When in City Centre of late, Bill and I have taken to standing proud and proclaiming, “This is our city!” After four months the city does feel familiar, at least our stomping grounds of O’Connell, Stephen’s Green and Temple Bar. Monday, the Spauldings and I rode the tour bus around Dublin. Ireland gave them gorgeous weather for their visit, and it was mostly warm enough to ride in the few covered rows of the bus’ top deck. We stopped off at the Guinness Storehouse, which artfully illustrates the brewing process, as well as the history of Guinness and Arthur Guinness himself. The building’s shape evokes a pint glass, and when you reach the foam level, you have a 340° view of Dublin. I had another “my city” moment up there drinking my dark ruby brew, which you’ll believe really does give you strength, looking out over the city as the sound of U2′s chiming guitar filled the room, apropos of everything.

Tuesday we visited the Dublin Zoo. You have to appreciate a zoo with a vocabulary in addition to zebras. February must be baby primate season; we saw several adorable babies. A baby elephant had also been born days before, but was not yet on public view. After the zoo I successfully maneuvered our troop back to Temple Bar where we stopped by a pub for some snacks and then wandered some shops including a bookstore. The Norwegian residents were hungry for books in English! And of course I bought two books as well. Bill came down and met us for dinner, the mandatory trip to the chipper.

I must not be a true Dub, as I am still charmed by a shamrock in the head on a pint.

Kayleigh ponders euro-sized marshmallows (they are not small nor large) in her hot chocolate at the zoo tea room.

Oslovian Portlanders in Dublin, in the park at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

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