Dublin 2017 Bosses 50th Birthday
A Guide From My Weekend In Dublin To Show That You Can Party Sober And Not Miss Out
Early Risers Dublin Weekend Starts
So its 2:30am my alarm goes off Dublin weekender is here. Up I get and quick shower before going to pick my friend up. Three of us are heading out on this early plane. My brother, a mutual friend and myself. Off I go and pick Brad up at 3:15am before going back to my parents to get our lift to airport. We set off to airport at 4:00am and this is where the holiday starts. We get checked in all through security no problems, well apart from Brad and his hair products. Touchy subject for rest of day, we go grab a coffee and relax till gate opens. This was strange for me, why i hear you ask, well normally it would be straight into bar.
Going To Plane
Gate opens and we go through duty free my brother and Brad get a sample shot and buy a bottle Jack Daniels. Tonights pre drinks remember them oh I do. We get to queue and its load even at 6:30am groups of girls and guys all heading for a party weekend. One group clearly had not been to bed previous evening and were very merry. This group of lasses were loud my thoughts were please let them not be near me on plane.
I climb stairs onto plane and walk the aisle looking for my seat, I find its an aisle seat nice headphones on I sit down and I get a tap on shoulder. Taking my earphone out I hear “will you swap seats with my friend” yes its the girls. All I needed loud drunken lasses. “I’ll swap when we get up” I replied. “Oh thanks whats your name” “Karl” “He’s called Karl and he’ll swap with you when were up in air” “OH THANKS KARL” shouts her friend from back. It was best move really when we did move as i went to peaceful area of plane.
Upon landing it was time to go find the tourist office. I’d been told about the Leap card if you are going to Dublin these are a must. They cost €19.50 and it allows yo travel on all buses, the tram called LAUS and train called DART you’ll see I travelled a lot on these as post goes on. 8:00am tourist office opens and we get our cards. Armed with a tourist map we go find a bus to get us into Dublin. Next plan is to find breakfast. The bus ride was lovely really get a good view of city as you head in. We jump off near temple Bar.
After around a 10 minute walk we stumble across a little cafe called Rosies first thing this Yorshireman noticed prices. Wow €8.50 for a breakfast butty and latte, but we were hungry so just accepted it. It was a lovely breakfast, whilst sat down we pondered our next move as rest of guys weren’t arriving till 6:00pm. Plan was take a walk around and then see if we can get into hotel room. My brother and Brad had a different hotel to me, they booked after me and I planned it so I had a sanctury to go if I needed. See when I got asked to go I was only 2 weeks into recovery and was worried that I might get tempted if in same hotel.
We head back to shopping area of Dublin as if you remember Brad lost his hair products so needed some. I bought a jumper and then it was decided we’ll go find there hotel. Wasn’t far really to their hotel it was near the point on o’connell street. They were allowed to check in and drop there bags off so then was my turn to find hotel. They decided to head over town with me was a 30 min walk according to google maps. Luckily half way we used our Leap card and jumped on LAUS my hotel was based opposite Guiness storehouse in Ashling, highly recommended. But I could’nt check in so as I was meeting a friend from http://www.oneyearnobeer.com these two headed back to town. I’ll catch up later with them.
Friday Dublin OYNB Meeting
I made plans from day I knew I was going to Dublin to meet up with OYNB friends. 12:30pm I got the call from Karyn to say she was struggling to find a parking space, so I went out to her. We had already planned over the previous weeks that we would go to Phoenix park for coffee and cake. Pheonix park is huge Europes largest park full of wild deer, home to President of Ireland a zoo and museum. We decided to go to cafe in museum was a lovely day just a little cold. Karyn bought lunch and we found a seat upstairs to chat. It was nice to meet someone I’ve been chatting with for a while and talk about how her challenge was going.
After lunch Karyn showed me the museum, which was nice think we upset the staff though. The lady told us that a tour was happening as we walked in. I acknowledged her and we went to sit down, after a bout 5 minutes of us talking the same lady came to say it was starting. As we didn’t have time we politely declined but the lady didn’t seem too happy that we didn’t go. Karyn needed to get back for her daughter and I needed to check into my room so off we went. Was amazing to meet a friend and set up rest of my meets i had planned.
Arriving back at the Ashling Hotel I checked in and went to find my room. Superior room 166 looking out onto the famous Guiness Storehouse it was amazing. By far has to be best hotel room I’ve ever stayed in, and I’ve stayed in a few. If you ever stay in Dublin and want to be away from hustle and bustle of Temple Bar. I highly recommend Ashling Hotel only €8 in taxi to town. Anyhow I decide to get a shower and dressed for night out. I find out time were meeting for the surprise so I can get over to my brothers hotel. We decide to meet at 16:30 at their hotel, time for me to go grab a bite to eat on the way then. Off i head and catch the LAUS over to O’Connell street.
