We are back and have a busy couple of weeks ahead…from our House Hunters episode tonight to the Lamb Pro Am finals on Wednesday. But since this is our first blog post in the past couple of weeks Ash and I decided to cover our recent trip to Ireland and Paris. I will cover Ireland.

Aer Lingus approach into Dublin

I read an article earlier this year by Jon Rowley titled “If I Had an Oyster Bar.” In the article Jon talks about the Galway International Oyster Festival in Ireland. If you know me you know I can eat oysters. About 4 dozen with a bottle of red wine in my peak about 2 years ago (yeah I like red wine with oysters:) The article goes on to talk about the perfect oyster bar and Ernest Hemingway eating oysters in Paris and the book a Moveable feast…the reason Paris was added to the itinerary.  But our first stop Ireland!

Tragumna in the background, yeah that’s a hot tub too.

A couple months back while drinking a couple of Guinnesses at Kells in Pike Place my buddy Jake and I met an Irish guy who said, “if you boys love this place you should check out the pubs in southwest Ireland! And if your as friendly to a stranger, then you will have a wonderful time!” Jake and his girlfriend Brie (now fiancee) more on that later joined us on our trip to Galway!

Trag Retreat! Thanks Sarah!

We landed in Dublin September 27th at 8am and headed straight to Enterprise car rental. Got a 4 door VW Golf automatic set the GPS for Skibbereen or “Skib,” as locals call it and hit the road. Ireland is exactly what you think…green rolling hills, sheep in the road, mountains, views, the friendliest people on earth and of course Guinness, Guinness, Guinness! The first night we stayed in a  house on Tragumna Beach called Trag Retreat.  Awesome! That night we headed into town and ate our first meal in Ireland…Irish Steak! 4 of them at a bar/pub called Paragon! During our meal our waitress said “today is Arthur’s Day, and a pint of Guinness comes with your meal.” Arthur’s Day? Turns out…September 27th is Arthur Guinness’s birthday! And so we drank and ate.

First car being towed, thanks Jake.

Later that night after a solid buzz we walked down the streets of Skib and stopped into a local pub called Cahalane. Arthur’s Day celebrations continued!

The next afternoon we hit the road. The night before, locals at the pub wrote out a couple of stops we should make including a sea lake, Bantry, the hills where sheep are always on the road and on to Killarney. We listened to the locals in Skib and headed toward our first stop Bantry. By now we were hungry and for whatever reason I wanted a bagel with cream cheese. So as we headed down the main street of Bantry we parked and stopped at a local bakery/ cafe. I had my bagel. Ash and Brie had what they said was one of their best meals in Ireland, Sheppards pie. We walked around Bantry for a bit then piled into the car and headed to see sheep on the road on the way to Kenmare.

Sure enough there was definitely sheep!

After a night of hard partying in Limerick…we picked up our new car at 9am. Thanks Enterprise.

We continued on to Killarney. Once in Killarney we decided it was not for us…do not know why…but we kept driving. We headed toward Limerick on our way to Doolin when we decided to get gas. 30 minutes later our car had engine trouble and we broke down in downtown Limerick. We stayed at a hotel recommended to us by our tow truck driver as one of the best in Limerick. Pery’s Hotel, you should check it out. Location was great and we made the best of it eating at Marco Polo an Italian restaurant, then walked over to Micki Martins a local spot. Finally we wrapped the night at a club where a local literally fell off his stool, hard. Limerick was a great stop even though not intended. Later we  found out Limerick is also known as “Stab City.”

Next stop Galway!

Quick stop at the Cliffs of Mohr

Galway was our first destination where we had reservations. We stayed at the Park House Hotel which was a perfect location from the oyster festival and the rest of Galway. We quickly dropped off our bags and headed to the Galway International Oyster Festival!

Made it!

Damn! I was some what disappointed but it could have been my fault…but on Saturday of the fest (the only day we had tickets) there was literally no oysters besides 1 purveyor to sample. I did eat about 2 dozen and they were great…however the fact that there were no oysters was a buzz kill. The event was classy but our own oyster New Years at Elliots in Seattle is by far one of the best oyster festivals I have been too. Regardless…we made the best of our stay in Galway. From enjoying the hurling match Galway vs. Kilkenny at our local spot O Connells to hanging out a pubs all across Galway. Hurling? Yeah did you know hurling is the fastest game on grass?  I bought the stick.

24 hours at O Connells in Galway.

After two days in Galway we headed toward Dublin. We stopped off and saw some castles along the way and then we finally made it to the mecca of Guinness, Arthur’s creation…the Guinness factory!  This is where Ash and Brie said they had there second most favorite meal…Guinness beef stew.

See ya Dublin! Headed to Paris!

In Dublin we stayed at the Morgan hotel in Temple Bar. On this night…Ash, Jake and Brie really had a great night and closed out our trip to Ireland by singing at the top of their lungs at Olivers in Temple Bar.

The next morning October 2nd we headed to Paris…Ash is up next!