Tag Archives: travel

Flyin’ first class…

I did it! I actually woke up to workout early yesterday morning. I am not a morning person. AM workouts just don’t happen for me. I’m lethargic and tired, not fresh and awake like all you morning workout peeps out there say you are. My body just cooperates better in the afternoon. So this was a huge feat for me! This is how I felt about it at 6 but, that’s how committed to NWOLFW I am. Smile

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Hello bags under eyes!

It was a long day of flying and waiting in airports. The worst part about flying the entire day and gaining 3 hours is how much more I want to eat. I left my house at 8am and didn’t get to bed in LA until midnight pacific time. Being awake that long means my body wants an extra meal! One of the redeeming features of the Delta terminal at JFK is it’s amenities when it comes to food. The terminal itself is absolutely disgusting. It’s old, dingy and there are literally birds flying throughout the terminal like it’s an aviary or something .With birds comes bird crap. In the terminal. Gross. But, the kiosks with coconut water and Food for Life chips make up for it. As long as I don’t get crapped on.

My first meal (after breakfast at home) was lunch. Consumed in comfort.

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Sorry for the blurry iPhone pics. I was being “stealth blogger”. Whipping out a camera in a plane just seemed awkward.

See that? That’s a first class seat and a bulk head row. Doesn’t get much better. Smile Anytime I get upgraded to first class I immediately start singing Black Eyed Peas “Glamorous” in my head. Flyin’ first claaass up in the sky….

full lunch

The sandwich was kinda nasty. Only ate about 2/3 of it.

I had a 3 hour layover in Minneapolis so that required some nourishment too.

frap

Have you tried their new Frappuccino flavor, mocha coconut? It is worth every single calorie good! This is probably only the second Frappuccino I’ve ever had but I can guarantee you I will be having more now that this exists. After nursing that bad boy and getting some work done for an hour or so, I got bored.

Want to know how to kill some time in the Minneapolis airport if you ever happen to be stuck there for 3 hours? Walk the entire airport 3 times. It’s a huge square shape. If you don’t take the moving walks it will take you about 15-20 minutes. Do that with a carry-on, a computer bag and a purse and you’ve got yourself a nice little impromptu workout! It felt good to move around a bit considering how much time I spent sitting all day.

My flight to LA didn’t depart until 5:30pm which was really 6:30pm for me so of course I was getting hungry but I had plans to grab dinner with my coworker once we got to LA. Enter hummus, veggies and pretzels.

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I love these new little hummus packages Sabra now sells. Perfect for traveling and double score that the kiosk had a veggie platter (even though I found a tiny fly stuck to the last vegetable in the tray when I was eating it). It was the perfect amount to hold me over until LA. Love how veggies fill you up but have such a low calorie content.

Dinner was actually the best meal of the day and guess what? No picture! Ahh bad blogger! It’s just not second nature yet for me to take pictures of everything. I didn’t remember until we were done and in the car. But visualize an Asian/Mexican food truck turns bricks and mortar and you’ve got Komodo, the place we ate in LA. Small joint with good, food truck quality eats. I had a brown rice bowl with some awesome spicy seasoned shrimp and shared some truffle fries with my coworker.

Julie inspired me with her post yesterday. Look out for a post later this week all about my feelings on my first month of blogging.

Do you workout in the morning or afternoon?

What are your go to foods/snacks while traveling?

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Filed under Travel, Work

Going going back back to Cali Cali

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source

So as you might’ve guessed, I’m currently in-flight to California for work. Or, actually Minneapolis for a lovely 3 hour layover and then to California. At least there will be good people watching potential. It’s going to be an almost 24 hour day once I get to sleep again but, let’s not dwell on that part.

I’m sorry to say there was no blog worthy food consumed or prepared yesterday as I was running around frantically trying to get ready for this trip at work and then at home. When you don’t eat lunch until 4pm you know it’s kind of a ridiculous day. I never understood people when they would say “I’m too busy to eat” or, “I just forget to eat”. Yeah, uh how? I would love someone to teach my stomach how to forget being hungry. I didn’t forget yesterday, in fact, I was very much aware from about 1:30-4pm as my stomach threatening to revolt if it didn’t get fed soon. I did find out though what it’s like to be too busy to eat. I love that my region for work is the west coast. I mean trips to Alaska, Cali, Oregon, Washington, what’s not to love? But, when the first 3 hours of your workday are spent sitting there waiting for the other side of the country to get to work because you can’t do anything until they’re in and you rush to try and fit 8 hours worth of work into 5 because you still want to leave at 5pm, it gets old pretty fast. Or, just makes for a really hectic day and no food until 4.

