#tbt 25th Birthday in Ireland

With the passing of my 26th birthday, I thought it would be nice to reflect on how I spent my 25th birthday last year.  Mike surprised me with a trip to Ireland to see Mumford and Sons in Dublin on my actual birthday.  I am a lucky girl.  We decided to make the most of our trip and see as much of Ireland as we could.

We began in Dublin.  Here we are at the Guinness Storehouse where we poured our own perfect pints of Guinness.
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I actually don’t think I had ever drank an entire Guinness before this occasion.  Maybe it was because I poured it myself, maybe it was because we were in Dublin – the home of Guinness – but this was definitely the best Guinness I’ve ever had.

For my birthday breakfast we visited Elephant and Castle.  Since it was my birthday, I treated myself to the “Eggs ‘n Apples Benedict with Maple Syrup on French Toast.”  DSC01311

I think I had imagined this dish a little differently than it looked when it arrived, but without a doubt it was amazing.  It is literally eggs benedict, with a friendly helping of hollandaise sauce, right in the middle of a stack of french toast, bacon, and apples.  Decadent and rich, very much a birthday indulgence.  Especially with the mimosas we ordered.

We also visited the Jameson Distillery in Dublin.  On our tour of the distillery, the tour guide asked, “Who wants to drink more whiskey?”  The tour already included a tasting so obviously Mike and I raised our hands for more.  We got to sample not only our choice between Jameson neat, on the rocks, or with ginger ale, but we also got to sample Jameson next to Scotch Whisky and American Whiskey.  The Scotch was Johnny Walker Black and the American was Jack Daniels.
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Not surprisingly, after almost a year of living in Scotland, my preference was still the Scotch.

We had dinner before the concert at the restaurant at the distillery, 3rd Still.  I had the Seafood Platter, which included several different fish prepared multiple ways.  And it came with a side of brown bread, which was amazing!!!DSC01333

I especially liked the multiple types of smoked salmon.

Mike had chicken wings, which were also very tasty.  I think he was experiencing some withdrawal, as it is certainly a struggle to find good quality wings in Edinburgh.DSC01334And then Mike surprised me with a birthday chocolate brownie.
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From Dublin we drove to the Cliffs of Moher and then down the Dingle Penninsula.  As stunning as the Cliffs of Moher were, there was something wonderfully serene about this quiet coastal town.  DSC01406

After finding our B&B (our room had an amazing view overlooking the harbor), we walked down to the center of the small town to find a pub.  I once again ordered some type of seafood platter.  Not only was the fish delicious but it came with more brown bread!!!

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Mike had onion rings and french fries?

Oh and we had oysters too.  
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As we ate our dinner, the live band played Wagon Wheel to my delight.

The next morning we were treated to a wonderful traditional Irish breakfast at our B&B.  Our host asked us if we would have both the white and black pudding.  I knew from my past visit to Ireland that there was something . . . different about these “puddings” that made most people squeamish.  Nevertheless, I decided that since we were in Ireland we should have a proper Irish breakfast, with all the fixings.  And I decided to look up what white and black pudding are after I finished my meal.  DSC01410

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing.  And it kept me full almost the entire day.  And we had another Irish breakfast at our next B&B as well.

With regards to the puddings, I realized that I had already had haggis several times in Scotland, so there really was no reason not to give these a try.  Plus, my philosophy is that you should try everything at least once to give it a chance, even if it might look funny or the thought of it is weird.  Be adventurous and try it!  You never know, you might end up really liking it.

This picture is the perfect representation of our driving experience along the coast near Dingle.  Yes, this is a two-way road intended to fit both our tiny 2 door car and the tour bus coming towards us from the opposite direction.  And we are indeed driving on the left, thanks for the reminder, rental car.  And yes, there are multiple sheep in the road.  I hope that dotted line is not meant to let them think that is their space.
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All in all, a wonderful trip through Ireland (thanks again Mike!), filled with so many good eats.  I can’t wait to go back!


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