Top 5 Things To Do While Visiting Ireland

{In honor of my sister getting married in Ireland today, here is a top 5 on this magical country from MM (my Ireland guru) of Travel Eat Love!}

1) Leave Dublin. Really, even if you fly into Dublin Airport, get out of Dublin as soon as you can. Ok, you can stay and tour around for a couple of days, but no more than that. Dublin is fine, but it is definitely not my favorite world city and definitely leaves a lot of Ireland to be seen. My brother in law once referred to Dublin as a “city on the West coast of England”. Enough said. There’s a lot more to Ireland than Dublin, and I want to make sure you see it.

There are buses leaving for Galway from various bus companies on the hour, there are car rentals, or you can take Iarnroid Eireann, the train service as well. If you stay in Dublin or even just the popular tourist cities, you miss seeing this. . .

image

And this. . .

image

And this. . .

image

2) Eat local food. Like any high volume tourist destination, many Irish restaurants, especially in cities and other well traveled areas, do their best to cater to tourists offering convenience foods and bland, fattening options. All Irish food is not like this, and if you look around a bit, you will find a burgeoning cuisine that is based on fresh, local, delicious goods. Smoked salmon, prawns, Irish cheddar, lamb, and fresh vegetables make the base of many of these dishes, and I can’t emphasize enough that you should seek out these ingredients as often as possible. You will not be disappointed; the taste of real food from the land is as important a part of Ireland to me as the beautiful countryside is.

image

3) Have a pint of Guinness. Unless you don’t or can’t drink, I suggest having a pint of Guinness in its home country. Maybe you haven’t liked Guinness in the past, and maybe you won’t now, but it’s definitely worth a try.

image

If you hate the Guinness, there are plenty of other delicious Irish libations like Bulmer’s cider and Smithwicks.

4) Go to a pub and listen to traditional Irish music. Pretty much anywhere you are in Ireland, you can find traditional music any night of the week. My favorite places for trad are Galway, Westport, and Doolin. If you need specific suggestions please feel free to email me! And don’t forget to stop at a chipper on your way home for some garlic and cheese chips. You won’t regret it (Well you might, but it will be worth it!)

image

5) Get outside! Yes the weather may suck at times. It could be rainy, blustery, cold, cloudy, and even hailing small frozen peas from the sky. But you can see 4 seasons in a day in Ireland, and your best bet is to just get out there. Make sure to pack enough clothing to wear layers, lots of light wool, lots of socks to make sure you have dry ones, and good walking shoes. I have experienced so many different days where it has been pouring in one place and gloriously sunny in another; if we never went ahead with hiking or running plans because of the rain, we would spend a whole lotta time in my husband’s house! Even when the sky is threatening, the scenery can not be beat.

image

Thanks so much, Colleen, for giving me the opportunity to guest post. I hope you are having a wonderful time in Ireland and that Meg’s wedding day is the best ever. Looking forward to seeing you both when you get back! ;)

About these ads

March showers bring April flowers?

So instead of giving up something for Lent this year, I decided to do something positive. My something positive is to train for a half marathon and complete one by the end of April. A half marathon has been on my to-do list for a while now, so why not just cross it off sooner rather than later? Plus, having a set goal for myself is truly motivating.

Today’s supposed to be my day off from training, however since I didn’t get to workout with the rain ruining our race yesterday, I did my 5 mile run today. The run would have been a heck of a lot easier if the man on the treadmill next to me wasn’t farting the whole time! That was quite a challenge.

The half marathon I’m training for is called the Middlebury Maple Run. It’s in a really beautiful part of Vermont on Sunday, April 25th. I just started my fourth week of training and I still haven’t signed up for the race because I’m nervous! I’ll do it soon…

http://www.addisoncounty.com/pages/event.asp?content=halfmarathon

In some REALLY EXCITING NEWS, Jack Johnson has finally announced his Summer US tour dates! Tickets go on sale April 10th: http://www.jackjohnsonmusic.com/tour 

Penguin Pizza at 735 Huntington Ave (617) 277-9200 is serving corned beef and cabbage pizza until St. Patrick’s Day. Only two days left to try.

