Friday, June 03, 2011

Dublin Day 1, The luck and not so luck of the Irish!..

So after two excellent shows in Manchester, the second one with my dad who’s last show was The Beatles in 1963! Kami and i drove down to London for a night at home before flying out to Dublin the next morning. We’d stayed at my dads  for the last three nights, he really enjoyed the show and said it was totally different to what he was expecting! Phrases like “ There was some great guitar work” and “ that guy (Robbie) could do a show on his own” were heard and my dad left the venue speechless after seeing what i’d been seeing for the last ten years of my life!
We flew out of Gatwick to Dublin, i paid £14.00 roundtrip for my flight and due to Kami booking it a month or so later she paid £19.00! £5 more, scandalous!
We were up at 6:30am and sat in the airline lounge having breakfast by 8:30 for our 10am flight. I’d checked in online the day before, printed out our Boarding passes and both of us only had carry on luggage for the short two night stay in Dublin.
After an hour in the lounge, the gate was announced and opened and we made our way to board the flight, we presented our boarding passes at the gate and were asked to move along to the lounge. A second check was in place and the guy said to kami she wasn't allowed to proceed any further as she hadn't had her boarding pass stamped at check in! it was now 9:15 and boarding closed at 9:40. He pointed to the small print on Kamis boarding card  that said all Non EU  travellers had to have their boarding passes stamped at check in before coming through security. After a minute of pleading and realising the guy didn't care that we had genuinely missed the small print we had no option but to try get back out of airside, run to the check in, get the stamp and head back through security again for the flight.
We headed to the airport information desk only to be told is wasn’t as easy as the above as officially we had left the country! We had to be de-contained and go through the whole airport system again! we had ten minutes to do this and soon realised we weren't gonna make this flight. The lady at the info desk called to get someone to come and walk us back through customs and security and after seeing us sitting down for over an hour waiting for said person to come she decided to take us back through herself. As missing the flight was our own fault we also had to buy a new flight out to Dublin and the prices i was getting online that i was checking while we were waiting were coming up at over £200 each!! The “info lady” again being helpful called through to Ryanair and found we could get a flight for £100 each.
After taking us back through we purchased a new flight, headed back through security and 15 minutes later we were back airside waiting for the 1:30pm flight. Unlike the guy at the Ryanair gate the info lady was ever so nice and did what she  could for us, i went to the shop after getting through security and bought her a box f Cadburys Roses for her helpfulness. She was delighted as we took the box of chocolates to the desk to give her and said “ awww you didn't have to do that” to which i replied, “ i know we didn't have to but we wanted to”
We headed back to the airline lounge and sat and waited as the flight got moved from 1:30 to 2pm, then to 2:30pm and then to 3pm,  it was 3:30pm before we flew out but the good news was we were on our way! albeit 8 hours after arriving at the airport!
We had heard the day before the President Obama was due into Dublin today at 1pm, hence the reason for our delayed flight. As we landed at Dublin airport the cabin crew pointed out the reason for our delay!
Air force one
IMG-20110523-01028 
We took a taxi to the hotel, wasn't too bad traffic wise but we did notice cops were everywhere! The taxi driver had his radio on in the car and the broadcaster was telling how Obama had just taken off from a short stop in a small village in his Chinook helicopter, as we looked out of the window to the right we saw in the short distance a Chinook helicopter just starting to fly through the skies!
We were all meant to be meeting up at 5:00pm in the Jury Hotel bar just down the street from the o2 Arena. Jackie and Dave had arrived a couple of days earlier, Kevin and Philippe had arrived yesterday and our friend James from Newark had flown in earlier today but been delayed due to Obama's flight.
We freshened up at the hotel and then took a tax down to the venue, what we didn't realise was Obama was doing a speech right in the centre of Dublin and after 35 minutes (what should have been a 10 minute ride) in our taxi the driver turned the meter off and said he was packing in for the night after our drop off!
Jackie had texted earlier to say they were all leaving the bar and would meet us at the venue. After getting out of the taxi and walking towards the venue i realised something was missing out of my pocket, my camera!! Id left it in the backseat of the cab!! ARGHH!! today was NOT a good day. I called the hotel who in turn called the cab company and i heard back from the hotel 15 minutes later to say the taxi driver had found the camera and would drop it into the hotel later that night. Whew!
We met up with everyone outside the venue, Kevin was on the hunt for tickets for Jackie and Dave, Dave K had text Jackie to say tickets were like rocking horse shit his end due to their being a lot of guests at tonight's show. Kevin came back a while later with two nice piece of rocking horse shit and Jackie and Dave were all set for the show!

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