Thursday 8 February 2007.

Today was a pretty good day. I’m fully adjusted to the time zone now – it took about 2 full days to get on track.

Work went well and one of our client’s employees invited us to go to lunch at the Guinness Storehouse Restaurant. This was a nice treat.

It was snowing when we left the office for lunch and around 28 degrees Fahrenheit – nice and chilly for a hot lunch. I ordered ‘bacon and cabbage over a bed of mashed potatoes.’ – a real traditional Irish meal, and it was fantastic. Strangely enough though, I didn’t order a Guinness (in the heart of Guinness World no less) since I was working…a drink in the middle of the day still doesn’t feel right yet. But, I am in Ireland, so I’m sure that idea will warm up to me eventually 😉

It turns out that I made a good choice – the locals here say that the Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse restaurant isn’t as good as in other places in town (I and they have no clue why this would be the case). Apparently the pubs closest to the Storehouse are all great and the ‘ideal’ place for freshest Guinness. I think I’ll need to try one at McGruder’s some time (the great pub closest to work) – the guys at work say it has one of the best pints in all of Dublin.

Work finished without fanfare and we went back to the hotel to relax a bit. Then we went to an awesome pub right next to the hotel – it was called the Castle Pub or something similar – I can’t remember. The interior was great – a traditional pub through and through – thick and heavy wooden beans, round pub tables, cozy seating alcoves, Guinness posters and other assorted beer advertisements plastered all over the plastered walls. Of course I had a Guinness w/ my beef ‘n Guiness stew (w/ a puff pastry crust) – naturally the two complemented each other quite well.

We finished a great dinner and since this was the first time all 4 of us were at dinner together, we decided to hang out a while longer and order dessert. We got the menus and there it was – staring me blatantly in the face – a fried Mars Bar with vanilla ice cream.

You see, I’ve heard about these weird things that are popular in the U.K. before. It definitely sounds weird. But I was so intrigued by the absurdity of it, I told myself that if I was ever near of in the U.K. again, I would try one. So I ordered one. Jeff had some awesome brownie w/ Jameson’s whisky and butterscotch sauce. Julio had some traditional pie that tasted like a Dulche de Leche pastry – darn good. Chris thought that a low-ball serving of Jameson’s was good enough for desert on its own. And they gave me the fried Mars bar.

I was totally surprised! It was like a donut filled with chocolaty, caramelly, gnutella-y goodness. It tasted yummy, even if the consistency was kind of weird. Now that I’ve gotten that strange desire to try one out of my system, I think I may avoid any more. It was good, but lord knows that will kill you if you eat too many.

After dinner we went back to the hotel and just relaxed and watched some tv.

Now that I think about it, I’ve had a Guinness per day since I’ve been to this country. I wonder if that is a trend I’ll keep up throughout my stay. Sounds like a good challenge. 😀