Dublin: “Excuse me…why are you wearing Wellingtons?”

This is no lie. The first tidbit of conversation I engaged in with a local Dublin-er centered on a 40-something-year-old Irish man asking me why I was wearing wellingtons (i.e. my Hunter rain boots). Why, I obviously responded with the blatant truth, because that’s the kind of girl I am: “You see, sir, I’m actually on a ten-day holiday in Ireland and Scotland and I could only bring 2 pairs of shoes in my suitcase…”

Hence, the “Wellingtons” in seemingly every photo for the next four blog posts (but don’t worry, you’ll get some variety because I borrowed my friend Ali’s Nike kicks for a day; my feet were killing me and my mocassins were just not conducive to the brisk Irish weather).

My spring break took me (and 9 friends!) to Dublin, Galway, and Cork, Ireland, and then 5 of us headed to Edinburgh, Scotland while the others traveled to London. In a word a few words, my trip was unbelievably, utterly, no-question-’bout-it, fantastically wonderful. I was apprehensive about the 10-day vacation before we set off: you know my type-A personality L.O.V.E.S. to plan the heck out of things. I need details, schedules, and lists, people! And while we had scheduled a few of our tours (Wicklow National Park, the Cliffs of Moher, St. Andrew’s, and the Guinness Factory), I couldn’t help but wonder how many bumps we’d hit along the way.

You wanna guess how many big “bumps” we hit along the way?

…Zero. Nada. Zilch. Null.

Without further ado, I’ll give you the chow, photos, and random tidbits of information you’ll need to know for the rest of your life in order to survive and reproduce not-at-all-important information. You know the drill.

  1. The CHOW.
  2.  

This post is all about my 3-day experience in Dublin, Ireland. I loveedddd this city. Of course, it being a metropolitan area and all (the Republic of Ireland’s capital with a population of 1.1 million), it certainly had a large-city feel. But if you knew me, you’d know that big, metropolitan-type areas are my favorites. New York? Love it. Chicago? Live and breathe it. Sheboygan? Whoops — not so much (but we do have a pretty rocking lighthouse!).

Because we all acknowledged we were on a ten day holiday and fully accepted our social position as poor, desperate college students, the girls and I tried not to eat out more than once a day. My meals out in Dublin were generally either a lunch or a dinner at a pub/restaurant, and I always, always, always had a piece of fruit or granola bar for breakfast. This worked out well because a.) we were still able to experience the various culinary delights of one of the most beautiful countries in the world and b.) we had more money left for shopping! 🙂

The highlights of my taste-testing in Dublin?

  1. Homemade Irish Seafood Chowda…with tender bites of baby shrimp and soft slices of carrot…

Served alongside Irish brown soda bread? (My new love and addiction…hey, there could be worse.) Simply divine.

2. An outrageously simple BLT (bacon, lettuce, and tomato, for those of you who were born yesterday, are living underneath a rock, or who have not fully come to realize the life-changing experience of eating one of these sandwiches).

(Sidenote: The Irish like to create a nice ambiance in their dining establishments, which is all fine and dandy. But you better believe everytime I try to take a photo of my food at one of these places, I commiserate to my dining companions: “This lighting is NOT conducive to C2C…my readers will be so disappointed! I care about y’all, I really do.)

Yes, this sandwich probably took approximately 5 minutes to plop together. But honestly, after eating pasta and pizza for so dang long, this was one of the best things to hit my tummy since the box of honey teddy grahams my dad brought over that I savored devoured like a ravenous, starved infant. Toasted bread lightly spread with mayo and topped with crisp, smoky bacon, vine-ripened slices of tomato, and handfuls of a crisp, spring lettuce mix? You gotta be kidding me! (Quick side note: My friend had traveled to Dublin the week before and told me she had numerous BLTs there. Good thing I was traveling there the next week; I couldn’t get them off of my mind!)

While the “chips” (for anyone that’s unaware (which is “todes” okay!), people in Europe tend to call our french fries “chips” and our chips “crisps.” I know, right?!) were satisfying, the BLT was undoubtedly the star of the meal. MVP. VIP status. I don’t know how you like your “chips,” but I prefer them a little less “potatoey.” A little skinnier and more crisp. How do you like your fries/chips?

3. A mocha.

This is not your typical “meal,” but this mocha served as a companion to my pb sandwich (that I ate pretty much every single day for lunch for ten days). OMMMMGGGG. I love the Italians, I really do. But the Irish know how to make a mean mocha, just like my favorite baristas at Starbucks back home. Plus, my barista at Milk & Honey (an adorable Chinese man with round glasses and a passion for making my drink look perfect) gave me a work of art.

How cool is that? I didn’t want to drink it, but you know my obsession with my food/drinks being hot? Well…it had to be done!

Most adorable coffee shop ever.

Some of the girls needed to pick up a jar of pb, jelly, and some bread, so after they made their purchases, we plopped a squat on some swivel stools in the convenience store overlooking the Dublin streets.

The mocha elevated this meal to a whole new level.

We love pb sandwiches (and cheap food).

