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In Dublin

We did a surprising number of things in this city, and Adam managed to play a surprising amount of Mario Maker during all of it.

Another several days have passed, by gosh! We have been to Dublin, and have just hopped on board a train to Belfast where we have to make way, way too much foot contact with strangers. Whyyyy didn’t the booking website warn me that this was a table seat. Whyyyy.

Well, it is kind of nice to have a table. I can continue my grand tradition of typing out blogs while en route to the next destination.

This is Noémi, btw.

DAY 6 – TRAVEL TO DUBLIN

The trip to Dublin went pretty smoothly, although the airport is laid out in an extremely confusing way where the seats aren’t actually near the gates, so you just kind of have to form a mob around the check-in counter when it’s remotely near your flight time. But while we were standing in the line I ended up standing near this dude who was some kind of Secret Life of Pets truther. He was trying to convince his girlfriend to watch it and I wrote down some quotes for posterity.

“It’s such a diverse movie. The Chihuahua speaks fluent Spanish!”
“He’s not a person.”
“This husky is clearly Nordic.”
“IT’S A DOG”

In the meantime, at the airport, Adam had used the wifi to unlock his already downloaded copy of Super Mario Maker 2, which he has played at basically every free moment since. I started replaying Wandersong, which resulted in me crying on an airplane. Which is your reminder that you should be playing Wandersong.

Adam: I know we go on a lot about this game but it is seriously one of the all-time greats. If you’re feeling pessimistic, or discouraged, or even just a bit down about the state of the world, you really need to play Wandersong. I know it’s always the most impossible sell to say “I can’t spoil this so you’re just gonna have to trust me” and how much that does not work in adult life because even recommending a really surefire thing to someone almost never even works these days because people just don’t have any time. But. I’m still gonna be that guy and say you really need to play this.

Noémi: When we got to Dublin we took the Airlink bus into town, which was incredibly painless. Adam was so sleepy by this point, he was barely holding on (we’d been up since like 2:30am so no wonder) but he was determined to stay awake as long as he could.

We got to our hotel, but we were a few hours early to check in, so we got ourselves some Fish & Chips at the hotel restaurant (which was actually really good!? Like shockingly good) and then we decided that – partially because it was so hot and I was dressed in clothes for Iceland and not for Ireland under a heatwave – we should do what all overheated people do, and go to a movie.

Originally we had wanted to go to the new Godzilla movie but the internet lied to us and it wasn’t playing. So we went to Dark Phoenix instead. The theatre had like 40 seats in it and the screen was miniscule – it was hilarious. The seats were comfy – the popcorn was SO BAD. The movie? Well, we actually had tremendously divided opinions on it. Adam loved it, Noémi thought it was cheesy and dumb (but still fun, let’s be clear).

Finally it was time for check-in, so we dragged ourselves back to our hotel and up the like 6 flights of stairs to our room on the very top floor. (The hotel brought our bags up for us, which was kind of them because that must have sucked). The hallways were lit by motion detecting lights which activate by flickering which means that basically everywhere in that hotel felt like a low budget haunted house. We very nearly collapsed into sleep despite it being like 5pm, but instead we dragged ourselves out for dinner at McDonalds, because anything slower and Adam would have fallen asleep at the table.

Well at McDonalds Adam discovered that apparently the Chicken Strips he loved never fell out of favour – at least in Ireland – and they were still on the menu (McDonalds Selects, for the unaware). So that was nice. Also as we sat and ate our dinner we ended up watching the truly bizarre product advertisements of the “Gadget Mania” store across the hall. In one video, for example, they were showing off their off-brand Hue lights, but the video seemed to be shot in somebody’s apartment, and as they cut from the console on their phone to the changing lights, you had a view of their cat, just hanging out and rolling around on the couch. In another video, a man was sitting on a couch with a karaoke machine, singing to himself in the living room. This was… pretty typical of their ads. It was strange.

That was basically the end of that day but as an additional note let me just say that I DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW TRAFFIC WORKS IN DUBLIN. The pedestrian lights are WAY too slow – you wait for a full minute or two before they switch. But in the meantime, cars are still stopped by the stoplights. So people just cross against the lights all the time, there is constant honking, and it is very stressful for this rule-abiding human. I find it troubling.

