Monday, October 8, 2012

F&D's Trip Recap: STP and (lots of)Guinness Beer

Faye and Donna arrived to a beautiful autumn day. I 'let' (can't waste any time ;-) them drop off their things, refresh and take in our views before we headed to dinner at the delicious Lairhillock. When Donna saw this blog post she was certain she had to get her hands mouth on some so, I didn't waste anytime!

STP=Stick Toffee Pudding=YUMMY!

We called it an early night since we had a flight to Dublin the next morning and needed to be well rested for what was in store for us in Ireland.
 THANK YOU FOR THE PRECIOUS PJs and SLIPPERS, Faye and Donna. Love them!!

We arrived in Dublin excited to drop off our things at the hotel and quickly dig in to the city since we only had a short time there. Well, our chatty taxi driver had other plans and decided to take us to the wrong hotel (I showed him the piece of paper that had the hotel name clearly typed. In his defense we were staying at The Castle Hotel and he took us to the Clontarf Castle Hotel. I can definitely see where that could be confusing. But come on, he’s a taxi driver!!) No worries though, the lady at reception at the wrong hotel quickly called us another taxi (we didn’t realize it was the wrong hotel until we were inside) and we were on our way once again.

The 'right' hotel
Once we dropped off our things we hopped in the 3rd taxi in an hour and we were on our way to tour the Guinness Storehouse.
Waiting for our taxi to Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Storehouse tour was self guided which was great because you could spend as much or as little time in each area. It was interesting to get the history of this world famous beer. When Sir Arthur Guinness started his company in 1759, he was so confident in his product that he signed a 9,000 year lease of the brewery at St. James Gate. I am confident that it will go far beyond that 9,000 years. Guinness is good, y'all, real good! The Guinness Brewery in Dublin brews 3,000,000 pints a day!

Me and Donna checking out the barley.

Can you see the rainbow? We caught this in the corner of our eye as we were walking through the Storehouse.

After the tour we wanted to learn how to pour the perfect pint. The head (foam) of the beer is famous on a Guinness and there is a very particular way ( 6 steps actually) to pour the beer to get that perfect pint!

1. You start with a clean, dry Guinness tulip shaped pint glass.

2. Hold the glass firmly at 45 degrees under the tap.

3. Pull the handle fully forward towards you. Slowly straighten the class as it fills. Stop when glass is 3/4 full, right above the Guinness name on the glass.

4. Leave the surge to settle allowing the creamy head to form. The head should be between 10-15mm high.

5. Top up the glass by pushing the tap handle away from you. Stop when the head is proud of the rim.

6. Present the perfect pint to the consumer, with a steady hand, logo facing forward. Pure Beauty. Pure Guinness.
We even got certificates saying we can pour a perfect pint of Guinness!

Faye with her Guinness mustache. They say it does the body good!
We weren’t done with the Guinness so we did what the Irish do and took ourselves to a pub (or 2) to enjoy a pint (or 5) and some amazing live music.

Dublin definitely takes the cake on the live music scene and I would go back for this reason alone. Every band we heard was so, so good.

Wednesday morning we were up bright and early for a bike tour of Dublin. My friend, Tanvi, was coincidentally in Dublin with her brother and they were on the bike tour as well. This was a great way to see the city, I feel we saw tons of things we wouldn’t have otherwise. It could have been a tad bit shorter but overall, so glad we did it.

Gravity art on the street where U2 used to record their music, some love shown for Bono and some hate. Most were upset when he moved the bands recording studio.
Rock and Roll Road. This is the building where U2 spent lots of time.

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Dublin Castle

Bright colors in Dublin Castle
Harp Bridge over the Liffy River; "Stiffy in the Liffy" inside joke from bike tour :-)

Oscar Wilde

Love the ivy on the buildings

Beautiful grounds of St. Patrick Cathedral
Our awesome tour guide, Brian

We stopped for lunch Dublin Wine Rooms (highly recommend) to fuel up (with wine this time) before touring the Book of Kells and continuing our pub crawl of Dublin.

The Book of Kells at Trinity College was neat but would have been even neater if we could have taken pictures inside. The Long Room (Old Library) was stunning with floor to ceiling books. The Book of Kells contains the four gospels in Latin based on Vulgate text, written on calfskin.

First stop on the pub crawl was The Stag's Head, followed by Temple Bar and finishing up at The Quays (pronounced keys). All three were awesome and so. much. fun! So glad Tanvi and Kunal were there, we had a blast!

We had an absolutely wonderful time in Dublin! SLÁINTE!

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