Today we decided to just take it easy and not try to do much of anything at all. It's our last day in Ireland and there is a ton of stuff we could have tried to go see in Dublin, but we're both exhausted, Richard's coming down with a sore throat and a bit of a cold, and we just needed a day to unwind and not stress about getting to somewhere at any particular time.
So this morning we ate breakfast leisurely, and then checked out of the hotel and dragged our bags up the street about 4 blocks until we reached a bus stop where we could catch a bus that would take us to the city center. We didn't have long to wait, and we both collapsed in a seat with our suitcases and our coats and stared blearily out the window until we started to recognize where we are and knew it was time to get off.
The internet cafe where I'm typing this entry allows you to leave your luggage for a small fee, which was a plus since it turns out that our hotel had nowhere to stash our stuff once we checked out, and the guy at the tourist info office yesterday had serious doubts as to whether there'd be any working (or available) lockers at the main bus terminal. So we dumped off our bags once we arrived this morning, and the rest of the day has been spent ambling slowly around. We found a used bookstore and miraculously tracked down used copies of two books by Terry Pratchett that are no longer in print in the states, so of course we had to buy them. We found another bookstore - this one huge enough to have three floors of books, stationary, and music, and also a rather nice coffee shop on the top floor, and we lingered there for an hour or two, drinking coffee and eating scones and reading. We ate lunch in a bagel store, with signs everywhere touting the great health benefits of bagels (this amused us), and I took pictures of the four huge statues that line O'Connell street. They're all shaped like giant stretched-out rabbits, all made of the same black material, and not a single bit of information about who made them or what they are anywhere to be found.
Yesterday as we were on the Hop On, Hop Off tour bus, we both spotted a Starbucks somewhere near the city center, so this afternoon we spent about half an hour wandering around looking for it. Amusingly, after getting shrugs or only vague slighly confused directions from the various Irish people we asked, we finally got correct directions from another American and finally found it down the one street we hadn't yet wandered. We found chairs in the back and Richard read a book and I did some knitting, and sitting there, sipping our frappuchinos, it was almost like being in any Starbucks back home.