Updated: Jan 10, 2020
We had to return to the gate at JFK last night to allow a passenger to disembark. Not sure if it was a medical issue, but we were about an hour late leaving New York. We flew through the turbulence that was Lorenzo early this morning and arrived in Dublin only about a half hour late. Immigration was easy and once I collected my luggage I headed for the Air Coach. For a reasonable €8.50 I was dropped off across the street from Buswells. If you are traveling from the US or Canada the flights into Dublin (or Shannon) are night flights arriving early in the morning. There are two flights from New York to Dublin...one at 5:30 and one at 9:00. I always take the later one which gets in at a reasonable hour and there's always a chance, your hotel room might be ready. Last year my husband met me in Dublin at the end of the research trip, and they bumped him to the earlier flight. He arrived at 4:30 a.m. and although I had given him specific instructions on taking the bus...it wasn't running that early. Taxis tend to be expensive (€35 - €45 depending on traffic).
Luck wasn't with me this morning and my room wasn't ready. They checked my luggage and off I went to run errands. Although it was quite overcast and windy, it wasn't raining (yet). First stop...a SIM card for my phone. I headed to Vodafone on Grafton Street and for €20 got a plan which included phone, data and text for a month. That was €10 less than I paid last year. It makes life easier, especially when hailing taxis using an app called FREE NOW (formerly MyTaxi). If you want to do this, you must have an unlocked phone (which needs to be done before you leave the US).
Next I walked over to EPIC to pick up the tickets for next week, and visit the Family History Centre. It was above a 20 minute walk. When I left EPIC it was raining but I managed to dodge the raindrops on my way to the Irish Life Centre to confirm the arrangements with the Valuation Office. Because of the rain I took the Luas back to Dawson Street, a short walk back to the hotel.
Here's another tip for visiting Dublin...get a Leap Card. You can purchase one at one of the Newsagent stores on Grafton Street. It allows you to "tap on and off" when riding the Luas or buses around Dublin. It beats trying to find the correct change! Not only is it convenient, but as long as you're not traveling during rush hours, you'll save money as well. You can top up your card (add more money to it) as needed. I'm using the same card I had last year.
Once back at Buswells, my room was ready and I unpacked, set my alarm and took a 1 hour nap. Try not to sleep for too long on your first day (I know you're exhausted from the flight and time change). It will help you adjust to the time change more quickly if you push through and go to bed at your normal time.
If you're traveling to Dublin for research or sightseeing, I hope some of these tips help.