Monthly Archives

September 2015

Dallas

Deep Ellum Wine Walk

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Hello Everyone!

So now that Ireland is over you may be wondering, “ummm what else does Savvy do with her time“? Well I am glad you hypothetically asked! You see, while I might not be globe-trotting every other week, I do like to maintain a healthy social calendar. My friends live all over the greater Dallas-Ft. Worth area so at any given time I could be anywhere within an hour or two from my house. I live in a small college town about 45 minutes north of Dallas called Denton. We lovingly refer to Denton as “Little D” since Dallas is “Big D”. Denton is a smaller community mainly filled with college students, foodies, artists, and small business owners. While Denton is a ways away for me from work, friends, etc.. It is still a wonderful place to call home and I have enjoyed being a full-time resident this past year (part-time resident before).

All of that to say you will be seeing more about my day-to-day life until my next trip (hopefully two within the next month!). Earlier this past week, I was invited by some friends to a monthly wine-walk held in the Dallas neighborhood of Deep Ellum. When I was in high school, this was not an area you wandered at night alone. There were lots of clubs/bars/music venues and various seedy characters. Within the past few years though the area has really been cleaned up thanks to a healthy arts scene and a rekindled passion for community. There are tons of really great places to eat as well as lots of local shops and even a cheese factory!

Once a month there is a Wine Walk where you pay $10, get a little glass that you get to keep, and walk around to a bunch of different shops to get wine! Such a great deal, right? There is nothing I love more than a good deal, ask anyone! My friends had invited me to go several times before and for various reasons I could not attend. I was determined to make it at least once before the “summer” was over and Thursday was that day! There was a ton of parking right by where you start in front of an art gallery and we got there a little early to meet the group before starting at the first shop. The people in charge give you your glass and a handy little map/passport to guide you along the way. It ends at 8pm, but if you’re lucky then people try to get rid of most of their wine by then and you may end up with a full glass 😉 At the end of the walk, you bring back your passport with your name written on it and they draw for a prize. Sadly, I did not win this time around, but hey, I’ve got a good feeling about next month.

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I had a great time with my friends discovering more of this neighborhood that I sadly do not frequent enough. I had fun finding all of these new (to me) little shops that I never knew existed. When my sister comes home for the holidays from college I am totally going to bring her back to check them out.

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After the Wine Walk, we need some food before making our various drives home. We hit up Brain Dead in Deep Ellum, which has a variety of burgers, sandwiches, and the like. My friend also told me that they do an awesome brunch on the weekends (I may need to hit that up, you know, for research purposes). I got the Poblano Burger and it was awesomeeee. It came with sweet potato chips, but I am pretty sure you can substitute fries if you’re into that. The restaurant is also a brewery so everyone also got beer, but I am a wino so clearly I had already gotten my fix.

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They also give you your receipt in an old children’s book. I may or may not have left a little note in the book as well… everyone else did it first so I was not the only troublemaker!

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I am planning to attend the October Wine Walk and you should too! Give me a shoutout in the comments if you’re planning to attend (or just creep on me there).

Happy Reading!

-Savvy

Ireland

The Sad Return

Hello Again,

Of course that time had to come…. That unfortunate time where I have to go home. Hardly ever am I happy to go home. I get settled somewhere, I start a routine then it gets ruined. As most of my friends will tell you, I do NOT do well saying goodbyes and tears are fairly inevitable. Go ahead and bring the Kleenex as a precaution.

Alas, the time did come for my trip to Ireland to end. I like to think of this as Phase 1 with more to come, but honestly who knows if or when I will get to go back. I’m hoping for the best, but expecting the worst per usual. I woke up the morning of my flight to discover that it had already gotten delayed a little bit due to a storm in Philadelphia where I was flying into. Not a bad way to start my day since I already didn’t want to leave. I had stayed up wayyyy too late the night before and had done a terrible job of packing so I jumped on that and then had breakfast with a coworker who was coming to relive me. Pretty soon the morning had flown by and I was off to the airport.

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Once I arrived at Dublin’s airport I found that my 11:30 AM flight that had gotten pushed back to 1:30 PM was now pushed back to 4:30 PM… Cool. I jumped into one line only to realize 10 minutes later, oh I can actually be in this line to get my boarding pass. I wait in that line allll the way until I get up to the front only to find out that I was supposed to stay in the first line. Long story short, I had to wait in multiple lines for several hours for them to just give me my ticket and put me on a different connecting flight back to DFW. Such a mess!

The cool thing about flying directly to the states from Dublin is that the Dublin Airport is one of only a few places in the world outside of the US where you can do American Customs before even reaching the states! However, I wish I had known that once you get through customs, there is literally NOTHING in that section of the airport. I sat there for four hours hungry and without an electrical socket. Good thing the battery in my laptop lasted as long as it did or this post would have been a tad less enthusiastic.

