Dublin and Rental Cars

For our second night in Dublin we took a walk down Grafton Street and tried to find some grub. We ended up eating at a New Zealand burger place (we had no idea it was a Kiwi burger joint beforehand) and drank some New Zealand beers. Still tried to figure out the tipping customs, because we’ve been told so many things…but I think we settled on a reasonable 10% in restaurants. Back to the hotel in for an early night.

We woke up, checked out of our hotel in Dublin where they held our luggage for us to pick up later, and hopped on the bus to make full use of our passes and find some place for breakfast. Matt and I had saw on one of our maps a crepe restaurant (and I love crepes!!) so we decided to eat there and have some coffee and tea. After that we hopped back on the bus and took a guided circle tour around Dublin, making sure we didn’t miss any stops along the way we may have overlooked on the previous day. We then went back to our hotel, grabbed our luggage and headed for the airport to pick up or rental car, thus ending our stay in the city of Dublin.

After signing our life away (and many euros) for the rental car and a pay-as-you-go cell phone, Matt got to experience driving on the left firsthand. The freeways were a breeze, but the roundabouts were tricky.

We drove to county Wicklow and stopped at the Powerscourt House and Gardens. We  took a walk through the grounds in which the scenery was magnificent. I can only imagine the kind of family that lived there previously.

Next up was Alana’s first left hand driving experience. The bulk of that drive was freeway, so it wasn’t that tricky but he GPS led us astray a couple of times, which resulted in some unnecessary roundabouts and backtracking. We eventually made it to our destination for the day and overnight stay: Kilkenny. Kilkenny is a small medieval town where Smithwicks is brewed. We found one of the B&B’s from our travel book right away and they had a vacancy for us. The older gentleman that greeted the door very much fit in with the name and ambiance of the B&B; Butler House. The hotel is right behind Kilkenny castle, and our room is just wonderful.

After bringing up our things we were starving by that point, so we ate at one of the restaurants the caretaker of Butler House recommended, called Zuni. It was a pretty upscale little restaurant for such a small town, and we definitely felt a bit out of place in our jeans, t’s and merrell hiking shoes. The food was excellent and the cappuccino too.  Then we walked down to the River Nore, where the caretaker had recommended a pub to visit. The pub was called Tynan’s Bridge House, and it’s the oldest pub in Kilkenny. It was once a grocery store and pharmacy, and it still had some of the old spice drawers and scales. There was live music (mostly classic rock…Johnny Cash, Queen…etc.etc.)

So now we’re back at Butler House staying for the night, and tomorrow will be another adventure checking out Kilkenny castle and beyond. 🙂

Cheers-

Alana & Matt

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Our First Couple Days in Ireland

The first night we arrived in Dublin we went back to our room, took another nap, and then went in search for a nice restaurant for dinner. Alfie’s seemed like a fitting choice…

Upon arriving at Alfie’s, we immediately ordered our first Guinnesses. We were very pleased to find out that they were actually served nice and cold.

We decided to order the Mexican nachos as an appetizer to get started. We found it quite funny when we received a bowl of chili with nacho cheese Doritos dipped in to it. They were quite tasty nonetheless.

We finished up dinner and went back to the hotel to go to sleep for the night.

This morning we got up kind of late, Alana blew a fuse in our room with her straightener, we ate at a little cafe, and then we walked over to Trinity college.

The college had beautiful stonework and felt very old. We paid 9 euro each to look at an ancient book (The Book of Kells) with about 100 other tourists. It wouldn’t have been worth the cost if it wasn’t for the awesome library on the second floor that made us feel like we were in Harry Potter. We couldn’t take pictures here but it had awesome cathedral ceilings and had floors and floors of really old books that looked like they would disintegrate if you touched them.

When deciding what to do next, a friendly bus driver persuaded us in to getting hop-on-hop-off city tour bus tickets, which turned out to be a good deal.

We hopped on and headed for the Guinness storehouse. We took the tour, heard a random French choir group singing inside, got our free pints, and the view from the 8th floor was amazing.

We hopped back on our bus and headed for Kilmainham Gaol (pronounced jail). This was very interesting and very educational. This was where many political prisoners were held and executed. Apparently no one ever escaped from this jail. They now film a bunch of movies and TV shows inside here.

We hopped back on our bus, got off at the wrong stop, then proceeded to get lost somewhere in Dublin. After walking for about 4 miles, we finally found our way back to the hotel.

Now we’re headed back out to grab some dinner (and another pint or two).

Cheers,

Matt & Alana

The Photos:
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Update about the blog

So Josh told me that people couldn’t post comments on this blog. That kind of defeated the purpose for this whole thing. So I’ve spent about an hour trying to get the comments feature to work and I think I finally got it. I know I know… I’m a nerd. I’m in Ireland and I’m working on getting a blog going.

Anyway… Alana and I are checked in to our hotel. We were so jet-lagged we had to take about a 3 hour nap. I think we’re pretty much good to go for a bit now. The time difference is weird to adjust to. Especially since it doesn’t get dark until about 9:30. It’s about 7:20pm right now and it’s still as bright as noon outside right now. It’s a little weird.

Alright. We’re going to go find some food and some Guinness.

More pictures coming soon! 🙂

-Matt

We made it to our hotel in Ireland

After a loooong delay at the Phildelphia Airport due to mechanical problems with the plane, we made it to Ireland! Customs was a breeze, picking up our bags took a bit of time, and then walking out to the curb and not remembering to look right before you look left before crossing the street was weird! Then we had to figure out how to transfer buses to get closest to our hotel…we probably got the wrong stop, (and the first person I asked for directions happened to be a girl from Sacramento, CA, hah!) but it didn’t take too long to arrive at The Fitzwilliam hotel Dublin, right across from the famous St. Stephen’s Green.

We were greeted by a very friendly bellhop, and checked in by a nice concierge. So right now we’re chillin’ by the cozy fire in the hotel lobby waiting for our room to be ready. (Check in is at 2:00pm, right now it’s 1:12pm…that would be 5:13am Pacific Time). We didn’t sleep too much on the plane, I feel like I only got maybe three hours or so, and Matt probably got less, but the time went by quickly.  So we’re just checking in, and have a good morning friends and family!! 😉

Our New Travel Blog

I just created this new travel blog while sitting in the airport waiting for our plane to Dublin. Alana and I will post pictures and stories along the way in here.

I’m pretty new to Tumblr. Hopefully this is a good medium to share this. All of my posts in here should automatically be shared on Facebook.

Dublin here we come 🙂