Lunch With the ESB: It’s a Tradition

1 October 2015, Thursday
I was awake at 3am. (sigh) But that’s the way it is when you fly over several time zones. So I got out of bed, lay on the floor with my feet in a chair, and assumed the Egoscue Static Back position for a half hour. When I got back in bed, I was able to drop off again, and we slept pretty late. Heaven!

We hadn’t seen John since the previous afternoon, so he was ready for breakfast when we were, and we all went down together, around nine o’clock. Not long after we’d been seated, our friends Pris and Emmet came in.

Pris and Emmet had arrived two days before and were rested and ready to go.

Pris and Emmet had arrived two days before and were rested and ready to go.

And then my friend Tiffany found her way into the dining room and chatted with us for awhile. She’d just come in from the airport, and her luggage was missing. But she had plans to sightsee all day with my Irish friend Robert (a fellow editor), so luggage wasn’t a concern. (Yet.)

Tiffany, Gerry, and John. Good morning!

Tiffany, Gerry, and John. Good morning!

When the appointed minute arrived, I accompanied Tiff back upstairs to wait for Robert. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy seeing my friends from separate parts of my life hit it off. 🙂 Weeks later Robert and I were talking and he noted that it’s a natural for both Americans and Irish to do that instant-friends thing, in a way some other national cultures do not. No wonder we get along so well!

Robert and Tiffany, about to head into Dublin.

Robert and Tiffany, about to head into Dublin.

Of course, the obligatory selfie.

Of course, the obligatory selfie.

We’d made an appointment with our party planner (she’s an amployee of the hotel) for midmorning. This was our opportunity to get everything finalized, including numbers—we’d had several friends on both sides of the ocean drop out. Ludmila’s been absolutely wonderful to work with.

Ludmila and Gerry, in the Seaview Lounge on a sunny morning.

Ludmila and Gerry, in the Seaview Lounge on a sunny morning.

This was a busy day, and there was more to come. Remember, Gerry is retiring and emigrating, and his work colleagues hadn’t really acknowledged these changes yet. A lunch had been organized in downtown Dublin, and John, Gerry, and I jumped in a cab—great for me, because I get to sightsee, rather than drive.

So I take photos while we drive. I loved the old window panes here, and the curvy reflections in them. And the NO BICYCLES PLEASE sign.

So I take photos while we drive. I loved the old window panes here, and the curvy reflections in them. And the NO BICYCLES PLEASE sign.

We were headed to Sophie’s Rooftop Restaurant at the Dean Hotel, a boutique hotel on Harcourt Street. (Check out their website and you’ll see what I mean.)

John and Gerry at the Dean on a sunny day.

John and Gerry at the Dean on a sunny day. Don’t forget you can click on any photo to zoom in.

That sunny day thing is important. Remember, we were on the rooftop, with windows on three sides (check out that link to Sophie’s; they have some great photos). My photos don’t do justice to the view …

I was ooohing and aahing.

I was ooohing and aahing.

The rooftops of Dublin. “Chim-chiminy, chim-chiminy …”

The rooftops of Dublin. “Chim-chiminy, chim-chiminy …”

The view from the Harcourt Street side of the roof.

The view from the Harcourt Street side of the roof.

The company was good too!

 L–R: Me, Gerry, Deidre, Kirsten, Brian, John, Brendan, and Gerard. (Why am I always on the outside edge, showing my broadest side? I don’t know, but inevitably, I am.)

L–R: Me, Gerry, Deidre, Kirsten, Brian, John, Brendan, and Gerard. (Why am I always on the outside edge, showing my broadest side? I don’t know, but inevitably, I am.)

Again, this was Gerry’s send-off. Many nice things were said about my husband (and they were much deserved). And when this lengthy lunch—speeches, gifts—was winding down, it was suggested we walk around the corner to Cassidy’s Pub on Lower Camden Street. “Your countryman Bill Clinton had a gargle here when he visited Ireland [in 1996],” Gerard said by way of suggestion.

Cassidy’s on Camden Street, Lower. Look at that brilliant blue sky!

Cassidy’s on Camden Street, Lower. Look at that brilliant blue sky!

And so we did. Although on further research this may not be the Cassidy’s that Bill Clinton visited: there’s a hipster Cassidy’s up by Trinity College that makes this claim on its website, but the Camden Street Cassidy’s is so authentic—right down to the red façade—it doesn’t even have a website (some reviewers make the Clinton claim on its behalf). The Cassidy’s seven of us straggled into is a traditional, old-style (narrow) room with a long bar of the Victorian-era (1891). It was quiet at first but soon filled up with locals there to watch the rugby finals on the large screen TVs.

At Cassidy’s: Kirstin, Brian, Gerry.

At Cassidy’s: Kirstin, Brian, Gerry.

At Cassidy’s: Gerard, Brendan.

At Cassidy’s: Gerard, Brendan.

The bar at Cassidy’s.

The bar at Cassidy’s.

Oh, it was so good to be in Dublin enjoying this time with Gerry’s colleagues in a great restaurant and a great bar! Lunch started at 1pm and we didn’t get back to the hotel until 8pm. 🙂

I made them pose. :)

I made them pose. 🙂

 

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