It would seem as though I can’t get rid of my jet lag. After we got home, Jonathon went straight to bed, as I read a book in bed. Then at 5:15 am I was up and ready to go. I tried to go back to sleep until about 7:30 am when Jonathon woke up with a plan for the day.
Jonathon’s Aunt had set up a lunch with another Aunt and Uncle of his, and we wanted to get to Guinness beforehand, so we had to get going pretty early.
We walked down to Taste Co, just off Grafton Street, which had plenty of traditional Irish breakfasts. We sat near the window to have the view of the street, but quickly realized how cold it was there. Speaking of – why is *every* pub, restaurant, bar, etc. freezing? That would certainly take some getting used to if we lived here. Our breakfast was delicious, and the cappuccino I had was so delicious, I ordered 2 (one as a take-away for our walk to the brewery).
We set off to find the Guinness Storehouse, but after walking one direction for a few minutes, it was clear we were lost. Luckily we made our way back to the river and found the signs to take us straight to the brewhouse. We learned a lot as we walked through the brewery, and it is apparent that between Jameson and Guinness, all of Ireland’s barley production is spoken for!
Also, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease to get the property the Storehouse currently sits on, but that’s mainly for the rights to the water from Wickley Mountains (which look more like hills to those of us in Colorado). Jonathon and I had heard what a great view the Gravity bar had, and since your ticket only gets you 1 Guinness, we were going to save our ticket for that bar. That is until we got talked in to doing the tasting tour (where you learned to hold your elbow high in order to get the ruby red goodness under the head) and then learning to pour our own Guinness. Pouring your own Guinness is fun, and takes just under 2 minutes (if you do it correctly).
Once we poured our own, received our certificates, we were able to go up to the gravity bar and partake in the panoramic views of Dublin. It was fantastic and highly recommended. The tour was quite long, but fun and informative.
Although, I have to admit, I was a bit underwhelmed by both the Jameson tour and the Guinness tours. In the States, you normally take a tour at a brewery or distillery by someone who works hard to make the product, and get a tour of the actual facility that’s used. In Jameson’s case, we watched a video and were then taken through staged areas that were replications of what used to happen in the distillery. In Guinness’ case, we were on a self guided tour through what was pretty much a museum of the history of Guinness. Don’t get me wrong – I learned a TON and had a great time – just want to let everyone in the US know that we are a bit spoiled when it comes to liquor or brewery tours.
From Guinness we had to high tail it back to Grafton Street to meet Jonathon’s Aunt and Uncle in front of Brown Thomas. The street was too busy, so we went straight to Bewleys and had some tea and coffee (my first tea of the trip if you can believe it!). It was great to see his family again, and meet another Aunt and Uncle!
We then went to lunch at The Green Hen, with his Aunt and Uncle that I had just met. This place had a terrific pre-fixed menu, that wasn’t very expensive either. I had my first, and only, fish and chips of the trip. While it didn’t make me feel the best (darn gluten) it was pretty delicious at the same time.
After our long lunch (it was my first time meeting these people, so there was a lot to catch up on), we walked back to our apartment where I promptly took a short nap. Did I mention that the jet lag is getting the best of me at this point?
As we walked around Temple Bar looking for dinner options, Jonathon was instantly distracted by the sign that read “Gluten Free Pizza” outside Milano. Luckily, they also had a MASSIVE salad that was full of veggies, which is what I was also craving.
We thought about going to a bar after that, but decided to instead buy a bottle of wine (red was all they had at the convenience store) and hang out for the rest of the night at home. Not a bad second to last night on our trip, if I do say so myself! Can’t wait to continue to explore on our last day in Ireland.