Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dublin - a very full day

Yesterday, my day started off eating at a place called Munchies.  I had a sandwich that had feta cheese and spinach on it, with other ingredients, but I was sold when I read "spinach and feta".  Random info: The water is served almost room temperature here with no ice.  That is how I drink my water at home most of the time, anyway, but Jay does not like it.  I sat outside and enjoyed my sandwich while I people watched.
Sat outside on the yellow chairs and ate my sammie.

My Sammie.

After brunch I walked around and did a bunch of shopping.  I found this cool outdoor/indoor market right by our hotel. They sold scarves, jewelry, hats, art, belts, and a lot of random stuff.  

I also found this adorable little boutique called Originals. I told the owner that I really appreciated that the dresses they had there were for the average woman, not all size zero like the boutiques in Chicago.  She laughed and let me take pictures of her shop.  
Isn't this shop adorable?!

I also found the equivalent to our dollar stores, but here it is a 2 Euro store!

After dropping off my souvenirs at the hotel, I revamped and went on my way.  I walked around to take pictures of Dublin Castle, City Hall, and Christ Church Cathedral.  
 Dublin Castle

Courtyard of Dublin Castle

 City Hall

 Christ Church Cathedral

I also stopped at Robert's for a tastefully summer smoothie.  

I walked to the Liffey - the waterway that runs through Dublin - and enjoyed the scenery from there.  

 This hotel faces the Liffey... it is owned by the band U2

Then I forced myself to just walk and walk until I somewhat got lost, so I could use my map to make it back home.  I found myself in Temple Bar, which is actually a big tourist location.  Temple Bar is an area of the city with shopping, eating places, and pubs galore.  There is actually a famous bar in Temple Bar called Temple Bar, fancy that!  

I found one of the musicians that I had heard the day before on Grafton Street, this time he was playing in Temple Bar Area.  So, I bought a hot dog and sat my butt down and listened to him serenade me.  I stopped, because I heard someone singing "I Will" by the Beatles, which is one of my and Jay's songs.  (Backstory:  Jay and I had chatted in Ecology class in the fall of 2006 and he knew he was intrigued by me, but couldn't remember my name after I had already told him and was too embarrassed to ask.  In the song, there is a line... "For if I ever saw you...I didn't catch your name... But it never really mattered... I will always feel the same" and it reminded him of me, the mystery girl without a name.)

I came home to meet the boys after they were done at the conference (and to take a tiny nap)... and Jay brought me flowers :)

Then, I walked around with Jay, Neil, and their fellow lab mate Daryl.  They had to do some souvenir shopping as well.  We took pictures with some dude dressed as a leprechaun, totally worth 1 Euro!  

We listened to some more street music performers.  We also went back to St Stephens Green (the park I visited on my first day) and actually walked through the park.  

We found a Tower Records store that actually sells new copies of records!  There was a band called Seven Days playing in the store to promote their album (which I bought).  After that, we went home.

I was exhausted by this point so I took a real nap.  My body and feet were aching and my brain was on shut down mode.  Jay woke me up and told me it was time to eat. We designated Friday night as our date night.  We ditched everyone else and went off on our own.  He took me to this restaurant upstairs/bar downstairs type of place called Quays (pronounced Keys).  We drank Smithwicks topped off with Guinness (something we learned from a local Irishman), it was delicious!  I don't really like Guinness, so the combo of the two is a nice meeting point.  Jay had steak and shrimp on chips (aka fries).  I ordered the salmon served on a bed of greens and asparagus with roasted potatoes and sun dried tomatoes.  It was all very delicious. 

After dinner, Jay and I went to Temple Bar (the actual bar) for a few drinks. Their beer garden was really cool.  Jay made me take a shot of Jameson to get my belly warm.  Then we ordered Bulmer's and Smithwicks.  There are many rooms and many bars inside this bar, so weaving through the crowd was quite difficult.  Once you find a spot though, it is so much fun. We found a nice nook in the beer garden and planted ourselves there.  After a couple drinks there, we headed home to actually rest for one night. 

I just woke up and wrote this entry and my plans for today are to shower and visit the art galleries and museums.  I was going to try and make it out to a real castle out in the country, but most are pretty far away and I need to make it back in time so I can go see Jay's poster that he is presenting at the conference.  I am totally going to embarrass him and take pictures and probably cry because I am so proud of him.  

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