Land of the Free, Home of the best fast food in the world. I LOVE living in Dublin, but oh how I miss the greasy French fries and overly-generous portions of American fast food. There’s really nothing quite like it.
And though Ireland does have a few US chains like McDonalds, Burger King, and KFC, they’re just not the same. The portion sizes are smaller, and they just taste different. (That’s probably because they’re lacking the artificial ingredients found in the States that are illegal in most other places because they aren’t meant for human consumption, BUT STILL.)
I’ve gotten used to, and mostly forgotten about, fast food places they have in the States that they don’t have here in Dublin. But then, every once in a while, I’m reminded. Someone utters the word “Popeyes” and I start foaming at the mouth. I wasn’t even a huge fast food eater back at home, but as soon as I hear magical words like “Taco Bell” uttered, I’m a goner. What’s that phrase again, “Distance Makes the Heart Go Fonder?” Well, that’s exactly what I’m suffering from.
Now, keep in mind that I’m from South Louisiana, and I realize that some of these chains aren’t everywhere in the US. But for me, these are THE best and the American chains Dublin needs, like, STAT.
Tourists know it as “the” place to go out and have a wild night. Locals know it as the area over-saturated with tourists and overpriced drinks. Everyone knows it as the messy headquarters of drunkenness come nightfall.
But, Temple Bar is actually much more than what both locals and tourists give it credit for. Locals tend to stay away most of the time because of the bad rep the tourists have given it. And tourists mainly go at night and dirty up the streets with trash and bodily fluids during their drunken escapades. But, it’s so much more than what it becomes come nightfall.
Since no trip to Dublin is complete without a look into Temple Bar, 99.9% of all tourists in Dublin WILL end up in there, and WILL want to see what the hype is about and why all the guidebooks always say to visit. Some may find that it’s overcrowded, overhyped, and overpriced. And it is. But there’s a also a certain magic to Temple Bar. You just have to know when and where to look for it.
HAPPY ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY TO ME AND MY DEAREST DUBLIN!
I’ve officially hit the year mark since moving to the great place, and what an amazing year it’s been! However, this latest month of Irish life here has been a heck of a stressful one, both in good and bad ways.
Recently, we’ve been #blessed with fantastic, sunny weather in Dublin. Although Ireland isn’t known for having a warm, pleasant climate (because let’s be honest, IT DOESN’T), that doesn’t mean that it’s raining and miserable all of the time…only most of the time.
But really, although the cold and rain are not ideal and definitely gets old after a while, what I love about Dublin is how alive the city becomes on a beautiful, warm day. Especially on the weekends. Nothing is more miserable than being stuck inside at work on a gorgeous day, only for it to be raining all weekend. So if it’s a sunny Saturday or Sunday, you’re guaranteed to see the city buzzing. People flooded to the parks, the zoo, the canals, and of course the pubs with outside seating (it is Ireland, after all).
But you’ll also find that people will enjoy the sun, and get their exercise in, by enjoying one of Dublin’s many walking routes. There are some amazing landscapes just outside of Dublin’s city limits that provide great views on sunny days. But, there are also some amazing views to be seen right in the heart of the city itself!
From a light hike on a rugged coastal landscape, to a sunset walk along the canal, to a light morning stroll admiring 4-story Georgian houses….Dublin has amazing walks and walking paths to choose from that vary in every sense of the word…level of difficulty, length, type of views, etc. But one thing they have in common is that they are all PERFECT for a sunny, pleasant day!
Right after the craziness of St. Patrick’s Day, Dublin went right into full on 1916 mode – something that had been building up all year.
Easter Sunday 2016 marked the 100 year anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. In 1916, Irish republicans wanted to end British rule in Ireland and establish an independent Irish Republic, and strategically planned the Rising while England was really distracted by being involved in WWI. Although it didn’t “work” in the sense that it wasn’t successful in completely throwing off English rule, it was the most significant uprising in Ireland since the rebellion of 1798and kicked off the struggle for Irish independence.
So there’s a history lesson, and a little glimpse just as to why the 1916 Easter Rising centenary was such a huge deal not only around Dublin, but around the whole of Ireland!
The day of all days to be in Dublin….the day I’ve been waiting to experience since moving here almost a year ago…
ST. PATRICK’S DAY!
Or, Paddy’s Day, as the Irish call it.
(And just a PSA for all fellow Americans…it’s not St. Pat or St. Patty’s Day. It’s PADDY, wit D’s. And saying/spelling it otherwise is a bit of a pet peeve for many Irish people. It’s OK, I was guilty once too.)
Although it involved a lot of crowds and a lot of chaos, it was something that every avid traveler should try to experience at least once in their life. Ya know, just for the craic!
How was everyone’s Halloween? Mine was fantastic…the perfect way to ring in not only the end of October, but the end of our 6th month living in Ireland, meaning we’re halfway there! (singing “Livin’ On a Prayer” as I typed that FYI).
When October started I was in Croatia, and when October ended I was in Galway celebrating Halloween, with a few concerts (Diplo and James Bay) and a trip to Cork for the Cork Jazz Festival in between. So I definitely got my travel in! But with this being the official halfway mark of our year-long visa, I can’t help but start to think about life after our Visa is up and begin to research what I can do to be able to stay longer (because I’ll do anything).
So, as always, here is my obligatory post recapping yet another month of life here in Ireland! This past Monday marked the anniversary of our move here, bringing month #4 to a close!
And holy crap, what another whirlwind of a month! The expat adventures never end, which I guess come with moving to a foreign country. It’s like…I’m still doe-eyed and loving it (I call it the “Honeymoon Phase”), but I also really feel comfortable and at home here.
According to Urban Dictionary, the definition of the “meat sweats” is: To consume an obsene amount of meat resulting in profuse sweating.
I swear this is a real thing. It happens to me all the time! And it was especially real last weekend at Dublin’s Big Grill Festival, where I consumed an absurd about of meat. But it’s ok because I also had an absurd amount of fun!!!!!! (OK, so that was really cheesy…)
So, if you’ve been watching the news recently, or are in the least bit up-to-date with current events (or you follow me on instagram here or here), you are probably well aware of Ireland’s recent referendum. This past Friday, May 22nd, over 60% of Irish voters voted YES to a referendum to change the Irish constitution to legalize same-sex marriage, making it the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote!