Happy Tuesday everyone! We are back from Oregon after a lovely Easter weekend with my husband's family. It was a short visit that definitely went too fast! I'll have some photos to share later this week, but today I thought I'd finish sharing my photos from our vacation to Ireland last month!
I left off on Saturday afternoon where we were in the midst of doing some sightseeing. After seeing St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Book of Kells, we decided we would go check out a beer festival! The Irish Craft Beer Village was a special event set up as part of the St. Patrick's Day festivities in Dublin and it featured an interesting selection from craft breweries all over Ireland. Our timing for attending the event on Saturday was perfect because the weather took a turn for the worse later that afternoon (it actually started hailing!) so it was nice to be inside the giant tent they had set up while sampling some delicious beer! Cameron and I are both big craft beer fans and it was nice to be able to get something other than Guinness, as that's definitely what you'll find at most places. Plus, it seemed like there were a lot more locals at this event, so we really enjoyed getting to do something a little more off the beaten bath and experience another side of Dublin!
The beers they had on tap...
The Stonewell's Craft Cider was probably my favorite thing that I tried!
Isn't this a clever name for a brewery?
Outside the festival--Slainte is what they say instead of cheers when toasting in Ireland!
After getting our fill of Irish Craft Beer, we headed to our dinner reservation at the Arlington Hotel. I really wanted to experience some traditional Irish culture during our visit and we heard that the Arlington Hotel had a nightly show with Irish dancers. You paid for a prix fixe dinner and then got to see and Irish band and some Irish dancers and although it was definitely a really touristy thing to do, we enjoyed it!
Outside the Arlington Hotel...I was clearly really excited about the show...but I think that was partially thanks to the previous hours spent at the Craft Beer Village :)
Sunday morning, we woke up to snow on St. Patrick's Day! The weather was freezing, so we decided that we'd take another shot at seeing the Guinness Storehouse. When we had tried the day before, the line was wrapped around the block but on Sunday morning there was hardly anyone there and we walked right in! The Guinness Storehouse is a multi-level, self-guided experience where you learn all about how Guinness is made, its history, and its branding around the world. It's such a big part of Irish culture, so I'd definitely recommend visiting the Guinness Storehouse if you're ever in Dublin!
The water beer is brewed with is a huge factor into how it tastes and apparently a great source of water is one of the things that sets Guinness apart from other beers.
Your admission to the Guinness Storehouse gets you one free pint of Guinness and one of the things that you can do is learn how to pour a perfect pint. However, a word to the wise--if you choose to use your free pint to do the pouring lesson, then you will be unable to get another pint up at the Gravity Bar on the top level. No one told us this and so when we got to up to the Gravity Bar, we were planning on buying another pint but weren't able to. So if you go just be aware that you can only do one or the other.
It looks like that bish behind me is not so sure about my pouring abilities...pshhh!
Guinness is really creamy so it definitely takes some skill to pour!
At the top of the Guinness Storehouse is the Gravity Bar, which offers great views of Dublin. It was kind of cloudy on Sunday but we still enjoying getting a bird's eye view of the city!
I'd definitely recommend checking out the Guinness Storehouse if you're ever in Dublin!
After we finished up there, we headed to go check out the big St. Patty's Day parade, however, by this time the streets were packed and it was basically impossible to find a good spot to see, plus it was still pouring rain! That didn't seem to dampen people's spirits though as everyone was out in full force!
We probably only caught 20 minutes of the parade which was disappointing, but given the weather, I was fine with that. By the time the crowds from the parade broke up, we were pretty chilly...so we may or may not have gone back to Queen of Tarts (the same place we went Saturday) for tea, scones, and cake. Sorry I'm not sorry.
Sunday afternoon, the streets were packed with people out going to the pubs and enjoying St. Patrick's Day dressed all out in green (and there was tons of stuff for sale to dress up)! And despite the rowdy reputation this holiday has, everywhere we went we never saw anyone out of control or super intoxicated which was good. We spent the rest of the day walking around, taking in the energy and enjoying the holiday!
Super randomly this guy with a TV crew stopped me on the street to interview me (I have no idea what it was for because I didn't even ask, I just walked away after I was done, ha!) and I think he was trying to see how many people actually knew the meaning behind St. Patrick's Day and was probably getting a lot of stupid answers. I actually do know the meaning of St. Patrick's Day, it celebrates Ireland's patron saint (duh) who brought Christianity to Ireland...and clearly you can tell that the TV host is super impressed with my answer in this picture, ha! (Also, what a good blogger husband Cam is for instantly whipping out the camera to capture this precious moment...)
One of the pubs we went to
We ended up back in the Temple Bar area (where we went out Friday night) and it was packed with people! We didn't stay out too late because we were pretty tired from a full weekend and had a flight to catch the next day (and being hungover on a plane is a horrible idea...or so I have heard...yeah). However, it was such a once in a lifetime experience to be in Dublin on St. Patrick's Day and I'm so glad it worked out to do this trip! Although the city was crowded and hotels were expensive, there was just such an energy in the air and it was really fun to be a part of that. I hope that one day we'll be able to go back to Ireland (preferably in the summer though!) to explore other parts of the country outside of Dublin as we've heard they are absolutely beautiful! Overall we had a great time in both Scotland and Ireland! Xoxo