Our trip to Ireland brought about many things for me; a greater appreciation for my Irish heritage; a rekindled love for U2 and what it means to drink a properly poured Guinness. Although we only had four days in the Emerald Isle, I feel like we got a good taste of Ireland. Of course with any short trip, it’s a taste that has left me wanting more.
We had the best of intentions to see everything on our well-calculated itinerary (and for the most part we did) however, low and behold around every corner in Dublin the black stuff was calling our name. Seriously, you haven’t tasted, I mean truly tasted Guinness until you’ve had it in Ireland. It’s like a completely different drink. It’s crisper, cleaner, smoother—it’s just better. It starts with the slow patient pour behind the bar and ends with the light delicious goodness sliding down the hatch. Yes, light. I would have never described Guinness as “light” until I had it in Ireland. Sipping on a fresh Guinness at the top of the Sky Bar at the Guinness Factory gazing upon Dublin was a pretty cool moment (more on that later).
We seem to treat every trip as a no holds barred calorie extravaganza. You would think we hadn’t eaten in weeks when we go on these little jaunts. Excessive maybe, but hey, you have to sample a little bit of everything, right? Highlights of our 6-Pack Taste of Dublin Tour included: a traditional Irish breakfast at Slattery’s Pub; tarts, scones and coffee at Queen of Hearts, Irish Stew at Auld Dubliner, Guinness Stew at the Guinness Factory, brown bread, brown bread and more brown bread. What can I say, we like carbs. Thank God for post-vacation work pants (slightly outdated GAP slacks with just the right give–perfect for post-trip bloat). I’ve often heard people say the food in Ireland isn’t good. I actually loved it– simple and hardy.
While we spent the majority of our time in Dublin, we did sneak away to Howth and Malahide (two small towns within an hour of Dublin). Both towns offer a peek at life outside of Dublin and quite frankly, we always enjoy getting out of the city. Howth and Malahide are both seaside towns and only a 30-40 minute train ride from Dublin. It’s a great way to see more than one town if you don’t have a lot of time. There are tours offered to both cities from Dublin but the train ride is much cheaper and both villages are very walkable (in our opinion that’s the best way to go).
We became absolutely spoiled by Mother Nature on our recent trip to Iceland and were left craving more outdoor beauty. A day trip aboard Paddy Wagon Tours to the Cliffs of Moher did the trick. Not only did we get to set foot upon one of the most gorgeous natural wonders of the world; it’s also a landmark featured in one of my favorite movies of all time–The Princess Bride!
With every trip I am more amazed by the beauty in this world. And with every opportunity to travel, I am more grateful for being fortunate enough to do so. It truly is a gift that shouldn’t be taken for granted. There’s so much more from our Irish escapade to share but in the mean time….Slainte!