christmas eve in dublin!
traveling to ireland was the whole goal behind planning this europe trip. in my schemey little head i figured... yeahhhh christmas in dublin. that will be rad and cute as shit.
i was only partially correct - christmas eve in dublin was rad and cute as shit. christmas day in dublin = total ghost town.
we stayed in a little airbnb cabin in dublin one, on the north side of river liffey. it was very minimal & simple, but it was really all we needed for a few days in dublin. staying on that side of the river was just fine and there were plenty of places to walk to, but we discovered it was way more happening on the south side of river liffey. everything was very walkable.
even though most restaurants & businesses were preparing to close down for the next couple of days, we had SO much fun on christmas eve. we decided to grocery shop for our christmas day meals since we found out everything would be closed on christmas day (and pretty much everything the day after christmas, too). look how insane the grocery store check-out was on christmas eve:
^ we found our namesake pubs. donoghue is my grandparents' last name on my mom's side, and then there's peter! didn't find any zerkel anythings when we were in germany, but lots of peter things!
we knew we weren't going to be able to go to the guinness storehouse or jameson distillery once we found out everything closes december 25th & 26th, so we really did it up on christmas eve.
temple bar neighborhood was all christmasified and it seemed like everyone in the city was out and about with their families. all the pubs were packed and it was awesome. i loved that everyone was out on the town.
there are tons of pubs everywhere and lots of them had live bands playing which we enjoyed. hot tip: eat dinners fairly early - we had a hell of a time getting dinners on multiple occasions in europe because restaurants close their kitchens super early... on christmas eve most places closed their kitchens at 6pm and we were hauling ass all over the place probably looking psychotic running in panting "is your kitchen still open?!?!??!!!!!!!!!"
we ended up finding ONE tapas restaurant that still had their kitchen open (and this was like 7pm!) and we had a really great waiter with a cool life story. he talked super fast but he was so interesting and smart and knew more about american politics than most americans that i know. turns out he didn't actually work there haha, his friend who owned the restaurant just asked him to help that day. he was just bopping around to the tables and drinking wine with everyone. we were just SO relieved to be eating food so i having a grand ol time.
christmas day! it poured rain! woohooo merry christmas!!! also - picture a complete ghost town with nobody around and no businesses open to go sit inside. we went on a super long walk just to feel like we did something and get out a little bit.
back it upppp - we did go to christmas eve midnight mass at christchurch which was an interesting thing to experience while in ireland. it was a very old cool church and the choir singers were pretty incredible - they did perform a couple of classic christmas songs which made me happy.
we walked all the way to the bay and back.
^ here's our weird grocery store christmas breakfast and our weird grocery store christmas dinner. i don't hate it.
a funny little dublin experience since it was not what i'd anticipated (lolz obviously this very catholic nation would close down on christmas), but we had a good time anyway!
on to galway...
we rented a car and drove across to galway on the west coast of ireland. we stayed at another airbnb cabin in kinvara, a town about 30 minutes south of galway. we liked this cabin experience - as long as somebody knew how to maintain the woodstove (our neighbors in the next cabin bailed because they didn't know how to make fires in the stove and it was cooold...) and mentally get over the composting toilet situation, it was clean & cozy! basically all of the airbnbs we booked for this entire trip were under $100/night, so there were some trade-offs haha.
we had a great experience in kinvara. it was a small community where everybody knows everybody. the pubs were super cozy and we had a very special and authentic live music experience at one of the pubs - where i had the best irish coffee ever and sat by a fire (my pub dreams, realized haha)! some folks that chatted with us happened to be friends with our airbnb hosts. it was all very cozy & tight knit, which was the irish experience i think we'd envisioned we have when planning this trip.
cliffs of moher!
SO CRAAAZY these cliffs are!
spoiler alert: we are about to get engaged. right. here.
backstory: i was being kinda grumpy & irritated with my camera and was mad at the sun for casting such strong shadows on the cliffs, HA. and i was pissed at the wind and having to adjust my hat & hair constantly. i just wanted to take some freaking cool photos of these freaking cool giant cliffs, mmmkaaaay. i was prob also on edge (literally, Lolololzzz) from driving on the left side of the road, and everyone knows i'm the most annoying backseat driver on earth. so, getting out of the car after an hour drive on narrow winding roads where i constantly thought we were gunna crash into the stone wall barrier (which seemed to be approximately 12 inches away from the passenger window at all times) - not the most relaxed version of me there could be.
my only suspicions:
-pete let me sleep in that morning and didn't tell me to get up (which is very out of character hahah). he quietly made coffee and a fire in the woodstove so i wasn't cold when i got up. i just thought he was being sweet because it was almost my birthday :)
-he was also suddenly very into taking selfies on this trip. we had taken like a zillion selfies together in london and it continued in ireland...i was kinda like heh??? what's this?? we're usually lucky if we take one selfie or get a photo of the two of us together during a given trip.
selfie time is here agaaaain
oh how majestic this place is. howbout a selfie!?
but really, it was so gorgeous and we were lucky to have such good weather that day. i surrendered wrestling with my big camera and put it away and also my hat. i was getting un-grumpy just taking it all in.
i handed my phone to a random guy to take our photo right here; i turn back and BAM pete is on his knee waving a loose ring in the air. reminder: it was very windy, there's a foreign stranger with my phone, and we're on the side of the largest cliff i've ever seen, so this moment was quite overwhelming for me.
overwhelming in the best way, though. :) thanks, petey, for this very epic & special memory.
hey so now we're engaged and i have your grandma's ring on (which means everything to me and i feel soooowowowwowoooooo crazy honored to have it)..... let's go have some guinness and celebrate!
galway - so cute right now.
my forever boo.
loved you, ireland. we just got a tiny taste of you, but we made some very big memories. you are really something.