Ireland Day 1: Chicago to Ireland!

Ohhhhhh, I hope you’re ready for some Ireland recaps. I intend on writing one for every day I was there, plus I might do some “Ireland Outfits” or “Things I’d Do Differently” type posts. We’ll see where it takes me. 🙂 These are probably going to be long, but hey … that’s what happens. With that, here’s Day 1!


The day started out in Milwaukee. One of my best friends let me stay at her house while she was traveling abroad with her husband (thanks, Saige!), so we got up in the morning, got a donut at Cranky Al’s and headed down to Chicago. Let’s just say by the time we got to Chicago, my stomach was doing flips. What if my tickets don’t work? What if the plane crashes? What if my carry on is too big? I had a slight panic in the parking lot and then went into the airport and found out that the tickets I won so many months ago were IN FACT real and I was ACTUALLY going to Ireland.

Holy shit.

Thankfully my sister was wearing an awesome shirt in the Chicago airport to help me calm down a bit. (She’s gonna kill me for putting this on the internets BUT IT’S SO CUTE.)

Bears Still Suck

My sister couldn’t go with us through security (BOO), so she left and my dad made our way through the rest of the death machine station airport. We made it on the plane after a slight delay, but were told the tail wind was awesome, so we’d be in Dublin in 6.5 hours. What?

Airplane Selfie

Well, let’s just say we both didn’t sleep the entire 6.5-hour flight PLUS the 6-hour jump ahead in time got us to Dublin at 5 a.m. their time. We made it to our hotel, the Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel, after our awesome Irish taxi driver took us through Dublin and gave us a bunch of pointers. Such a nice guy, even though it was 55 Euro to get to our hotel (ughhhh).

Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel

Since we were there so early, we didn’t have a room yet, so we took a zombie walk around the town, which was technically Dalkey even though my travel agent told me it was close to Dublin … (it was not.) The entire town was still asleep, but LOOK WE FOUND A CASTLE.

Dalkey Castle

Probably the smallest castle we found, but I was all about those castles.

After a little walk, we headed back to the hotel for my dad to fall asleep in the lobby and me to chat it up with one of the concierge people who was able to give me some information on how to get to Dublin the next day since I didn’t want to spend my entire budget on taxis.
face of jetlag

The face of jet lag.

The concierge explained the train system and hop on/hop off bus system to me, so that was super helpful. He also was able to get us into our hotel room 4-hours early, YAY!

Map Time

So we got into our room, I took some pictures and then we took a nap for a couple of hours.

Fitzpatrick Hotel

Fitzpatrick Hotel

A few things I learned:
1) Four star hotels mean something entirely different in Ireland than they do in the U.S. (there were stains everywhere, the bathroom barely worked and the beds were literally harder than the floor) and …
2) Apparently hotels think it’s fun to make you stick the hotel room card in a little slot when you work otherwise none of your lights work. One phone call to the front desk later … *insert embarrassed emoji here*

I changed my outfit after the quick nap, tried to convince myself that it was the afternoon, not early in the morning and headed out for another walk that was less zombie-feeling.

Blanket Scarf

P.S. that blanket scarf was a LIFE saver. It was a blanket on the airplane, a shawl/blanket in the lobby, a scarf, a rain jacket, a way to get out of the light, etc. Best item I brought to Ireland, hands down.

The little town of Dalkey was beautiful.

Dalkey, Ireland

Dalkey, Ireland

The weather was in the low 70s and sunny – weird Ireland weather. We walked a really long way and then found a stair case to go down closer to the water.

Dalkey, Ireland

There was ivy everywhere. So beautiful!

Dalkey, Ireland

Dalkey, Ireland

Dalkey, Ireland

Seriously, I felt like I was in a tropical location for the day!

Just Jessie Blog

I mean, a slightly cool tropical location, but whatever! (I could barely keep my eyes open in the picture above haha)

If you can tell, we’re at an incline so we continued to climb back up the HUGE hill and found another castle-lookin’ thingy.

Dalkey, Ireland

We made it up to the hill and back to the hotel where dad got a beer and we waited for the restaurant to open.


We had dinner in the hotel restaurant called The Grill at the Castle, situated in the original dungeon of the Castle. Pretty cool! Plus, I got fish and chips and it was INSANE. YUMYUMYUM.

The Grill at the Castle

Fish n' Chips

And then I went back to my hotel, took a shower, played on my computer and fell asleep at 8 p.m. like a 95-year-old woman. 🙂 And that was my first day in Ireland!

This entry was posted in Ireland.


    • Jessie says:

      And maybe it was just this one, but I even noticed the B&Bs star system was different than what I would rate something based on places I’ve stayed. Thank you!! I can’t remember where I got it, haha. I can’t wait to hear more about YOUR trip later this year! 🙂

  1. Liz says:

    Love it! I’m having serious wanderlust right now since I’m pregnant and feel like my travel life is ending (and I’m also having a panicky feeling that I NEED TO TRAVEL ALL THE TIME RIIIGHT NOW!), so I love reading these types of posts! That’s a HUGE hotel for another country, haha. I have stayed in 4 star hotels in Europe that we literally didn’t even have room to open our suitcases on the floor. The scenery is so pretty there! Can’t wait to read the rest of the recaps!
    Liz recently posted…Mid-week Ramblings!My Profile

    • Jessie says:

      It’s so interesting in the difference between what we’d consider a 4-star and what they do! It was still a nice place – don’t get me wrong – just wouldn’t have been that high up on the stars in the U.S. It’s so beautiful!! Thanks for reading.

    • Jessie says:

      It’s the greatest! I got it from or maybe it was GroopDealz last year and it was super cheap. They’re kind of hard to find now, but TOTALLY worth it. I want another one.

Comments are closed.