Kitty O’Sheas - $3 appetizers Monday – Friday 3pm-6pm and $6.50 pitchers. 131 State Street.

Well, its way past my bedtime. I hope I’m greeted by sunshine in the morning; enough rain already. I hope it’s nice from here on out! Bring on good, sunny, warm weather :)

C is for Camo, Coors and Classiness

Did you step foot outside over the weekend? If so, I think it’s safe to assume your shoes are probably still wet (unless they’re Gore-tex boots. Mine are not.) and you might possibly have a broken umbrella now in the trash. It was crazy out there!

Unfortunately we didn’t get to run in our race this weekend due to the rain, so that was a bummer. We were planning on it even if it were raining lightly, but it was really coming down so we decided it just wasn’t worth getting ourselves sick over. So Colin and I went to 9:30 mass (we were a few minutes late because of Daylight Savings – it’ll getcha.) Then we rushed over to Newton to drop off Colin’s car then headed to the Southie parade. The rain might stop you from running, but it doesn’t stop you from having fun.

We took the Green line from Newton to Park St., we then took the Red line from Park to Broadway. We figured we would probably be able to grab a cab to get to our friends party. We figured wrong. We decided to just go for it – couldn’t do much else. We power walked a nice little 2 mile walk in the teeming rain. And not to brag or anything – but I’m gonna brag – we didn’t even utter one complaint to each other while trekking! We had our game faces on and nothing was stopping us.

Camo + moustache + 30 of Coors = Colin keepin’ it classy

The party we went to was so much fun – always good to see our friends from Merrimack. It’s so hard getting together now, everyone is so busy being ‘grown-ups’. You have to plan so far in advance to see each other. What happened to living in the same building, just down the hall from one another?

The trek back to Newton wasn’t as joyful as our earlier trek. I was tired, cold, wet, hungry… the list could go on…. Luckily we found a bus took it to our friends Christine and Meaghan’s (aka The Nuge) place, got some food, hung out, then found a cab back to Newton.

Overall the day was boatloads of fun! (and rain!)

Check out some of these pictures from TheBostonChannel.com of flooding around MA. Tomorrow’s supposed to be sunny with a high of 51. I’ll believe it when I see it.

http://www.thebostonchannel.com/weather/19995625/detail.html?treets=bos&tid=26511418836813&tml=bos_12pm&tmi=bos_12pm_1_11000103152010&ts=H

On a rainy day such as today what would be better than a movie? The Coolidge Corner Theatre is showing Best in Show at 7pm tonight, tickets are $9.75.

*I wrote about Stoddards Fine Food & Ale the other day. Quick correction… It is not yet opened. They are hoping to have their official opening Thursday, March 18th.*

Restaurant Week in Boston is March 14-19 and March 21-26. A TON of GREAT restaurants are participating – for a full list see here: http://ow.ly/1l5KZ. For a 3-course dinner you pay $33.10, some restaurants are even offering 2-course lunches for $15.10 or 3-course lunches for $20.10! It’ll be busy so save yourself some time by making reservations online through OpenTable.com. We are trying to decide which restaurants we’re going to go to – our top choices are Flemings, Capitol Grille, Strega, Tresca, Smith & Wollenskys. Wish we could go to all of them!

Other exciting food news, Finale is doing a chocolate/wine tasting tomorrow from 6:30pm-8pm at 1306 Beacon Street, Coolidge Corner (617) 232-3233, reservations required. More info here: http://www.finaledesserts.com/events.php

Colin sent me an interesting quiz today, http://kiplinger.com/quiz/financial_fluency/index.html?qid=24 to test your financial fluency. I got a 50 – terrible! Looks like I have to brush up on my stocks/bonds/savings/retirement knowledge. Luckily I’m taking a 2 week course all about the stock market in April, so that should help a little. :) Also, here is an interesting article about the vital years for retirement planning:

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1930805_1931673_1931666,00.html 

With that, I’ll leave you with this: Lady Gaga has said ‘yes’ to ‘Glee’

http://www.gossipcop.com/big-glee-for-lady-gaga-and-none-for-coldplay-and-bryan-adams/

I can only imagine what this will bring! Can’t wait for Glee to come back in April!