Sunshine and Whiskey

By Blonde Bowhemian - September 08, 2015

Nope, didn’t go to a Frankie Ballard concert this weekend, but I did go to Ireland with Caroline and experienced a plenitude of both of these things, as well as many things that usually go down at country concerts. How I spent 48 hours in Ireland without experiencing a drop of rain is a mystery; Caroline’s long lost Irish ancestors must have been looking over us or something because we felt #blessed and I began to question my lack of Irish heritage as I was feeling particularly lucky. In addition to luck, if I had to sum up the weekend in a few words I would probably say: potatoes, photo shoots, and pints (of water, obv). More on that later….

We had a 4:45 flight from Tours to Dublin on Friday, and being warned that traffic would be a mess and we would barely make our flight, we sprinted from our 3:00 BEF meeting to our taxi and off we went, praying we’d make the flight. I honestly couldn’t tell you why everyone was so worried considering from the moment we got in the taxi to the moment we passed through security and sat at our gate a total of 20 minutes had gone by, 15 of them spent driving to the airport. So, lesson learned on that one. We then had an hour and 25 minutes to chill at the gate where we listened to the Irish people on our flight speak in English, a very welcome sound. The flight was fast, only an hour and a half to Dublin, thank god because Ryan Air’s seats are about as comfortable as sitting on concrete. But, we made it to Dublin ahead of schedule, landing at 5:00 their time, and then wandered aimlessly around the airport wondering how to get to the city center. Eventually, we asked some nice ladies who directed us to a bus, which was literally right outside the door, but whatever.

We checked into our hostel, and made our way to our room, to find it the size of a glorified closet with three sets of bunk beds and two guys, one from western Canada, and one from Australia, with two more Australian guys and two Irish girls to join us throughout the rest of the weekend. We never let our bags out of our sight, went back and forth to the lobby probably five times because we couldn’t figure out how to set our combination lock (embarrassing, we know), and finally were on our way to dinner at Ireland’s oldest pub. The food was everything I wanted and more: chicken and potatoes and vegetables with a side of cider, pure carb-induced happiness if you ask me.
nothing makes us happier than a cool geotag
Afterwards, we went to the Temple Bar area and went to Fitzsimon’s (thank you Brielle for the rec!) where I (but not Caroline) was ID’d at the entrance even though I told the bouncer I was 19 and the drinking age is 18. So, yes, I would be ID’d in Euope where I’m convinced children start drinking from as soon as they can see over the bar #notbitter. How he knew what my CT license was supposed to look like is also a mystery so it’s all just dumb but, whatever, we made it inside where we found a huge bar with 5 euro cocktails and an amazing live band who covered bands like the Black Keys, Mumford, and Arctic Monkeys, needless to say I knew from then I was going to like Ireland. We also met ten 30(?) 28(?) 33(?) year old guys from the Netherlands who were there on a bachelor party and made Caro and I feel like infants, but they were entertaining and not too creepy, which is basically all we could ask for. They also gave us travel tips and told us Amsterdam is over rated, which we smiled politely to, but we also all know we’re still gonna go like the poor tourists we are.

The next morning we were up at 6:50 for our bus trip to the Cliffs of Moher. Our driver, JJ was definitely one of the weirdest/nicest/loudest people I’ve ever met but he was very informative and even sang us Irish songs for way longer than necessary, so you could say it was a long 12-hour day, 8 hours of which were spent on that 17-person bus (not) listening to JJ. Caroline and I also got called out for talking, which was super awkward but we all know I don’t do well with listening to historical information so, really, not surprising when you think about it.
legitimately on the struggle bus
We stopped at Bunratty Castle, Cliffs of Moher, Doolin, The Burren, Galway Bay, Corcomroe Abbey, and Kinvara so basically half of Ireland (or so I’m convinced). Everywhere we stopped was so incredibly beautiful and so green. But, it also felt familiar, like I could’ve been driving through the countryside on the way to my lake house in Middle of Nowhere, NY. Something about being around the nicest people I’ve ever met and the familiar landscape made me feel at home (that or the fact that everyone spoke English…probably that one). Once we got to the Cliffs, though, I knew I was no longer in NY. They were so huge, so beautiful, and so terrifying. The fact that there were no fences and that you could literally walk right to the edge also reminded me that we were no longer in America as that would not fly at home, but it also made for some great ~artsy~ photo shoots. We had no shame as we spent our time taking way too many pictures, but you’re only in Ireland once, right? No regrets. We definitely could’ve spent all day there just soaking in the landscape, but eventually we were back on the bus and on our way to the rest of our stops. Finally, at just past 8:00, we were back in Dublin, hangry, exhausted, and claustrophobic.
wasn't paying attention when he said what town this was, tbh
"the mighty shannon river"
raising the bar 