Then, of course there were other non-work related things that needed to get done.

allergy shots

pedicure

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What? You can’t go to Cali without a pedicure!

laundry (I actually had to wear a sports bra I’m pretty sure is from high school yesterday for my workout. That’s how desperate the laundry situation was)

water my poor plants who are not liking this 90 degree weather. Just look at the cilantro.

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This is the second year I seem to have killed the cilantro. Not sure what’s going on with that. I have a pretty “green” thumb but, this herb just doesn’t seem to like me. Any ideas?

And speaking of plants, my first post was actually about planting all my pots. Exactly 1 month ago. (Happy 1 month blogging anniversary to me!) Look at how nicely they’ve filled in these past 4 weeks.

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                             May 6th                                                                June 6th

pack

This I’ve gotten pretty darn good at. I’ve been to Europe for 12 days packed entirely in a carry-on. A 4 day work trip is a cake walk. Smile

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First, you have to pick. Brown or black. This simple decision eliminates the need for multiple shoes. Shoes take up a lot of room. And since my sneakers are a must for workouts on the road, I have to pare down in other areas. Meet my latest DSW purchase. These Nine West shoes were 40% off. I bought them in black too. They are soooo much better than a heel. Have you ever tried standing for 10 hours at a tradeshow booth in heels? M.i.s.e.r.a.b.l.e In fact, probably the kind of torture I’d imagine hell to be. Wedges make it so much more bearable.

So brown/beige/camel it is!

Next up, pack only as many outfits as days you are there. I understand as women we like choices but, there’s no room for choices in a carry-on. Unless you want to be that person that can’t lift their luggage into the overhead because it’s too heavy. <—Huge pet peeve! Unless you’re like 90, if you can’t lift it, check it.

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2 days of client meetings, 2 outfits. No if’s, ands, or buts. Make sure you like them before you pack them!

And, 1 cardigan that works with both outfits.

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Can you tell what store I frequent?

Where you do get some leniency is in accessories Smile

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They don’t take up much room but can change up the outfit dramatically just by a simple belt or different jewelry.

Same rules apply for workout gear (minus the accessories) and you’re all set!

Workout

I’ll be honest, I totally wanted to skip this because at this point it was 8:30pm and it was the last thing I wanted to do. I made a deal with myself to at least do a 20 min HIIT session on the treadmill and that’s exactly what I did. You never regret a workout!

At 9pm, the best I could do for dinner was some left-over gazpacho, snap peas, crackers and goat cheese. Random much?

Hoping for some in-flight wi-fi (which I now know means wireless fidelity) and some good people watching. See you from Cali!

 

What are your packing tips? Do you usually carry-on or check your luggage? Any good airplane stories? I have a ton! From seatmates refusing to discuss anything but religion, to freak-outs on the plane resulting in police boarding and then questioning me about the situation, to having dip spilled all over me from the 350+ lb man using it next to me. I could seriously write a book!

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Filed under Around the house, Running, Travel, Work

Ireland Day 6 & 7: Killarney

A lot of our last 2 days in Ireland were spent in the car driving from site to site. We left Cork after one last meal at the English Market for Killarney, detouring around the Ring of Kerry. I’d love to say how beautiful the scenery was and how much we enjoyed it but the weather was unbelievably horrific. Freezing, rainy and incredibly windy. Like 50-55 mph gusts. We stopped a few times to get out and take in the views, snap a few pictures, etc. but we were forced back into the car pretty quickly.

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When coordinating the trip we had initially planned to stay in Galway one night before leaving so we could see the Cliffs of Moher but, then decided to cut out another hotel stay because 4 hotels in 7 days seemed a bit much. We settled on staying in Killarney 2 nights instead. That decision made for a long day in the car on Thursday driving from Killarney to the Cliffs of Moher and back. We knew it would be a long day but figured the Cliffs are the most “iconic” site in Ireland and we’d regret not seeing them. They were amazing but I can’t even describe how windy it was! At one point coming down from the viewing area the winds were so strong I literally couldn’t stop myself from being pushed down the hill and Ulysses had to “catch” me before I fell over. Even though we never got hit with a hurricane when we lived in Florida I think I now know what it feels like! I really wish it had been a nice day out and not so cloudy and foggy because the views were incredible.P1013132

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Besides castles and cliffs, the thing we saw the most of on our trip was COWS (and sheep). When you see thousands, literally, I guess you’re bound to see this too.

