This Ireland Recap spans July 14-16: days 1, 2, & 3 of my family’s 2011 vacation to Ireland.
We flew into Dublin on July 14 at around 4pm. By the time we had waited for our bags, procured our rental car, and driven circles around the airport due to a persnickety GPS, we were tired and hungry.
Within walking distance of our hotel was a pub with a fancy restaurant above it, and it proved to be perfect for our weary traveling souls. I happily ate this mushroom meat pie, which was simply fantastic (i think all food should be served in pie form) along with that legendary first pint of Ireland Guinness.
After dinner, we headed to O’Donoghue’s across the way for a bit of traditional live music. We headed back to the hotel in the rain, and picked up some ice cream bars at the grocery for dessert. All vacations need lots of dessert!
Day 2 started with a glance across the street at these wonderful yellow doors. I just loved them.
We walked to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, which sounded really cool online but turned out to be pretty lame – almost all the exhibits were closed when we were there. The museum’s best feature is its building: it resides in a renovated 17th century hospital.
We passed by the Guinness factory, which is always bustling since over 10 Million glasses of Guinness are consumed each day worldwide!
We watched them load kegs onto trucks using the special forklift – it’s got little prongs on the bottom to pick up a whole pallet at a time!
We then headed to the Guinness Storehouse for a tour. While the storehouse is not the same as the brewery, the tour was awesome and gave a great explanation of the brewing process, with videos and props. The coolest thing I learned was the trade of cooperage, when men would form the big wooden casks by hand. It was so time-consuming to make even one cask!
Then we learned how to craft the perfect pint of Guinness draught. The perfect pint of Guinness must be filled almost all the way from the tap, and then left to sit for 2 minutes to allow the nitrogen carbonation to settle. After this two-minute wait period, it is topped off and ready for drinking. Above is the picture of my perfect pint, although it is half-finished!
On day 3 we saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2! And I was overjoyed. What a wonderful end to the books and movies of my childhood, even though it makes me so sad that they’re over now. After the movie we headed down to county Cork!
Stay tuned for the next Ireland recap!