For my tenth anniversary the wife and I decided to go to Ireland. This pleased me beyond belief. I have been to some great places but for what ever reason never thought that I would find myself in Ireland. Yet here we go. We got some pretty good deals so far, the flight was booked round trip through Aer Lingus, and we got a small studio apartment using Home Away. All in all we have only spent 2800 bucks so far and we took care of the two biggest items. Are expectations are high, but our itinerary is low. We are going to relax and take it all in. The main goal is to go and enjoy the people, the pubs, and mainly the scenery. We are only a few days away from setting off onto our journey, and I couldn’t be more excited.
Day #1 Pre Trip (Friday)
The pre-trip excitement and jitters have begun, more so for the wife then me. She has made many statements that don’t seem all that logical or maybe I just don’t get it. All of a sudden there is zero time, even though we leave on Sunday, and everything needs to be cleaned as if the damn Pope is coming over. The biggest thing is that she wants to clean weird shit all of a sudden like “Do you think we should mop the ceiling”, or “Eww, HONEY WE SHOULD PROBABLY DUST THE INSIDE OF THE FRIDGE BEFORE WE LEAVE”, WTF. I try to remind her that there will be no one here for a week, and trust me the cat doesn’t give a shit what the house looks like. The other things that need to be accomplished fall in very different categories such as needing to get haircuts, shaving all of my body hair off, getting her toe nails done, shopping for more clothes, checking the weather in Ireland every 15 minutes, searching our closet for 30-60 minutes as if new clothes will magically appear each time we re-enter this den of outdated cloth. While I begin to pack I will be reminded over and over again that I shouldn’t take that and pack this, and constantly asked will this fit in your bag. Oh the joys of travel.
Showers are complete, the wife and my oldest are headed to the mall soon to purchase a shit ton of items that will only be worn once. They will eat a crazy good lunch, and I am sure that when she gets home she will only pack half the things she bought. Me I am off to find barber to cut my hair, not just any barber though it has to be one the can cut my hair so it doesn’t burn my wife’s eyes when she gazes at me. This has been an ongoing battle. I usually don’t get to caught up in it, I pick the first place I see and get it cut. I remind you that I have been overseas a lot and have had some wild people cut my hair. My favorite was a gay Filipino with long nails that would sing Christina Aguilera’s “DIRTY” while cutting my hair, and this took place in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. Yes a gay Filipino hair stylist in the middle of Saudi Arabia. Dude was good though.
Back from my hair cut. The girls are still shopping. I take this valuable time to wonder around the house and just think about all the things I should be doing.
Fuck I got shit to do!
Well I guess I better Mop.
The puppy has gotten a bath at PETCO, more laundry is in, and I believe the wife is a bottle deep on some white wine. Me, well I have had a couple more summer ales. Time to relax and enjoy the night. I think I have been asked to vacuum the lawn tomorrow.
Day #2 Pre-Trip (Saturday)
The wife is up and ready to leave so that she can get her hair done. Most mornings it takes what feels like 47 and half hours for her to get ready in the morning. Since she is trying a new hair dresser it took 20 minutes to get ready. Where is this motivation every other day. I have been told that her hair will take up to 3 hours. Holy shit, 3 hours! That’s insane. For what ever reason the woman that is normally the most impatience person I know, all of a sudden has the patience of a Buddhist Monk. Crazy, is 0930 to early for a drink?
So I didn’t grab a drink, but I did start the laundry. I am beginning to feel like she has a master plan where I do all the cleaning while she runs around.
I cut the grass one last time for this week. Started some more laundry and now have become anxious about my pancreas. Three weeks ago I had Pancreatitis which was by far the most painful thing I have ever felt. It was like a tiny dwarf made of razor blades was doing laps in my stomach and back. So fast forward I had three beers yesterday and now I think I have awaken the beast again. Probably all in my head.
I went and tried to pick up my dry cleaning and it wasn’t ready. I hate when that happens. I am going to start prepping a beef brisket for tomorrow, I just want it to marinate over night. Going to jump up early to cook it. The family requested it, and I shall deliver. Although I wont be able to enjoy it to much because of the law fat anti pancreatitis diet I am on. FUCK YOU PANCREAS.
