Thursday, December 17, 2009

Our Ireland Trip: Day 1 (December 8)

Hey everyone! This is the first post of our retrospective tour diary for our Ireland, and for some of us, Scotland trip. For the time being, these posts will be written from my perspective (Jeremy), but I hope to get some stuff from the other Very Mosters eventually.

So just a little background first. We decided as a band in February (I think?) of 2009 that we were going to go to Ireland to do our European CD launch in Dublin. Basically, it came down to "why not?" We all had plenty of time between now and the completion of our seasonal EPs (whose tracks were going on the CD) to sock away enough money for the trip, and it sounded like a blast. So, there you go. Most of us would also bring our significant others, and it would be a vacation as well as being a tour. Here's everyone that ended up going:

The members of the band:
  • Jeremy Jensen
  • Zach House
  • Gia Trotter
  • Jake Hite
  • Elijah Jensen (who was filling in for Clint Vickery, who couldn't make it)
And our significant others:
  • Sarin Jensen (Jeremy's wife)
  • Karen Jarboe-Singletary (Zach's girlfriend)
  • Lisa Hite (Jake's wife)
  • Kendall Vogt (Elijah's girlfriend)
OK, onto the first day of the trip.

Gia, Sarin, and I flew out of Boise at around 1 in the afternoon on Monday the 7th. It was an uneventful flight (thank goodness) and we arrived in Dublin around 9 am. The one thing I will mention about the flight is that Aer Lingus (Ireland's national carrier) is awesome. Our seven hour flight from Chicago to Dublin was as pleasant as it could be, and they had this entertainment unit built into your seat where you could choose from movies, TV shows, video games, etc. I quickly got hooked on a trivia game. It helped the trip go so much faster. Within a few minutes of arriving in Dublin, we found Elijah and Kendall in the airport, who had a different flight but were arriving at around the same time as we were. The picture below is of Kendall, Elijah and I in the Dublin airport. Notice how the sign is in English and Irish.

So, at this point, Jeremy, Sarin, Elijah, Kendall, and Gia had all made it to Dublin. Jake, Lisa, Zach, and Karen had all been in Ireland for a day or two prior to this. We took a bus into the city center and met Kevin, our amazing label guy from Indiecater, and he walked us to the apartment he was lending us for our stay in Ireland. What a standup guy. We had a nice chat at the apartment that lasted until we realized that we really needed some breakfast.

We walked into town and, after first trying a pub that wasn't yet serving food, settled on another place really close that I don't remember the name of right now. It seemed like a typical Irish pub that served food, though we later learned it really wasn't the best place we could have gone. No matter. The food was pretty good and I had what is famously called a "Full Irish Breakfast." This includes "Black and White Pudding" which I later learned is made mostly from pig blood. AWESOME! It was disgusting and I didn't have more than a couple nibbles. One thing I learned is that the Irish put baked beans on their fried eggs for breakfast. It really wasn't a bad combination, though I doubt I'll be going out of my way to experience it in the future. The other folks in our group went for less adventurous fare (eggs, toast, etc.). On our way back to the apartment, we stopped and got drinks at a corner convenience store, and I began a week long love affair with Irish Orange Fanta, which seems to me to be significantly different than Fanta in the US. It's almost more like a sweeter version of Orangina. Yummy.

Finally, it was time to be interviewed for the radio show "Wired For Sound," a show that is broadcast on a web station ran by the RTE, Ireland's national broadcaster. Elijah, Gia, and I took a cab out to the RTE compound and met Jan Nifhlanagain, one of the hosts of the show, who took us back to their studio. Unbeknown to us, Jake was also in the RTE studios, trying to find us. Apparently, the secretary at the front desk wasn't aware of what was going on with the web station, so she didn't even know where to send him. Dag, yo. Jan took us back to the studio and introduced us to the other hosts: a guy and one other girl, who, I apologize, but I can't remember their names at the moment. Everyone was really friendly and funny, and the interview went really well, but I can't help thinking that the funniest moments of our conversations happened when we weren't recording. D'oh! They played "Sod Off" and "Away in a Manger," which I think were great picks. It's too bad Jake couldn't join us, but it was still fun, and we had done what we came there to do: plug our show in Dublin and get some sweet, sweet Irish airplay. Mission Accomplished.

We took a bus back into the city center (or perhaps I should say "centre"), and, after resting for a little bit at the apartment, went to go meet (for the first time) my friend Darragh Nolan from the amazing band The Angel Pier at his work. He works as a graphic and web designer for an organization that promotes Irish music and musicians. Lucky dude. After I got lost trying to find his office, I had to message him on Facebook, but eventually I found it and we had a nice chat. After maybe an hour and a half of hanging out with him at his workplace, I walked back to the apartment to catch up with the rest of the homiez.

We all decided we needed some dinner, so we walked to this Kebab house that I had seen while I was lost looking for Darragh's office. I had a greek lamb sandwich that took up half my plate, as well as some fries, and everyone else had falafel sandwiches. Great stuff. Finally, though, fatigue got the best of me and by the end of the dinner, I was falling asleep in my chair. Unfortunately, it was a decent walk back to the apartment. Here's a picture of Elijah and Gia in the Kebab house:

Even though we were exhausted, the walk home was beautiful. The main thoroughfare in Dublin, O'Connell Street, was lit up with Christmas lights. Here's a Christmas tree lit up with LEDs:

And here's some lights that spell "Dublin" in Irish:

Gorgeous. O'Connell Street really is nice.

Right after we got back to the apartment, most of us were ready to sleep. We were severely jet lagged, and we needed to rest up for our first show in Dundalk, which I'll fill you in on tomorrow.

And thus ends day one.

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