Adam: The result of this is that local folks know when to just walk across the street anyway, even when, seconds later, twenty cars will just BOOK through the intersection and the space where they stood only moments before. We tried to follow suit sometimes but there was always the lingering feeling that we were going to just get wrecked by a car at any moment because we forgot which way to look. They actually paint “look right” or “look left” on the crosswalks but there was literally more than one occasion where both words were painted on top of each other making it read “look rlieft” which was a great time.

DAY 7 – DUBLIN PRIDE AND A GHOST BUS

We woke up bright and early after having to gone to bed at like 10pm the night before. We’d been clued in by all the rainbows festooned around the town that today was the Dublin LGBTQ Pride Parade so our intent was to go to the parade. But first – we acquired SIM cards.

There’s nothing really exciting to say about that, it was just very exciting to get 24/7 access to our phones again.

We also set up an appointment to get our nails done. I knew I needed it because I’d gotten gel nails for the wedding but they were starting to chip and my nails were in severe need of maintenance anyway. I had jokingly suggested that maybe we should go together after Adam accidentally stabbed me with his toenails the night before. I totally did not expect him to agree, but he did! So we found a well-reviewed nail salon and stopped in there to make an appointment for after the parade. (More on this later, obviously)

Then it was parade o’clock! We grabbed ourselves some Starbucks iced teas (they don’t have my beloved refreshers here T_T) and some rainbow gear so we didn’t look like the straightest idiot tourists who were there just to observe rather than to support.

We ended up right near the seated stands where the mayor was watching the parade from and so we were right near the guy announcing everybody as they arrived at the parade route ‘start’. To entertain us at the start of the parade they had some cheerleaders dance, although every time they’d transition out of a routine it sounded like an iPod just switched over to shuffle, started playing another song, and someone hurriedly turned it off. Adam said that the cheerleaders looked confused, so maybe that wasn’t intentional? There was also gay Riverdance dancers which was amazing. Yeah I BET a substantial portion of the Riverdance crew is gay. This is the least surprising fact I’ve probably ever heard.

Anyway they got all of the like – support services and alliances and protest groups out at the front of the parade, and all that felt delightful. But then they pushed all the enormously disingenuous corporate floats to the back so you just watched them all in a row and felt like shouting at all of the people who were there representing problematic brands (Google, Twitter, get the heck out of here. Also there’s nothing really wrong with DocuSign but… do… do people care that DocuSign has a float?)

The parade was two hours and twenty minutes long and despite aching feet we stood through it all! It was a lot of fun. Also, it resulted in a bunch of visibly queer people wandering through Dublin the whole weekend, which probably gave us a disproportionately positive impression of the place. It just feels really nice to see queer people feeling safe and happy and holding hands and smooching. And wearing glitter AF beards. I don’t know how often they get to do that in Dublin, but I hope it’s often, because it was great.

We stopped to get some snacks before our nail appointment and the mall was full of rainbow flags. Adam was a little sad he couldn’t get his nails done BEFORE the parade, because it made him look extra glam.

The nail salon was bright and colourful and everyone was very friendly. The only time Adam got a sideways glance was when one of the nail artists’ husbands came in with her kid. He was wearing an open silk shirt and a gold crucifix, so like – the uniform of Italian toxic masculinity. And he looked at Adam, shocked, then to his wife, then to Adam, and then just waved his arms around. He wasn’t angry or anything, it was more of a “THIS HAPPENS!?” kind of reaction and it cracked me up.

Both of us left with amazing looking nails, but the nail artist that did my nails was actually pretty clumsy. She clipped my cuticles too close and at one point cut the end of one of my fingers with scissors and didn’t notice! The woman at reception ended up treating the cut for me (she did an amazing job, it healed so fast and didn’t hurt) when I went to pay.

I think Adam had a pretty good experience. He was nervous about having his toes done because he has ridiculously sensitive feet, but she was super gentle and great. Which makes me happy because heck, I’ve had like 20 manicures in my life and only two have ever been painful or cut skin. I have the context I need to know it’s not usually like that. He doesn’t. So I was glad he had a positive experience!

