Daughter and Husband planned the last half of our recent trip to Europe. Our trip ended in Dublin, where they booked us into a really swanky hotel called The Merrion. It is the sort of place where the Bell Captains wear top hats and the housekeepers lay out soft mats and bedroom slippers on either side of the bed when they do up the room. It was really grand.
We arrived in Dublin by ferry from Holyhead, Wales. The streets were really crowded and it was hard to find a taxi. We strolled around Trinity College and down Grafton Street and it was wall to wall people. We were told by the travel agent that we were lucky to find hotel rooms in Dublin the weekend we were there, as she was told by someone that there were lots of things going on in town. Those “things” turned out to be:
- The Irish Open
- Josh Groban in concert
- A very important soccer match
- Bruce Springsteen in concert Friday and Sunday evenings.
Everyone seemed to be talking about Bruce Springsteen. Nils Lofgren and Stevie Van Zandt were playing with him, and the newspapers had the whole play list for the concerts, which took place in a large outdoor arena that held 65,000 people. One taxi driver told us that there were 100,000 extra people in Dublin just for those concerts.
As we were checking into our hotel, I heard a man asking after a female guest who was “a member of the Springsteen party”, and I realized that Bruce was staying at The Merrion, too. That explained all the people with cameras milling around outside the hotel.
We never saw Bruce, but we heard about him from some delightfully gossipy taxi drivers. They confirmed that he was indeed at The Merrion, and gave us a running itinerary for him, letting us know that on Saturday morning he worked out in the gym around the corner from the hotel, and that on Sunday morning he went bowling.
Bowling? Now, in all our time in Europe, I never saw a bowling alley. Did he go lawn bowling? Can you imagine Bruce Springsteen lawn bowling, upsetting the octogenarian bowlers in their white lawn bowling get ups? Why would he go bowling? Why not a short trip to the coast or to some castle, or a private view of the Book of Kells. Maybe he could have gone to church. If I were Bruce Springsteen, would I want to go bowling? I just don’t know.
W.W.Y.A.S.D? (What Would You (as Springsteen) Do?