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She was not happy. When we came back from the Cliffs she was actually laying down. Smart girl. This was right next to the parking lot.

After the drive back to Killarney we ended the day with some local sites including Ross Castle and the Gap of Dunloe. The latter being an awesome view only 10 minutes outside downtown Killarney. Pictures don’t do it justice. Pictures actually don’t do many of the places we saw justice.

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All the sheep are spray painted either red or blue. Anyone know why?

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We ended our last night appropriately.

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With an Irish coffee.

Ireland stats:

Scones consumed: 8

Cows & sheep seen: thousands

Rainy days: 7

Favorite new saying: “Cheers, thanks a million!”

Favorite beer: Beamish (I found a stout I like!)

Car “incidents”: 2

Workouts/runs: 0

Pounds gained: ?? Don’t want to know Winking smile

Great trip all around but I’m definitely looking forward to this 3 day weekend at home with temps in the 80’s and 90’s!! And eating something other than carbs for a few meals.

Normal running and “kitchening” to resume now. Smile

Have any of you been to Ireland? What was your favorite part? We all couldn’t pick just one.

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Doreen & the Blarney Castle tree

I hope this video comes across as funny to all you as it was to us. I showed some pictures of this tree at Blarney Castle a couple of posts ago but Adrian caught some footage of Doreen trying to get up on the branch for the picture that is too good not to share. In her defense, the branch does look much lower than it actually is (I tried getting up on it before she attempted) but Doreen just wouldn’t give up! This unfortunately is only the last couple of attempts, there were a few we didn’t catch on camera. Listen at the end to the (German?) lady offering to help Doreen because we were all just standing there laughing at her.

What you didn’t see at the end is Doreen slapping Adrian after her response to the woman because he was filming the whole thing instead of helping her. Priceless.

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Filed under Family, Travel, Videos

Ireland Day 4 & 5: Cork and Kinsale

We spent all of Monday getting the local’s tour of Cork by Liam, an uncle of a friend who lives in the city. We even met the mayor. The Lord Mayor actually. Doesn’t he just sound way more important with “Lord” in front of the title? Liam knew pretty much everyone in Cork as we walked through the city, the mayor included because we had an 11am appointment to meet him! We definitely weren’t expecting that and probably would’ve been dressed a little nicer or at least prepared with some sort of semi-intelligent thing to discuss but, instead we sat there talking about his recent trip to NY with mayor Bloomberg for the St. Patrick’s Day parade and the Queen’s visit a couple of days prior. He also had the biggest beer belly I’ve ever seen and actually rested his hands on top of it much like a pregnant woman would. I found myself staring more than once and had to force my eyes away. It was a quick visit as I’d hope he has more important things to do than meet with 4 young lads from the states but it was fun to say we met him nonetheless.

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The Lord Mayor’s room across from his office.

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Liam taught us all about the old city and how it was surrounded by rivers and walls back in the day. We pretty much walked the entire city seeing the old walls, churches, the University and my absolute favorite, the English Market. It was kind of like a smaller scale La Boqueria for anyone that’s been to Barcelona. The best part of the tour was when he took us to where he was born and raised and showed us the river they used to swim in as kids. You could tell how emotional and nostalgic he was about his youth and even though all the buildings and history are interesting, I thought that was one of the more insightful things we learned all day.

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The food in the market looked so good from the fresh seafood, to the butcher shops, to the produce stands. I wish we had a kitchen to cook it all in!

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Adrian finally got his wish Monday night when we found a pretty legitimate Irish pub and drank our dinner. Smile 

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Dark, dingy and everything a pub should be.

Tuesday morning we knew we wanted to hit up the English market for breakfast. After some fresh juice, scones, and coffee we were on our way to Kinsale, about 30 minutes south of Cork for the day. Kinsale seemed like the Irish version of a Rhode Island shore town. Quaint, beautiful water views and expensive.

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We walked around the cute shops, tried on hats a la the Royal wedding and contemplated buying handmade woolen blankets, gloves and scarfs but eventually decided against them and their price tag (sorry Mom, it would’ve been for you).

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After the shops we went to check out Charles Fort. More amazing views.