Not satisfied with that being the end of our day, we decided we’d be boarding the Ghost Bus tour later that evening. We went for dinner at a cheesy diner style place called Eddie Rockets first, which I’ll probably let Adam talk about because he was in love with that place.

After dinner we grabbed a couple of drinks at a local gin bar (which were… SO GOOD!? Go to the Gin Palace if you’re ever in Dublin) and then headed back to our hotel to exchange some of our stuff out before we returned to board the spoooooky Ghost Bus tour.

The Ghost Bus is a double-decker with a museum on its main floor (where your tour guide is waiting to startle you around a corner) and a Victorian-style theatre on the top floor with all the windows covered up with velvet curtains, where you all sit around and listen to your host telling spooky ghost stories. (Which is mostly actually just history of the local area, because Ireland is old, lots of people have lived here, and people do messed up things)

There was one other guy from Vancouver on the bus and he was uhhhh. The class clown, for lack of a better term? The dude interacted with the tour guide like they were working together on a two man show. He was kind of a dummy, although he was a nice guy. We’re probably a shocking number of years older than him, or at least I hope so.

On the ghost tour we both got told spooky stories about Dracula (Bram Stoker is from Dublin, don’tcha know) and we also visited an old graveyard (now a park), a burned out church (so cool!), the old city walls (cool), and the church that bordered the City where prostitutes and lepers used to come and beg for help (yikes). There was a park near the church where they had set up all these cool instruments like xylophones and flutes and a giant rock you stick your head into and hum and you get crazy echoes. It was very strange and also lovely.

Adam: I talked to the guide about that place; he was saying that he wanted to make sure folks weren’t getting too left behind. I said it didn’t look like such a bad place on the surface, and then he made eye contact and went deadpan “this is a TERRIBLE part of town”. I appreciate that direct honesty! Full points, tour man.

Noémi: Then we went back to the hotel, and Adam played more Mario Maker. He will never stop.

Adam: I mean, one day I’ll die. Then I’ll be able to rest.

…I think spending a lot of time with your parents has warped my sense of humour pretty solidly into the morbid zone. It is your mother’s fault that you now have to regularly think about our mortality.

DAY 8 – THE GUINNESS STOREHOUSE IS A CURSED PLACE

Noémi: There was something on the breakfast menu this morning called the “Breakfast Sambo”. I just wanted you to know that.

Adam: Noémi just normally talks like this and says words like this, so when she said this word to the waiter and they understood what she was talking about immediately I was very confused.

Noémi: It was finally time for us to take a cheesy tour bus, so we walked down and got on the DoDublin bus tour. We originally got on one without a live guide, which was a disappointment – apparently there’s only a live human on 50% of their busses, so we’d just missed one.

The forecast did not call for rain but the rain came anyway, just one stop into the tour. At first it was just sprinkling, and it was kind of refreshing. Then it started kind of raining, and the first group of people fled the outdoor area of the tour bus. Then it started POURING DOWN with rain. Adam and I had our umbrella out. We huddled together. Everyone else, one by one, fled the outdoor area, until it was only us left, hiding under an umbrella.

The rain had stopped by the time we got to Stop 9. Then the sun came out. It was very weird. But also, it felt like our patience had been rewarded.

We passed Christchurch Cathedral and a child pointed and shouted “Mom! Is that Hogwarts!?” and honestly I could see his point (more on Christchurch Cathedral tomorrow).

Our real goal was to disembark at the Guinness Storehouse so we could go on their tour. I already knew what insane production was included on this tour, because I’d researched the place beforehand. Adam went in blind, and his reactions were HILARIOUS, so I’m going to lean on him to recap this experience.

Adam: So both Noémi and I love cheesy touristy garbage. We revel in it. That makes travelling usually quite fun and we overlap on a lot of things. I hadn’t heard anything about this place so I assumed it’d just be more of the same.

The Guinness Storehouse is probably the most ridiculous of all, and is so much of a Willy Wonka song-and-dance that it makes you emotionally pass straight through the whole spectrum of incredulity, to sort of a zen place; one where, no matter what you see next, nothing will really surprise you anymore.

