Written June 2017
August 2-3: Dublin, Ireland
Sites: Ireland was so, so fun. Accompany Lance as he relived this country where he learned and grew so much was an amazing experience I’d love to have again. Dublin wasn’t our favorite, and maybe it wasn’t mind because it wasn’t Lance’s. We saw the sights: St Stephen’s Green, Merrion Square, Trinity College and O’Connell St. None of them were that memorable. Moreso I remember finally getting fed up with the fact that I didn’t have proper walking shoes that could get wet. So we stopped off in a strip mall and I bought some gray Converse lookalikes, though Lance continuously tried to talk me into a more exciting color like peach or green.
In Dublin we went to church and it happened to be Fast and Testimony Meeting. Mary Burke, a woman Lance baptized on his mission, bore her testimony and mentioned him. She was the main event of Dublin — the person we came to see. We also randomly saw Podrick Brophey. He was a young man living in Galway when Lance served (the Bropheys were among the few strong, active families there), but now was a returned missionary, married with a baby, and in the bishopric in Dublin.
After church we went to Mary’s house, where we spent five hours talking, laughing and eating. It felt long to me, but not nearly as long as it should’ve. She was a joy to be around, and though I wasn’t part of their original bond, I felt included. I knew so many of their stories that it wasn’t hard to listen in and know just what they were talking about. Watching Lance with her (and the other members he knew) was the highlight of the trip. It brought me so much joy, and increased my love and admiration for him tenfold.
Lodging: In Dublin we stead at the Kildare Street Hotel for 209 Euro (about $245) for two nights. By then, we were used to our traveling lifestyle so I guess our standards had started to slip. The place was kind of dumpy, if I do recall! Yet there were plenty of other normal-looking guests, a helpful staff, clean sheets and a nearby (not ensuite) bathroom, so I guess it worked. I remember there being floral print everywhere — on the walls, on the carpet, on the bedding etc. The hotel itself was right on a main street though, so close to Trinity College and within walking distance to the main pedestrian streets and St. Stephen’s Green. The touristy, drinking-focused and shopping-centric scene was crazy in Dublin. The city itself seemed lacking as well; hardly any interesting architecture or notable public landmarks, etc to see. I was glad we didn’t stay long.