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Fortunately the flight delays were over at this point and I did get to leave Ireland at 4:30.

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I got into Philly around 8pm, which is the WEIRDEST thing to have an exceptionally long day like that. My layover was basically two seconds long and then I got crammed into the tiniest seat I have ever been on in my entire life. Thanks, US Airways for giving a shorter-than-average girl about zero leg room. What if I had been three inches taller? Being 5’5 is usually only a struggle when there is something I need on a top shelf, not when sitting on a domestic flight to Dallas. That plane could probably not have been more disgusting and I will be avoiding US Airways in the future. I had to fly them a lot in college since it was either them or Delta that left from my college town, but now I live in a major city and don’t have to be stuck with choices like that anymore.

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I got to Dallas in one piece and so did my luggage! I picked up another suitcase while I was over there and I had no idea if all three of them would make it, but we did it! My bags were also some of the first on the luggage belt so that’s alway a plus.

My little gremlin, Karma, was happy to see me again too 🙂 That is always the best part about coming home.

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Even though now that Ireland is over (for the moment at least) I will still keep posting about travel, life, Dallas, and anything else I want! 🙂 Check back ever so often to see what I have going on and if you have any suggestions for me for topics or things you want to hear about send me a message in the comments!

Happy Reading!

-Savvy

Ireland

Weekend #3 in Ireland: Western Ireland

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Greetings, Gentle Readers!

Hopefully you are reading this while I am en route to Philadelphia from Dublin on my way back to Dallas. The return flight post will be written within the next few days. Prepare yourselves to read yet another flight fiasco, albeit hopefully a less intense read for the departure than the arrival. While I have battery for my laptop, free wifi, and nothing but time to kill, let’s chat about my third weekend in Ireland. Technically, this post was my final weekend on the island since I am traveling the next Saturday, September 12, 2015.

I left Dublin early on Saturday morning for The Cliffs of Moher on the western side of Ireland. The entire country isn’t very large and only has 6 million people, so it only took a few hours to reach my destination. I’m not sure if I am missing something, but I thought Giant’s Causeway was much better. I kinda wish I had done the Cliffs first and then Giant’s Causeway, but either way they were both great. I also visited O’Brien Tower while I was at the Cliffs. You already pay to get into the park and then you pay another 2 euro to go into the tower. Why not?

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Another reason to for me to visit Galway is that NO ONE WAS THERE the weekend I decided to go! Normally it is a really fun, party town according to everyone I talked to. However, there was a large sports match between Galway and Dublin that day so everyone was in Dublin. I missed that memo, so my weekend was rather uneventful. I just used it to relax in my hotel away from everything else. I also tried black pudding and white pudding (picture below), which, contrary to popular beliefs, are 1. not pudding and 2. not disgusting! It’s kinda weird to basically have oatmeal mixed into your sausage, but when in Rome…

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On Sunday I started to head back to Dublin. I got to stop in some small towns like Nenah and Moneygall, which is famous for having the Barack Obama Plaza, aka this gas station named after Obama whose ancestors are apparently from Moneygall. Random, right? Of course I had to go 😉 His face is everywhere in the “petrol” station and apparently he also had a pint in one of the pubs in town. You can stand exactly where he stood and also drink a pint too if you would like for a photo opp. The entire tiny town has American flags everywhere and has really capitalized on this.

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I will add my post about my return back to Dallas in the next few days. I have a month’s worth of laundry to do and a month’s worth of puppy cuddles to fit into the next few days.

Cheers!

-Savvy

Ireland

Daily Activities in Dublin

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Hello, Readers!

Just wanted to post some of the fun things I did around the town in Dublin during my weeks here. Things close fairly early here during the week so you’ve really got to plan if you want to do something else besides eat!

Speaking of eating… go check out my guest posts over at The Mizu Blog to see where I ate while I was in Dublin! I went to a lot of amazing restaurants and had a fabulous time with some great people. We also started #LiveTwEATing some of our meals so go check out the Twitter feed as well!

I already posted about the Guinness Storehouse and Riverdance. This week I went to see the play Once, which also has a movie that I have never seen, but apparently is very good. Musicals can either be hit or miss with me, but this was a hit. It was very different than all of the other musicals I have ever been to. There were normal audience members in the first scene since a good portion of it is set in a pub. All of the actors stayed on the set the entire play, but would sit on the sides and watch the other scenes as they happened. It was at the Olympia Theater right in the heart of Dublin and was opened in 1879. The chairs are VERY small, but fortunately I was seated next to a pole so I only had one seat mate!

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After seeing Once, I decided to do what fancy people do, as suggested by one of my many taxi drivers, and go to The Shelbourne to get a glass of champagne. My bartender tried to persuade me to order a bottle so that way I would get a dozen oysters. As much as I love a good oyster, I politely declined his offer.

