Monday was my folks’ last day with us in Dublin. As I write this on Tuesday morning, Reed is headed with them to the airport for their flight back home. It was great to have them share time with us here. Since we live nearly 2000 miles apart and don’t share day-to-day life, packing quality time into trips like this is something we really love.
Mom and Dad came over to our apartment mid-morning, our typical routine by now as the kids enjoy sleeping in. Now you may think we would have coffee or tea together, but not this morning – it was whisky time! Don’t worry…it was just a little tasting, which is far different than actually drinking…and, it was after 11:00, which is the time whiskey can be served here. (You may have noticed the different spellings of whiskey…the “e” is in Irish [& American] whiskey whereas it’s not in Scottish whisky, i.e., Scotch.) Dad and I had to sample the special whisky Reed bottled for us in Scotland at Cadenhead’s. We admired the color, swirled it, and then mixed in a little water, as we had learned to do with this strong stuff (112 proof!). Then we tasted it…and…it wasn’t too bad! I think my Dad likes it a bit more than me…not so much the taste but the warmth after it’s down the hatch. (I think I’ll always be more of a tequila girl; sorry Scotch lovers.) It was fun.
After lunch together on campus at “The Buttery” (all 6 of us; yes, Jackson is still here, just avoiding the camera), I took my folks back to Temple Bar and its quaint cobblestone streets. I wanted to get them to the old Ha Penny bridge (mentioned in my first Dublin post), as well as the new Millennium Bridge. I really enjoyed strolling along the River Liffey with them. As we couldn’t find gelato in Temple Bar, we headed back up Grafton Street for one last “tub” as they call it here. It was delicious, and we are thankful for all of the walking we do so we can manage our gelato indulgences! (Side note…we have sampled both Irish and Scottish ice cream and find it doesn’t compare to the Italian stuff.)
Later in the afternoon, my parents and I walked up Dame Street toward St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The plan was for all six of us to take in the 5:30pm evensong service, but Abbie now has Reed’s cold so he stayed back with the kids. It is about a mile walk, and we left in time to visit Christ Church Cathedral along the way (the four of us went there before my folks arrived so it was mentioned in a previous post).
St. Patricks’s is larger than Christ Church; in fact, it is the longest medieval church in Ireland. It is known as “the people’s cathedral,” and it is the national Protestant Church of Ireland. It stands on an early Christian site where St. Patrick baptized converts in a well in 450 AD. There is a park adjacent to the cathedral where the fountain marks this place. The original church was wood, and the stone structure was built in 1192 and then expanded to make it a cathedral between 1220-1270. It’s still hard to wrap our heads around this history sometimes! You can read more about St. Patrick here – there’s good reason why he’s such a big deal to the Irish!
The evensong service was beautiful. A choir dressed in purple robes, a gowned woman with a scepter, and three ministers processed in. The organ played throughout and there were several songs, prayers, and scripture readings. We said the Apostle’s Creed and prayer of grace together. It was a good reminder to me of how long people have been relying on faith to get through life.
After the service, we walked around the nave a bit, looking at the graves and other ornamentation. Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels) and his wife, Stella, are buried here. The area in the front where the choir sits is adorned with swords, banners, and helmets, which is a bit surprising. They represent the knights of St. Patrick. We departed very content with what we had experienced; I hope to attend again this week with Reed and the kids.
We walked back toward Trinity and met Reed at a nice pub he had located for our last meal together. We enjoyed the beautiful setting in the old Ulster Bank, and we had some delicious food. Upon re-entering Trinity, we were greeted by a wonderful view of the campanile (detail on the architecture here or here). We then visited for awhile in our apartment, finished off our Irish shortbread, and then my folks said goodbye to the kids. It was a lovely last day together.