I recently had a big birthday and wanted to celebrate in a big way.  So I grabbed two of my best friends and went to Ireland.  The cast of characters: myself, KTB random freshman year roomie at U of I, and KTwill next door dorm neighbor and technology whiz.  The trip was planned by travel agent extraordinaire Aunt Nancy.  One week to explore Ireland with a loose itinerary subject to change at any time.

I arrived in Dublin and met up with KTwill and KTB at the airport.  They had previously been exploring London on their own.  I insisted on taking a cab since I was grumpy, carrying a 30 pound backpack, and wearing 3 inch heels.  We arrived at the lovely Shelbourne Hotel.  When we pulled up in the cab we looked at one another and wondered, “are we really staying here?!”  When we walked up to the check in desk we heard the next best words, “you have been upgraded to a suite.”  It was a wonderful start to the trip.

Making our to do list with Rick Steves' Ireland 2011

We started off with breakfast at Bewley’s on Grafton Street, which was followed by a hunt for a SIM card for the IPhone junkie.  That day we went to the Number 29 Georgian House Museum, which I loved.  My favorite part of history is learning about the daily lives of regular people and compare them to modern day.  We wandered around hitting up parks and stumbling upon Avoca, which is the more fabulous Irish sister of Anthropologie.  Their woven wool throws are gorgeous, and as a knitter I know my wooly crafts!  If I was a souvenir person one of their throws would be on the top of my list.  We had an early dinner at Porterhouse, which I highly recommend.  Excellent bar food at very reasonable prices, yummy beer, and a good mix of locals and tourists.

Sampling all of the delicious Porterhouse brews

When we arrived home there was a bottle of Prosecco waiting for us from my mom and aunt to celebrate my birthday… a great finish to our first day in Ireland.