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Peterson Grandparent Visit 2020 – Exploring

TLDR – Wendy and Bruce arrived for a 2-week visit. The day after they arrived schools closed for the Corona virus. Before we were fully locked in at home we manged a trip to Dundrum, City Center and Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Pick up – day one – Wednesday

Mila and I drove to the airport in a gocar to pick up the grandparents. We got a bit lost making a wrong turn and ended up parking at the Aer Lingus offices instead of in the proper parkade;. Oh well, free parking in a tow-away zone. Walking into the area of the airport we’d planned to wait for Michelle’s parents, we were greeted by Wendy yelling “Kevin!” – oh snap they are already here. They made it through passport control, have picked up their luggage and are now waiting on us. How did this happen we planned so well? Hugs and hellos then back to the car; Yippie it was not towed or clamped.

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Parents in the house

Bruce did the typical, being used to driving on the wrong side of the car thing, and he tried to get into the driver’s seat. It takes a while to get used to it. On the way back to the aiport he did the same thing. Mila and Wendy rode in the back with some luggage. Back at home after more hugs and hellos, the unpacking started. Oh goody, they came with two huge checked bags. One suitcase was full of American foods we miss; cheese it’s, goldfish, and Boboli, plus some presents. The other suitcase was full of clothing and stuff the kids did not care much about  The kitchen was louder than normal filled with kids and presents and eventually Romayos for dinner, puzzles, chats, drinks and games before bedtime.

Bruce and Wendy made it until about 2000 before heading to bed – Impressive first day after all of the travel and jet lag.

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The new American shelf in the pantry
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Khaleesi and Grandma putting together a puzzle

Thursday – Corona changes all plans

Thursday we hang out at home for the day. I worked from home, Michelle delivered the kids to school like normal. Michelle’s parents woke up around 0900 and hung out in the kitchen with us for the day. By midday, Leo announced effective at 1800 today all schools and tourist activities will be closed nationwide until the end of the month to help slow the infection rate. Figuring it’s only a matter of days before we are not allowed to leave the house we’re trying to fit in as much as we can as quickly as we can.

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Grandparents hanging out with us in the living room
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School closure sign

Wendy’s request is to see the things we do and the places we go on a regular basis. Tonight’s plan, after the kids are out of school, is a trip to Dundrum to visit the library and mall. As soon Maddex and Mila arrived home from school we turned around and left for the LUAS which we rode to the Dundrum stop. The Library has fancy new check out machines. Instead of one book at a time, you can toss the whole pile on the machine and it will RFID scan all of them at once.  We picked out a number of grandpa and grandma books for the grandparents to read to the kids.

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Reading books at the library

Next stop Dealz for cheap toys and random bits. They are fully out of paper products, thanks, crazy people. News from earlier, some of the shops had to close due to people rushing and rioting over, of all things, toilet paper. Out of curiosity, we went into Lidl to see how it was. The biggest thing bits they were out of was meat, no meat on the shelves and a depleted supply of alcohol. Wendy found some Fireball at an off-license liqueur shop near the mall she picked up for the visit – an interesting fact, I was back at this shop days later buying more fireball.

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Showing grandma the church in Dundrum

On the wall to the mall, we showed the small church to Bruce and Wendy. Wendy is every American tourist taking pictures of everything. She even crossed the street to get a wider shot of the church. Some kids on the street said “hi tourist” to her; it was cute. After exploring outside of the mall we had McDonald’s for dinner and watched the fountain show a few times.  By about 2030 everyone was in bed headed to sleepy land. Bruce and Wendy appear to be dealing surprisingly well with Jet lag.

City Center with Grandma – Friday

Friday’s adventure is a train ride into City center for a walkabout tour. Bruce is not feeling 100% and chose to stay home. Wendy and the rest of us loaded on the LUAS around 0930 for the half-hour ride into town. First stop, the park with the maze. The kids really wanted to take grandma into the maze and see if she could make it to the middle. Wendy is in full tourist mode taking pictures of everything! Again I take pictures of her taking pictures more than anything else.

