I had a very pleasant last day & evening here in Dublin even though I made a few changes to what I thought I'd do today. I'd usually be getting depressed about having to return home and go back to work but I'm still in the sabbatical I gave myself off so I don't have to go back to work when I get back and of course I'm not going home yet but moving on to another of my favorite cities, London, for New Year's and a week after that.
I took my laundry downstairs and was at the reception desk by 7:30 this morning. This was the only load of wash I'm having done here in Dublin. I still have a couple days worth of clean clothes but my next opportunity to have wash done won't be until Friday, the first day in London when I'll be at my hotel early enough in the morning to get laundry done.
I fell asleep sometime around 1 AM and didn't sleep very well and woke up only when my alarm clock went off. For the first time this trip I had my usual symptoms of not having slept well or long enough which didn't quite go away all daylethargy, lack of energy, and a much higher level of dizziness than I've had in a while. I decided I'd probably try to get back to sleep then take a shower after dropping my laundry off so I just put on the clean underwear and t-shirt I planned on wearing today and slacks. I hadn't sorted my laundry out last night, filling the laundry bags and filling out the laundry sheets (three of each but I had eight days worth of dirty clothes) before going to bed so I did that right after I got upone pair of jeans, shirts, t-shirts, underwear and socks.
I hoped having breakfast might help me feel a bit better and more rested so I stopped off on the way back up here from reception and had a couple of fried eggs and the porridge I like. Unfortunately I still didn't feel much better so when I came back up to my room I went back to bed. I don't think I fell asleep again this time but I rested until around 10 AM when I got up again and this time took a shower. That didn't help me feel as well rested as it sometimes does.
I remembered that I hadn't been down Grafton Street this trip, and actually not even when I was here back in July so that was my first stop this morning. Grafton Street was very busy today with lots of apparently shoppers. There were several buskers out but I didn't stop to listen to any of them, I'm not sure why.
As I was going down Grafton I spotted an attractive looking church which I went over to check out but it seemed to be closed so I couldn't go in. It was St Ann's C of I. I continued along to the next major intersection when I checked Google Maps on my smart phone with the Irish SIM card to get directions over to the National Gallery. I noticed that I'd actually have to go past the Little Museum of Dublin which I really wanted to go to and which had reopened after their Christmas break so I went there first.
Visitors to the Little Museum can either wander around on their own or take a guided tour that lasts about half an hour. The next tour wouldn't be until 1 PM, half an hour after I got there, so I wandered down the street to the far corner of St Stephen's Green to walk back up to the corner where I started and back to the Little Museum. That corner turned out to be where Edward Delaney's famine memorial and statue of Wolfe Tone are located which I had thought might be interesting to see.
I know my brothers Michael & Tim are amused by it but I really enjoy it any time I return somewhere I can compare seasonal changes. I've lived in S Florida for fifteen years now and we really don't have much in the way of seasonal changes except variations in daily temperature. Pretty much the same amount of leaves fall during the Spring and Summer as do during the Fall and Winter. I loved visiting Paris for the first time exactly two years ago and returning there this past Summer to see the difference between Winter and Summer. I was last here in Dublin this past Summer and am now enjoying the Winter scenery here. Many of the bare trees I saw at Malahide Castle yesterday and in St Stephen's Green today looked almost sculptural they were that beautiful.
I really enjoyed the Little Museum. Visitors can wander around by themselves of they can take the guided tour which runs on the hour. I now know that I should have done both instead of just doing the guided tour. There were so many people it made it difficult to see what was in the rooms we visited on the first (here)/second (US) floor. Aiofe, our guide, was excellentinformative and entertaining with a great sense of humor. I scored a few points when I was familiar with old Disney movie "Darby O'Gill & the Little People" and pointed out that Sean Connory could actually sing, and when I was able to answer the trick question "If the lectern Pres JFK used to address the Dail, the Irish Parliament, on his visit here wasn't really a lectern what was it?". The answer was surprisingly easyit was really a music stand, although a very lovely old music stand.
After I left the Little Museum I checked Google Maps again to see which was closer, the National Gallery or the National Museum of Ireland Archaeology and how to get there. It seemed I was closer to the NMI Archaeology so I went there first. By the time I got there it was already past 2 PM and I was getting fairly hungry so I had a nice lunch in the museum's lovely little café. I know I didn't see everything there is to see in the museum and as usual didn't ready many of the informative signs for the exhibits but also as usual enjoyed what I saw while wandering around the very nice, very well done museum.
The concert (Dublin Legends) wasn't until 8 PM. I was feeling pretty tired and still a bit dizzy do I decided I really didn't feel like going anywhere else downtown or finding somewhere to hang out over near the concert venue, Vicar Street. but really just wanted to come back here and at least lie down for a bit instead so I took a cab back here. My laundry had come back when I asked at the reception desk but my room is actually down a couple of long corridors and was further than I wanted to carry my clean clothes so I said "Yes" when they asked if I'd like someone to bring it up for me. Everything was on hangers so he could actually just hang everything on one of the baggage carts which were right there. I could have done the same thing, but I'd have had to take the cart back down to the lobby and then come back up here again.
It was after 4:30 PM when I got back here to my room. I had decided that I'd use my smart phone if I wanted to take any pictures tonight so I copied the pictures from the memory card in my camera to my computer. This laptop has a reader for the same size memory card my camera uses so it's very easy and quite fast to copy pictures from one to the other. On my trip this summer when I was backing up my pictures from the laptop I did it to a whole series of smaller capacity USB drives which took forever. Before I left on this trip I had checked Best Buy to see what my local store had in the way of a real USB hard drive and found one (a Seagate) that has a ridiculously large capacity and is actually very fast which I've been using to back up my personal files each night, so after I copied the pictures from the camera's memory card over to the laptop I then copied them from the laptop over to by Seagate backup drive as well. Doing such regular backups is why the major problem I had with my laptop this summer would only be a major nuisance if the computer techs I took it to in London had not been able to spin off and restore all my personal files such as all my iTunes music and pictures, all things of which I either had on multiple backups back home for the older stuff or on the USB drives for the newer stuff.
After that I stretched out for a while and might actually have fallen asleep for a little bit. I had planned on leaving again at 6 PM to catch a cab over to Vicar Street for the Dublin Legends concert but I really wasn't feeling very well and was still more dizzy than I like. I skipped the concert and hung out here in my room for a bit instead, going out between 8 and 8:30 PM. I didn't go far, just up to the corner to the very nice older pub, the Parnell Heritage where I had a quite good carrot soup, baked hake with spinach and mashed potatoes, and their excellent brambly or bramley apple pie.
I did a bit of packing when I got back, mostly getting some things organized. It's now almost 11:30 PM. After I finish these notes I need to finish packing everything I'm not going to need in the morning before I can get to bed, almost literally since I put the open suitcases on the bed earlier to make filling them easier.
My flight to London (City Jet, whom I'd never heard of before) leaves at 11:50 AM so I'll not have to get up until 7 AM or so. I figure catching a cab around 8 will get me to the airport in plenty of time. I'm supposed to arrive in London about 1:30 PM and have my first concert this trip at St Martin in the Fields, the complete Brandenburg Concertos, so good night until more from London tomorrow.