We cross over the Dodder River via the Londonbridge (makes me hum every time I see the name) and it is heavily populated with swans. It's one of those small things that always reminds me I'm not in Blacksburg anymore.
We tried to visit Malahide Castle but it was still closed. The path to the castle takes you though a lovely wooded area.
Megan has always looked at Noah with great favor as he was obviously destined to be her minion. They played "baby school" yesterday. Noah patiently sat on the couch with her while she read him a story. From the IKEA catalogue. She told an extended saga about a fork that had fallen off his planet and got lost. He had many adventures in the lighting and bedding sections until he finally and joyfully reunited with spoon, knife, and plate in housewares.
While we didn't get to see the castle, Malahide had a wonderful playground. I find European playgrounds a little confusing. While I sometimes feel quite coddled with public campaigns about proper dishtowel hygiene, reminders to look painted right into the crosswalks, and ubiquitous high visibility vests. But then the playgrounds have all manner of equipment you don't see much at all in the US. There are high climbing structures, enormous slides, teeter toters, spinny things and, at Malahide, zip lines! I'm afraid the pictures aren't the very best. Noah kept attempting to run headlong into their path.
The younger child area had this fantastic sand play area with child powered backhoes, pulley systems and chutes.
You also see a lot of group play items. This was an awesome bicycle setup.
This is the rear view from the upper story of the house. The big spaceship looking thing is the Aviva Stadium. On the plus side, they only have a big event once or twice a month, concerts have to finish up by 11 pm, and Irish windows are well built so the kids can still sleep reasonably well with their sound machines. On the down side, the concerts are LOUD so even with good windows and sound machines, the kids are still a little cranky the next day. So far we have been treated to Madonna and Lady Gaga (Lady Gaga fans freaked out the Garda way more than Madonna's) as well as the Navy/Notre Dame game (I think the football fans were the drunkest of the lot but the Garda adored them). Dublin does a good job of blocking off the driveways, street sweeping, and foot traffic management but I think that there is a very good reason that the Aviva stadium has provided
bribes grants to just about every project in the area.