I jump on LAUS and get over to O’Connell street where I find a McDonalds, grab a quick chicken fillet Meal. This is where I found that a Yorkshireman and Irish man can’t understand what each others saying. Quickly eat my meal and head over to the lads hotel. As I walked in door first thing I saw was the 3 quarter empty Jack Daniels bottle, these lads had more than preloaded. I was getting the very merry were proud of you for coming and not drinking. I couldn’t of done it, and all that, as I looked into their eyes all bloodshot, thoughts of this could be a long night. Its getting close to time birthday boy is arriving, so I get the lads to hurry up takes over 15 mins to get them out of room. Thats when the nightmare starts.
We get out of hotel onto a very busy O’Connell street at rush hour. These two half cut and more, are tripping each other up bumping into each other, swearing, hitting each other. They could hardly walk it was like herding sheep all way down road. One nearly knocked a guy off his bike, another nearly got run down by a bus turning. then we arrive at birthday boys hotel for the big surprise, like I said earlier he didn’t know these two were coming. Well we arrive at same time as them, as I’m the only one thats sober, I’m only one that sees this. Trying to bundle these two into hotel where we was meeting didn’t go well as they took no notice.
As I got them into bar shouting that was it, approached by manager. They both were told to leave just as the rest of party walked in. They grab birthday boy been loud and shouting did we surprise you. As manager is trying to get them out, and warning my birthday boy that they can’t stay. Luckily with a bit of calming down was agreed they could stay but not have a drink. This went ok for a bit, but as they were half cut they had taste and kept trying to flaunt rule. At one point they got a waitress to get them a drink, unbeknown to her that they weren’t allowed. I’ll never forget the sight of the manger who was serving as he saw the drinks arrive to them.
He flung up the beer tap run round the bar and pull drinks off them, was funny to see. After this we decided to head into Temple Bar. A nice walk over O’Connell bridge and around half a mile we came across the bar we’d spend all night in. Oliver St John Gogartys if you like live music this is the place to go. Set over 3 levels there is full range of Irish music. I totally fell in love with this bar. Plus they did my favourite non alcoholic beer Erdinger Alkoholfrei.
Friday Evening Shenanigans
When I was drinking I always made excuses to not go into Leeds on birthday nights. I always felt anxious in big crowds like a fight was going to kick off. This was different I was at total ease. With my Erdinger alkoholfrei in hand and the live music I was buzzing. No anxiety chatting away with people taking videos for my YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-bWmSKMxQY1ptflO2bql5Q . I used to always struggle when it came to talking to strangers too, even as a youngster i couldn’t make friends. That all went out of window I was happy joyful chatting, laughing loving life.
The dancing went on all night and to say I’d been up since 2:30am I was going strong. One thing you will find that if people do rib you for not drinking. Once they are merry it all stops, so without any awkward questioning I managed to just dance, sing and really have a brilliant evening. 11:30pm came and I decided I was too goosed. So I politely left the guys dancing away enjoying the night and headed for my hotel. Taxi’s a plenty round Temple Bar so easy to get one, €8 back to hotel. On telling driver I’d done it alcohol free his words I won’t forget. ” This is not the place to come if your not wanting a drink.” In all honesty it probably is because if I can do it here I can do it anywhere.
Waking up fresh headed in a huge bed It was time to do some sightseeing. A quick shower and off I headed to Howth. Always had plans to go here whilst in Dublin as it looked amazing. Off I trot to catch the LAUS to train station. Nice I got a message from guys saying all got home well. Catching train to Howth was an experience, the train was so much like an old metro train from my younger days. The ease of the Leap card is brilliant though just scan it on gates and away you go. 30 Minute trip and listening to Elton john and Eurythermics was very peaceful. Passing some lovely villages along way.
On journey I decided to call my parents and let them know I hadn’t had a drink. Response was amazing, morning dad ” I managed to do it.” “do what” “stay sober last night” “oh right well never thought you would anyway.” we chatted a little more and let him know i was heading to Howth. He asked how brother was so let him know. I arrive in Howth, tiny little station well basically a platform very oldie worldie.
The gorgeous market harbour town east of Dublin. If you ever head to Dublin this has got to be on your to do list. The place is simply stunning. As I leave the station belly rumbling as not had food I head to find a bite to eat. First things first coffee is needed I find a little shop and grab a Latte to walk with. The views are stunning, weather not so. I almost left hotel without a coat glad I didn’t, with the wind blowing and driving drizzle I head towards harbour. With the castle in on the hill I head to find a cafe, there is a lot of choice for such a small town. I stumble on a cyclist cafe but nothing took my fancy and left it. I walked up to the harbour wall and do a live video for my Facebook followers https://www.facebook.com/thesoberyorkshireman/.
