Written from Loras perspective.
9 days in Ireland starts in Madison on a shuttle bus to O'hare, International Terminal 5.
Kevin and Keegan dropped us at the park and ride and the first bus that got there was FULL... so after waiting 20 minutes the next bus that arrived was on the road and 5 stops from O'hare. Traffic on the way down was slow and upon arrival at 6:15/6:20 (45 minutes behind schedule). Get checked in, through security, grab some food and water, and boom wait to board the plane. This plane (Aer Lingus) is 6 seats across plays movies, music or TV in the seat backs and serves you two meals. We caught up on the movies Blended, Edge of Tomorrow, and X-Men. Longest. Flight. Ever.we were so glad to land in Dublin, get through the check points, claim luggage, and wait for our shuttle to the hotel, Doubletree by Hilton, only to wait a couple more hours before getting into our actual room. That's just enough time for me to freshen up, and Brett to nap for 15 minutes, and we're back out the door to get on our tour bus!
In Dublin we got a full driving tour of the city (which is huge), and a walking tour of Trinity College (which is tucked in Dublin, and old) a beautiful college with a great history. We got to see the gate to the residence of the US Ambassador which is right next to the residence of the President of Ireland. Amazing.
Back to the hotel - it's time to drink! Literally, we have a meeting with our tour guide, John, and they buy us a drink! YAY! By the way, not impressed with the ciders I had in Ireland. After said drink and a quick low down of how things work on the your we're free to find dinner on our own. Some opted to stay at the hotel but we ventured out with Joe, Celia, Larry and Carol. After trying three restaurants we ended up at Doheny and Nesbitts for a few pints, veg soup, and shepherds pie.
It's been a long way, and we just walked around a strange city after dark so we hit the hay shortly after returning! A 6:00 am wake up call comes quick when you need to have your luggage outside the door at 7:00 am.