The Guinness Storehouse is a horror show of tourism. It is what I’d imagine the result would be if you hired Douglas Coupland to design a beer-centric art installation, and gave him an unlimited budget. If you know Douglas Coupland, this probably makes you imagine a true nightmare. Hold on to that vibe – it’s incredibly accurate.

When you walk in you look up and realize the entire eight story building is shaped like a gigantic pint glass, with glass walls arching all the way up through the center of the building towards the observation deck/bar at the very top. On every level there are what can only be described as gaudy postmodernist art installations detailing the creation process for Guinness, which as it turns out is not significantly different from the creation process for many other kinds of beer.

How much is there to say about the creation process of beer? A lot, apparently, because each level was an exhaustive examination of each stage. Floor one was ingredients – a gigantic field of harvested barley, next to a rushing river and waterfall, feeding gigantic hop plants past the ceiling growing up to the floor above. Just to be clear these weren’t pictures, or descriptions. You walk through enormous rooms containing these things.

It only gets stranger and more abstract as you progress – an endless field of bubbles and a swooshy mantra-like video of swirling liquids accompany the brewing stage, and you feel like you’re being lulled into a hypnotic trance as you read glass plaques that ooze pretentiousness. You walk through a giant set of heat lamps as a booming, disembodied manly voice preaches about their famous roasting technique. You enter a Victorian sitting room and all the portraits come alive, talking about their history.

The experience is a cult indoctrination. This is not even exaggeration – every moment the word Guinness is whispered into your ears by sexy iPads and endless, cascading flatscreens, with swirling tidal waves of high-framerate slow motion Guinness washing through the room, seemingly right through you, very unsubtly rewriting the electricity in your brain, and your eyes glaze over as your very blood turns into pure Guinness.

I could talk about this a whole lot more but I think you get the picture.

Noémi: Actually I’m going to go ahead and call out Guinness for having the balls to claim “THE HISTORY OF TRANSPORTING GUINNESS IS THE HISTORY OF TRANSPORTATION ITSELF” which like – wow. Wow. Okay.

Adam: There was however a tasting room where all the servers jumped on the tables and did ferocious aggressive tapdancing to a Kanye West track and it fucking owned. And we sure got to drink a lot of beer. So that’s something. I can say without hesitation that those were the finest pints of Guinness I’ve ever had. Maybe that’s just the programming doing its fine work though.

Noémi: No, they definitely give their best stuff to the tour.

Adam: In short I adored this experience, it made me feel things I have never felt before. I don’t think there’s anywhere else quite like it anywhere in the world. Noémi said “Disney?” and that’s a very good comparison, but I think even Disney land/world experiences are better at being subtle than Guinness was, and that’s really saying something. Guinness was an unrelenting assault on my person; ideology was aggressively implanted, forced in. It felt like an attack that we had voluntarily paid fifty euro to be able to experience.

Noémi: And then they didn’t warn us that the restaurant was closing (at THREE FIFTEEN P.M.) so we got upstairs and couldn’t eat and then we saw the bar had food so we went there and they were like “Oh sorry we’re taking a 15 minute break from accepting food orders” so we had to sit there and look around at everyone else getting their food and rather than wait we were like “well let’s just go to the cafe where they have pre-prepared stuff, that was still open” NO IT CLOSES AT 3:30. WHAT THE HELL. THE TOUR IS OPEN UNTIL 5, WHY WON’T YOU LET ME EAT.

I got the major hangries, and we were like “to hell with this monument to capitalism, let’s go back to the City” so we went and got back on our tour bus, enjoyed the rest of the tour, and went back into the City.

Oh wait actually first we went to the gift shop and I found all the REAL GOLD ORNAMENTS you can buy from Guinness, but instead I opted for the cheapest version of their weird toucan as our Dublin ornament.

Anyway, back on track, I asked the bus driver for a restaurant recommendation. I don’t think foodie culture has reached Dublin yet because everyone I asked for suggestions there at first reacted like I’d asked them if they’d seen any UFOs lately. But he pointed us to a cheap and cheerful pub, which was exactly the speed we were going for.

