This trip to Dublin from SFO was purchased on an AA sale fare of $550 back in October. Not the lowest I ever paid (we had $300 fares a few years ago that many of us traveled on), but certainly the lowest Europe fare for this winter. This is my second time over this year. We'll be in Dublin for the St. Patrick's Day parade on March 17. MONDAY Originally due to depart SFO for LAX at 4:23pm on a regional jet, but our aircraft was having mechanical issues at LAX and was running 90 mins behind. Received a text message from AA that we were due to arrive in the remote terminal at LAX at 7:26pm which really wasn’t going to work with a 7:40pm departure to London. Arranged backup flights on British Airways later in the evening from LAX. Well. the AA flight did make up some of the time and quickly turned around at SFO. We were in the air shortly after 6pm, after a slight ATC delay, and once at LAX took the grand tour of the facilities, landing on one side of the airport and taxiing to the remote AA Eagle terminal on the opposite side. We were met by an AA rep and a special shuttle bus to the main terminal for 19 passengers connecting to London or Sao Paolo. Boarded our AA flight to London at 7:35pm but we did not depart as scheduled at 7:40pm. They did take about a half hour delay loading baggage and cargo and balancing the weight. I’m with my friends Jim and Zennie and we all had empty seats next to us in the small 4-row economy section at the front of the cabin on a 777-300. These seats come with a few inches of extra legroom. I watched one movie (Fury with Brad Pitt as a WWII tank driver) and tried to sleep the rest of the 10 hour flight. Plenty of business class seats open and glad I didn’t use an upgrade (down to my last two for the year). TUESDAY Landed at London Heathrow at 1:30pm and worked our way from T3 to T5 via shuttle bus. Got in the line for passport control/security for Ireland/UK departures and bumped into 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin (Jim and Zennie’s oldest daughter) and two other Cal swimmers in transit from Marseilles to Edinburgh for swimming this weekend. No idea they were coming through Heathrow the same time we were so we were all surprised. No time for a lounge visit and headed straight to the gate. Had a 3:30pm British Airways A320 departure to Dublin and landed about 5pm. Airport express shuttle into the city and we were checking into our hotel, Jury's Inn Parnell Square, at 6pm. Back out for dinner at La Pizza on O’Connell Street at 7pm (pizza with french fries for Jim and me, and fish and chips for Zennie- sort of mandatory in Ireland that every dish has to come with some potato product). The pizza with a soft drink was 10 euros ($10.70). Walked around O’Connell Street and were back at the hotel around 9. WEDNESDAY After hotel breakfast, out into cloud-covered Dublin. Walked over to Connolly Station to pick up our train tickets for Thursday’s trip to Belfast (you input a confirmation number into a kiosk and it prints the tickets-- these priced at $15 one way for each of us). As long as we were at the train station seemed like a good time for a trip out, so decided to go to Howth, a seaside town known for its fish markets that’s about 30 mins out. Started raining just as we arrived. While exploring there, I talked with a local gentleman who asked if I was enjoying the “fresh air”. That was as I was holding the hood down on my jacket so it wouldn’t be blown off. Yes, I was enjoying the fresh air (and the rain).