Dublin walks, music scene, and a close encounter with Bono

By the time we left Oktoberfest, we were tired.  Very tired. It had been non-stop for awhile.  A very long while.  Even before our Italian whirlwind with my Mom and Aunt Becky it had been go-go-go.

We were ready to mellow ourselves out for a bit.  Luckily Ireland can be a great place to do just that. With a Guinness of course.  Below is officially my first Guinness; how cool that it was in Ireland? Honestly, I’m not much of a beer drinker so I was surprised how much I really enjoyed the drink. This first Guinness went down at a pub recommended by our cab driver called The Palace which has been around since 1823. We were by far the youngest there. It was fun to watch the older grey haired Irish men, well dressed, sitting around newspapers, chatting and enjoying their pints. Male bonding at it’s finest.




















And despite the beginning of this post and accompanying photo, we shifted down and relaxed quite a bit in Dublin.

Our first night we grabbed an early Guinness then an early dinner about 5pm at Oliver St John Gogarty’s Pub where I ordered this.


The picture is a true depiction of traditional Irish fair. Not a place for vegetarian or the heart healthy eater.

At 5pm the pub was already packed and the live music was already pumping. Ireland, or specifically Dublin, truly offers some incredibly talented musicians and singers. Those that know me understand that any type of live performance of singing, dancing and/or musical instrument mastery is my type of craic (Irish for fun/enjoyment).  So needless to say I was very happy in all the cozy bar corners of Ireland listening and watching live entertainment. Even the street performers were full of talent.  It’s no wonder that Dublin produced one of the greatest rock singers of all time – Bono.

Our first few nights we stayed in Dublin in the Temple Bar neighborhood.  We stayed at the Clarence Hotel with whimsical fantasies of bumping into the Edge and Bono, co-owners of the hotel, who often are seen in the property’s coveted penthouse.  But the fantasies stayed just that. However, we did come across an article that U2 was doing a Rolling Stone Cover shoot in the neighborhood we were staying while we were there. Bono randomly asked a woman walking by with her dog if he could borrow the dog for the photo shoot. She of course obliged. We were so close! And what a lucky lady.


Our first morning Peter did some research local Dublin sites and found a highly reviewed coffee spot, the Bald Barista. Europe is not especially known for great coffee so we set our expectations low as we strolled over to the locally praised cafe.

We ordered a couple Long Blacks (Americans) and sat down to people watch and enjoy our coffee over conversation.  About 5 minutes later Peter said to me, “Wow, I think we are both feeling this.” It was then that I realized that my leg was wildly shaking out of control and I was talking a mile a minute. Peter was anxiously grabbing and ripping any paper product within arm reach, eyes darting like pinballs. It had been months since we had strong coffee and these beans were strong, single origin and soaking into our pores. We were ready to run a marathon. Needless to say we went there every morning for our fix. If you are in the neighborhood check it out. The guy that owns the place is literally a buff bald barista with a tattoo of “The Bald Barista” on the back of his skull. Service is great and the coffee is fantastic. Voted best coffee in Dublin. Peter and I will vouch for it.

One of our afternoons in Dublin Peter created a walking tour which took us all around the city. We visited the Dublin Castle, Dublin Garden, paid our respects at St Patrick’s Cathedral and strolled down a number of shopping districts and young bohemian neighborhoods, as well as Trinity College. Here are some pictures we took along our walking tour.


Trinity College was particularly fun to walk through and see a bit of campus life. Also because my sister in law, Lisa studied there. It made me excited to see her and ask her about college life in Dublin. The feel of Dublin has a lively, down to earth, and friendly vibe. I imagine that she had a blast during her time at Trinity College and in Dublin at that time of her life.

We visited the library on campus where we viewed the Book of Kells exhibit. The Book of Kells was finished by St Jerome in 384 AD and contains four gospels of the New Testament in Latin. It is considered a treasure to the country. Peter wasn’t impressed.

The Trinity school library, however, contains books authored by the likes of Shakespeare, Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, amongst others. They are all housed in the area of the library called the Long Room – pretty unreal and breathing scholastics.

Peter had done the research for our day walk; I put together a list for our pub crawl that night. After taking in all the sights we settled into a pub with live music and ordered of course a couple of Guinness.


Our pub crawl kicked started at Teac Na Ceibe, then to Temple Bar, followed by Bad Bob’s for dinner, and ended at the Old Store House.

The Old Store House was like something you would see out of the movie, “PS: I love You.” The main character in the film, Hillary Swank, goes to Ireland with her girlfriends and all these dreamy Irish men could sing like angles and play instruments like no other. It was a treat and made for such an entertaining and what felt like an authentic Irish night.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

The musicians and the laid back vibe of the pub was truly a highlight of Dublin for me.

Another noteworthy spot for Peter and I was a restaurant recommended by my High School buddy Aprille, The Winding Stair. It has a beautiful view over the Liffey River and overlooked the Ha Penny Bridge. The food was probably the best we had while we were in Dublin and the menu boasted more healthy options than we had yet to see.

After a few nights of relaxing while also taking in a good amount of Dublin we rented a car and headed across country to the Western coast of Ireland. First stop: Killarney and the Ring of Kerry.

Thank you to all my loyal fans. I don’t know how I have continued to get so as many hits on my blog everyday after the huge hiatus I have taken, but I am grateful to all of you. I have taken a huge break from blogging due to so much traveling lately. But no excuses!

I am committed to getting caught up the beginning of this year. I’m now equipped with a computer opposed to an iPad which has made writing so much easier.  I also have a new camera, Nikon 5200.  I am so ready.  We are heading to Indonesia in a couple days with Andrew Ralston. Peter and Andrew plan to work and surf. I plan to blog, read, and relax. How wonderful does that sound? So thanks for going back in time with me as I chronicle our journeys.

Much love and Irish kisses


  • Aprille

    So glad you liked the Winding Stair! I thought it was a unique spot. Shocked that Peter was unimpressed by the Book of Kells! That and the Long Room were awe inspiring to me and Chris. Then again, we are total nerds! :)

  • Peter is a nerd too. I think he was in the mood for something different at the time. It’s too bad we were on the opposite side of the country then you. Would have been so fun to meet up. Thanks so much for following. Hope wedding planning is coming along.

  • Becky Lessley

    Finally!!!! I have been trying to post and having nothing but troubles. Operator error, I am sure. Mike and I are driving back from Vegas, so I am using my time wisely to catch up on your blog. Awesome job again. You can publish this whole blog as a book when you are done with your travels.I will be your editor for a certain percent :) Love the pix of Peter in the pub. Handsome husband. On to the next entry.

  • Very handsome husband indeed. I am one lucky lady. Thanks for catching up with us. A blog into a book, that would be something.

  • Becky Lessley

    So, Jaime, you sent me a message that I can’t find now. You wanted me to do something? Or go somewhere on the web? Have company here, kind of half read your message. Now really wanting to read it and can’t find it. Help?

  • Rosemary Hodges

    Loved Ireland and evidently so did you. Wish I had see more of Dublin. Only in and out of the airport. So thanks for all the interesting stuff. Know what I missed. Need to go back.

  • Dublin would be a fun place for us to go together.