I am breaking the hell out of my no-beef policy for this journey, especially in Dublin because oh my GOD the Irish put beef in everything and to heck with it, I’ve reduced my beef consumption by like 95% and my lamb consumption by 100% back at home – I’m gonna cheat a little on vacation. So I ordered a traditional Irish beef stew. Adam got a red curry, because he lives life on the edge. We also got some so-so cocktails.

As we ate, Tomorrow Never Dies came on the TV, and it reminded me that James Bond is campy and terrible, so when I get home I am promptly going to start rewatching the entirety of the series. If anybody is interested in hanging out and watching James Bond and laughing at the patriarchy, HMU when we’re home.

We were enjoying the terrible CG and watching the High Sparrow be an evil media mogul when they switched the TVs in the restaurant to GOLF. GOLF. HOW DARE. Switching away from a movie 45 minutes in is a crime in the first place, but doing it for golf was all the more appalling.

On the plus side it gave us an immediate excuse to leave for our hotel so we could get to bed at a reasonable hour.

DAY 9 – MUCH DRINK WAS HAD ON THIS DAY

We’d had free breakfasts offered to us all the other days, but not this day – so we used it as an excuse to sleep in and find a restaurant that offered a late breakfast. We ended up at Lemon Jelly, a cute little place tucked in an alley. I had a chicken, cheddar and spinach crepe (mmmm) and Adam had French toast with a side of toast, because that boy loves carbs. The highlight was their juices and smoothies, though – they make so many juices on site, and they are SOOOO TASTY. I had a pineapple, banana and coconut smoothie, and Adam had a fresh-pressed apple juice. They were perfection!

After that we walked to the Irish Whiskey Museum, because it was the #1 rated attraction in the City, and we wanted a chance to sample some whiskey before we left. This tour definitely deserves its stellar reputation. The script was fantastic, and the guide even better. He was enthusiastic, really knowledgeable, and seemed to have a genuine love of whiskey.

The story of whiskey in Ireland is basically a story of them absolutely dominating the industry, then within a single generation the industry completely collapsing because a solution came along to allow them to make worse whiskey, but faster and cheaper, and they were like “nah we think people like quality” and NOPE NOPE APPARENTLY WE LIKE GETTING DRUNK FOR CHEAP ON GARBAGE because they went from a 60% market share to a 2% market share. Prohibition in the US and trade wars with the UK didn’t help the situation, either. Also the Canadian bootleggers selling people poison liquor in Irish branded bottles they had lying around. Whoops.

It made me wonder if the Irish got their reputations as heavy drinkers because aaaall the whiskey we bought came from them, so we made assumptions. Or possibly because they were depressed over the English making a mess of everything.

At the end of the tour we got given three good whiskeys to sample and the discovery I made is that while I can drink Whiskey, I really don’t want to. It just makes me feel like I have a nasty case of heartburn. I think Adam enjoyed them all though.

Adam: I DID. I got to try some stuff that we can’t get over in Canada but was really fantastic to be able to try here. I think I’m a bit too much of a whiskey simpleton to really appreciate it properly or whatever, but I really enjoyed drinking it.

Noémi: We had a 48 hour pass for the tour bus, so we got on it again, hoping to find some inspiration on what to do next. “How about we go to Hogwarts?” I suggested, remembering that kid’s comment about the Christchurch Cathedral. At first Adam just sassed about how that place was definitely not Hogwarts, but then I made it clear I was serious, so we hopped off the bus.

We arrived just in time to join a tour of the Cathedral. He started by showing us the tomb of Strongbow (the guy the cider’s named after), and then the cage that some saint’s preserved heart had been stolen from by some crafty theives. But lo and behold, that same heart had been returned to the Cathedral only 40 days beforehand! It was now in a much more secure place. It was in a giant lead heart, and it looked… hmm… very stupid. I won’t lie. It looked like a bad art project. But holy objects are holy objects no matter how stupid they look, I suppose.

