Normally, I like to update this blog while riding on the trains. WiFi is reliable, it's normally quiet, and I can get some quality writing and reflecting done. Not the case on this train ride, and I didn't mind one bit. It was a lot of fun to watch these people party and to feel the energy of their big day.
I arrived in Dublin (sweet home, Dublin), and Padraig picked me up from the train station. We drove to his house, where I got to meet his wife, Karen, and his two year-old son, Michael. We got to know each other over some tea (surprise, surprise!), and Karen was more than willing to allow me usage of her washer/dryer so that I could remedy my wet/stinky clothes situation. Looking back, this was huge. After an hour or so of chatting, the Hurling match was about to begin and we sat down to watch. What a fantastic sport to watch. I was amazed at how riveted I was by the action, how I quickly aligned myself with Limerick (because of my train experience, Padraig was pulling for them, and long live the underdog!), and how I loathed those bastards from Kilkenny despite knowing almost nothing about them or their town. In the end, Limerick lost a heartbreaker that went down to the final seconds.
After the match, we had dinner, got to know each other a little more, and went over the highlights of this here blog. I think they liked it. Then we took a few pictures to commemorate this visit:
Padraig, Michael, Karen, and me
Padraig and I...for some reason, I started taking a lot of "thumbs up" pics from this point on
Karen and I
In yet another act of hospitality and generosity toward me, Padraig had set me up with accommodation that night in Dublin. As I mentioned in previous posts, he runs an international school for college students, and had a hookup on a vacant dorm-style room in the city. He dropped me off there, introduced me to a few students, and I was set for the night. I considered a visit to the pubs, but decided instead to get some sleep and catch the early train to Galway the next morning.