Whiskey, beer, and fish: My 48 hours in Dublin

Less than 48 hours of arriving in Dublin, we are already departing. Although our stay was short and sweet, I loved our time in Ireland as a beginning destination for our adventure.  After 3 years in Chicago, I am a committed city girl. Dublin is no city by my definition. There are no skyscrapers, and there are hardly any buildings over 3 stories. In other words, it’s so adorable! The city was so clean and everyone was so friendly. In our 2 days, we walked at least 15 miles, and we think we covered most of the inner city!         I missed my connecting flight to Dublin on Tuesday, so I arrived late. My luggage hadn’t arrived, but I was DONE with traveling and we headed for the hostel anyway. Lesson learned: I am too much of a diva for hostels. After living with first-year residents this last year, I can definitely handle the noisy neighbors and roommates. It was definitely more than manageable, but I can’t say I’m looking forward to another 12-bed hostel in London.     After checking in, we were quickly back on our feet. We stopped at a supermarket for some snacks (and to marvel at the foreign foods – this will be a common occurrence for us foodies). We went on a tour at the Old Jameson Distillery. It was really cool to see how the whiskey was made, but we learned that whiskey isn’t even made there anymore. We sampled some whiskey. After trying Scotch whiskey, I had no desire to try American whiskey (Jack Daniels). I’ll take their word for it that triple distilled is better than single or double. The Jameson Ginger & Lime was the free drink I redeemed.       The main “downtown nightlife” area of Dublin is Temple Bar, and we headed to Porterhouse for dinner per recommendation from a friend who studied abroad here for an entire year. We tried their strawberry beer which was delicious! I got the Irish salmon, and Kelsey had the Irish beef stew. Are we Irish yet?   We turned in early for the night. I’m still feeling under the weather, and my pink eye has caused a nasty broken blood vessel in my eye. Let’s hope this doesn’t last much longer! I want to wear contacts and makeup for pictures!    Wednesday morning we have basic breakfast at the hostel (toast – just toast) and we leave for a walking tour. We saw everything in the Viking/Medieval District like the Dublin Castle and the St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Everything else is a bit of a blur, but I swear I saw most of the south side of Dublin!      We stopped for a pint around noon at The Storehouse. My pint = soup.      We ended the walking tour in St. Stephens Garden.          It was the most gorgeous day for a walking tour. In the sun it was warm but never hot, and there was still a nice breeze. We couldn’t have asked for a better day! From there, the two of us ventured to the Guinness Storehouse. We were expecting something similar to the Distillery from the night before, but that made Guinness look like an amusement park! There were 7 stories of interactive museum/entertainment exhibits explaining the whole process behind Guinness – everything from the physical process of brewing to the advertising and marketing process (did you know that Kelsey and I are both marketing majors?).            We also sampled Guinness “like a pro” with a room specially designed to awaken our senses followed by a room made to mimic the flavors of Guinness… Yeah I still don’t like beer. Sorry.  Our ticket earned us a free bar in the gravity bar. It was awesome to see them brew a beer and it change colors. I think there was a lot of science involved in this, but I just liked the cute shamrock the bartender drew on my beer.   I took one sip, enjoyed the foam, then took all the pictures in the world.       The best part was enjoying the gravity bar experience. We didn’t realize how close we were to the water, and it was awesome to see how close the surrounding countryside really was. I called it a skyline, but I don’t think it qualifies as that. Whatever it is, it was stunning.      From there we walked through the Phoenix Park which was gorgeous and made us wish we had our running shoes and had the energy to run! By then we had hit another wall, so after exploring quaint residential areas, we went back to Temple Bar to eat dinner at Fitzsimons, another pub. We devoured our Fish & Chips and enjoyed live Irish music. The man next to us at the bar remarked how he was surprised how much we ate. It was a long day. Do not question our appetites!   We stopped at another market for some morning fruit, and I got a dessert candy bar that had been enticing me since the airport. It tastes like the yummier, Wonka version of a Toblerone. Yes please.    Another early night in because our desire to have fun does not beat the price of the pub crawl and of our energy levels. I had more trouble sleeping that night, but maybe it’s just because I am so excited for London.  After much concern, I was able to make my suitcase weigh under 20kg! It was 19.0. I’m good. Also, I look ridiculous.    It’s already a rainy day in Dublin, and it’s supposed to get worse in London. We’ll see how we handle this day and if these smiles upon our arrival to our next hostel.  It was already difficult recapping these last 2 days. Time is flying by and I’m having a blast, but I worry it will all be a blur by the time we’re in Rome in 48 hours. If I remember anything from Dublin, it’s that it is the most friendly and quaint town(city) I have ever visited. If one day I decide to finally write that novel I’ve envisioned for the last 5 years, I will snuggle up in a cozy, Dublin apartment and write with a Jameson Ginger & Lime by my side. Dracula was written in Dublin, so maybe I’ll find the luck of the Irish that way.

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