my room and asked if I had any candy. Like, duh! Of course I do!
We went adventuring into Waterford. We found a place to eat (we had missed breakfast again) and it was cafeteria style and it was horrible. We found a grocery store and got some more candy.
Then we found a coffee place and hung out outside while we waited for our dudes to get finished with their stuff for the day. I ordered an iced americano, and this is what I got. Well, I guess espresso really is different in Europe! OMG Jane we're in Europe! You can't tell the scale of that cup from the photo, but it was only like 3 oz.
Jane had gotten a mocha, so I tasted it and OMG was it amazing. So I went and got one for myself and ditched the tiny americano.
We met up with all the other nerds that were sick of Irish food at the Thai place, and had a great dinner. The food there is so heavy, all of it. It was nice to eat something light and easier to digest.
At the final dinner, all the courses were being served so slowly that some of the nerds decided that we should all make hats with our napkins. I cheated and used a youtube video to make mine, but most everyone else freestyled it.
Our lodge, the morning we left. Kinda sad to leave- it was such a short trip!
Goodbye castle. But I did get to eat breakfast, finally. In the conservatory! Not really, it was too full, but I've always wanted to have breakfast in the conservatory of a castle in Ireland. So lets pretend that I did.