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And yes, I do remember it! Does that set the tone for the rest of the post or what??
Anyways, allow me to get to the story. Friday last, I had taken the day to work from home. I did some writing, worked out a bit of my reports and the like when not tending to the feast I was preparing. Scott and Lauren were off to their friends in Wexford for the weekend leaving Alison and I to our own devices in the apartment.
We had decided to do Powers Court Gardens in Co Wicklow on Saturday and Ryan would be coming too. Due to bad weather, the call was made to push it all back to Sunday which was fine with me. Unfortunately, they changed their mind at 8:30 in the morning and I wasn't so much interested in getting my butt out of bed on Saturday morning. So they set off on their own adventure but I wanted some fun myself. So begins the epic day that followed.
I decided that it being my last weekend in Ireland and all, that I would go out and do a marathon of the Porterhouse pubs. There are four in Ireland so they would be my stops for the day. The furthest away was in Bray - about an hour's journey on the DART (commuter rail) south of the city. I arrived in town and wandered around until I was able to find my way to the pub. It was a bit of a cave - dark with red lights to shed some light without making it bright.
I sampled their Porterhouse Red Ale while reading their little primer on the different types of beer and how they are made (Did you know a Lager is a "bottom fermented" beer?). I followed that pint up with a glass of their Porterhouse Plain Porter - so clean and smooth. The whole while Seamus, the bartender, and I had struck up quite the conversation. We were watching the rugby and chatting up the waitresses while sharing favorite brews and stories of the good 'ole days. After those were down I took my leave and decided to hike the big hill with a cross on it at Bray Head.
Let's just say that it was an hour or so later of walking that I noticed I hadn't come across a trail head and was making my way around the far side of the hill. Clearly, I had missed the boat on this one. Oh well - it was a good 10km jaunt to the next town over by way of a gorgeous seaside trail. After chatting up an old Irish fellow at the DART station, it was time to head back to Dublin City Center.
Upon arrival in the city I grabbed some food quickly and took note of the abundance of goth kids running around in their black, metal addorned clothing. One group rolled into the restuarant basically carrying one girl. She couldn't hold herself up let alone keep her head from flopping onto the table with flexibility that would make Gumby jealous. Being the concerned citizen I am, I made sure to tell the Guarda so she could get some medical attention (either on the verge of alcohol poisoning or had some serious drugs in her) and it was only about half six at this point.
To Porterhouse Central next where I ordered a Temple Brau - tasty for sure. More rugby to be seen and at that point I noticed another guy watching the match by himself. Side note -the match was international rugby for the Barclays cup and was being played in Chicago. Jeff, the guy's name, was a financial planner working for a Boiler Room sort of company and had dreams of going out on his own. Anyways, we talked a good bit and when he said he was home to the wife and kids I took my opportunity to part ways and head to the second to last Porterhouse in Temple Bar. Of course, it was on Jeff's way so he came too.
Now, mind you that I'm a responsible adult and all that but I felt rather uncomfortable with letting this guy buy me a couple pints. I didn't think that he was going to drug me, nor was he trying to take me home. To me, it was more like the guy wanted someone to drink with and since I was "on holiday" (as he put it) I wasn't allowed to buy a single drink. This was new territory for me. I've never had someone else buy me a drink that wasn't later reciprocated etc... I guess when you're as cool as me you've got to get used to that (HAHA BIG JOKE). He introduced me to an excellent Polish Strong Beer - Okocim Mocne (7% ABV) that was absolutely tasty.
To Temple Bar we go where he again refuses to let me buy a round for the two of us. We siddled up to a table and enjoyed some modern Celtic music - very cool. They had all sorts of traditional instruments alongside guitars and drums. A very interesting sound. Speaking of instruments - I've made a promise to myself. If I can teach myself to play the guitar this summer and stay at it, and really dedicate time to it as I've been neglecting to ever since that day mom and I got my Dean Exotica. If I can do that and really be true to it all, then I'll buy myself some uilleann pipes because I've been absolutely taken away by their sound and their songs.
From Porterhouse Temple Bar, Jeff steared me to the Brazen Head - Dublin's oldest pub situated on what would have been the outskirts of old Duvlin - the Nordic settlement. He got the Guinness and I got the seats. We ended up sharing a table with a Montreal transplant and a migrated Limey. They were good fun though it was a bit odd when the lady was probing to see if Jeff or I were cops - she wanted to light up a joint right there in the open air bar... which she did.
From the Brazen Head, I took my leave from Jeff - good luck to that merry soul. Thank you for the pints, my friend. I met up with my old roommate from UCD, Fergal. It was his last night in Dublin before heading back to Luxombourg with his family Sunday morning. After the hellos and a bathroom stop at Burger King on lower O'Connell, we headed our way to the Porterhouse North. It was the first time I had walked through the North Side - definitely an experience.
Upon our arrival at Porterhouse North, I walked in no problem despite my cargo pants and hiking boots... and Fergs was stopped immediately even though he was well kept (for him at least). I love not getting carded - it'll be a real change when we get back to the States. This time around I ordered myself the Oyster Stout, a beer that I had sipped before and could actually taste the seafood - GROSS! This time around, it was great but I'm not sure whether that was something to do with my current state or if my taste buds had really just changed that much. Oh dear it's going be interesting to come back to the States and the crappy beer etc etc.
Anyways, the cap of the night came next. We headed out the back of the clubby pub to their patio since it was a nice night out. Almost as soon as we sat down at a table, a bit of a fight broke out right behind me. Anyone who knows me well knows I'm very protective and can act like the security guard. Well before I knew it I was on my feet holding this drunk back so he wouldn't pummell this much smaller guy. When said drunk started to try to hit me I decided it was time to put an end to it. I told the guy we were going down and I *gently* brought the guy to the ground and *lightly* put my knee on his back to keep him from going anywhere. The bouncers came in as I was getting a good round of applause and they took care of boucning then entire group.
I had gone back to my beer when a LARGE black bouncer was coming towards me. All I could think of was theat he was going to bounce me for taking the drunk down and that I'd not get to finish my drink :-( sad thoughts, I know. Quite the opposite, the bouncer told me to talk with the waitress and that she'd take care of me for the rest of the night. Needless to say, I buy another drink that night - completely not expected but whole heartedly appreciated! Thanks, Porterhouse bouncer!
So for an entire day of travel, food, drink, and fun I had spent less than 20 Euro when I ought to have spent at least triple that for all the craic that had been had. It was an amazing ni Fergal and I capped it off by taking one last photo before parting ways and then I headed north and walked my ass home. I would say it was a learning experience and a confidence boosting night - I couldn't have asked for a better Saturday.
So back to work - I have the reseach report for work, a presentatifo them as well. Then there is that journal entry thing that I need to do for BU as well as their research report... this last week has inevitably come down to crunch time as it usually does with me. I need to learn how to plan this stuff out better!