Schuh Review: Guinness Storehouse

When I arrived in Dublin by plane, I got off the plane, picked up my dublin city attraction card thing (I paid a lump sum to go to a bunch of places, ya know the drill) and used it to get on a shuttle to the city center.  I reached the city center, found my hostel (very easily I might add because I am a direction genius,) dropped off my bag, and decided on my first destination: the Guinness Storehouse.   

Obviously I decided on this as my first destination because I love beer and what better way to introduce myself to a new city than a beer tour with beer at the end all courtesy of my new discount card.  I will also note here that I saw no less than three men wheeling kegs around Dublin while finding my hostel.  It was a sign of good life. 

The Guinness Storehouse was very easy to find thanks to the many signs pointing to attractions all over Dublin.  Unfortunately this close attention to attraction signage does not apply to street signage.  There are street signs almost nowhere.  I got this in Ghana, but hello, this is a large Western city.  I thought at first maybe it was because they want to cater to locals instead of tourists...and then I was like wait in Madison I still need street signs to get around and I've been living there my whole life.  So this remains a mystery to me.   

I got to skip the line at the Guinness because of my card, and the whole thing started in a big atrium that is supposed to be shaped like a pint glass.  You start at the bottom and the tour is on floors going up the sides.  Pretty cool.  It was a self guided tour after the first introduction, which was fine because I wanted to stay and read everything very carefully like a nerd while everyone else looked at slash touched some grain and kept walking.  So I immediately delved into beer-snob-nerd ism by careully reading every sign and taking dutiful pictures for my brewing friends.

I highly recommend this attraction for anyone who likes to learn about beer.  If I weren't a nerd it would have been less interesting because it's very much about the chemical stuff, but there's also a good history section and a really fun floor about the advertising history of Guinness.   

Learning to pour your own pint of Guinness, one of the hallmarks of the tour, was quite fun because they take the time to let each person actually do it instead of being rushed.  Another plus of this facet of the tour is then you can judge every bartender afterwards because most of them don't actually do it right. 

As for this attraction as a solo traveler, it was great while I was nerding out and reading about beer, but it got a little lonely once I had my beer and was sitting on the top floor drinking it and looking out at Dublin..and looking some more...while everyone else sat with their companions...and I looked some more.  But welcome to things I'm becoming used to!  All in all a great first attraction. 

If you love beer for more than drinking purposes definitely check this out, but keep in mind that it's a much better deal with the pass.  The whole thing is 16.50 euro without the pass which is quite steep. 

Schuh Review: AerLingus

Now let me start off by saying that I love flying internationally and the reason I love flying internationally is because the first time I did so was on the best airline known to Becca as of yet in life, KLM.  I flew KLM to and from Ghana but the from trip was probably one of the best days of my life due in part to AerLingus.  Also probably due in part to the fact that I was returning to America, in large part in fact, but I don't care because KLM is amazing: free booze, billions of meals, great movies, attractive dutch flight attendants who make you feel classy and cosmopolitan even when you are flying in giant Ghanaian pajama pants and haven't showered or worn underwear for weeks.  

So in conclusion, AerLingus had a lot to live up to.  A red eye from Chicago is not the same recipe for magic as two flights back from Ghana so my favoritism is duly noted.

But really the unfortunate reason that AerLingus did not stand up to the pristine tower of KLM is because the flight did not have free booze.  What?!  What kind of international flight makes you pay for alcohol?  Maybe it's not as common as I've been brought to believe, but I think it makes perfect sense for it to be free since alcohol is a great way to sleep on an uncomfortable flight.  

So we started off on an unfortunate foot.  Free Sprite is nice but it's not going to help me conk out when I'm in an aisle seat.

Then AerLingus redeemed itself a little bit:  the movie selection was looking meh, so I turned to TV shows.  And Magic - they had five episodes of Girls!  I was a little annoyed that dinner was served an hour and a half into the flight, because it was only six hours and I obviously wanted to wait for dinner because it was free, but I knew that once I was done it would be a lot harder to sleep.  But having Girls to watch made that okay because I wanted to get through all of the five episodes they had.  My note on this: season 2 of Girls was crazy.  I noticed even more things watching half of it for the second time.  But I digress.

So I was right about the difficulty sleeping.  Once dinner was done and taken away, I tried to sleep for a lot of hours, but I basically just laid in a variety of uncomfortable positions, glared at my seatmate who seemed to have no trouble sleeping, and speculated at my chances of being kidnapped abroad.  (Hasn't happened yet.  Good news.)  

After three hours I realized that sleep was not going to come.  So I kept reading my flight book, Diane Keaton's autobiography, and waited for breakfast.  I did not really want ham on a croissant, but I did want to capitalize on the free food.  It was okay.  Oh yes, dinner!  Dinner was a high point for AerLingus.  The choice was between pasta and beef, and I was originally going to go for the pasta but the beef smelled really good and I did not regret it because after viewing my neighbors pasta which was ravioli I was like gross thank god I got this beef and potato jam.  They also had a slice of cheese and a really nice little Mediterranean influenced salad.  I love tiny flight meals.    

So AerLingus: you are no KLM, but thanks to Lena Dunham and dinner we can still be friends.