Slainte, Dublin (Ireland Day #7)

It was really strange waking up on Day 7 knowing that it was our last day as a group. When we went to bed that night, for the first time in over a week everyone would be on different schedules, all shuffling out a different times. So as we went through our morning routine and met Tim and Rob downstairs at the coach, I couldn’t help but feel a little pit in my stomach.IMG_7176

The primary item on the day’s agenda was the Guinness Storehouse a.k.a the Guinness Mecca. Similar to the Jameson Distillery, the Storehouse tour took us through the entire process of how the beer was made and how it essentially goes from a pile of plants to an Irish pub staple.

On the 5th (of 7) floors, we were given the opportunity to become certified Guinness pourers, which we did, and were then able to take our perfectly poured pints of beer to the top floor, known as the Gravity Bar and enjoy it leisurely as we took in arguably the best view of Dublin you can find.

From the Storehouse, we made our way back to the center of Dublin by foot, as we opted to forego the ride from the coach so we could have more time to enjoy the Gravity Bar’s view. And since we essentially had the rest of the day to ourselves, Natalee and I toured the city at our own pace, trying our best to follow the map Tim had given us that pointed our some key things to see.

Among the sites we were successfully able to find, despite the cities nearly impossible to follow street signage were:

Trinity College:

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O’Connell Street:

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Rosie’s Café where we got, you guessed it Panini’s with, you guessed it ddecf0ced88cca47ff9a9f32330c417bpotatoddecf0ced88cca47ff9a9f32330c417b chips.

Dublin Castle:

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And this:

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Which in case you can’t tell by its incredible architecture and overall exquisiteness is the view from a freaking bus stop. I took this picture while we waited for our own bus, shaming every other bus stop I’ve ever stood at for not trying hard enough.

At 6:00, after a few hours of intense napping/showering took place, a newly spruced and freshly groomed version of our group emerged from our hotel rooms to make our way to The Merry Ploughboy for dinner. And as if the week hadn’t been impressive enough, this dinner was the perfect way to end it. After first enjoying a three course meal, mine featuring a delicious potato cake, the lights were dimmed and the band took the stage to perform a variety of Irish songs. At somewhat of an intermission, four Irish dancers came out to blow our potato filled minds with some Riverdance, and then the band returned to close out the evening with a few last songs, including one very special to our group: “Galway Girl.”

From the restaurant the group was set to head to Temple Bar, but not before taking a family picture, all of us knowing it would be the last one. When I look at it now, it’s funny to think that there was a time when I didn’t know the people in the picture. That at one point we all wandered into a room as strangers, with no idea what to say to each other except, “hello.” Because now, as we all stood huddled together, ready to spend one last night together, we had not only gotten to know each other, but created new memories that only we would share.

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