Sorry I have failed in my promise to blog. Though it had a caveat: if I had time. I haven’t had time and although I would like to crawl into bed and go to sleep right now, here I am! We got to our hotel and checked in right away on Monday. I actually wasn’t as jet lagged as I had feared. We went to Trinity College and saw the Book and Kells and the Old Library (Long Room). I had seen this before, but the Long Room is probably my favorite room in the whole world. And this time, as opposed to 2012, we could take non-flash photography! I was SO excited!
I then took Jaime and Tracey down Grafton Street and we ate at a pub just off of there. We had an excellent meal and I had my first Bulmer’s of the trip. Yum! After lunch we walked through St. Stephen’s Green for a bit and then back to the hotel. We all took about a 2.5 hour nap and got up, got ready, and went out. I wanted to take them to Leo Burdock’s, but it was closed right as we got there (literally…the guy came out the front door with a garbage bag and I said, what time do you close? And he said, now.). So we went to The Old Mill, which was also in Temple Bar. It was very good. A nice cozy upstairs restaurant.
Then we braved the Temple Bar Pub. There was pretty good music at the time, so we spent a little over an hour there. I met a new friend on the stairs coming up from the bathroom. There was a guy standing on the stairs talking to someone and I couldn’t get by. I made a move to squeeze behind him, but stopped because I didn’t think I would make it. A guy behind me goes, “go for it!” I said, “I don’t know if I fit.” He goes, “You’re fine!” So we chatted as we walked upstairs and it turned out he was just back from the states from a 4-week holiday. As we made introductions we shook hands and he grabbed my hand with both of his goes, “Torrie from Minnesota, this isn’t a business meeting!” I guess my strong handshake was too much for him! He was a great guy.
We left there Tracey went back to the hotel and Jaime and I tried the Auld Dubliner, but we weren’t feeling it, so we moved on to Oliver St. John Gogarty, which is one of my favorite places anyway. The music there was amazing. The banjo player was unbelievable and the guitarist had a killer personality. Great music and entertaining banter. Just one of the many parts about Ireland I love!
The next day was our big sightseeing day. We got Starbucks for breakfast because my favorite breakfast place was CLOSED. Not cool, Bewley’s, not cool. Then we got our hop on- hop off bus tickets and made our way to Christ Church Cathedral. I had not seen this church before, so I was excited to tour it. It had an incredible crypt (complete with a mummified cat and rat…ugh) and it is where Strongbow is buried. (One of my favorite ciders!)
We then walked the short distance to St. Patrick’s, but had a detour into a really cute art shop. We saw all kinds of amazing prints (of which I took many photos and purchased one card). After that, we toured St. Patrick’s. I didn’t tour so much because I have been there, but I walked around a bit. Then we went to Leo Burdock’s for fish and chips for lunch and ate it on the grounds of Christ Church Cathedral. I know why that place is always named the best chip shop in Dublin!
After lunch we got back on the bus and rode it out to Kilmainham Gaol. This is my favorite attraction in Dublin and so I was extremely disappointed that all of the full tours were sold out for the day already and we could only do a highlights tour. But like Tracey said, better than nothing. I tear up when I think about the political prisoners detained and executed at that place. All because they wanted their God-given, unalienable right to freedom. I am so happy that the possibility of a united Ireland may come to pass now with Brexit. But that’s a conversation for another post.
We then rode the bus to the end of the line and checked out the General Post Office. The site of the 1916 Easter Rising, which of course celebrated its centenary this year. After that we walked back down to Grafton Street so I could get my Tiffany on. Unfortunately, the necklace I had picked out (a clover charm) wasn’t in stock. There were two kinds and they were out of both. The sales person said they had had a lot of American tourists in and they bought them all. Dang it. I got a T necklace instead and I think it would look nice under a suit for a trial day!
We then chilled a bit at the hotel before heading to Fitzsimons for dinner. I had had dinner at this place in December 2014 and it was amazing. It was warm and cozy, I had a delicious beef and Guinness stew, and, of course, Bulmers. This time, the main dining area was full, so we had to sit back in a different area that was cold (we had vent blowing cold air directly on us) and it took at least 45 mins to get our food. A gentleman came into the place 20 mins after we ordered and he nearly finished eating his meal before we got ours. And even then only Tracey was happy with her meal. Mine was lukewarm and Jaime’s was all sorts of wrong.
We then moved on to the Brazen Head…the oldest pub in Dublin and my friend James met us there. I met James just over 4 years ago on my first trip to Ireland. We have kept in touch ever since then and I saw him when I was here in 2014 as well. The four of us had a great time at the Brazen Head and then James and I moved on to the Palace Bar. It was a nice quiet place for us to catch up with one another after such a long time. It is always nice to reconnect with him and I love that a chance meeting in a pub 4 years ago blossomed into a really neat friendship! Hoping to see him again next week before we come home!