In early October, we were invited to go on a pilgrimage trip with Brian’s work to learn about the founding sister of the hospital group he works for and… spouses were invited along. Even though we flew out the day after homecoming and we had to pack up the teens (and a kitten) to stay with my mom for 8 days, we knew we couldn’t pass up this opportunity! It was exhausting and my mom and both teens got sick while we were gone, but we had a lot of fun!
Brian’s work put us up at the Merrion Hotel, which is one of the top hotels in Europe and Ireland. The Merrion encompasses four meticulously restored Georgian townhouses, contains the largest private collection of 19th and 20th century art and a Michelin starred restaurant. The service was top notch with them organizing my beauty products each morning, to adding cord organizers to my flat iron and the doorman even wore a bowler hat! There were just so many fine details about this hotel and we had a gorgeous garden view from our hotel window.
Once we landed in Dublin, we arrived at the hotel around 7:30 a.m., but our room wouldn’t be ready until the afternoon. They checked our bags for us and directed us to their breakfast buffet, which had a little bit of everything. I will say that Ireland has the best yogurt, as you’ll see in the photo above that I have two jars of it on my plate. Ha, ha! We found all of the food so fresh and delicious in Ireland and the hotel made the BEST cappuccinos with white AND brown sugar cubes given in a jar alongside them. I might have had wayyy too many cappuccinos on this trip, but I couldn’t resist them!
The first few days in Dublin, we had unseasonably warm weather in the 70’s. The rest of the week it got into the 40-50’s with a little rain here and there. Fall was upon Dublin and we saw a lot of beautiful foliage with the trees turning. I did not sleep well on the overnight flight, so it was an up and at it walking day to stay awake and see all of the sights that Dublin had to offer!
I had a list of all of the sights I wanted to see in Dublin and they were all fairly walkable. We didn’t hit all of them on the first day, but we hit most of them. First up, we had the historic Molly Malone statue. This is a bronze statue of a fictional fishmonger named Molly Malone, the star of a well-known Irish song.
Then we headed over to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which was founded in 1191 as a Roman Catholic cathedral. It is currently the national cathedral of the Church of Ireland and is the largest church in Ireland. St. Patrick’s Park, a grassy square in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a nice place to sit and face the cathedral. There is a large fountain that had a lot of birds playing in it.
Next we walked over to see Christ Church Cathedral. Christ Church Cathedral is the cathedral of the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough and the cathedral of the ecclesiastical province of the United Provinces of Dublin and Cashel in the Church of Ireland.
Then we walked over to Trinity College and got tickets to see the Book of Kells, which is a very long hallway of old books.
We still had time to kill until we had our room, so after checking off most of the landmarks on my list, we headed over to see the St. Stephen’s Green, which is a large park near our hotel. We saw a beautiful swan and… I saw chestnuts!
These Carrolls Irish Gift stores were everywhere in Dublin and we found some really cool gifts to take home to my mom and the teens.
We got back to the hotel and our room was almost ready, but we still had a little time to wait… so, we decided to have some charcuterie! When on vacation, why not? Brian ordered a coke and it came in a cute little glass bottle, with a glass with an orange piece in it. I try not to each cheese very often back at home, but I thoroughly enjoyed it on our trip!
I really enjoy afternoon tea times and I was looking for one in Dublin and I couldn’t believe the top one to try was at our very own hotel, the Merrion. They had their Andy Warhol Pop Art themed afternoon tea going on while we were there and it was REALLY neat! They gave us a book to look up the three pieces of art that they selected to base the afternoon tea on so that we could read more about them.
Here is a photo of us at the afternoon tea, complete with a glass of champagne! So fun!
Now, I’m sure you are wanting to see the spread of food. Everything was delicious. The desserts were based off the pieces of art (the Marilyn Monroe one on the far right was my absolute fave!) were almost too pretty to eat. What a fun experience and it was nice and relaxing since it was at our hotel, given it was the day we flew in.
I have 3 more Ireland posts coming up… there was so much we did that I can’t wait to share it all on here!