Then he stopped us and asked if anybody was afraid of heights. Uhhh? Or claustrophobic. UHMMM. I chose not to tell this man I was afraid of heights but I think he figured it out. We climbed a VERY narrow staircase with low ceilings up to the bell tower of the church. It was… so many steps. And the steps were worn from hundreds and thousands of people walking on them, so they were slippery. You just had a rope to hang on to. I failed to get a picture of these stairs because I was TERRIFIED. Also, they had murder holes. So that’s fun.

Adam: Oh yeah, the Noémi called them that to the tour guide and he was like “actually yeah, they had those holes so they could pour burning stuff down through them”.

Noémi: On the plus side, we were rewarded for the climb by the opportunity to ring the church bells. You can apparently just do that? That seems like a bad idea, to let randoms do that. But we did. The bells kind of start ringing themselves once you start ringing them and they pull you up towards the ceiling. It is disconcerting. The lady shorter than me got launched off the ground. But they sure do sound pretty!

Then we climbed all the way back down the stairs (WAY WORSE THAN GOING UP) and went to the crypt. The crypt was full of a bunch of gold and silver items, which – yawn, eat the rich, etc. – but it also had some old statues (cool), costumes from The Tudors because it was filmed there (very cool, but why weren’t any of them from my girl Natalie Dormer), and a mummified cat and rat that they’d found trapped in an organ pipe several hundred years ago, perfectly preserved (VERY COOL, A+, THE CAT STILL HAD WHISKERS, THERE ARE FEW THINGS MORE METAL THAN A CAT TRYING TO MURDER A RAT AND BOTH OF THEM BEING MUMMIFIED INSIDE A PIPE ORGAN).

Then we got back on the bus, in search of further inspiration – which came in the form of a whiskey distillery! We went to Teelings Whiskey Distillery and went on the tour there. We heard a lot of the same history we heard at the Irish Whiskey Museum (but delivered by a shouty, far less passionate tour guide) but it was cool to actually see things fermenting and distilling live. They had these cool GIANT wooden vats you could actually see inside as things were fermenting, and that was much cooler than the boring giant steel ones.

Plus, while we were listening to her explain part of the distilling process we already understood, we heard a sudden burst of water behind us and walked over to find boiling water POURING from a tank by the giant wooden vats, soaking the whole floor. We looked at each other. “Do you think that’s supposed to happen?” Adam asked. We looked back at the tank. We thought about saying something to the tour guide, but no, no, maybe it was normal. There was a pipe on the tank that was pointed straight at the floor, so maybe it was intentional?

Cue a man running out from the back room, seeing what was happening, and running back going “STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT, TURN IT OFF, TURN IT OFF” and then we were quickly led from the room. So hmmm… I guess it wasn’t supposed to happen. Hopefully that was just hot water, and not some stage of Whiskey?? I will never know and it will HAUNT ME FOREVER.

After the tour they gave us another taste of whiskey (my favourite of the day) and a whiskey cocktail which was VERY good, and why don’t more places offer cocktails as an option? I realize you want to teach people how to taste the spirit, but I already know I don’t appreciate that, and I DO love cocktails, and also, DAMN, that was a good cocktail. Adam went and had another apple pie themed one at their bar after, and that one was also tasty af.

Then we left the distillery, waited FOR EV ER for the next tour bus (it was 30 minutes, one just straight did not show up), and went to the Temple Bar area to track down a place for dinner. We went to the Elephant and Castle, which made me laugh because the pub downstairs from my work is also called that. This one’s a little different, though. Funnily enough the one in Vancouver is more Irish than this one was. They were more of a burger and… pasta(?) place, but it was still really good. Also, when we walked in, we saw wings on almost everyone’s table and I was like “hmm, maybe we should order the wings”. They were very good wings. Also I think that’s literally all that locals order there, because like EVERYONE was ordering wings and a bowl of fries and a coke. Either that or maybe there was a special on? But they were spicy wings, so it was surprising to see EVERYONE ordering them. They were perfectly cooked, although buffalo sauce (which this basically was) is not my first choice.

Our mistake was ordering mains along with the wings. I had expected them to give us like 12 wings, but they gave us an order of nearly 30, so I was already full when my meal arrived, and when we left I was struuuuggling to move.

