Sláinte from Dublin!

We arrived in Dublin extremely excited, as Megan has her Irish side and I have my beer loving side! From the airport, we traveled south just past St. Stephen’s Green to get to our Airbnb located on Camden Street. The gentleman who was our host was fantastic and guess what- he was also a McCarthy! He even had the family crest on his washing machine. He provided us with a ton of recommendations from restaurants to music to other places to visit outside of Dublin. We definitely recommend this Airbnb due to the good host, Daragh, and the great location!

Our Airbnb conveniently located above Frank’s Pork Shop.

Of course we stayed with a McCarthy in Ireland!

Our Airbnb conveniently located above Frank’s Pork Shop.

Of course we stayed with a McCarthy in Ireland!

Day 1

Daragh’s first recommendation was to go to a hurling match if we were not familiar with the sport. Conveniently, there was a regional final scheduled for the afternoon at Croke Park Stadium between Galway and Wexford. He told us we would have a great time partaking in the festivities and it was only ~$35 per ticket. Not knowing a clue of what he was describing to us, we made the decision to go and see firsthand all the commotion. We ended up helping set a record for a regional final attendance at 60,032 people! It was a fantastic atmosphere full of tailgating, endless cheering, and post-game parties at various bars. Everywhere we looked outdoor patios were packed with fans enjoying themselves. The locals next to us tried teaching us how the scoring works, but we still could not tell you! We came to agree that hurling is a mixed sport of soccer, baseball, rugby, and lacrosse. They use wooden paddles that tend to get a bit vicious, as evidenced by the captain of the winning team doing his post-game interview with a half-bloody jersey. If you ever get a chance to see a hurling match in the future, we highly recommend you go!

Hurling, Ireland’s national sport, in a stadium with over 60,000 fans!

See if you can figure out what that score means!

Post-game activities!

Hurling, Ireland’s national sport, in a stadium with over 60,000 fans!

See if you can figure out what that score means!

Post-game activities!

Day 2

Kicking off the next morning, we ate a quick breakfast at Brother Hubbard South before we started two of the most important tours of my life- the Guinness Storehouse and the Jameson Distillery. Tough to say which one won. Both spots led us through their histories spectacularly while trying to balance the crowds of people as best they could through ticketing systems. On the Guinness tour, we were able to pour our own perfect pints and enjoy a pint at their top-level bar with sweeping views of the surrounding city. At Jameson, you get to taste test their Irish whiskey against two other well-known whiskeys and decide for yourself which you prefer. The main level Jameson bar also pushes out really good whiskey cocktails. After drinking for most of the day, we needed some food. We made our way past St. Patrick’s Cathedral and landed at Jo’Burger where we engorged ourselves with massive burgers. For the evening, we went back up near the Jameson Distillery to The Cobblestone Pub for some amazing local Irish music. We must have stayed there for hours enjoying the lively atmosphere. And finally, we had a Guinness nightcap at The Long Hall, a very warm and inviting pub.

It was fun learning about some Guinness history!

We got to check out their advertising tactics!

And learn how to pour the perfect pint – there’s actually a special way!

A glimpse of the sweeping views from the top level Guinness bar.

We sure enjoyed our time at the Guinness Storehouse!

Next stop was the Jameson Distillery!

We also got to learn our fair share of history here.

And compare Irish whiskey to Scotch and American whiskey…Irish wins!

They even got creative with their chandeliers at Jameson!

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Some of the tallest burgers you’ve ever seen from Jo’Burger!

We could probably sit and listen to live Irish jigs and reels forever!

The Long Hall

It was fun learning about some Guinness history!

We got to check out their advertising tactics!

And learn how to pour the perfect pint – there’s actually a special way!

A glimpse of the sweeping views from the top level Guinness bar.

We sure enjoyed our time at the Guinness Storehouse!

Next stop was the Jameson Distillery!

We also got to learn our fair share of history here.

And compare Irish whiskey to Scotch and American whiskey…Irish wins!

They even got creative with their chandeliers at Jameson!

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Some of the tallest burgers you’ve ever seen from Jo’Burger!

We could probably sit and listen to live Irish jigs and reels forever!

The Long Hall

Day 3

The Fumbally was another great breakfast spot that started off our third day. It had a sustainably sourced and made fresh daily eclectic menu that provided us a good boost of energy as we made our way to the DART (Dublin’s public transportation system). We were headed a bit south to explore the town of Dalkey. More specifically, we were there to see the cliffs on the eastern side of the island that face the United Kingdom. We walked quite a ways out of the town to Hawk’s Cliff. Here there is a walkway/staircase that leads down to some perfectly placed boulders at the base of the cliffs. Not thinking twice, we stripped down to our essentials and dove on into the Irish Sea. It was a bit chilly but somehow refreshing despite there being permanent cloud cover. I mean, we jumped off some boulders into the Irish Sea – never thought I’d say that! After getting our layers of clothes back on, we trekked a little further down the coastline until we could no longer. After having a moment of tranquility here we made our way back into the town of Dalkey. We stopped by the King’s Inn Pub for a beer and then hit up Club Dalkey for an early dinner. 