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We ended the day at Café Paradiso back in Cork. Doreen and Adrian saw this show on Food Network a couple of weeks ago where Bobby Flay went to Ireland and highlighted a bunch of different restaurants throughout the country. We’ve basically been following in his footsteps since we got here. It started with fish and chips at Leo Burdocks, ice cream at Murphy’s, smoked fish at the English market, and finally dinner at Café Paradiso. It’s a vegetarian restaurant with a local sourcing flare that was insanely delicious.

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They had a pretty reasonably priced “theater menu” that included 3 courses for 30 Euros. The wafer looking chips were a sunflower seed brittle with sea salt. A nice deviation from the usual bread basket starter.

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First course starters of wild garlic gnocchi, mixed salad with green beans & fennel, and sweet potato curry spring rolls and brocolini.

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Main dishes of beet root risotto with arugula & cannellini beans in a lemon thyme oil, feta pistachio couscous cake with a coriander yogurt, spiced eggplant gratin with fennel in a citrus cream sauce (or as Doreen referred to it: “sunshine sauce”). Adrian was a rebel and ordered off the main menu with the caramelized mushroom gnocchi dish. It was hands down the best one of the four and they were all really good, this one was just mind blowing. I’ve never tasted mushrooms like that before. They almost tasted like a roasted sweet potato, but even better. I could be a vegetarian in a second if all my meals were from here.

Dessert:

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Vanilla ice cream with Italian cookies and a shot of espresso. Chocolate pecan brownie with white chocolate ice cream. There’s really nothing to say here, they were both as good, if not better than they look. Great, great dinner. It was actually the first “real” dinner we had on the trip and I’m glad we saved it for a place like this. It’s been a week now since I’ve run, my pants are getting tighter every day, and it’s been worth every single indulgence. Smile

Killarney, The Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula, and Cliffs of Moher are up next!

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Filed under Dinner, Meals, Restaurants, Travel

Ireland Day 3: Cashel & Blarney Stone

Hello from Cork! We’re staying in Cork for 3 nights and unfortunately there is no internet in our hotel (which is kind of sketchy). McDonalds, or as the Irish call it “Mack-Donalds” can always be trusted for some free wi-fi though. Sad world when you’re dependent on McDonalds huh?

We took advantage of the 2+ hour drive from Dublin to Cork to see some of the sights along the way including the Rock of Cashel and Blarney Castle. The Rock of Cashel sits atop a hill and looks gorgeous from afar. Of course the minute we arrived the skies opened up with a rain/windstorm which was seriously of  tropical storm strength. It. was. cold. It only lasted about 25 minutes though and then the skies cleared again. I guess one good thing about those winds is that they move the storm pretty quickly.

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There will not be a single picture this entire trip where my hair isn’t blowing about like a crazy woman.

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The best part about the Rock of Cashel was the view from where it sits. You can barely see it here but, it extends for miles and all you see is green. Green trees, green grass, green farms. Everything is sooo green. We keep joking that the plants here are on steroids. Even though the weather is pretty cold, the rain must do them wonders because they are just massive compared to the same plants in the states.

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Please ignore the hair and ridiculous face but look at that view!

After Cashel, we headed back to the car and on our way to Blarney Castle. Surprisingly, we made it there without getting lost once. A little side note-there are NO street signs in Ireland. We were cheap and thought we didn’t need the GPS we’d make do with our print outs from google maps. Not a good idea. Hardly any street is labeled and if it is, it’s on the side of a building and so small you can’t read it until you’re past it. Combine that with driving on the other side of the road and shifting with your left hand and it makes for an interesting car ride.

We grabbed some lunch at a local pub in Blarney and then headed up to the castle.

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Adrian and Doreen did indeed kiss the stone. It will come as no surprise to anyone that knows Ulysses that he didn’t. I just wasn’t down with it either. The guy that assists you was literally using a tissue to wipe off women’s lipstick on the stone from previous people. No thanks. I think it’s cooler to say “I’ve been to the Blarney stone and not kissed it” anyway. Winking smile

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Adrian kissing the stone. I’d put Doreen’s in but the picture didn’t come out nearly as good and it’s mostly her chest. I think she’d appreciate it not being posted.

The castle and the grounds were absolutely gorgeous. I wish we had more time to walk around but it was already 4pm when we entered so after climbing through the castle there wasn’t much time left to explore the acres and acres of grounds before they closed.

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How cool is that tree?

