Leaving Ireland without exploring the West Coast in any capacity would have been the greatest regret of my wee life. For our final weekend on this glorious island, we journeyed from Dublin to Dingle to celebrate Stella’s twentieth birthday.
I think if anyone asks me what my favorite birthday of my life has been, I’ll have to say it was Stella Meillon’s twentieth birthday. Dingle is divine. We had the kind of weekend where one thing after another makes it seem like life has been curated just for you. Let me tell you about it in scrumptious detail.
The train ride slid by in the blink of my hungover eye and suddenly we were deposited to heaven on earth. The peaceful seaside town was a much needed respite from the constant ambient noise of Dublin, which is always ringing with car alarms, screeching gulls, and the startled vexations of pedestrians who’ve almost been trucked by a taxi. We were incredibly lucky with the weather: the sun was shining from the moment we arrived and continued to warm our salty cheeks all weekend. On our way to our cute little bed and breakfast we treated ourselves to Murphy’s strawberry ice cream, and by gum, I was at such peace that my bowels didn’t even punish me for it. After a nap with the window open (my favorite kind), we set out to explore the town as the sun set, walking along the pier into a warm wind. If you go to Dingle, you must try the chili monkfish at Fishbox, and you must double over in laughter when your Irish friend Cian spills his chili sauce all over place but proceeds to scrape it off a stone and eat it anyway.
The next morning we set off for the Eask Tower, which is perched sweetly on a grassy hill across the bay from town. The journey to Eask was sweaty, and accompanied by a calculated assault of very persistent flies, but the views from the top were unmatched. The peninsula is lined with incredible cliffs, the kind you imagine when you picture a “Pride and Prejudice” moment where you stand with your skirts whipping in the wind and gaze out unto the wide world and the bottomless sea. I’ve never giggled with joy so much in my life. It was disgusting. A long walk back was followed by another nap, and then dinner out for Stella’s birthday at a very nice restuarant where we stuck out like sore thumbs. Every single one of us ate off the placemat until we realized our appetizer plates were hidden under a delicately folded napkin. Classy.
Our final hours in Dingle were spent on the beach, wading into the warm, shallow water and chasing a playful young border collie who we named “Shep”. Stella and Cian built a sandcastle. After we got a deep-fried Twix from Harringtons, we begrudingly got on the bus back to Dublin and watched the coastline disappear through the rear window.
It was a stupendous weekend. I thought I couldn’t love Ireland more. Now I am fantasizing of being a little Dingle school teacher with a border collie and ocean-swimming morning ritual. I would eat fish and teach all the Dingle babies to read.
It can’t be overstated that I am having one of the best summers of my life. I am so grateful for my friends, for fried fish, for the ocean, for dogs, and for love. Ew. Not long now before I head home, but I know for a fact I will return to Dingle.
Off we go!
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<p>Hi, I'm Gaby and I'm here to tell you all about my summer in Dublin! I'm a writer, artist, and full-blown human being who was born once and now is walking the cobblestoned streets of Dublin with an eye for all things tasty, beautiful, gross, and enlightening. Originally from Portland, Oregon, I'm part amphibious and am anticipating fitting right in to Ireland's cool and damp climate. I'm passionate about unfolding the most out of an experience as possible- come along with me as I make mistakes, learn, grow, and eat a shepherd's pie or two.</p>