Hello again! So as promised, this blog will be devoted to a few different things: travel, DIY, and life- pretty much covers it all, huh? Our journey begins with a trip we took to the UK in March. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life! Not only was it both our first times traveling internationally, but we were about to experience a ton of firsts!
Because we have so many photos and experiences, I will break this in 3 parts: one for each area we visited (Dublin, Liverpool, London).
Up first- Dublin, Ireland
Our original plan was a 2-week adventure through all of Ireland, but we soon realized that this time of the year (late March) was not ideal and many places were still closed from the Winter weather (hotels and Bed & Breakfast options opened mid-April for the most part). It turned into 4 days in Ireland, 2 in Liverpool, 5 in London, and 1 more in Dublin before we caught our flight home. So here is a snapshot of our journey through photos, enjoy!
We booked the trip immediately after my finals for the Spring semester, March 17th. Yup, St Patty’s Day! We didn’t even realize it until a few weeks after, but we were in for something much more than expected….
Flying into Dublin
From the airport we used AirLink to get to our hotel. This is definitely the way to go! It was 6 euro/person and much quicker and cheaper than other transportation options. Once we found our hotel’s area we hopped off and walked the streets. We were staying in The Arlington Hotel in Temple Bar area, directly across the street from the Dublin Castle!
Passing famous Temple Bar in Dublin, Ireland on the way to The Arlington Hotel.
Temple Bar, Dublin IR
We actually got in at 7 am, March 18th, 2013. Literally a few hours after the St. Patrick’s Day festivities halted. The streets were filthy, littered, and mysteriously quiet. The celebration actually includes the following days after March 17th so we assume everyone slept in and kept it quiet- this was later confirmed by a few friendly bar tenders who explained how the town basically sleeps for the next week after the big holiday, oopsy, our loss
netheless, after a brief nap, we set out to explore! These are just a few of our favorite things…
Fantastic street performer on Grafton street, Dublin, Ireland.
Outside of Stephen’s Green park. Dublin, Ireland.
Stephen’s Green Shopping Center Dublin, Ireland.
While exploring the city during these few days, we soon realized the importance of using the restroom before you leave the house/hotel…in many parts, you had to pay to use the public restrooms. In this mall, for example, customers who already made a purchase were able to use the toilets for free, but all other guests would need to pay 0.25 Euro. We were so surprised by this! But soon found out that it was a commonality in many parts of Europe. Lesson of the day: learn to hold it 🙂
Leprechaun sightings! We did still see a few of these lil guys and it made me so happy every time!
One suggestion, we would definitely make (if you’re foodies like us) is to research some good food places before you travel. We used several sites from Trip Advisor, and Travel Channel, to just researching our favorites like Anthony Bourdain and some other cool travel blogs. That’s how we found many of the best places to eat. The Little Ass Burrito Bar was literally half the size of a walk-in closet with quirky-named hand-made giant burritos that will melt your face off! It was just around the corner from Grafton Street, so an easy walk, and sooooo worth it. I got the “Joanie loves Chachi” and Jeremy got the “Pukka Poya”- both so big we couldn’t finish. They also had amazing sauces to combine with the fresh ingredients; in case you didn’t get it, we recommend this place!
The Little Ass Burrito Bar – Dublin, Ireland
The Little Ass Burrito Bar ; Joanie Loves Chachi ❤
I was obsessed with the giant door locks and handles everywhere! The doors of Dublin are really ornate and cool.
Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland
Crossing sign in Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland.
Cottage and garden in Stephen’s Green park in Dublin.
Dublin also takes great pride in its Guinness and Jameson factories. We were on the fence about spending the money to visit each of them and decided to just go for it. (It didn’t help that we were freezing in 30 degree weather and it was raining- we just wanted shelter! (Floridian problems) So we coughed up the cash and went in for the tour. It was surprising cool! They had a great walk-through tour, you could wait for a guide if you wanted, but were not the group tour kind of folk. After a few flights of history and back-story, you get to the top, to the Gravity Bar, and receive your free beer! I’m not sure why, but the Guinness here tastes so different then in the states! Its so rich, creamy, and smooth I had no issues drinking that baby down. Then you get, what I’d say is about a 340 degree view of Dublin. It was spectacular. I could gaze for days. Because of the poor weather, you couldn’t see too far or really get any good photos, but I did experience a first here. Yup, at the ripe age of 27, I got to see my very first bit of real snow! Not that crushed up ice stuff they use at the fairs in Florida, but natural, falling-from the sky snowflakes! The people around me must have thought I was nuts for being so excited, but hey, I deserve to act 8 sometimes.
Jeremy at the Guinness Factory gates in Dublin, Ireland.
After a long walk back towards Temple Bar area, we went to tour the Jameson Distillery. After a great Guinness experience, we thought, “hey, what the heck?” But this place was a mad-house! There was an hour and forty-five minute wait, and they toured in groups of like 50, so we just snapped a few cool pics and went to a bar. At the bar we learned from some locals that we were smart to leave because it’s simply a tourist trap and waste of money. I guess everything happens for a reason…
St. Michan’s Church in which we stumbled upon on our walk back to the hotel.
Another interest of mine is graffiti and street art. I just think it’s beautiful to see what people can create and how they explore imagination and creativity. Dublin had lots of great artwork on almost every corner.
Street art Dublin, Ireland
Street art Dublin, Ireland
7 am delivery to the hotel bar…lovely.
Smithwick’s is actually pronounced Smitticks to the locals- who woulda thunk?
The Market Bar Dublin, Ireland. One of our favorite, ended up here once or twice a day.
And they have the best calamari- A+
Gardens of the Dublin Castle. Skinflint, the best pizza I have ever tasted! The Everywhereist has a great blog about the place that actually enticed us to visit- thanks! We later found out the honey makes it 10 times better, guess we’ll have to go back…
Dublin at Night
Skinflint- delicious, yet hidden. Dublin, Ireland.
We can’t stop eating. Must try it all!!! We must have passed this adorable little cafe like 30 times and finally decided to stop for some takeaway one night. Keoghs was a delicious and affordable cafe with paninis, wraps, salads, quiche, pastries, and of course dessert! We decided on a spinach quiche, a spicy chicken wrap with spinach salad, and a Bailey’s creme pie -duh, how could you not take a piece of that away??? Well, it was all to die for. I cannot go into detail because my mouth is literally watering just looking at the picture and remembering the explosion of deliciousness in my mouth. Just go there and try it for yourself- you won’t be sorry- it’s almost worth the flight by itself.
Thank goodness for takeaway! Keoghs in Dublin, Ireland
Natural History Museum in Dublin, Ireland. Filled with native taxidermy and artifacts.
Tower Records- says it right, “No Music, No Life” Dublin, Ireland.
Adorable souvenirs to bring the family, and inexpensive too! Most items in the gift shops were not too overly priced.
So that pretty much sums up our first Ireland adventure. We stayed mostly in the city, Dublin, and explored the typical touristy stuff. Some other places we visited (not pictured) included Trinity College which was beautiful to walk around; Saint Patrick’s Cathedral where we met the most friendly and talkative little ol’ lady; Jo’burger which is Skinflint’s brother (same owner, also check out Crackbird for all your chicken needs) had INSANE burgers- impossible to get your mouth around it. Anyway, after a few amazing first days, we got ready to hop on another plane to our next destination, Liverpool!
Beatle-mania, here we come….
Have any suggestions of places we missed or must-have food stops? Please comment below and share the wealth! ❤