We were in Dublin for probably two hours before we found the hotel, and we never left a 2 mile radius. Traffic was bad enough, but the roads are all one way and don’t make a ton of sense. We were looking for the Westbury Hotel on Grafton Street.
I finally see Grafton Street. I turn onto it. Holy crap, it’s covered in people. It’s one of those streets that are NOT used for driving, they’re used for walking in what is clearly the busiest shopping district in the city. Whoops. We saw an old man in an alley and asked him how to get to the hotel, and he laughed at us. (Bob found it amusing that he kept referring to me as “the smart one.”
“Oh, I see ya got a smart one there, do ya!?” (pretty sure that meant bitch in a nice way)
Stupid maps, stupid streets, no one that can help you get from A to B. We have no clean clothes, and very little sanity left. We decided to just screw it.
We parked the car, walked around, and calmed down. Clearly our hotel was somewhere near this street covered in people, regardless of the fact no buildings have clear markings telling you where to go, so we just started hunting for it. We were walking along the street and I saw some carts with beautiful flowers all over them for sale, I look behind the florists and see a huge, old building down the alley. The Westbury Hotel. Thank God. We literally parked just 1 block away, too.
Now we’re excited, they’re going to have our luggage, right? The Shannon airport said our luggage had landed in the Dublin airport and should meet us there…. Our luggage just HAS to be here.
Or not. Because the airport didn’t pay attention to our location change. We made it clear we would only be in Galway our first night before leaving for Dublin. TOO BAD. Now our luggage would travel an hour and a half to Galway, and an hour and a half back to Dublin. If we were lucky, we’d have our luggage before leaving Dublin.
No. We didn’t want the lost luggage to ruin the first few days of the trip (the driving was stressful enough!) so we sucked it up and went shopping, seeing as we were in the biggest shopping and tourist area in all of Ireland. We headed back to the hotel, changed into our new clothes, and felt good as new.
We headed out and took our own walking tour of the entire area surrounding the hotel, from St. Stephen’s Green
(yes, that is a real picture that I took on my phone in the park)
to Merrion’s Square. We popped in and out of pubs for a drink or a snack along with way.
At this bar we learned the term “snug”. Almost every single bar in Ireland has one.
The “snug”, also sometimes called the Smoke room, was typically a small, very private room with access to the bar that had a frosted glass external window, set above head height. A higher price was paid for beer in the snug and nobody could look in and see the drinkers. It was not only the well off visitors who would use these rooms, the snug was for patrons who preferred not to be seen in the public bar. Ladies would often enjoy a private drink in the snug in a time when it was frowned upon for women to be in a pub. The local police officer would nip in for a quiet pint, the parish priest for his evening whisky, and lovers for a rendezvous.
We had dinner at a restaurant called Foley’s, as I was told they had awesome corned beef, and Bob went out on a limb and had fish n’ chips (again). The food was great. We were dying to listen to some music, so we caught a cab to the Temple Bar District.
We went to a bar called Toner’s, a few spots in between, and followed up at the Original Temple Bar. So, so packed. Luckily the people were friendly enough, but I hadn’t had enough sleep to be shoved or to be super sociable surrounded by that many strangers. Except these guys who were celebrating a bachelor party. Let it be known, the Irish take these parties to an entirely different level. EVERYONE was in costumes.
Bachelorette parties are called “chicks and hens” parties-(moms are hens, I think?) In any case, they were old ladies running around in bustiers, fishnets and feathers while the younger girls wore penis hats and other slutty get-ups.
I enjoyed one too many Baby Guinness (coffee liquor and irish cream shots, no beer involved here)
we left the Temple Bar, and the next thing I remembered was being in McDonald’s. Because I was drunk, I’m American, and clearly I’m classy. Those fries were delicious.
It’s not shocking I was hungover like a beast the next day. The only way to get over it is to stuff your face with a full Irish breakfast, followed by my favorite chocolates.
And best of all- the luggage finally showed up.