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Momma and Momma on the train
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Waterfall in a park without falling water

Next park Saint Stephens green. The kids navigated us to the playground for some swings and playing until someone needed a toilet. On the way to Stephens green shopping center toilets, I steered the team onto the bridge over the duck pond. Michelle and I had watched the movie Leap Year recently. The Movie had a scene on this bridge and I wanted to see it in person. The movie was written by someone with zero understanding of UK Irish geography – mutter mumble, but it was a good movie. The kids took Grandma to Flying Tiger, Grandma shopped at a silver shop for trinkets, Michelle bought coffee, we used the toilet a second time, and Grandma shopped at a tourist shop before we got out of the shopping center and walked down Grafton street.

At the end of Grafton Street to the right Trinity gates were closed due to the lockdown, so we went left towards temple bar. On the walk, we stopped into a shop for some snacks, then stoped for some empanadas before crossing over hey penny bridge towards Henry / Talbot street for some shopping and walking on the big no car street. By now grandma is starting to wear out. Instead of walking back over the river, we walked to Marlborough Luas Stop and took a Sandyford train to Killmacud stop. Showing Wendy the kid’s old school stop while we waited for the next Brides Glen train home.

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Swings in Saint Stephens Green playground
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Grandma and the grandkids. Took about 10 pictures this is the closest to all of them looking at the camera.

Dun leary(Laoghaire) Saturday

Saturday, our last family day out of the house for the grandparent’s visit, is a trip to Dun Laoghaire Harbour for a walk, the water, and some ice cream. We rode the Luas all the way to the end at Brides Glenn in the middle of Ireland’s largest mixed residential commercial construction project. Sure hope the project gets finished and does not come to a stop after we are out of this lockdown things. It’s a Billion plus Euro project by an American company with over 3,800 apartments and housing units a school, some parts, and mixed-use commercial. From the end of the LUAS line, we walked to the left to the temporary Bus stop and hoped on the Double-decker Dublin bus to the harbor.

The kids and the grandparents rode up top, and I stayed down below with the stroller. The kids had fun entertaining Bruce and Wendy, I could hear it all from below – They are not what I would call quiet when they get excited.  Of course, our first stop is the public toilets in the park – kids, travel, toilets; it’s a thing. From there the kids and I walked across the grass to the playground while the adults, am I an adult?, head to the shop for Coffee. Michelle decided we were going to walk to south towards sandy cove along the water.

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Ridding on the top floor of a Dublin double-decker bus
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Coffee in front of the playground at Peoples park

There is an upper walk and a lower walk along the water. Due to construction, there is not a simple way down to the lower level at the start of the waterfront. Maddex wanted to jump down but could not get up the gumption to do it. Being super dad, I jumped 3 meters down to the lower level. Maddex then Jumped into my arms. The Concrete lower walk was covered in slime. It was like walking on a frozen-over lake; SOOO slippery. We made it about halfway to the cove before deciding it was further then we wanted to walk, turned around and headed back to the harbour

At the west pier, we turned right out on the pier and walked out the end. At the end, the kids were awarded an ice cream from Teddys. Seeing the ice cream Wendy and Bruce bought themselves cones too. The plan was to stop into the library to warm up and dry off a bit. It is Dublin there is some rain. Sad face, the library is closed due to Corona. Around the corner is a mall we walked to instead. At the mall, we bought some food, used the toilets, and enjoyed being dry for a bit. From the mall, next stop was Tesco for more food, then back to the mall in the rain to catch the Bus home.  – Great day of some adventures and sightseeing.

Wish we could have had some more adventures while Bruce and Wendy were visiting – thanks to corona – the rest of their visit was spent at home no more than 2km from our house.

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Look, Cannon, let’s climb all over it.
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Ice cream at the end of the pier

 

Bonus Pictures

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Grandma took pictures of everything. I took pictures of her taking pictures
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Kids were excited to show grandma how to get the center of the maze

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Millfam on a fountain
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Mila made it all the way down the monkey bars

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One of many dinners trying to help Bruce and Wendy put on some weight
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Dancing at the people’s park

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Dad lets go walk on the slime

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