Gratitude Friday: Sunburns in Dublin

We just returned from a fabulous long weekend in Ireland.  In preparation for our trip, we knew to expect rain.  My friend K told me her grandma says, “You don’t go to Ireland for the weather”.  We had heard stories of friends who never saw blue sky the entire time.

When the weather forecast included a sun, I refused to accept it.  After all, you know Murphy’s law.   So, I prepared my warmest sweaters and scarves to take.  A raincoat.  And an umbrella.

We were greeted with sun.   And it stayed.  We know this was unusual based on the research we did.  It was also accentuated by the Irish.  Every time we saw locals greet each other, they quipped about the unbelievable weather.   It was all the radio stations talked about.

We dripped with sweat in our jeans and long sleeves.  We were burned slightly.  We couldn’t be happier.

The city was so alive with people appreciating the turn of good luck.

Crowds filling the streets for happy hour

Loving the sun

Some sought the shadows

It was warm enough for street dancing in the evening

Even forgetting about the sunshine it donned on us, we loved the city of Dublin.   It was evident that it didn’t need the sun to have warmth….in the colors, the personality of the people, the liveliness of the local joints.

This guy might have had a little too much gratitude for the sun

And I am not just saying it.  The people were some of the nicest we have come by so far in our travels.  Sure, the English not being a barrier helps.  Two examples to further illustrate:

#1 – Gabe and I were debating where to go for lunch.  We had the map out and we knew where we were, just more bantering about when and where.  A businessman walked up to us and inquired, “Can I help you find your way?”.  Out of the blue he wanted to help us.

#2 – I had a little bit of a red eye the second morning (no, not the Guinness!) and we inquired about the nearest pharmacy so I could get some Visine.  As soon as we asked, the receptionist at the hotel came over, worried, and said, “now what’s wrong, what can I do?”  We told her the simple answer and she embraced me and gave my shoulders a rub, empathizing with me.  Even though my little malady wasn’t a big deal, it was really nice of her.

We knew the Irish people were great as we have a friend in Geneva who has set a first example.  We love her bubbling personality and art for conversation.  We really appreciated seeing the city in which she lived, colorful and fun, along with more friendly folks, just like her!

Luckily, she and her partner had given us lots of good tips for what to do and see…and most importantly, where to eat and have a Guinness.   So, we did just that.  I thought I’d share the list for those traveling to Dublin soon:

Elephant & Castle, recommended by T, this was a delicious lunch spot in Temple Bar.  They have great burgers, salads, and wings.  Loved the duck salad.

Stag’s Head – we went there for an early drink one night and for music the other night. Great Guinness and service.

Gabe enjoying Stag’s Head music

Me enjoying a glass of Guinness at Stag’s Head. Just my size.

Temple Bar – we walked by this when exploring the historical area and it was also a fun place for a drink with live Irish music

O’Neill’s. They have a hearty Irish buffet served all day. Also great Guinness and a very traditional atmosphere.

We stayed in the Mercantile Hotel. It was an awesome location with friendly staff. They also had a sweet bar below.

In addition, we really enjoyed outdoor lunch at Kitchen, and our pre-theatre dinner at La Stampa.  Sorry no pictures there.

We did one of the Hop On, Hop Off Buses.  I’d like to say we only did it to save my feet, but we really like these sometimes to scope out the area and it provides cheaper and direct transportation.  It did additionally help with the feet though.  We loved seeing Trinity College, St Stephens Green, Christchurch, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and our stops at Guinness Storehouse and Jameson.

So, Dublin gets an A+ in our books.  Very grateful for our sunny experience.

Bon weekend, everyone!

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