Posted by Kelli Joan Bennett
Day 138. We are so lucky because a nice local Irish lad by the name of Peter O’Connor is our unofficial guide on this trip. He’s one of the experts on Bar Rescue—a whiskey and cocktail expert to be exact—and he’s here for the shoot. How lucky are we? We all met at our hotel bar last night. After a tour of the rest of the hotel he proceeded to take us to two local pubs instead of the standard tourist traps. Any questions we had, Peter was at the ready with a detailed, passionate answer. Along the way, we walked by the beautiful General Post Office. Peter shared the history behind the statue of Cú Chulainn, the mythical Irish hero who tied himself to a tree (a stone in other stories) in order to keep fighting and to die on his feet. The statue is above the inscription of Ireland’s declaration of Independence from British rule. Below the declaration are the names of the seven leaders responsible for the Easter Uprising that launched an insurrection to found an Irish Republic. Their execution is what led to Ireland’s outrage and ultimate emancipation from England.
The first pub Peter took us to was an adorable little hole in the wall with weathered working Irishmen bellied up to the bar and a salt of the earth 60 something barkeep who came by and shook our hands. He and Peter are old friends. Apparently, one night, when Peter was the only one left drinking at the bar and the barkeeper was about to close up, there was a last minute rush. Peter had to jump behind the bar and help pour pints for the next hour. I am blanking on the name of this lovely man and his establishment this morning. I’ll ask Peter later.
From there we went to a pub right next to the River Liffey called Peadar Kearney’s. Peter’s friend owns it and we had a blast. We sat on barstools next to beer barrels for our pints to rest on and were serenaded by a local playing acoustic guitar and a harmonica—the kind that has a neck holder so you can play it while you also play your guitar. He was fantastic! He sang an eclectic mix from Tracy Chapman to Eric Clapton to true blue Irish ballads. He also sang “Ordinary Man” by Christy Moore and it brought me to tears—granted I’d been drinking but still, Irish history is littered with devastating heartbreak.
Of course, we were starving after much drink and merriment. Our main choices at the late hour were burgers or pizza but Peter wisely recommended, “ta best late night kabob place in Dublin.” A chicken kabob wrapped in a falafel has never tasted so good! I really wish I could remember the name of it. I’ll have to ask Peter. After our bellies were full, Peter and the show’s production manager, James, and production coordinator, Jason, continued on their pub crawl. Uh-mazing Romantic Partner and I crawled to our hotel room. We didn’t even attempt to keep up with his young crew and certainly not the Irish native.
The remainder of day 2 in Dublin was a resounding hit with me but I’m not going to lie, at the start of day 3, I’m feeling yesterday’s pub tour. I’m writing this from my hotel bed. Room service and a nap are on the horizon. But there’s still so much to see and do here in Dublin and I only have about 48 more hours to do it in! No. Not going to freak out. I refuse to panic and go full tilt psycho tourist. I know I won’t get to everything and that’s okay. I feel like I’ve already gotten so much from Peter the wonderful local and his amazing city—anything else from this point forward is gravy. I’m just so thankful I’m getting to experience even this small slice of Ireland! I can feel my gratitude going off the charts, my creative well filling up and my inspiration meter rising. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Until tomorrow, create from what you have…locals.