Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Luck of the Irish

Lucky doesn't begin to cover it. Our second St. Patrick's Day in Dublin without a drop of rain all week. I didn't think anything could match last years Spring Breakers, castles and lots of Guinness (see link). This year we had visitors who though no longer given an official Spring Break, have never lost sight of the concept.

We began with our good friend Andy from Austin. And for his first day, we did what you're supposed to do in Dublin, pub crawl until the jet lag goes away. We mixed in a few squares and greens since the weather was so lovely and there was no way I believed it was going to last.

We had another good day of pubs and sights before the second part of the group arrived. Angie arrived from New York although without her baggage. And Aaron arrived from a long flight from Iraq and met us straight away at the Guinness Brewery. This was the first time I was able to use my Guinness Ambassador card. A couple of months ago, we received an email thanking us for such loyal patronage and asking if we wanted to be Guinness Ambassadors. It's been making me laugh ever since. And this was the first time since receiving our golden card that we were able to use it. Basically it just gives me free admission and all my guests 10% off. So, we did Guinness including fantastic visibility from the Gravity Bar, Guinness's 360 degree view bar on top of the brewery. After a quick tour of Bono's bar and Temple Bar including horse-drawn carriage ride, we headed back toward's home with a quick stop off at our favorite restaurant Green19.

Before our third set of guests arrived, we hit Jameson and the Brazen Head (Dublin's oldest pub) and were lucky enough to dine at L'Evrivain. Our friend, John, introduced us to the chef who had prepared a great meal complete with wine pairings. My personal favorite dish of the evening was the mini-BLT bite and the halibut. The mini-BLT flavors all went so great together and melted away in your mouth. It's definitely a restaurant that I'd like to visit again with any of our fellow foodie friends.

After all our Dublin debauchery we had one day to rent a car and head to County Wicklow. It was the cloudiest of our visitors' trip and a little cold in the mountains. We hit Powerscourt for lunch just outside of Enniskerry, then Lough Tay (the giant pint of Guinness lake), and of course Sally Gap. I've never been up to Sally Gap in the winter and there was still snow on the ground! The snow made bog jumping quite chilly. And the sheep were conspicuously absent. I suppose it was too cold for them. Luckily we had run into a farmer herding his sheep across the road earlier in the day. So everyone got their "sheep in the road" picture. We hit a pub in Roundwood to complete the day and headed back to Dublin for our St. Patrick's Day party to get started.

Next up...St. Patrick's Day.