The last day I spend in place is always a fine balance between doing the things I’ve discovered I like and doing the things I haven’t gotten a chance to do. I want to end of a good note - maybe revisit a restaurant I liked or stop by a certain view that I thought was particularly great. Today was the perfect blend.

I woke up really late this morning. My hostel room was basically like sleeping in the middle of Grand Central Station so I didn’t get much sleep during the actual night. Once most of the people were out and it finally reached a lull, I zonked out for a few hours and finally make myself get out of bed sometime around 11. I knew I would have a slow day, so it wasn’t a big deal.

Next order of business was food. I hadn’t eaten since about 2PM the day before so I was famished. I’d seen the Queen of Tarts appear on my foursquare list a few times so I thought I’d venture out for tea and a scone for breakfast. I love a good tea and scone. Of course, it started pouring, but I got inside just in time and breakfast (err brunch?) hit the spot. Good thing it’s Sunday too because I would have missed the scones entirely on any other day!

From there I wanted to check out the “design district” to see if I could find any cool Irish handmade crafts. No luck on that front. I did get to see some new neighborhoods that I hadn’t discovered before, though, so it was totally worth it. I also started to feel like I had a good grasp of the lay of the land. I only had to consult my map once or twice today to make sure I made it where I wanted. It usually takes a few days which is why I find it ideal to stay at least 4-5 days in a city before moving on. This was a quick trip, but I think I managed to do it.

Then, the coincidence of all coincidences, an old friend from San Francisco, Alyssa, was in town. We hadn’t seen each other since before I left SF over 5 years ago. We met up at a pub for dinner and spent a few hours catching up over Irish stew and some pints of Guinness. And, as luck would have it, we also got to catch some live music which was the icing on the cake. I love good conversations - the kind where you dive into life and decisions and sort of bounce ideas back and forth. If we didn’t have early flights, I’m pretty sure we could have stayed there much longer! It felt like the right way to end my trip to Ireland: nursing some pints in a pub, live Irish music in the background, chatting with a friend.

Now I’m all packed up. Evidently you need to get to the airport 3 hours in advance in Ireland because you clear US Customs on this side of the flight instead of at home. That means an early morning for me, but I’m ready to head home. I’m not particularly looking forward to the flight itself, but I’m ready to have salad and get a good night’s sleep.

This was a good trip. I managed to do more than I expected, but I didn’t have so much time that I ran out of things to do. Success!