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We spent today in the city of Cork. We actually had a local tour guide who is the uncle of a friend take us around. He was great! We walked the entire city for 6+ hours and he explained all the history and significance of many of the sights. While it’s fun to explore a city on your own you really do miss a lot of the actual history without someone knowledgeable to explain it all. We had a great time learning all about Cork’s history and following the steps of the Queen who was just here last week through many of the sights. It’s kind of funny to be visiting all these places in between the Queen’s visit and President Obama’s visit. It’s been all over the news here, in fact, we just watched his speech in Dublin take place at the exact site we were 2 days ago. This post is long enough for now though, so I’ll save our day in Cork for the next one.

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Dublin Day 2

After a fish and chips induced 5 hour coma we actually made it back out at 10:30pm last night. The weird part…it was still light outside. I had no idea Ireland was like Alaska and stays light that late. It really messes you up. We also wrongly assumed that Ireland, being a European country and all would be like Spain, France and Italy and serve dinner really late by American standards so we went out for a drink before finding a place to eat only to find out every restaurant was closing for the night. Fail. We had 2 choices, Indian Curry House or Ray’s Pizza. After the fish and chips sitting like rocks in our stomachs we choose the safer option of pizza. It was really good pizza but it didn’t really scream “Irish”.P1012895

Lesson learned, eat earlier.

After pizza we wandered around a bit until we found a bar called Harry’s that was a great time. The bar tender, who was amazing and super nice, is actually moving to NYC to take a job there, small world. He hooked us up throughout the night and suggested some sort of espresso martini for Doreen. Amazing.P1012900

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These pictures are horrible with the flash but it was basically pitch black inside.

We also all had a round of “baby Guinness”. I think they were Kahlua and Baileys. Cute and tasty.

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And that’s the most drinking I’ve done in one night in ages. Not sure if I should be happy & proud or ashamed of that?

We ended the night around 3am, still a little out of it with the time change. It was a late start this morning but I’m hoping sleeping until 11am got us all sorted out with the missed sleep from the day before. We decided to take a day trip to Bray, about 30 minutes by train from Dublin to hike up a mountain and explore the seaside town.

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That mountain behind their heads is what we climbed up.

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Ulysses finally found something with his name on it. We always look for his name on key chains and mugs in souvenir type shops just to see if they ever have it (they don’t) so finding this place which I think was a B&B was funny.

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It was windy. The hair only gets worse from here on out.

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The view facing Bray from the top. It was about a 1.3 mile hike up. Makes me feel better about not having run for 4 days now. Winking smile I actually did bring a Jillian Michael’s workout DVD. I’ll put money on not actually using it though. We’ve been walking so much there’s no way I’m even thinking about extra exercise when we get back to the hotel.

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It was so windy at the top, I think if I jumped off I seriously would’ve been able to fly.

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This picture is probably giving my mom an anxiety attack just looking at it. Pictures don’t really do justice to how high up this was.

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We followed the trail around the top of the mountain a little until heading back down. Apparently they use donkeys or horses on these trails too.

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Yum.

After the hike, we were more than ready for lunch. Ulysses has a knack for picking places that look horrible from the outside but end up being great on the inside and serving amazing food. This was one of them, Porterhouse Brewery. No outside pics because it was cold, windy and we were hungry! The inside was dark, and everything you’d probably think of when you think Irish + pub + good food. We sat next to a fireplace and warmed up with some beers. Doreen and I shared a sampler including a stout of theirs that had won all sorts of awards. It was really good and I’m not even a huge stout fan. It tasted like it had hints of espresso, kahlua,  and licorice. Nothing wrong with that!

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Restaurant lighting here is not conducive to pictures.

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The food was incredibly good. That is a wooden dowel holding the burger together, not a toothpick, to give you an idea of size. I actually had a vegetarian chickpea and vegetable stew that was excellent. I think it was the first taste of vegetables I’ve had in 2 days.

After a sleepy train ride back to Dublin we walked around a little more before heading back to the hotel around 8pm. Just as we literally said how great the weather held up considering it was supposed to rain all day, the skies opened up into a downpour 5 minutes from the hotel. We were drenched. The heat is currently blasting in the hotel room to attempt to dry sneakers and pants.

Tomorrow we leave Dublin headed to Cork. We’re spending the day visiting places in between the two cities including Cashel and Blarney. If we make it out of Dublin without getting lost or driving on the wrong side I’ll call it a win. Smile

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Filed under Meals, Restaurants, Travel