Bags are pretty much packed. The wife’s hair looks great, yet she still hasn’t noticed mine at all. Off to pick up my dry cleaning again, it better be done.
God dammit the place is closed.
I am sitting on my couch my stomach continue to act funny, what the hell.
We have successfully died Easter eggs. This was the cleanest it has ever been, no dye anywhere.
Day #3 (Sunday Easter and the Day we travel)
I wake to smoke the brisket, nothing like getting the smoker ready at 3am. That smell is good at all hours of the day. The best part was is that it was quiet, almost tranquil and bliss. This is because everyone else was still asleep.
My peace is broken by children searching for the for Easter baskets. They look like junkies who were just given clues to where drugs may be stored.
Final touch up cleaning and then it’s off to the outlaws, I mean in-laws. No really they are the greatest people ever.
Kids are dropped off, we give a quick hello and goodbye all in one breath and it’s off to Ireland.
We still had to drop the dog off. At this point I am beginning to fade, 3am was a bit early. Time to suck it up and head to the airport.
Chickies and Petes for a beer and some grub, the pre flight meal. This isn’t the Easter meal I was looking for but who cares I am heading to Ireland. Side note I haven’t pooped in two days. I know that this isn’t relevant but it’s frustrating and I had to get it out.
Frontier Airlines just held a jelly bean contest, you know the one where you have to guess the amount of Jelly Beans in the jar. Kinda weird, at least they didn’t beat anyone up, or hold a fight club for seat upgrades.
DUBLIN DAY 1 – Hell yeah.
7:15 AM Dublin is 5 hours ahead Thee Time Traveler is in the FUTURE.
I awake from my slumber, we are landing soon and I am juiced. The wife not so much, she didn’t sleep well on the plane.
Gary our driver has picked us at the airport, friendly gentleman and gives us a brief on the way over for some things to do today. He pulls up in front of a boarded up home and says “alright we are here”, Funny Gary, we are actually staying a next door. The place is small but comfy, and has everything we need for the week. We just can’t seem to figure out the stupid outlet deal, so many prongs.
We walk down to the grocery store and pick up eggs, tea, Doritos, and water. You know the basics.
Times will be omitted from this point forward (They begin to get a bit blurry)
We left the apartment to begin touring Dublin. The weather was damp, which I am guessing this is what most days are like. If you could imagine it’s kind of like a damp basement all over the place, a little wet, little cold, and pretty grey. You wouldn’t be able to tell this from the people though because it’s like the sun is always shinning for them.
Our first stop would be a local pub called Kavanagh’s Pub just down the street from us. The Bartender was an awesome women named Rose who was well traveled and offered a wealth of information for places for us to go and see. The rest of the pub was filled with older men wearing scally caps or duckbill, drinking Guinness and reading the paper. For the first pub to pick it was exactly what we thought it would be like. Rose knew each person that came through the door. We sat and chatted for a bit said our goodbyes for the day and off we went to see what Dublin had in store for us.
Dublin was still celebrating Easter and the Easter Rising Rebellion of 1916. Most shops were closed along the way but there were festivities going on throughout the city. The first one we went to was a place suggested by Gary the Driver and Rose the barkeep called Smithfield Square. The square was blocked off for various tents to do things, food trucks abound, and a concert stage on the far end. We walked around checked out a few things and decided to grab a bite to eat. Dublin is very westernized so it has a familiar feel when it comes to the eateries, the place we chose was called Oscars Cafe and Bar. The wife got a veggie burger with chips (French fries), I got a normal burger and chips, both were delicious. She drank a glass of wine and I drank a Galway Hooker. This was not a real Hooker it’s the name of the beer, stay with me people. We finished up and off we went to see more of Dublin.
Ken a local at Kavanagh’s suggested St. Stephens Green, much like Smithfield Square there would be festivities, family oriented activities and a concert. The park was amazing and packed full of families enjoying the day. We walked around the park for a bit until the wife got home sick seeing all of the families with their kids. I have to admit I felt it a bit as well. So the only way to solve this problem is to head of to another Pub.
