The best part of having someone visit you in a place that’s still new to you is dragging them to all the touristy places you’ve yet to see. This past weekend my cousin, Missy, flew over from London, where she is studying abroad, and I was able to do just that. From the Guinness Factory to the Blarney Castle, I dragged her all over the country—forcing as much Irish as I could into three days. While I wanted her to have a quintessential experience, I was also happy to be very Irish for the weekend because often my time is spent in class or traveling—not enjoying Ireland itself
To kick off the weekend fate threw a funny curveball at us as we wound up in a potato chip tasting. As we were walking down Grafton Street an older woman somehow shuffled us into a shop where we found ourselves in a room full of numbered potato chips. After several rounds of chips (or crisps) with different tastes and textures we left with saltier stomachs and complimentary scratch off tickets. Before this had happened I joked to Missy about the Irish being obsessed with their potatoes and luckily enough I needed no help in proving this.
We spent most of our weekend in Dublin where we went to the Guinness Factory, on a cliff walk in Howth, and to some local pubs for Halloween. Quite spontaneously, however, we chose to take a quick trip down to Cork for Sunday night to go see the Blarney Castle and stay in a perfectly little B&B (all touristy things I have no shame in admitting to!).
One of the things I love about Ireland is the ability to travel. Though the country itself isn’t too large, there are so many things to see and you can easily get to them in a few hours by train or bus. So after booking a train and return bus on Saturday, we headed south Sunday morning.
After getting to Cork and finding our B&B, we were pleasantly surprised with all Cork had to offer. Our B&B hosts were beyond kind and helpful in pointing out things to do and pubs with the best live music. After taking a short bus ride to Blarney we were able to see the castle, kiss the stone, and grab a grilled cheese all in a short foggy afternoon. Later that evening we explored the city and made up our own live music pub-crawl where we saw both traditional and non-traditional Irish bands play. We also made sure to have our daily serving of potatoes and beer for dinner!
Though our visit only lasted a few days, I’d say this is the most Irish weekend I’ve had yet. Maybe I should ask for visitors more often!