19 April, 2011

13 years and Dublin, part deux

The next morning after breakfast, we set out in search for Starbucks...
We had no idea where the nearest one would be, and figured "it's Dublin, how hard could it be to find one?"

Famous last words.

We wandered around for a good while before we found one. We were pretty happy to see that mermaid...

I got a grande caramel frap... my first ever! I usually go for the strawberry. As yummy as it was, I will probably stick to strawberry though.

We found some great sales on Grafton St. and window shopped all over the city. After a couple hours of walking and talking, we realized how hungry we were!! Off to find lunch.
We went to Munchies for some sandwiches. Very reasonably priced for the amount of goodness you get with it. I was very pleased. I got a sandwich called the Italian Scallion that had salad greens, provolone, scallions, roasted red peppers, and salami. Sooooo good.

Even the view was nice.

After lunch, we went back to the hostel to buy tickets online for the Guinness Storehouse Tour. I discovered that if you purchase your tickets online, you save 10% (the same goes for Bus Eireann)... and always up to save a few bob, that's what we did. Then we walked (and walked, and walked) from our hostel to the storehouse.

That's about a mile and a half, folks. Normally, I wouldn't gripe, but considering the amount of walking we had already done this day - it was a lot for me.
But it was a nice day and on the way, we found a shoe shop with a sale of 50% or more off! So obviously, we had to go look. More on that next time.


We toured the storehouse, and learned all about the brewing process for Guinness. Where I've always thought Guinness was a deep brown, I discovered that it's actually a very deep red from the ingredients. I won't spoil the experience for you, save to say I'll never take Guinness for granted. Yum!

 (above) Anne and some hops on display inside the storehouse.

  We learned about all the work that goes into making the casks that the Guinness is stored in. Originally these were all made by hand, and the process is actually quite impressive!

At the end of the tour, (and at the top of the building) we were greeted by a complimentary pint of Guinness (seriously, the best Guinness I've ever had) and a view of Dublin that was to die for.

We stayed there and chatted and took silly photos for a little while, finishing our yummy Guinnesses (?) for almost an hour before it was time for us to head back to the hostel (walking... groooooan) to freshen up. Soon we would meet up with Anne's friends who were flying in from France to meet us.

I decided that after a day of lugging around my Canon 5D Mkii, I didn't want lug it around all evening... and as usual, as soon as we got to our destination (Temple Bar), I was sad I didn't bring it along. I wasn't even a good tourist and left my little camera at the hostel too. Bad Shannon. Bad Photographer.

We found a pub with live music but the whole floor was jam packed. We had already ordered, so we stayed, but people (100% tourists!!) kept flowing through the door. Soon, there was standing room only, but with the help of my Guinness, my anxiety levels stayed pretty low. Finally, we were able to snag a table just as some people were leaving and it was nice to be able to watch the band from there. My feet were killing me anyway.
The band was good, but we preferred the atmosphere of the pub from the night before, so we departed and set out in search for O'Donoghues again.

Admittedly, none of us knows Dublin very well so we got a little lost, but in the end, we found it and were treated to some very nice music and one last Guinness for the night. Around midnight, we bid farewell to our friends and went back to the hostel to sleep.

The next morning, we met up with them again in Starbucks (seriously, it's an obsession of Anne's).

And of course, we ate cheesecake.

well... Anne sorta devoured hers... but that's why we love her. <3

 Their Venti coffee mugs... are seriously as big as someone's head. How do we drink this much coffee, people?! Yikes! But also Yuuuummmmm...

 After coffee, we intended to visit the Trinity College Library and the Book of Kells - but it was graduation day at Trinity, so there was a line as long as the campus... we decided to take fun photos instead.

Then go to visit a ribbon shop.

And by the time we finished, it was sadly time for me to go home...

I gathered my (heavy) duffel bag and walked to the bus station alone, but filled with gladness from seeing my SISTER again after such a long absence. I have two older sisters of my own, and I love them with all my heart, but Anne is the only one I've ever lived with - even if it was for such a short time. Being only a couple years older than me, we were able to bond in a way my sisters and I were never able to do. Borrowing each other's clothes, talking about boys, and staying up until the wee hours of the morning watching Friends reruns. We both agree that that year she was in America was the best of our lives.

I left her with a promise that we'll never let more than a couple years go by without seeing each other again. Next time, it's my turn to visit her! Viva la Paris!


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