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I walked through St. Stephen’s Green Park multiple times to look at the ducks and swans. I always meant to brings some bread to feed them, but clearly forgot each time. Apparently homeless people live in the park at night. It is very well kept and even though there are tons of “Keep off the Grass” signs, no one listens. I’m not sure what Ireland’s open container laws are, but I definitely saw more than one drunk Irish man with a can of beer chatting with his lads. The park is a very nice place to have a chat or just unwind from a long day. I could also cut through the park to get to the famous Grafton Street, which is where I went almost every single day.

Random street performer who almost burned me and herself

Random street performer who almost burned me and herself

My work threw a get-together for all of our teams at one of the hotels in Temple Bar that was way more fun than normal work parties in the States! They had tons of food and drinks and afterwards we all went out to this club called Dicey’s. It is right next to this other, super-famous club in Ireland called Copper Face Jack’s, aka Copper’s. I was told about it all of the time, but never got a chance to go. If I ever get to come back then I will make it a point to visit at least once. Everyone I met during my trip had a Copper’s story to tell me, so now I need one! People in clubs here don’t grind or fist pump, which I thought was nice, but odd. I love a good fist-pump (shout out to my East Coast college friends!), but I was THE ONLY ONE fist pumping at Dicey’s!! They play “cheesy-music”, which is like 90’s Pop, so clearly I love the club scene here. #britneyforever #byebyebye

I must admit that even though it is very touristy and overpriced, I did visit the actual Temple Bar. There are also a lot of good souvineer shops over there, which I had to visit a few times. I completely put off buying souvenirs until the very end of the trip, so sorry if I forgot anyone! Hopefully I’ll be back in the next few months! I am going to see if my work wouldn’t potentially give me a temporary transfer over here, which would be a-mazzz-ingggg!

I’ll post more later about my last weekend and my flights home. I am currently in the airport and it has already been a mini-fiasco so look for that one later!

Cheers!

-Savvy

Ireland

Weekend #2 in Ireland: Staying in Dublin

Greetings, Friends!

For my second weekend in Ireland, I wanted to take it much slower. I was getting really run down from the jet lag, the constant sight-seeing, and work throughout the week.  My mother left the Wednesday before so I was determined to get out and do things on my own, just at a slower pace.

I met some friends for drinks on Friday, kept it pretty chill. Met the founder of this new food app for Dublin called Mizu. I mentioned that I am writing this blog/love to eat and two seconds later I am now a contributor for his blog! Check me out on https://blog.getmizu.com!  Hopefully in the future it will be in more cities and I will able to contribute from abroad, but for right now it is testing in Dublin.

Saturday morning I went for Brunch at Balfe’s off Grafton Street in the Westbury Hotel. I am considering staying here next time. The lobby is AMAZING and I found out that a lot of celebrities stay here when in Dublin. Obviously, so should I. Hopefully I will be back in the next few months and I can try this one out for myself 🙂

I wanted to get some shopping in whilst in Ireland. I had already collected a few souvenirs, but wanted some new clothes as well. I don’t know if I was being super picky or what that day, but I was not loving everything I found. I ended the day with three new shirts, but I was hoping for some more items.

I managed to see the Dublin Rugby team leaving the Sheldon (another hotel I would like to try), which is where they stay the night before a big match. There was a huge crowd forming and an official bagpipe player to get the team pumped before getting on the bus to the game.

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Ireland has extremely high taxes, but has always had free water. Not too long ago, the country has decided to start charging for water. This is a HUGE deal since the taxes have been steadily increasing in order to get the country back on track after the recession a few years ago. I happened to walk by part of the route where the protest was happening. There were so many people here! The Irish aren’t violent, but they are passionate and this is an extremely important decision for the country.

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My friends wanted to go out during the week so we tried a tapas place called Fade Street Social. There were some very interesting things on the menu. I ended up getting basically these fried cheese balls, duck, and beef carpaccio. All very tasty. I also went to a drag show at this club called The George. I felt like Ru Paul was about to tell me some sassy quote while pulling off a dress that I could never wear outside of Vegas. It was hilarious and a lot of fun 🙂

As I may have mentioned before, it rains A LOT here. I managed to snap this little gem on the way out of work the other day. I wanted to make so many jokes about finding the pot of gold.

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I also tried this AMAZING Indian place that stays open forever aka 5 AM. It was really affordable and close to my hotel. I wish I could eat here every day.

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Sorry I have been a little MIA lately. The food blog has taken center stage due to my limited time here and of course I am actually here to work so that is the main priority. I will try to post a little more this week since it’s my fourth and final week in Dublin. #sadday

Happy Reading!

-Savvy