Sunday, December 25th, Dublin

Christmas; church service at Abbey Pres; a walk around the neighborhood with lunch from Centra; hanging out until the Christmas dinner buffet here in the hotel

Jurys Inn Parnell Street

1/31/2017

It was another very slow, very peaceful and pleasant day where I didn't do much of anything,

I was downstairs having breakfast before 9 AM to have plenty of time to make the 10 o'clock Christmas service up the street at Abbey Presbyterian church. While I was having breakfast I thought "Wow, there sure are a lot more people here for breakfast than I've seen before" and then I remembered that I've usually been there when breakfast opens at 7 AM.

When I had been checking Abbey Pres's website to confirm the time of this morning's service I noticed they specifically listed being open from 10 AM-2 PM on Fridays during Advent. I'm pretty sure the church had been closed every time I had gone by while I was here this past July.

The service was quite pleasant. I liked the minister, whom I had met on Friday when I'd gone by and who remembered me. There were readings and community singing. They used a large monitor above the altar to display the program for the service and the words of the songs. I don't sing a lot during the rest of the year when the Renaissance Festival isn't on and my voice was a little out of practice. I had a bit of a problem finding my range a couple of times, at least when I tried singing lower than the top part of my usual range which is where the songs were pitched. I was pleased that I still remembered and could sing the tenor part for "Joy to the world" which I first learned in the choir at First Presbyterian back home in Portland, OR almost forty years ago and haven't sung since the last time I was at First Pres's candlelight Christmas Eve service at least twelve years ago.

It was a rather small congregation this morning. I sat in the second row by myself pretty much the same way I usually sit close to the front at the Renaissance Festival or as I did when I was in school with unassigned seats. Someone has to sit there. At least I look like I'm interested and prepared to be involved. The pastor said something about the service being an hour earlier than they usually held it which might have resulted in the smaller attendance. The congregation seemed to be fairly nicely mixed in terms of ages and race, with a few families with kids including a little guy who wandered around and came into the pew next to mine to check out my walking stick.

I took a bit of a walk after the service since the weather was pleasant when you were sheltered from the wind. I wasn't surprised that even the fast food places like McDonald's and Burger King and the convenience/grocery stores down the street were closed. I was hoping that the bar here in the hotel was serving lunch today when I came back to the smallest of the convenience stores, Centra, which is on the corner right by the hotel, and was very pleased and relieved that they were open. I bought a decent bacon and egg sandwich and some yogurt for lunch and some chocolate milk to have with the instant decaf coffee the hotel provides for each room later.

And that was basically it for the day. I hung out here in my room, reading and watching stuff streaming via the hotel's wifi until it was time to go downstairs for my Christmas dinner reservation at 6:30 in the hotel's restaurant which was quite good. I had some very good soup, pork and some delicious Christmas pudding for dessert. I had thought I might go out for a walk again later sometime after dinner but didn't get around to it.

Tomorrow night I have the Aladdin Cheerios Christmas panto at the Tivoli Theatre which is a former movie house turned theater. The show is at 6:30 PM so I think I'll try and be in the area around 5 to find somewhere to have a light early dinner first.

There really doesn't seem to be much to see in the immediate neighborhood of the theater, at least from what I can see on Google Maps. I'll probably wind up having to walk for about fifteen minutes from wherever I wind up tomorrow afternoon to get over to the theater.

I think I'll start by walking from here on over to College Green. From there I'll walk on over to the National Gallery, Merrion Square with its Georgian architecture and the House No 29 Georgian house museum, the National Museum of Ireland Archaeology, Edward Delaney's famine memorial at St Stephen's Green before moving on to my last pre-theater stop at the Little Museum of Dublin.

What I don't get to tomorrow I'll try to go to on Tuesday between my half-day trip to Malahide and the castle there and my evening event, the Celtic Nights dinner show at the Arlington Hotel back over by the O'Connell Bridge.

It's now just after midnight, so I'm going to close up for the night.


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