When we were searching for St. Stephens green we passed a few pubs along the way, yet ne stuck out to us and that was Brazen Head Pub. This is the Oldest Pub in Ireland, opening in 1198. Unreal I know, it’s almost hard to wrap your head around how old some of the things are here, manly because the U.S only became independent in 1776. The Pub was hundreds of years older then that. We found to stools at the bar pulled up and ordered two Jameson and Ginger Ales. Looking around the history of the bars patrons were all over the walls. Dollars bills from all over the world were taped and tacked to the walls along with patches from first responders, military, and law enforcement groups from all over the world. The bartender, whose name was Gary, offered up some great advice on more places to go and see. He laid out a tour that would show us the history of the 1916 Easter rebellion.
We finished our drinks grab the map provided by Gary and took off towards wear we were staying. At this point of the day we had walked a few miles already and were beginning to tire out. We got back to one of the main streets near our studio apartment and stopped in at a pub called L. Mulligans Grocer L. Mulligan Grocer. This would be the final pub of the night, but maybe one of the best. We sat at the bar and struck up a conversation with Harry the English bartender. Nikki would nickname him Harry the Prince. It was at this point when we were trying to finish our drinks we realized how tired we were getting, I could have fallen asleep right at the bar, so we finished up and headed back towards the apartment, not before we stopped and picked up a bottle of Captain Morgan and some diet Cokes. Gotta have a night cap right.
We stumbled into the room tired and slightly drunk and tried to map out the next day while having another drink. Neither one of us at this point could understand the other one so we decided to call it night. It was only 6pm at this point. Hey don’t judge us, we were jet lagged and drunk, and tired from walking around the city. We laid down and fell asleep before our heads hit the pillows.
2 HOURS LATER we sprung from our sleep, I don’t know who woke first but we were up thinking that we had slept through the night. NOPE, we couldn’t have been more wrong it was only 8pm. We only discovered this after stumbling around the room in search of our phones to check the date and time. It looked like the scene from Stepbrothers when they were sleep walking around the house. Nikki yells to me that it’s still the same day and only 8pm. I don’t believe her at this point and continue to look at my phone with one eye open and look of WTF on my face. After checking the time 38 different ways, we went back to bed. Hopefully tomorrow will be go just as good.
Day 2 DUBLIN – What did we get ourselves into
We laid in bed until about 9 am. I decided to get up have some tea, and write down some notes from the previous day. As I am sitting there smiling and reflecting on the previous day, could smell a slight hint of pee. Sorry for adding this but I found it funny. In my drunken state the night before I had attempted to use the bathroom, I guess I didn’t get him all the way out before I started and got a little on the front. Men you know this has happened at some point in your adult lives, women I don’t know what to say I am disgusting.
After making the wife some eggs and tea we decided to start our day off the same way we did the previous day and that was by going to Kavanagh’s and seeing Rose to have a pint. The wife has adopted Rose as our Irish mother by this point. She seemed almost to excited to see us and gave a plate a various chesses and some chutney to spread on them along with some soda bread. If you don’t know what chutney is look it up, go by some, and enjoy, your welcome. We finished our drinks, through down some cheese and headed off to the Jameson Tour in Smithfield Square.
I have been to Kentucky and done the bourbon trail tours, which are excellent tours. Now the Jameson tour isn’t anything like the Makers Mark tour, but more like the Evan Williams tour on bourbon row in downtown Kentucky. I don’t want to diminish the Jameson tour though, because it was excellent. Our tour guide for the day was Lawrence a Californian relocated to Dublin. They give you a wonderful brief on the history of John Jameson, and how much the distiller meant to Dublin. At the end of the tour you get to conduct a tasting, equally excellent. The facility is amazing and the tour is just long enough. Once the tour was complete we sat at their bar and had a couple of drinks. Jameson is no longer distilled at that location, but you still get a wonderful experience.
