Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tapaigh An Deis

"Seize the Day" in Gaelic.

Melissa and I are both fortunate to be in a phase of our lives where we could take a trip like this. We both have an only child who is old enough to be left in someone else’s care for a few days, our husbands have fairly stable work schedules, our jobs allow us to take a few days off when we want them, we have our health……etc. etc.

All these items are easily subject to change in an instant. And in this Age of Benefits Degradation in just about every industry, the airline could yank our perks at any time. It's not something to take for granted.

We had to do our best to make the most of this opportunity because who knows when the stars will align again.

So after anxiously watching the flight listings all day, we managed to snag the seats we wanted to our top choice destination….Dublin, Ireland!

We ate our faces off, watched movies, and basically got zero sleep chit-chatting on the way over. It was like a teenage girls’ slumber party at 30,000 feet.

Hot fudge sundae at midnight?, Yes, please.

While we were en route, Melissa’s husband did the leg work and found a good hotel deal for us. When we arrived in Dublin, all we had to do was pull up the email on our phones to get the reservation info.

He found a steal of a deal all right. We stayed at The Ashling Hotel, a full amenity hotel in Dublin City Center, for 149 euro! Yes, that was the total for two people, for two nights, and included a full breakfast as well.

Once we knew where we were staying, we boarded the Airlink Bus, which picks you up directly in front of the airport terminal. For 6 euro, it couldn’t have been more convenient. All we had to do was ride the double-decker bus to the very last stop, which put us right in front of our hotel.

It was 10:00 when we arrived, but out rooms wouldn’t be ready until about 3:00. They held our bags for us, so we’d be able to do some sightseeing in the mean time.

Our first stop was the Guinness Storehouse, as it was only a short walk from the hotel. If you’ve ever visited the World of Coke in Atlanta, you can almost compare it to that.

It’s not the actual factory, and teaches you very little about the brewing process. It is more about the history of the owners and the brand, with lots of pictures and memorabilia on display.

9,000 yr lease Arthur Guinness signed for the Brewery location

The best part of the tour was the Gravity Bar on the top floor of the Storehouse, with it’s 360 degree view of Dublin.

We found our second wind to keep going thanks to a tasty pint.

Shockingly, we ended up here for a bite to eat afterwards.
The scones were irresistible, and we may have consumed about 847 more of them (with jam and butter of course) during the rest of our stay.

We made a brief stop back at the hotel to freshen up, and to take a quick (ok, a 4 hour) nap, before heading out again for the night.

It was about a 15 minute walk from our hotel to Temple Bar, the nightlife area of the city. We stumbled across a bunch a "Pub Crawl" groups. We proved our old age by skipping the pub-crawl tours, although we created a mini one for ourselves before turning in for the night.

We wanted a relatively early start the nexy day.........


  1. Kristy @ KristyRunsApril 28, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    NICE!!! Looked like a blast!!

  2. I love Dublin! I wish I had known that's where you were going. The best crepes I have EVER had were at Lemon, a little shop around the corner from International Bar. And we took the coolest walking tour with Larkin Collin. Can't wait to hear about day two!

  3. Oh my god, I'm so jealous!! Ireland is like my top pick of country I want to visit. That is so cool you guys went! I need to find some travel partners to do that with!!

  4. I wish I'd known you were going! There is a restaurant there - The Winding Stair - that serves some of the best food I've ever eaten.

    You are so lucky to be able to take off like that - I love that you're taking advantage!

    Doesn't Guinness taste 100x better in the Gravity Bar? :)

  5. We have Ucal flight bennies now too. I don't know how the system works, so I haven't used them yet. Hint, hint :)

  6. Oh my, I wish I'd known.. We stumbled upon some good places, but for a foodie like you to recommend a place, it has to be incredible.

    Yes, that was by far the best guiness I'd ever had. How it's drawn from the tap really does make a difference.

  7. Argh, more good food recs. We'll just have to go back :) I wasn't expecting much, but was very impressed with the food quality overall.