ty to our artsy friend
so many panos
Marilyn moment
hangin around
the burren 
corcomroe abbey
so much green
selfies with castles part 2
We wandered around O’Connell Street looking for dinner, failing multiple times, and finally finding a place just as I thought I was going to faint (again not surprising). But, that was cured with water, and more chicken, potatoes, and vegetables. Then, it was back to the hostel to changerally and head out. We stopped at the bar in our hostel for some drinks where I was again asked for my age even though you have to be 18 to even stay at the hostel, so that was cool. 
if it ain't broke don't fix it
But, no fear, when we went out to the first bar of the night I was ID’d yet again so #stillbitter because do I really look 17??? Don’t answer that. Anyways, the first place was relaxed, then started to liven up, but again we were surrounded by 30 year olds and listening to music from before we were born, plus the DJ wouldn’t play Justin Bieber for us so we left in search of the ~young and trendy~ places with plenty of Belibers. Hearing Nicki Minaj or something like that at another bar, we knew we found our home for the night. This bar/club was packed and, being our annoying American selves, we decided to be as obnoxious as possible (with jackets tied around our necks) and make complete fools out of ourselves in terms of our dancing because we didn’t know anyone. Not thinking this through, we attracted way more attention than we should’ve but we laughed it off and somehow (we have no idea how) kept our shenanigans up until 3am. Then it was home and off to bed for a grand total of four hours.
exhibit A
Up and at ‘em at 8am, we attempted breakfast where Caroline stood up and couldn’t decide if she was woozy because of a “hangover, malnutrition, not getting enough sleep, dehydration, or a combination of them all” followed by, “The fact that my eyes are even open is a miracle.” Needless to say we were looking good and feeling even better.
pure bliss
The Jameson Whiskey tour was probably one of our worst decisions ever, and why we thought doing it at 10am on Sunday was a good idea, I will never know, but we persevered, tried not to intake the smell of whiskey, and made it through two sips of the tasting before quitting for our sake and the sake of others around us. We also were entitled to a free drink at the end of the tour, which I couldn’t muster, but Caro, determined not to waste a free drink, made it through a few sips of hers before I made her sprint-walk to the bus stop to catch our flight home.
looked good, smelled terrible
only did it for the pic

Again, we made it through security with an hour to spare before our flight, made it to Paris with another hour to spare before our train, then caught the train, barely caught our second train, and were finally home around 8:30pm Sunday night. Having slept maybe 10 hours the entire weekend and never being able to sleep on planes, trains, or other forms of public transportation, I was literally a walking zombie and felt like death, but sleep when you’re dead, right? Def don’t regret not sleeping seeing as we had such little time to enjoy an entire country. And, after sleeping 10 hours Sunday night, I’ve recovered from the weekend and am ready for our group trip to Provence this Thursday!

Sorry for the incredibly long post and bless you if you’ve made it this far. But, yes, Ireland was everything we hoped for and more, Caro got some new FB friends out of it, we survived living in a hostel (shocking for me, I know) and we didn’t even spend thaaat much money, but we did forget toothpaste and one of us (@ Caro) forgot pajamas, so lessons learned. It was a little ratchet and a lot exhausting but, Ireland, thanks for the memories. I’ll be back.

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