I suppose I should start today’s blog with last night’s meal. I ate at Fade St. Social, which was on my list, although I’d planned to eat elsewhere. But I was tired, still jet lagged and hungry and the place I originally wanted to eat at wasn’t open for dinner yet. So I ended up at Fade St. And it worked out beautifully.

Fade St. is a gastropub that serves tapas, Irish style. So I started with these little bites of goat cheese wrapped in bacon, breaded and fried. Yes, they were as good as they sound. I followed up with some pumpkin macaroni and some wonderful steak medallions. Although I was already full, especially after two glasses of Rose, I ordered a banofee for dessert, a concoction of banana, custard, caramel, cookie-like crust, served parfait style. I couldn’t finish it. But this meal was as good as the Michelin-starred one of the previous night.

I got into bed relatively early, but I’m still having issues adjusting to the time change. I eventually fell asleep, but I was still not prepared for my 7 a.m. wake-up call. But I dragged myself out of bed, grabbed a coffee and scone from the wonderful coffee shop next door, and headed to meet up with the Wild Wicklow tour I’d booked.

The tour was amazing. By the time we arrived at our first stop, I’d chatted up a lot of people on the bus, made a few new friends from all over the world, and was already laughing at the guide’s antics. Our first stop gave us a spectacular view of Dublin Bay. Obviously, that called for a selfie:

Dublin Bay selfie

I collected a shell and a rock as mementos from the area and because I’d worn my hiking boots, I got pretty close to the water. I was prepared!

Our next stop took us to what I think is the original Avoca Handweavers shop. I’d already seen the Avoca at Malahide, but this one was so nice and pretty, with lots of beautiful flora and fauna, including my favorite flower: pink baby roses.Pink baby roses at Avoca Handweavers

Aren’t they absolutely stunning? Knowing that I’d be unhappy if I did not purchase something made of Irish wool, I ended up buying a handwoven throw that will match my living room nicely. Of course, the cats will probably like it, too, but this one is MINE. However, it was a little bulky, so I spent entirely too many Euros to have it shipped back home. But I have it, and that makes me happy. I’ve only bought one souvenir for myself so far (but I have bought things for others), so it was about time. It was expensive, yes, but it was the softest cuddliest throw I’ve ever known. And because it’s well-made, it will last forever.

After Avoca, we headed on up to the Glendalough area in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland. We stopped at the Upper Lake. Because I have no words about the beauty of this place, I’ll just post a photo and tell you to imagine that it’s even nicer than this in person. It simply takes your breath away:

Upper Lake at Glendalough

You see, right? It’s like something out of a fairy tale. The fact that such a place exists still blows my mind. We stayed there for awhile and I just roamed around and took it all in.

And then I tried Jamesons whiskey for the first time. I’ve had whiskey before, Jack Daniels, but this was entirely different. It tasted pretty good, actually, kind of sweet and creamy. It did, however, burn like crazy going down and I can’t imagine drinking a lot of it, but I was pleasantly surprised.

After our whisky tasting, we headed to Glendalough, which is an ancient monastery and cemetery, where, presumably, St. Kevin himself is buried. I’m not Catholic, but I can imagine this was exciting for those who were, on our trip. The abbey and cemetery itself was amazing and I felt like I had fallen through time into history.

Glendalough Monastery and Cemetery

After that, we visited a bridge that was in a movie called, “P.S., I Love You.” I’ll admit that I haven’t seen it, so wasn’t that excited. However, we also visited the area where the Guinness family home is. And it was gorgeous, especially since it’s the time of year when the heather on the hills is in full bloom.

The heather in bloom in Ireland

Gorgeous, right? It really was.

We made it back to Dublin after 6 p.m. I was exhausted and almost entertained notions of just calling it a night and ordering room service, but the Irish part of me was like “Wuss,” and told me to go out instead. So I did, and ended up at Gallagher’s Boxty House for dinner. Now, a boxty is a potato pancake. Interestingly enough, when I was a child, my mother used to make them for me, but I had no idea that’s what they were called (she just called it a potato pancake). The boxty I ordered was wrapped around chicken, leeks and herbs and had a lovely sauce over it. It was divine.

Of course, now that I’ve found I have a taste for whiskey, I paired it with a whiskey sour. I find this highly amusing, as I never saw myself as someone who would be into the hard liquor. But hey, when in Ireland…

Anyway, Gallagher’s is in party central of Dublin, Temple Bar. So not drinking in Temple Bar would probably get me excommunicated from the city.

I also had dessert, which was a divine dark chocolate cake that was sort of molten and warm and had caramel sauce over the top, served with a vanilla ice cream.

I was satiated at that point, and tired, and here I am typing up my day’s adventures. Tomorrow, I get the luxury of sleeping in (YES), which I am so doing. My plan is simple: visit a few interesting churches, go to Dublin Castle and DO MORE SHOPPING. I have a few birthday gifts to pick up, after all.

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