So, I’ve just been introduced to the concept of a “mileage run,” an end-of-the-year trip taken for the purpose of accumulating enough air miles to maintain or elevate one’s status with a particular airline. Not quite as frivolous as it first sounds if one travels a lot for business as my wife does. When you consider the upgrades and such that come with elite status, it can actually make some sense.
So, AA has some reasonable deals to Europe, and we’ve decided to go to Dublin next weekend. We’ll arrive at about 9AM on Saturday the 7th, and take off again on Monday morning the 9th around 10. I know, I know, not a lot of time, but there it is.
Here are the qualifiers:
[li]We’re in our mid-40s and fairly adventurous.[/li][li]We tend to be independent kind of travelers; we generally eschew packaged tours and overly commercial touristy-type stuff unless there’s some compelling reason to engage in that sort of thing. [/li][li]We’re not real big on museums unless, again, there’s something particularly noteworthy to see (for example, I think I’m going to have to go see the Book of Kells). [/li][li]We’re big on local flavor; I’d much rather sit in an unassuming local pub than get a Hard Rock Dublin t-shirt. [/li][li]We like to walk, and we like to get some sense of local history (we’re big fans of the various London Walks, for example). [/li][li]We seem to find ourselves gravitating to churches, the older the better.[/li][/ul]
In seeming contradiction to the second point above, the only definite at the moment is a visit to the Guinness brewery. I know that it will be designed to separate me from as many Euros as possible, but come on - it’s Guinness.
We’ll want to stay in the City Centre. Our preference would be either an upscale hotel or a nice B&B. I’m finding some rooms at the Westin for ~US$210/night for that weekend; this will be my bench mark. Equally nice (or nicer) for that price or less is what I’m looking for.
Pub suggestions? I’d rather stay away from the superpubs. Good pub food is a plus, a welcoming atmosphere even better. I’d like to go someplace with traditional music one of the evenings we’re there.
How about restaurant suggestions? I know there’s been a movement in Ireland to feature high-quality local ingredients; that’s the kind of place we’d like to go. I can get Italian and Indian food in Chicago - I’d like to see what chefs are doing with Irish food in Ireland.
So, that being said, any and all suggestions are welcome. Again, it’s a quick trip, so I don’t expect to see everything, but I’d like to get a sense of what Dublin is, if that makes any sense.