Pretty trails on the east coast of Ireland.

Hawk’s Cliff

We hiked as far as the trail allowed.

Club Dalkey, a restaurant with a dark but cool vibe.

Pretty trails on the east coast of Ireland.

Hawk’s Cliff

We hiked as far as the trail allowed.

Club Dalkey, a restaurant with a dark but cool vibe.

After taking the DART back into the heart of the city, we took up our host on another one of his recommendations and weaseled our way up to the 2nd floor of The Stag’s Head Pub for ukulele night. Apparently, this happens every Tuesday evening and it gets packed. We were standing room only. Priority is given to those who have come to play their ukulele, and I bet there were easily 75 people who were ready to follow the ukulele master. They put up song sheets so everyone can follow along and play for hours. Those of us without ukuleles, chimed in by singing along to the posted lyrics! The lively and energetic tunes kept the party going well into the night! It was a blast. Next, we strolled into Fitzsimons Hotel Temple Bar and the actual Temple Bar in order to check off some tourist destinations, but these spots were not nearly as much fun as ukulele night. To finish off the night we stumbled into Dicey’s Garden Club, a multi-tiered nightclub right by our Airbnb! It had a lot of good dance songs and really cheap drinks compared to the Temple Bar area.

The Stag’s Head Pub – the location of ukulele night – arrive early!

Everyone packed into the upper level of The Stag’s Head to play and sing their hearts out!

The Temple Bar – a staple.

The Stag’s Head Pub – the location of ukulele night – arrive early!

Everyone packed into the upper level of The Stag’s Head to play and sing their hearts out!

The Temple Bar – a staple.

Day 4

Finally, our day trip to the Cliffs of Moher had come! We were going to see the other side of the island! We just were not going to be jumping into the sea this time… On our way through the beautiful, rolling green countryside that is Ireland, our tour bus driver stopped at Kinvarra in order to stretch our legs out for a while. We also made a pit stop in Galway to learn some history and for Megan to get her long desired claddagh ring. The whole drive one-way takes around three hours. But it is well worth it. The cliffs are truly amazing, and we took endless pictures. Before it was time to hop back on the bus our group was treated to a dinner at O’Connors Pub in Doolin as part of our ticket, and we also got to run by a chocolate shop in Doolin to grab any snacks before the long trip back to Dublin. Upon return, Megan was still a little hungry, so we swung by Grogans Pub for “Teeling and a Toastie”, which turned out to most likely be one of Megan’s favorite meals here. Go figure. Teeling is a local whiskey and a toastie is essentially grilled cheese. Feeling satisfied, we went to one more pub for the night- The International Comedy Club, which holds open mic live music every Wednesday.

Learning some interesting history in Galway!

This is what Ireland looks like in the middle of the island!

The Cliffs of Moher.

Having some fun with pictures 🙂

Fun fact: they have holes in their stone fences so the wind doesn’t knock them over.

Learning some interesting history in Galway!

This is what Ireland looks like in the middle of the island!

The Cliffs of Moher.

Having some fun with pictures 🙂

Fun fact: they have holes in their stone fences so the wind doesn’t knock them over.

Day 5

On our last full day in Ireland we took another recommendation and DARTed up to Howth– a peninsula just northeast of Dublin. With no idea of really where to go, we stumbled onto the grounds of Deer Park Golf. What came next was awesome. We learned they had a separate course from golf which was strictly for “Poc Fada”. This is a sport where you get to take one of the wooden hurleys (stick with a paddle at its end) used in the sport hurling and crush a sliotar (the ball) from a tee box toward a green. And we could rent all the equipment to play it ourselves! I immediately said take my money and off we went. Turns out it was actually pretty difficult to hit a baseball-sized ball straight with a flat wooden mallet, but we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. After beating Megan in Poc Fada (barely), we grabbed some fish and chips at the Bloody Stream Pub, so we had some energy for the ~8-mile Cliff Pass Trail around the Howth peninsula. It was on this trail we found some relatively unmarked paths that led us down into some seemingly untouched caves. After finishing our cave exploration, we made plans to eat dinner at Devitts Pub for our last Irish meal. We went up to the 2nd floor for another great round of live music that again lasted for hours. The next morning, we had our final Guinness at Mulligans Pub and prepared for our next upcoming adventure!

Deer Park Golf

Poc Fada golf with a view!

A combo of baseball…

…and golf! (all with Hurling gear)

Cliff Pass Trail around the Howth Peninsula.

One last round of live Irish music at Devitts Pub!

Deer Park Golf

Poc Fada golf with a view!

A combo of baseball…

…and golf! (all with Hurling gear)

Cliff Pass Trail around the Howth Peninsula.

One last round of live Irish music at Devitts Pub!

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