20.06.2010 68 °F
Another good day in the books! We got to see a lot more of Dublin, relax, and enjoy ourselves!
After getting super tired yesterday (the jet lag finally caught up with us!), we decided to sleep in a little bit this morning, drink some coffee, and head to the gym. After the leisurely morning, we headed out on a walk over to the Guinness Brewery, and on the way stopped for a lunch at Citi Pub. Kev had a chicken/ potato/ vegetable stew type thing, and I had more vegetable soup and a shrimp salad, and I did take pictures of the food and ambiance, but I forgot to upload them in my daily camera dump, so I’ll post them tomorrow!
On the walk over to the Guinness Brewery, we stopped by one of the most gorgeous churches in Ireland – St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The “backyard” to the church has a gorgeous park, and due to the nice weather, there were TONS of people hanging around, so we took a stroll through the park before entering the church. In the park there’s a stone marking the spot where St. Patrick himself baptized locals in the 5th century – pretty cool! (As a side note, do you notice the St. Patrick’s sign … sponsored by Bailey’s?? Only in Ireland!)
Once inside the church, we got to look around for quite a while. The church is very pretty – especially considering it was originally built in the 13th century! We saw several tombs (including Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels, several archbishops of early Dublin, and other influential Irish leaders). The stained glass was particularly gorgeous, although it doesn’t come out that great in pictures. I also got to light a candle for the recovery and comfort of my amazing Ama!
After St. Patrick’s, we headed over to the Guinness Brewery. The building is set up like a giant pint glass (tall and thin-ish), and has 7 floors of exhibits, all on a self-guided and very informative tour. We learned about the very extensive brewing process (here are pictures of us with the 4 ingredients: barley, hops, yeast, and water), the history of Guinness, transportation and distribution, advertising, and much more!
Kev's favorite part (besides the tasting!) was learning about the brewing process, while my favorite part was learning about the marketing and advertising. In the early 1900s, a doctor sent Guinness a random letter saying that he had been prescribing Guinness to his patients when he couldn't figure out what to do with them, since it made them happy, revitalized their appetites, relaxed them, and "looked pretty" (no joke) ... this turned into Guinness' long-standing slogan of "Guinness a Day ... Guinness is Good For You"!!
After the tour, you wind up in a 360-degree glass-walled bar, with phenomenal views of the city, and they give you a free pint of Guinness. This was Kevin's version of heaven - good views and good beer (and me - haha)!
As a side note, this statue of a hurler was somewhere within the Guinness Brewery. Hurling is some VERY strange sport played in Ireland - in our opinion, a mix of lacrosse, rugby, balancing, golf, handball, football, and track & field (OK, Kevin made me add track & field!). We watched some hurling tonight and Kev gave me the pleasure of narrating the whole thing. If you've never "had the pleasure" of watching TV with Kev narrating, it is a strange combination of incredibly cute, pretty hilarious, and extremely frustrating!!! (Holly?) Seriously though, if you haven't seen hurling, you should try to Youtube it or something - a pretty crazy sport!
After the Guinness Tour, we went in search of St. Kevin sightings - well, his street, his park, his church, and even his mini-mart. Kev was disappointed to learn that St. Kevin's church was slightly less spectacular than St. Patrick's (in fact, St. Kevin's is simply a small "room" with locked gates, brick walls, and an open roof, including maybe 5-10 flowers total inside). But the park was very nice! It was lots of fun to see his name all over the place, too!
After Kevin-Fest, we went in search of the Iveagh Gardens. I had read that they were "Dublin's hidden treasure," and hidden they were! It took us about an hour of walking (and crashing the National Concert Hall to "look around" and venture into their restrooms) before we finally found the Garden's entrance ... just in time for the police to be locking it up for the night. Bummer! Good thing we'll have time to check it out another day, and now we know where it is! Instead of that, we walked through St. Stephen's Green and Grafton Street area again, and headed back to the hotel. We emailed/ called our dads (Happy Father's Day to the two BEST dads in the entire world!), and then called New Jersey to talk to my mom, Ama, Gpa, and Aunt Val. They were in the middle of looking at our wedding pictures and videos - I'm jealous! It was great to talk to them all and they are so supportive to look at every single thing we're doing (by the way, they've informed me that our blog is now at 32 pages, so I decided to make the pictures smaller today, but now that I'm looking I may like them larger ... what do you think?) In the rush, I didn't get to say Happy Father's Day to Gpa, so Happy Father's Day to my amazing and supportive grandfather!
After that, we headed to a new pub (The Three Crownes) for dinner and a drink. We watched the Brazil vs. Cote d'Ivoire World Cup game - WOW was it exciting! A few pretty CRAZY calls in there - I totally think they should go to instant replay AND somehow ban all the insane faking of injuries that goes on! One guy got hit in the arm pretty lightly, and instead grabbed his (untouched) face and rolled all over the ground acting like he was crying, causing the ref to eject the guy on the other team. The food was really good - Kev got a chicken burger and I got fresh Irish salmon with a pesto sauce - yumm!
Tomorrow we're planning another day of exploring Dublin, this time on the hop-on/hop-off bus! Hope everyone enjoyed their weekends!