We left Jameson and headed towards St. Michans Church where we wanted to go and see the crypts below the church. The have a short St. Michans tour were they take you below to see ancient bodies that have been amazingly preserved over time. the crypt’s temperature never changes, and the limestone rocks, and methane coming from the gerund keep the bodies in amazing shape. The oldest one we saw was nearly 800 years old. Crazy right. Pictures couldn’t really be taken down there because it was considered a sacred place, and the tombs that were still technically in use no light could be shown in the room. This added to the eerie fill that the crypt held. I did manage to touch and old skull sitting on the floor. Nikki made me use hand sanitizer almost immediately after I told her. The history above and below the grounds of Dublin are fascinating.
After we were down playing with the dead we headed off to a pub. I mean come on guys we are in Dublin, I believe it is illegal if you don’t drink while you are here. The Pub we went to was called O’Sheas Merchant. We sat down and talked to a lovely lady named Caroline. She looked to young to be a grandmother but went on to tell us about her son in Australia, and the 2 year old grandson that she missed dearly. We talked about this while we had drinks and ordered lunch. Nikki went with the fish and chips (as a reminder those are French fries), I ordered a sandwhich called the Dubliner, it was a smaller panini with beef, and cheese, also it came with a side salad and chips. Both meals were delicious, especially the fish, awesome grub and an awesome pub. We finished up there and decided that we would go see Christ Church Cathedral.
I highly Suggest the tour of Christ Church Cathedral. When you enter this place you are immediately shot back into time. The church was founded in 1030, yeah 1030 not like that morning but the year. Pay for the tour also, you could conduct a self tour but you won’t be able to go to the bell house and ring the bells. This place gets older and older. The tour guide gives you some amazing history, and tour of the church, the bell house, and the crypt. The crypt isn’t as creepy as the one at St. Michans but has some amazing artifacts. The weirdest of which was the cat and the rat mummy’s that had gotten stuck in an organ which were found in the 1850’s. You will need to be mindful of the stair case that leads to the bell tower and the doors as well. The seem to have been built for children, if you are a man of average height it’s going to be a tight fit. Once the tour ended we were off to go pub hopping. MMMM Drinky Time.
We decided at this point that it was time to do some pub hopping around Dublin and the first pace we went to was called Peadar Kearneys Pub, named after the man who wrote the national anthem for Ireland, so we were told, I will have to fact check that one. I googled it, it’s him. We ordered a coupe drinks and began talking a man we named drunk Sean. He talked about a couple of other pubs that he knew where we could hear some Diddly Day Music. We kept talking and when he found out we were from Delaware he screamed the “THE FIRST STATE” and he said to quote him on it, so there Drunk Sean your quoted. We left Kearney’s and found a bar called The Auld Dubliner, which was a great little bar with a guy playing some music. Awesome little place, and the beer was flowing. We had one a piece and left to find anther pub. The next stop was going to the trendy Temple Bar. It was packed, a great atmosphere but almost overwhelming with the amount of people in there. Plus not as sociable as the smaller off street pubs, but we still sat and had some beers, and Nikki was onto Captain and Cokes by this point. After drinking there we left and found a place that Drunk Sean suggested called The Old Storehouse. This place was great, and also had live music. The solo artist was playing some classic irish tunes, and the place was very much alive. We sat at the bar and almost immediately struck up a conversation with a unique older fella. I heard him say his name was Tim, Nikki thinks it was Ken, so he is now TIMKEN. TIMKEN was an older fella with Phil Donahue hair, no top teeth except for the right K9, a sport jacket, and bow tie. He had a heavy accent, and proclaimed to know Drunk Sean. This was not a shock. Nikki kept leaning back more and more as he spoke, I would later find out that his breath had some history also, it was bad. So after finishing our drinks and ending our conversation with TIMEKEN we headed off again to find another pub. It really isn’t hard to find them here they are everywhere, you can’t drink at all of them. NO WAY NOT NEVER. The next place was called Bad Bobs, which like The Temple Bar was packed full of patrons. We found a spot in the back of the bar sat down and orderd drinks. Nikki struck up conversation with Peter, Johnny, and Rob, three bartenders working that night. What we did find was that the drink prices in this part of town began to get higher as the night went on. This will be a little confusing, but TEMPLE BAR is an area as well as a bar also. So in the TEMPLE BAR area the bars attract a lot more tourists and the prices seem to flow as fast as the beer. We finished our drinks there and headed of to some local pubs near the apartment.
