Back To the Motherland!

Since Ireland is so close, we thought “why not go for the weekend!?” And that we did.

Joel and I hopped a quick Aer Lingus flight over to the Emerald Isle to drink some Guinness, see the country (and lots of sheep) and have some good craic.

Our short trip was split into time in Dublin and Galway. Dublin was up first and after checking into the historic Shelbourne Hotel and a walk through St. Stephen’s Green, we headed for an immediate Guinness at noon in Dublin’s oldest pub, The Stags Head. After some food and the beer, we walked over to get… some more Guinness! This time at the Guinness Storehouse. We strolled through the storehouse fairly quickly. Walking past barrels, barley, hops and water up to the top where we found the advertising section of Guinness’s history which proved to be my favorite part. Onward though we headed to the very top of the storehouse, The Gravity Bar, where we sampled fresh Guinness and sat in the sun. I suppose that turned out to be our favorite part.

Since we were on a role with the booze, we headed across the river to the Jameson Distillery. The distillery, however, had tremendous wait times for their hour long tours so we decided it wasn’t worth it. Besides, I had another brewery in mind – Messrs Maguire. I had read about this place on some beer blogs and was intrigued. We ordered a few of their house brews and I can honestly say they were fantastic. I would recommend and go back (and we did!).

Day two took us across the country to Galway. We hopped on an early two hour bus ride and arrived into the bus station only to get on another bus – a tour bus. We decided the quickest and easiest way to see Galway and the south in a day was by tour bus. The bus took us through the Burren which is an incredible rocky/grassy landscape dotted with country homes, sheep, and historical sites and up to the Cliffs of Moher. I had seen the Cliffs before but only in the pouring rain and wind so this time I got to appreciate its full potential. Even with the hundreds of tourists, the Cliffs were breathtaking. It really reminded me why I love Ireland so much and it was so great to share that with Joel.

More travels along the coast of Galway and we were back at the bus station ready to head to Dublin. We arrived back in Dublin on Sunday at night so it was a bit sleepy. That didn’t stop us from finding some food and beer. After a trip back to Messrs Maguire, we made our way closer to the hotel with a stop at Porterhouse Brewing Company. While there is a location in both London and New York (both of which we’ve been), it was nice to see where it all started and grab a pint.

Our final morning took place in Dublin – more time in St. Stephen’s Green, picked up some Irish soda bread from the Bretzel Bakery and enjoyed some delicious lunch at the Shelbourne Hotel.

I think this sums up our trip –

Ireland truly is one of my most favorite places. I enjoy it more every time I visit.

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