I’ll admit: I used Wikipedia for this post. But really, who doesn’t use that site — ohh wait, the mere fact that anyone (i.e. rapist, serial killer, 2-month-old child, mentally deranged unicorn) can add information to the site and say it’s legit scares you? 🙂
According to my on-again (but mostly off-again) boyfriend Wikipedia, Galway is Ireland’s 5th largest city and its fastest growing.
After thinking deeply about the fact that my on-again boyfriend Wikipedia is dishonest, unreliable, and, at times, totally sketchy, I’ve decided to move on…
…to a much more reliable man: i.e., GalwayOnline.com. We clicked right away! (Okay, visible nerdiness is ending now.)
GalwayOnline (I know — the name has my heart beating fast too!) has told me soooo much about itself, such as…
It’s situated on the west coast of Ireland, along the River Corrib
It was founded by Anglo-Norman settlers in the 12th century and today is often referred to as Ireland’s “Capital of the West.”
It’s regarded as a “cultural Mecca” of sorts, as it plays host to the Galway Arts Festival, the Galway Races, and the Oyster Festival (book your tickets now, ladies & gents!)
It’s one of the fastest growing cities in Europe
The city is home to nearly 13,000 students during the academic year (and probably many more who, like us, visit it during their holiday!)
Blah, blah, blah. Don’t tell me you didn’t enjoy that little geography lesson! 🙂
1. The Chow.
I know…you guys are going to kill me, but we did the whole pb (&j) thing A LOT for lunches during this stretch of the tour as well. We were only here for 2 days (and one was a full day-trip to the Cliffs of Moher), so while I packed my breakfasts/lunches/snacks, I did enjoy one really delish meal out in Galway for dinner with the girls.
But first, I have to tell you about an awesome find at…where else (what, you thought I was rollin’ in cash?!), a Galway convenience store:
Whole Earth basil & oregano So Crispy Italian Herb bites — made from all natural ingredients, so you can be good to the whole earth and your body (new spokeswoman in the making, dare I say?).
These served as the perfect sidekick to my peanut butter sandwich (on brown Irish soda bread, natch). I love me a pb sandwich as much as the next stellarly awesome 20-year-old, but honestly, every day? (I don’t know how Layne does it!)
Crispy. Crunchy. Lightly seasoned. And low-calorie/full of good-for-me ingredients/good for the planet, to boot? And who says convenience stores have crap food? 🙂
I have to say, I am loving my adventurous attitude towards trying new things during this semester abroad, especially when it comes to food (remember the best pasta I ever ate?). Well, I didn’t just go with any old thing on Riordan’s menu — I went with none other than…
…the Irish Smoked Salmon on Fresh Brown Soda Bread. (because my obsession with brown soda bread doesn’t die easily…I’m not gonna lie I was 78% enticed to this dish because of that component!)
I would love to see Layne‘s and Natalie‘s reaction to this photo right about now. Every Christmas, there is a platter of raw beef set out that the adults (plus my cousin Nolan) spread on fresh bread and top generously with red onions and salt & peppa. And every Christmas, we make fun of that dish and say it’s one thing we can rest assured we’ll stay away from. My aunt Marlene even topped hers with Chex Mix this year(!)
Well, my Irish smoked salmon has an uncanny resemblance (okay, besides the fact that one is beef and one is fish — no, I’m not pullin’ a J. Simps here) to the infamous Christmas Day raw beef. But let me tell you, this was so yummy! I had never tried smoked salmon before, and at first it was a little creepy how tender and raw-ish the fish actually was. But once I covered it in onions (because that just makes it all better, right?! Man, my breath must have been kickin’!) and added copious amounts of s&p, I slightly fell in love. Sorry, GalwayOnline.
Served alongside the salmon (which I ate open-faced style, with Irish brown soda bread) was coleslaw which, again, I’m generally not a fan of. at. all. (Sidenote: I’m still semi-bitter at my Mom for the times my family would order KFC back in the day. I’d beg and plead for KFC’s deliciously creamy mac & cheese (which today I realize is undoubtedly full of ultra-processed ingredients and probably doesn’t have a percentage of actual cheese in it), but it was to no avail. She always got the coleslaw. Ugh…it’s not like she made any sacrifices for me at all in life :)) Back to the coleslaw. Even though I ate it, Riordan’s coleslaw was much too mayonnaise-laden for my taste. I wouldn’t order this again, for the record.
2. Galway…through the photos.
This “slideshow” captures my 2-day venture into Galway: from our 9-5 trip to the Cliffs of Moher (absolutely, positively, never-ever-seen-anything-more, stunning) to my friend Alyssa’s “creative” breakfast. From walking along the harbor to strolling through the (slightly overrated) Spanish Arch…
3. Random tidbits of information 🙂
- Hunter rain boots start out comfy. They really do. Months ago, I would say they were my most comfortable, wear-in-any-type-of-weather and all occasions standby pair of footwear. Even my fave blogger Julie of PBfingers loves ’em (she’s got the same ones!). After walking around for days and days (up hills, down hills, up “cliffs,” down “cliffs”), they are no longer comfy. At all. You couldn’t pay me to wear them again (for at least a week or two ;)). But I mustn’t dimish the true value of these babies. I still love ’em (they work for anything and are cute, to boot!), but maybe bring another pair of shoes in addition to these and a pair of moccasins on your next vacay.
- Even people who hate the cold (I ask myself every day why I live in Wisconsin and study in Chicago) forget the fact that it’s farreeezzzinnngg when you’re faced with undescribable natural beauty…
- My recent success with liking the new food(s) that I’ve tried is convincing me to keep trying new things! While I’m sure I’ll hit a few misses along the way, the successes will more than make up for them. And my taste buds will thank me for introducing them to something other than peanut butter, chickpeas, and bananas 🙂
*This blog title is short for: Layne & Natalie, please forgive me for injesting a substance that so strongly resembles Christmas Day raw beef…and liking it.