Along the way Nikki decided that Facebook live was going to be her new addiction, but she isn’t that great at it. For anyone that saw it, I am sure it was hilarious, after re watching it I laughed probably as much as you all did. This continued on even when we reached L. Mullgans, we sat down and talked to Prince Harry, Gary, and Steven. Yes there are a lot of Gary’s in Dublin, this was the third one we met at this point. It was getting late and we traveled a ton again today, so if was off to one more pub and then back to the apartment. We hit Tommy O’Gara’s but didn’t stay long. We knew we were well on our way to time traveling so it was time to roll.
We stopped in at Tesco’s, the local supermarket, grabbed a pizza, Captain Morgan, and some other junk for the room. When we got back I made drinks and a pizza. We ate it like caveman and threw Doritos down our necks like someone was trying to steal them. I then began to Time Travel so telling you anything else would be just made up stuff at this point. Day 2 in Dublin, awesome.
DAY 3 in Dubiln – The Chance Meeting
WTF is that noise!!!!! Oh it’s my goddamn alarm on my phone going off like a bomb in my head. I jump up and turn it off with my eyes closed. What I would have seen if my eyes were open was the full glass of Captain and Coke that I was about to spill completely into Nikki’s purse. Yup one swift hand movement and this drunk Ninja just emptied that glass of amazing into her purse. She jumped out of bed like the damn thing was on fire and emptied the contents in like two movements. I stood there dumbfounded by my actions. We cleaned it out, set it out to dry, and back to bed to we went.
We would late wake and begin our day. We figured out a strategy for the things we wanted to see and off we went. We stopped at Cowtown Cafe to get a little breakfast to fuel up for the long walk ahead. We walked for what felt like ever trying to find The Kilmainham Gaol, which is an old prison and suggested by many as one of the best tourist attractions around. We finally arrived after walking about and hour only to discover that the next tour wasn’t going to be for another five hours. So we bought tickets for the next day and off we went.
Across the street was the Modern Art Museum that cut through the area we were in and expedited our walk. The grounds of the Modern Art Museum are an amazing sight to see and offer some tranquility in the city. This was a nice and peacful walk, the kind you don’t say much and just hold hands and enjoy. It was nice to share this moment with the love of my life. We just walked quietly taking in the sights, and enjoying each others company. We never made it inside the Museum, only because we aren’t big art fans, but also because we were headed to the Guinness Storehouse.
We arrived at the Guinness Storehouse to take the tour, learn about the history and brewing process for Guinness. This, much like the tour of Jameson, was awesome and you get a free pint of Beer. We decided to get our beers at the Gravity bar at the top of the Guinness Storehouse. One of the best views, if not the best view, in all of Dublin. The bar offers a 360 Degree view of the city which you can see for miles, and it’s nice to just take it all in. Plus we were tired as hell from all the walking over the last three days, so it was nice to sit a moment and enjoy the views.
Once we finished our pints we muscled up and headed to the Dublin Castle. This is located in the City and is almost hidden, you turn down street just up from Peadar Kearney’s and there it is. We went in and did the self tour where you get to see the state rooms, maybe next time we will do the full tour, but we were getting tired and hungry so we wanted to start heading back towards the apartment in Stoneybatter. The full tour would have taken more than and hour and we didn’t want to spend that time, so we started moving again.
