Seattleite Travels to Dublin

Writer Natasha Jarmick checks in from the land of shamrocks and shalalies.

You can’t help but feel lucky walking the streets of this famously friendly capital city.

Photo: Jail at Kilmainham Gaol

Places To Go: To beat the crowds, visit the jail at Kilmainham Gaol in the morning. For lunch, it’s essential to drop by a local pub; Peter’s Pub on William Street or Messr Maguire’s on 2 Burgh Quay are fine choices. In the afternoon, stop in at the Guinness Factory to see how the world’s most famous stout is made. Then, finish off your day of Irish sightseeing at O’Reilly’s on Tara Street – one of Dublin’s premier spots for an evening meal.

Photo: Irish Cuisine

Incredible Edibles: Traditional Irish bacon & cabbage with mash. You’ll be surprised when you see “bacon” on every item on the pub menu, but don’t worry, the Irish don’t have a thing for BLTs. What they call “bacon,” we call “ham.” Just as they call pants “trousers,” sweaters are “jumpers” and cookies are “biccis.” As the saying goes, “Two nations divided by a common language.”

Photo: Guinness Factory

Good Libations: Obviously you have to order a pint of Guinness. For something a little different, try Smithwick’s Shandy (half a pint of dublin’s infamous “red lemonade” mixed with half pint of Smithwick’s Irish Ale) or (my personal favorite) Bulmer’s Cider.

Photo: Stylish Irish Fashion

Homegrown Style: The Irish do it to the max. Big hair. Bright accessories. Sky-high heels. Oh, and dresses, dresses and dresses.

Local Quote: “The Irish have such a history of suffering that there is nothing to do but be always happy; we [Dubliners] have been outcast so often that we can only be welcoming to anyone who visits Ireland. Live & let live, its really how we see it” — Cathy R., 42, non-profit social programs coordinator and wife.

The 411: As a tourist, you’d never know that Dublin is in a deep recession — because even if the rain is pouring outside, Dubliners are walking side by side, laughing, and filling the pubs downing pints on a nightly basis.