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Bartending in an Irish castle

May 25, 2015 1 comment

Yes, Lorie and I can now add "bartending in an Irish castle" to our resume, since that’s exactly what we did at Blackwater Castle. Parts of the castle have been standing since the 12th century (around the year 1170), so it has quite the history and is probably haunted.
Although Patrick, who runs the place, told me that it’s the 2nd most haunted castle in Ireland, I never noticed anything even when I was there by myself for a couple hours one evening.

We were there for our friend Geoff’s 50th and James’ 40th birthdays. We spent 3 nights there, but the party continued for another 3 nights, so we passed the bartending duties over to our friend Matt who had a few of his own cocktails to add to the menu. However, our menu was quite the hit, even though most everyone would have been happy with the Guinness we had on tap, once we started mixing the drinks people got into it and started reading through the menu and selecting which one to try next.

 

Afterwards, we took a short trip to the coast, through Waterford, then over to Dublin for a couple nights before flying home. We were there when Ireland voted to legalize gay marriage in what was a rather historic vote. In fact, our hotel was about 2 blocks from the Dublin Castle, where people gathered as the vote was counted and where the news crews interviewed people about the vote. But our highlight in Dublin, may have been The Little Museum of Dublin, where we got a 29 minute history overview of Dublin (perfect amount of time for us), and they have a room dedicated to the band U2.

Paris, May 2015

We had a couple of days in Paris between Cinque Terre and the castle in Ireland, so we did what we like to do the most in Paris: We walked around. Since it was somewhat nice out, we even had a coffee (Lorie) and wine (Brian) in the park near The Louvre, which turned out to be the worst we had on the entire trip. We also discovered a two new favorites. One is a casual wine bar called La Trinquette  and the other is Shabu Sha, where you pick your own ingredients to boil as they roll around the belt (like a sushi belt).

Cinque Terre, Italy – May 2015

Our Cinque Terre trip included 3 nights in Monterosso al Mare, with a hike over to Vernazza, which took us almost 3 hours in the heat of the day even though it’s only a 3km hike. I think jetlag, no breakfast, a bit of wine the night before, and not having enough water all worked against us. But, the highlight was the hike, since in goes through the vineyards in the hills, you can see how the local farmers live, and it has great views of the Tyrrhenian Sea along the way. It’s interesting to see how the farmers (mostly lemons and wine grapes) have a roller-coaster set up to help them move up and down the hill side. The direction we took, from Monterosso to Vernazza let us see Vernazza from the hillside, which offers probably the most picturesque view of a village I’ve ever seen.

The next day we took a train to Riomaggiore, and all 3 days we enjoyed pizza and wine. We found that not all wine and pizza in Italy are good though.

Ran out of socks while in Dublin

May 23, 2015 1 comment

Blackwater Castle, Ireland

London, Old & New

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