But move we did – to go roll around in our hotel room for like two hours before we got to packing. And then we realized…

When they moved our bags upstairs, Adam’s (BRAND NEW) suitcase’s wheel well had been smacked and nearly popped off. The wheel no longer rolled properly and it was threatening to snap off entirely.

Cue about an hour of fretting, checking warranties, looking for repair stores, all to no avail. It seemed we were doomed to travel with a broken wheel for another two weeks.

But we were determined – we unpacked Adam’s suitcase, unzipped the lining, surveilled the damage, and discovered the problem – a screw had popped loose. We got the screw back into place, but Adam was scratching up his nails trying to get it screwed back in, and with no success. But that’s when I remembered…

I HAD A TINY SCREWDRIVER I GOT FROM A CHRISTMAS CRACKER IN MY PURSE

Never speak ill of Christmas crackers, friends, for this was truly a Christmas miracle. We fixed the suitcase! I’m feeling edgy about that wheel now, but at least it can roll. We might give those screws a tighten before each leg of the journey, but it seems to be back on track now.

Then, exhausted from that emotional roller coaster, we slept.

DAY 10 – ON THE ROAD TO BELFAST

Oh hey it’s today! Hi, today. (We got off that train around the time we were writing about Guinness, by the way. In our hotel room now.)

When last we checked in, we were on the aforementioned train and dealing with horrible, horrible leg room situations. Dude I wanted to kick the lady sitting across from me. She was STRETCHING HER LEGS OUT and kept stepping on my feet and didn’t apologize even when I pointed it out. Then after writing about 40 minutes my knees hurt so much I got up to walk around and wake them up, and it hurt so much to unfold them because of how cramped I was that I nearly passed out. Sooooo we had to find different seats. Luckily there were some in the cafe car. The rest of the journey was spent in much more comfort.

Ireland’s real pretty, whether it’s the country or Northern Ireland, is what that ride taught me.

Then we got to Belfast, had a very quick taxi trip to our hotel, and got to our room, which is sooooooo nice. The bed is plush, everything’s modern and comfortable, and it’s a corner suite on the 10th floor so we have a ridiculously nice view in two directions! Our last room was pretty good but this one is absolutely glorious. Can’t wait to sleep in a bed that’s actually made for side sleepers. People in Europe – do you just not sleep on your sides? Is that why all your mattresses are so uncomfortable? I hate it.

We then spent the next two hours or so doing laundry. Yes, that’s not very exciting, but hey – smelling nice is really good. I like it. And laundry is necessary if you want to smell nice. We went to a laundromat and put on the washer (and later dryer) and then went across the street to loiter in the Starbucks and play some board games. It was a nice afternoon.

Since then we came back to our hotel, I wrote this blog, and Adam played Mario Maker 2 (and pitched in when I pushed the iPad in his direction). I was nearly done, but we realized it was getting late, so we left to go to dinner at Made in Belfast, which was recommended to us by Caitlin and Amadon, who are friends from VanCAF who are basically doing this same trip, but a week ahead of us. Although maybe we’ll cross over in Edinburgh?

If we do, I OWE THEM DRINKS BECAUSE THAT MEAL. WAS. AMAZIIIING. Oh my God. I say this without an ounce of exaggeration, I think that may well have been literally the best meal I’ve had in my entire life. Every single course was perfection, the drinks were amazing. I am starry eyed. I am blown away. We have literally made reservations to go there again on Friday when Adam’s parents are here because I CANNOT EMPHASIZE ENOUGH HOW GOOD THAT FOOD WAS. I do not like to go to the same place twice, but by the end of our appetizers I knew I had to. Oh my God. There are beautiful things in this world and I just witnessed another one of them. I feel very lucky and undeserving to have eaten something that tasty.

Anyway – I guess that gets you up to speed. So it’s time for us to go to sleep, and then go out and explore Belfast again.

This has been a really wonderful honeymoon so far.

Adam: It has been really fantastic. I am so full from that restaurant I am somewhat in pain. I didn’t want to not have dessert. But I should not have had dessert. Oh no.

I’m going to keep working on my Mario maker level. I’m making a horror-game level where you’re getting stalked by a giant punching turtle. Level code in a future update, stay frickin tuned my friends.

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