From here you get a stunning view if you get a chance look at my videos on YouTube of this place. I decide to take a few pics but as time was ticking on I had to rush. Not without going to the market cafe and meeting a lovely young Hungarian who made me a great coffee and cookie. This small market had everything pastries, hot food, all from around the world shame i didn’t have mor time to spend here. Reason was theres a surprise happening for birthday boy so off i head back.
I get back into Dublin for 11:45am were all to meet at 12:00 to surprise the birthday boy. His brother has had masks of him made which we shall all where when he comes into hotel. Did this go to plan ?? simple answer no. I get to hotel bang on 12:00pm walk in and only 4 people are in there. Seems everyone is hanging from previous night, some still nowhere to be seen, some having breakfast and the hardcore already on Guinness. Its clear to see the surprise won’t happen on time, so we get chatting. Talk about how there nights went time they got back in, states they were in. Oh on hearing this I didn’t miss the drink one bit. Its now getting to time I need to meet a fellow OYNB friend so I make way.
Saturday Dublin OYNB Meetup
I go to meet Elizabeth at the point on O’Connell street its 12:30pm and the place is buzzing. Upon meeting we decide to head for Stevens park in centre of Dublin. As were heading there Elizabeth is pointing out places to go and visit talking about her college days in Dublin. Also how she doesn’t get down here as much as she’d like. We arrive in Stevens park its beautiful on entering some young students doing scenes from shakespeare. We decide to have the photo shot that’s come a bit of a thing when us OYNB crew meet each other. Then decide to go grab some lunch in the shopping centre.
We go upstairs to food court where there is loads of choices to eat. We decide on burger and chips but this is Eddie Rocket no McDonalds. Yorshireman in me ‘how much’ €10.50 for burger, chips and a soda. Wowzers good job it was all cooked fresh and tasted amazing. Its one thing you have to understand on coming to Dublin the cost of everything, think UK price and double it. We get a window seat and chat about OYNB how were finding it, Elizabeth is a moderation drinker. Unlike me who can’t have a drink again she can control it. We chat away until its time for her train, I walk her back towards station. We say our goodbyes and I attempt to find guys.
Saturday Afternoon Dublin Pub Crawl
So I find out there in Brazen Head oldest pub in Dublin, on goes Google maps and away I go to find them. On walking into the courtyard of this place I could hear them before seeing them. The face masks have been given out as they were hung up in courtyard. They hardly know I’ve arrived, so consumed in there drinks. I go grab an Alcohol Free beer and sit on a table with my brother. He looks fresh I ask how he got home, apparently he left an hour before me, seems I was having a good night. I hear the call “don’t get anymore in here were off”. Dublin pub crawl begins. Walking for what seems like an hour they decide on this bar, in we walk 15 strong and barman thinks oh hell.
Everyone gets a drink then I ask for an Erdinger response was ” oh so your brains behind operation”. To which I reply ” no I’m 8 months dry ” its something I got a lot over weekend. We get told if we don’t order food we can’t stay in this area of bar so some order. Once they’d eaten was on into Temple Bar area, next pub was were I decided I needed to go get changed. I asked guys if they were out for evening and answer was yes so told them I’d catch them later as I wasn’t dressed for night. Give us a text when your on way back we’ll tell you where we are. They gave a list just incase I couldn’t get hold of them.
After a quick shower I go to grab LAUS back in one comes round corner so I sprint for it with another fella. We miss it, we get chatting and when we get on next one we find out were both Bloggers. Shout out to https://midnightmurphy.wordpress.com/ he wrote about me that same evening, he’s a bit more professional than me. Sat on tram I see birthday boy was in a coffee house via Snapchat so I messaged them, no answer. I head off LAUS into Temple Bar all time no-one is responding to my messages or calls, seems I’m on my own. One lad messaged and said they were at hotel with one asleep, well they had been on it all day. Thoughts then turn to surely someones still out but no-ones is answering calls or messages.
On My Own In Dublin Temple Bar
I come to conclusion after going back to bar we last were drinking in, then into all others from list I had that I was on my own. This for some could be a green light to go get smashed, nobody will know will they. Not me I have this inner strength now that I didn’t used to have, plus in my latter days I was a loner drinker anyway. So I thought fuck it lets enjoy yourself, I really thought my anxiety of been in a city centre on a night out alone would paralyse me but it didn’t. I really enjoyed having time to pick an choose bars I wanted to go in.
Firstly I had to do The Temple Bar its world famous blimey its like a tardis small door on entering to then i must of countered at least 5 rooms. You couldn’t tell which were rooms though by the sea of people. Live music everywhere I just was in heaven, after i headed back to Gogartys which was quieter so I chilled in middle room. Then I headed out for more music I stubbled across a bar called Badass, outside was a musician that played Gogartys previous night. Anyhow after an alcohol free beer in there I see him setting up and decide to stay. I loved this guy as his opening song was Bruce Springsteen “I’m on fire” was song of my weekend by far.