4. (Not pictured.) Magners or Bulmers cider. Cider is a fermented beverage made from apple juice and has a slight beer taste to it…but is actually delicious, in comparison to beer…bahaha. If you’re looking for a recommendation, the pear version is the clear winner.

 

2. Dublin…through the photos.

My pictures range from our excited departure at the airport to our tour of Wicklow National Park (where movies such as P.S. I Love You, Braveheart, and Leap Year were filmed), a visit to the oldest wool-mill in Ireland, our day exploring the Dublin sights — including St. Patrick’s cathedral, the Dublin Castle, and lush green parks…

We make pb&j like its our job.

 

3. Random tidbits of information 🙂

  • The cars drive on the wrong side of the road in Ireland 🙂 Which makes it absoloutely, 100% necessary to look both ways before you cross the street. Because it’s going to take longer than a little over a week to fully put together the fact that the cars are coing from the opposite direction.
  • Vans are much more common in Ireland than in Italy. Mostly because the streets in Dublin are a wee bit wider than than a size-4 woman.
  • I am. so. so. so. excited about the fact that I now know to ask for my coffee-esque beverages extra hot. Omg — best idea ever! With an obnoxiously huge smile, I kindly ask the barista, “Would it be possible to make my drink super hot?” Of course they oblige 🙂 Then I have more time to savor and enjoy the drink — as opposed to gulping it down because I’m worried it’ll get too cold!
  • “Jumping-in-the-air” photos are extremely hard to take. Usually, I don’t have a problem. But when trying to do a ninja-type move mid-air, it takes over 30 attempts to come close to your desired shot (and even then it’s subpar).
  • Pouring a “perfect pint” at the Guinness Factory (it’s a 6-step process; so legit) = a lot of fun. Trying to muster up the courage to drink that disgusting pint while not making an “I just ate sand face” = not fun.
  • Cider is pretty much the most delectable drink on the planet. Did I mention I tried a strawberry & lime flavor?! Um…hello, tropical beach!
  • Contrary to popular belief, it is entirely possible to have 8 girls in one room (4 bunkbeds) with one bathroom. You heard right. One toilet. One itsy bitsy teeny weeny shower. Good thing we’re all low maintenance gals.
  • Even in an English-speaking country (omg LOVED this, as I actually knew what was going on 95% of the time!), we stick out like sore thumbs. Literally, as we were walking to our hostel the first night (no more than 5 minutes into our time in Dublin), a group of drunk teenagers walks past and yells, “Welcome to Europe, ladies!” Um..excuse me? We’ve been in Europe for over 2 months, thank you very much!

And I Ask You: Have you ever been out of your “home” country? If so, what was the hardest thing to adjust to? The language barrier? Not having your morning cup of Starbucks every morning? The fact that fries are called chips? Spill!

 

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About ciaotochow

ciao to chow: initially created as a little spot on the web devoted to the "chow" I find while studying abroad in Rome. But really, ciao to chow is about my life: the day-to-day experiences, funny stories, moments of laughter, and the food...that continue to inspire me and make me grateful for each new day.
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10 Responses to Dublin: “Excuse me…why are you wearing Wellingtons?”

  1. Kenz says:

    ❤ all the picss!!:)

  2. Natalie says:

    Ahaha I love yours and Julie’s jumping picture! I would love to see all of the other tries…;). Once again, I’m happy to see that you are having a great time!

    xoxoxo
    Natalie

  3. LinnE says:

    This is amazing!!!!! I’m so happy for you. I agree.. Sheboygan’s lighthouse is da bomb! Anyways, I loved the pictures and am SO happy I finally get to restart my stalking skills. Love you 🙂

  4. dad says:

    Thanks for the reminder about looking both ways before crossing the street (I’m in India!)

    Your comment about the disgusting pint of Guinness is, well, disgusting!

  5. MareMare says:

    SanE,
    Top o’ the mornin’ to ya’! Pics are awesome — green landscape, dreamy! Fancy photowork! Thank the Lord for His majesty and your safe travel! Now get back to your schoolwork!!!
    xxxooo

  6. I wish I could be there with you!

    xoxo
    Kathleen

  7. Julie says:

    Hey roomz,

    Lovin’ the latest post, especially relieving all of our fond Dublin memories…I want to go back, drink some cider and speak English to everyone, everywhere (I also wouldn’t mind eatin’ a PB&J everyday again…shhh don’t tell anyone!). To answer your question-yes, I’m out of my home country and here’s what I miss the most: people from the Midwest, no one in specific just the people in general, speaking English and not getting stared at, not getting stared at in general, Jimmy Johns, my friends, family and of course, my dog!

    • ciaotochow says:

      Jimmy Johns. I love how that one sneaked in there. Date the day we get home (well, when you come home a week later)? Your mom can come, too — I know she loves that JJ! 🙂

  8. Julie says:

    *typo: “reliving”

  9. Andrew says:

    Hey Anna,
    Long time no talk. On here at least. Those dreary pictures where you included one color are pretty cool. One thing I miss while overseas is Sportscenter (which is basically a show that recaps sports highlights/stories) Hope you’re having fun each day!

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