Before I continue describing what an amazing time we are having, I must brag just a little bit. When I packed my suitcase on Wednesday, I had to have another bag. I was just trying to get everything to Glasgow. While travelling on the train to Glasgow last night, I did some thinking about how I could fit everything into one bag. When we got to Grace and Graham's last night, I rearranged a bit, AND I GOT IT ALL INTO ONE BAG. The attendant for Aer Lingus weighed it this morning, and I'm only 3 kilos over. I also didn't get charged for overage. I was chuffed to say the least.
Anyways, after we deplaned and went through customs (again, didn't make me cry) we walked outside to get a taxi. We had a hilarious driver named Noel. We joked about how this must be his busiest time of year (because it's Christmas. Get it? No? Okay.) and had a jolly 'ole time on the way to our destination. His biggest thing that he told us was not to buy a pint at Temple Bar. Apparently, they cost €7, and that is a total rip-off. We had a bit of confusion checking into our hotel because the reservation was under Nancy. I have no idea how Melanie got turned into Nancy, but it happened.
Megan and I shower, got dressed, put on some lipstick and hit the streets. We didn't have any plans for the day except to get our bearings and eat. Feeling on top of the world, the two of us walked down the cobblestone streets of Dublin. Our hotel is actually in a pretty nice part of town. The first stop we made was a large department store called Clerys of Dublin. We tried on clothes of all sorts, including dresses and jeans that we couldn't afford. When in Dublin, right? I did actually wind up buying a black lace dress. I feel like a million when I wear it, and a woman can't ever have too many black dresses, right?
After our shopping experience, we set out to find someplace to eat. In typical girl fashion, there was a lot of "oh I don't care" and "it really doesn't matter; you pick" when it came to actually choosing. Finally, we wound up at a place called Gallaher & Co Bistro. I thought it was wonderful. Before we even left, Megan and I agreed that we wanted to eat like the grownups that we are. We won't be eating at Subway or McDonalds or anything like that. Built in 1891, the outside of the building was architecturally ornate, but the inside was modern with clean lines and exposed brick. I ordered the mozzarella, pesto, and tomato wrap with a carrot, chili, ginger soup and a plate of olives for my lunch. It was wonderful. I had a nice balance of creamy cheese from the wrap, punchy spices from the soup, and the almost sinful brine of the olives. Megan had an open-faced steak sandwich with caramelised onions, arugula, and fries. Megan said that the steak was a little bit too fatty for her liking, and they never asked her exactly how she wanted it cooked. It wasn't a bad meal for her, but if those two things have been changed, then it would have been much better. I didn't have a bite of her sandwich, but if I could rate the meal on the fries, it would get two thumbs up. They were fantastic.
After lunch, we set out again back in the direction of our hotel. We walked up and down the streets and just found things as they came. We happened upon The Garden of Remembrance. Megan and I actually had no idea what it really was while we were there. It had some amazing architecture and colors. There was a turquoise mosaic cross-shaped reflecting pool in the center, and it was stunning. The garden is for remembering those who gave their lives in the fight for Irish independence.
|This was a big moment for Megan. She was able to cross "drink a pint of Guinness in Dublin" off her bucket list!|
After walking the chilly streets for an hour or so, we decided that it was high time to pop into a warm pub and have our pints of Guinness. Megan and I both love it, so we didn't need any convincing. After ducking our heads into a couple of dodgy places, we found the perfect one for us. In typical pub fashion, Madigan's was dark and warm inside. The wood-paneled walls were decorated in Guinness paraphernalia, chalkboards displaying specials, and (wait for it) CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS. Nothing was tacky. Just some boughs of evergreen and fairy lights hung from the doorways and walls. Also, they were playing Michael Buble's Christmas album when we walked in. They get major points for that. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, they have live traditional Irish music. Oh and did I mention that the Guinness was amazing? It was the perfect temperature, and the thick, creamy head was to die for. We might count that as dinner ;)