Time For Bed
10:30pm and still no sign of the guys so decide as I’m up early for another OYNB meet that I’d call it a night. Fish and chips I thought until I saw price €10.95 safe to say I went to hotel hungry. I jumped in a taxi and got back to hotel bar, decided to have a night cap in here. Whilst having my beer I check my Snapchat it’s 11:00pm and I open a snap from birthday boy he’s right where I’ve just left. Wasn’t happy but thought I’m not heading back in now and finished my drink got some chocolate snacks and went to bed.
The Plan was to go into Pheonix Park and do a run, but with all walking I split my heel and was in agony. So I decided go find a spot of breakfast, headed for LAUS which are regular all weekend. I’m cautious not to go too far as check out is 11:00am and I’m meeting two OYNB members at 11:30am. I pass Costa coffee which looked shut and then decide on a little coffee shop called The Bagel Bar Coffee House. Large latte and breakfast bagel €8 wasn’t too bad as bagel was lovely. I then asked a guy if LAUS was due and he told me I could walk it from here so I did.
Was a good plan really was nice morning, so I headed towards river Liffey and walked it back. Took around half hour but was nice as I got a few pictures and fresh air. Also it gave me chance to finish my video blog off which you can watch on YouTube. On arriving back I packed up and checked out then waited to be picked up by Derek a OYNB member.
Sunday Dublin OYNB Meet
I check out and Derek awaits up the road I walk up to his car and do our hello’s as we head for Phoenix Park for coffee and cake. On drive up he’s asking about how I found the weekend and if I had any urges to have a beer. I told him I’d found it pretty easy. On way through park I receive a message from Jarlath another OYNB member saying he was on his way. This guy was first person to talk to me on support group and I was so looking forward to meeting him. As we go through park we pass two sets of wild deer, males at top end and females at bottom. This just made my weekend end perfect. We get to car park and go grab a coffee, Jarlath is 10 minutes away.
Me and Derek chat about his gruelling Galeforce event he did previous day bless he could hardly walk. We chatted about family and how we was finding the OYNB challenge, with a great backset. Jarlath arrived 10 minutes later and all three of us just chatted and chatted. Mostly about fitness and diet and where the guys were from. Jarlath invited me up to his west Atlantic coast holiday home with my daughter. I hope in future to take him up on that, another coffee and more talk about how the guys want to sort their diets which I hope to help with. Then it was picture time and for me to get back to Dublin to get ready for flight home.
Back To Dublin And Meet Guys
Derek agreed to take me back to the Arlington to meet up with rest of my party. As I arrive its 13:30pm and the guys are both looking shattered and merry. Guinness is going down like its going out of date, were flying in a few hours and some don’t want to let weekend finish. I decide on a Beck’s blue then oh no, tray of shots, first I’ve seen of these all weekend. Luckily they got me a water one so I didn’t feel left out. Talk then happens about previous night where was I, well after calming downI politely told the they were all twats for not answering. Seems most came back to hotel slept til 10:00pm then went out on it again, wasn’t happy but I still had a good night.
Taxi arrives and luckily there was room for me so i didn’t have to make my own way back to airport. We got to airport and piled out of the stench that was from all farts on way up, way too much Guinness in a small space. We go through to lounge and can tell by now they have had enough well most anyway. One lad decided that quarter of a litre of gin and a bottle of lemonade was way to finish him off and it did.
On arriving at airport in Manchester time to say our goodbyes. See I booked a later train than rest stupidly which meant I had an extra hours wait. So I grabbed some food a coffee and waited. Plan was to meet up with some of them in Leeds train station when I got back for a beer. As I sit in airport I decide to update people on my Facebook site and check in with everyone. Feeling very proud of myself that I managed the whole weekend alcohol free. My train is due so I head down blimey what a walk, finally arrive and wait for train to pull in.
Managed to get a window seat and put headphones in and listened to my weekend song “I’m on fire” almost all way home. We get close to Huddersfield and I message birthday boy you still in train station I’m nearly there. Response was no I’m home, lad that was on gin was so wasted they had to get him home. See that would of been me last year I’d of been the totally wasted one as I never knew when to stop thats what makes me so proud.
Summary Of Dublin Weekender
Well to sum it up Dublin can be done sober, you don’t need to get smashed to enjoy it. It was one of the best weekends away ever and remember it all. Watching live bands for first time in years. Spending time both with my friends also I met new friends. I didn’t drink too much alcohol free beer, drunk way too much coffee. Didn’t have to keep telling lads why I was dry but those that asked respected it and wanted to know more. To top it off I asked my Boss ‘The Birthday Boy’ did I spoil your weekend because i wasn’t drinking. His response was no it was a brilliant weekend. That sums it up.
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