We casually moved through the city up and down different streets working our way back to home base. We had passed through Jameson and into Smithfield Square tired and only thinking of grabbing something to eat and relaxing. We got almost to the end of the square when a gentleman passed in front of me that looked all to familiar. I have told my wife many times over that timing is a funny thing, and in this case ten seconds later or earlier and I would have missed this chance meeting. So this man walks passed me and I don’t see his face at first but the back of his head, and his gate is a bit different. I knew almost right away what I was looking at, my wife on the other hand had no idea and may have thought that I was having stroke, nope I was looking at the Champ and my chance meeting was about to occur. I tell the wife “hey thats the champ Conor McGregor“, in her really cute voice she sates ‘who”, I said the champ the biggest fighter in the world right now, at which she says ‘OK”. So like a hippo chasing a cheetah, I follow after the man and sure enough it’s the man himself. He looked like he didn’t want to take the photo at first but was gracious enough to do so, and I appreciated that. He turned smiled and took the photo. We didn’t think or even count on seeing the man but there he was, and the chance meeting happened. My wife took the photo blasted it to social media, of course after googling who he was, and I guess that makes if official since it’s now on Facebook.
Well back on the path to food, we landed ourselves at L. Mulligans again to grab a bite to eat and enjoy another drink. We were almost walking hunched over at this point with our backs, knees, and feet hurting from all the miles we have been logging walking around town. It was nice to get out of the misty rain that had been falling for most of the day and relax for a few moments. We order Scotch Eggs, and Bison burgers. Awesome, and I highly suggest them, not because I have taken a liking to L. Mulligans but because they were really good. We drank a couple of Jameson and Gingers and headed out, last stop was going to be the grocery store for some more Captain Morgan so we could go to the room relax, and have a nightcap. I let the wife read this story so far and got the thumbs up for some minor editing but many for her approval, as my chief editor I need to run things past here just to make sure I haven’t said to much or to little. Well time to enjoy some alone time. See you tomorrow.
Day 4 in Dublin – The Last Dance
Our First stop for the day was to be the Kilmainham Gaol, a hostirical prison that held many of the more famous political prisoners during the Easter Rising Rebellion, The War of Independence, and the Civil war for Ireland. If you want a get a quick lesson in Irish history this is the tour to take. Plus the jail has a few creepy aspects to it. We walked back through the Modern Art Museum one more time, there is an amazing Garden on the grounds that is absolutely elegant to walk through. If you have the chance I highly recommend seeing the parks and gardens throughout the city. Phoenix Park is massive but beautiful, St. Stephens Green as well, and the gardens at the Art Museum are all well worth the time. Your eyes will thank you.
The rest of the day was filled with walking around Dublin doing a little shopping and just taking in the sights one last time. Along our way back we stopped at Jameson for one last Jameson and Ginger, and a little shopping. We continued to walk back until we hit L. Mulligans to fill up another glass or two. We left Mulligans headed to the grocer and grabbed some wine and pizza so that we could head back to the apartment and start packing. So there we were eating Tangy Cheese Doritios, waiting on a shitty 4 cheese pizza, and drinking some wine. It was a great moment though we got to sit, drink, and reminisce about the week we just had. There is nothing better than reflecting on the time you just had and knowing that you had it with not just your wife but your best friend. We had a blast and will truley miss Ireland. It will surely always bring a smile to our faces.
Day 5 Dublin – Departure day
Up bright an early so that we could clean all twenty square feet of the apartment we were in. We also had to pack, which took all of ten minutes. It is amazing how slow time seems to move when it’s finally time to go home. Gary the driver was waiting out front patiently for us. The drive was quick yet quiet as passed through the streets of Dublin. I won’t bore you with us sitting at the airport playing on our phones waiting for our flight. Just know that if you ever want to take a vacation over the pound I would suggest starting with Ireland. No shit right, but honestly the beer is great and the people are even better.
See you in the Future – Thee Time Traveler
Links below are some of the services that we used and recommend.
Aer Lingus Airline – The plane was excellent and the service on the plane was great. Prices were very competitive, and best of all it was a comfortable flight.
We found our place on Home Away, we love this site.
The apartment that we stayed in was great. If you are looking for a similar experience talk to Liam Travers. firstname.lastname@example.org
I can’t say enough about Liam and the resources that he provided. The room had everything we needed, and the suggestions he left us were spot on.
For a list of the bars that we went to check out my story on DOW ( The Ireland Edition) coming this week on Hisvault.com