First of all, thank you to Isabelle for sending me the information on this group. I had planned to do some searching for expat groups, but in no way would I have been as organized as she is and not as speedy in my research either.
The April monthly meeting was the first week that I arrived, so I didn't attend that one, but the May meeting was last night and I went with bells on. I wasn't sure what to expect or how many people would be there. The gathering was at a bar called The Morgan on Fleet Street in Temple Bar. Temple Bar is the area that I believe most tourists flock to. An Irish Bourbon Street of sorts. I would generally stay away from the area, but The Morgan was a really nice bar attached to a hotel I believe.
Fortunately the group had a sign - otherwise I would've been sitting at the bar waiting to hear that familiar American accent. The first person that I started talking to was Irish. Damn. I came to this thing and I'm probably only going to talk to an Irish person - that makes no sense. Turns out he is the husband of the organizer of the event. Very nice guy, but I was glad when some actual Americans came over to chat.
There was of course a mixture of home towns: New York, Colorado, Texas, Pennsylvania. There was also a good span of length of time lived in Ireland: 6 weeks to 3.5 years. We chatted about the differences that we're experiencing, things missed from home, and new things loved in Ireland.
The best tip learned so far is that instead of having to buy a car, I can apparently enter into a long-term rental from a regular rental car company. That way I can avoid the road tax and having to search for something that I really want to buy. So, the event was fun AND beneficial! Can't beat that.