I think I may have fallen in love this Valentine’s Day. Yes, I was lucky enough to get a visit from my girlfriend this past weekend, but it wasn’t her I fell in love with. Nor was it the big strong rugged men I watched play rugby that Saturday afternoon. No, it wasn’t any person or thing I fell for, it was a place. I fell in love with a city that’s small enough to consider itself a village and is dubbed Dublin.
More than anything this Valentine’s Day was just a perfect day that started off with a great breakfast. “We’ll have one green eggs and ham and a Fumbally eggs please” I told the hipsterly dressed cashier behind the register. Madelyn, my girlfriend, and I then found a place to sit and after looking around the place both remarked how “Portland” the Fumbally Café is. From big beards to the retro clothing, the books to the dogs and also how not one piece of the décor matched, but seemed to fit all together in a weird way, satisfied a little bit of nostalgia we both have for our home away from home in the Pacific Northwest.
Once the food came it got even better. Both dishes consisted of a slice of bread topped with scrambled eggs, the Fumbally eggs topped with a tomato and other garnishes, the green eggs and ham topped with a mountain of homemade guacamole and bits of chorizo. The bread itself may have been the best things I have ever put in my mouth, the eggs were scrambled to perfection, the guac was creamy, and the chorizo tingled your taste buds, even the OJ was freshly squeezed and delicious.
Needless to say both our stomachs left the cafe happy and satisfied. From there we stumbled our way through the sunny streets past all the French and all the tourists, after a walk through Trinity College Merrion Square was to be our destination. Somehow we found our way to the park and wanted to find a nice place to sit and soak up some sun, but after walking through it and taking in the different statues of famous people in history and monuments dedicated to soldiers there wasn’t a good place to sit so we hopped over to St. Stevens Green.
Once inside St. Stevens we took a seat on the fountain right in the middle of the park. As we sat, we silently watched all the families with their young kids taking advantage of this beautiful day, the kidos faces lit up with pure joy as they ran through the park. After a quick rest we decided we needed a little bit of gelato and what we got was gelato and a show.
Now, you can walk down Grafton Street just about any time of day and will come across a street performer or two, on this occasion we just so happened to see and escape artist. His act consisted of a lot of bad sexual jokes, a bunch of chains, a strait jacket and two audience volunteers. After some huffing and puffing he eventually pulled a Houdini and escaped.
After a quick nap it was time to meet up with your man Josh to take in some six nation’s rugby. Ireland versus France, the game was played at Aviva Stadium here in Dublin and there were many a Frenchmen who made the journey north, I think most of them were here for the Guinness rather than the rugby. We walked into the Bleeding Horse greeted by a sea of green and Irish pride. The place was standing room only. We took our stand perfectly positioned in front of the bar and the big screen.
The French were more fluid and for the most part outplayed the Irish, but the Irish managed to draw more penalties and as a result scored more penalty kicks. The French scored the only try of the match with about ten minutes left in the game which put a little excitement and worry back into the game, but the in the end the Irish prevailed. After just barely taking care of business against the French it’ll be interesting to see how the Irish stack up against the English next round. One thing’s for sure you’ll find me back at the Bleeding Horse to watching the match.
By this time the sun had gone down and the moon had come up, let the night begin. I’ll try to not bore you with the details here, but on this night somewhere in this city I tripped on the cobblestone streets and fell for Dublin. Starting with fish and chips and ending at the Workman’s there was never a dull moment. From fighting your way past drunken Frenchmen with their scarfs and berets, to running into friends in dark alleyways, and even a free concert by Ham Sandwich, whose album is coming out April 17, you should check it out. There was also a swanky drink in the ever so fancy Liquor Rooms and a few pints at Cassidy’s which was voted as bar of the year and further perpetuates Dublin’s secret obsession with Star Wars.
Now if you know me I’m not the most romantic person you’ve ever met, probably far from it but on this Valentine’s Day there was a little leprechaun playing the strings of the harp in my chest and singing a sweet Dublin tune that made me fall in love with a city I’ve only been dating for a month.