Happy Friday! You’re in the home stretch! How are you doing? Are you taking time to check-in with yourself and give yourself the care, love, and attention you need? If not, it’s perfectly okay to set aside time for yourself to do whatever you want/need to do during ‘me time.’ Maybe it’s yoga, meditation, running, reading, tending to a pallet garden you built, sewing some pillowcases for your home decor, making a dress to match your homemade mask, or even playing animal crossing with family and friends. Whatever you want to do during your assigned ‘me time,’ make sure you’re doing it and giving yourself a break.
If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s post - “sunsets in Donegal” - you can click here to read about one of my favorite memories on my Irish road trip with my college girlfriends from Villanova - seeing the sunset in Donegal! It’s a memory that still makes me smile whenever I think about it - how ‘in the moment’ we were, impulsively driving to the beach. It was a super fun road trip full of memories, so I think I’ll share another one today!
Although we had the driving portion of the road trip mapped out, a lot of the stops that we made to restaurants and cafés along the way were not previously planned. Enter Brewers Fayre, a small restaurant in Derry (or Londonderry depending on who you talk to) that I can only equate in quality to a TGI Friday’s that's attached to a hotel. In fairness, there wasn’t much open for us on a Monday night in pre-tourist season, so Brewers Fayre was, essentially, our only option for the evening.
I’ll have you know that Brewers Fayre received a 4 star rating on Google Reviews as of this morning. It’s currently temporarily closed and described as a “Laid-back family pub/restaurant chain serving classic dishes and international favourites.” Now, the description isn’t wrong. When we entered, we were seated in the only open section, surrounded by large families of screaming children. It took about 10 minutes for us to get a menu only to have the server never return. Listen, I am very lucky to have amazing friends who are able to find the funny in most situations. With that being said and now that you know that about us, the situation was *hilarious.* We were essentially seated at the Londonderry version of T.G.I. Friday’s on ‘kids eat free’ night.
We ended up leaving our table by the tiny army of soldiers made up of tears and snot and proceeded to find a high top table by the bar, confirming that we could, indeed, order food from the bartender. We each got up and ordered our drinks and food, and I’m pretty certain I got chicken fingers, a truly ‘classic dish’ and ‘international favourite,’ with brown sauce on the side. You can never go wrong with chicken fingers... or brown sauce. That’s one of my life mottos actually - ‘when in doubt, order chicken fingers.’ Nearly every restaurant in the world has some sort of variation of them (even the vegan ones have ‘chikin’ fingers now), and the worst that can really happen is that they’re over-cooked. And if you have brown sauce for dippin', it doesn't really matter anyway.
We gave our friend who picked the restaurant a lot of crap for it, but honestly, it’s one of my favorite memories. Have you ever noticed that the things you really remember are the truly amazing experiences or the pretty awful ones? I think it’s because of how unique those situations feel to us while they’re happening. It’s not to say that I wouldn’t have a crappy dinner out in the States with my friends, but having a crappy, relatable dinner out with friends while in a foreign country feels more special. It felt so normal, which is I think what made it feel so special, looking back on it now. Do you have any amazing yet awful memories like our dinner at Brewers Fayre? Let me know! Subscribe in the e-mail submission box below and reach out, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so happy you're here and that I’ve been receiving a lot of really incredible stories, questions, and feedback from a community all over the globe! Other people’s stories that I’ve gotten to read via e-mail, text, tweet, DM, etc. recently bring me such smiles, and I am so grateful for all of it! I hope I get to hear all about whatever stories you’ve been thinking about as we’ve been on this virtual journey together! Also, I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you have any restaurants/eateries/pubs/coffee shops/ice cream joints/theatres/lookout spots you would recommend in other countries or even in your current home town or city, I'm absolutely 100% all ears!! I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, truly, thank you.
P.S. - If you want to catch up from the beginning on this series of travel adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):
1. Won't you join me?
2. grateful for starbucks and sandymount strand
3. Once Upon a December in the National Gallery
4. plant a smooch for that gift of gab
5. may the 4th be with you: Dingle style
6. cinco de mayo: the best Mexican food in Dublin
7. pizza in roma
8. mussolini’s window and the philosophers’ metro stop
9. father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife
10. it's the vatican, not the vatican't
11. spoiler alert: i did not lose my hand
12. more pizza and gelato and Neptune, oh my
13. craft beer, romper season, and volcano magic
14. bus singalongs and the okey dokey karaoke origin story
15. the beginning of the journey to the land of outlander
16. the boy who lived and the musical rapper
17. oh i just can't wait to be kingggg
18. fudge and haggis, quite the dynamic duo
19. the banshee labyrinth... or, my first time trying buckfast
20. the world's most magical toilet
21. gwyneth paltrow's (improv) sliding doors
22. scottish sombreros and jam, thank you
23. bob seger, a cèilidh, and arthur's seat
24. the next maxim cover girl!!
25. you can vote now!!
26. kindness at… the airport??
27. conversations with strangers and #basic meals
28. aren't gas stations amazing?!
29. not just mac's... supermac's
30. American vs. European Cell Phone Providers
31. brown bread ice cream
32. Black Lives Matter
33. technology and theatre
34. a love of Dublin pizza: Manifesto
35. a love of Dublin pizza: Dublin Pizza Company
36. a love of Dublin pizza: with my dad
37. Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness
38. thank you! round 2!
39. a love of Dublin pizza: and every other pizza
40. ahh-oooooh werewolves of london
41. a special london edition nerd alert
42. defying gravity is a WICKED good time
43. that wanker Van Morrison
44. The Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre
45. LA girls love London green juice
46. Super Bowl LII Champs at Wembley
47. champagne fizz and fruity cocktails
48. How-to: DIY Pallet Garden
49. dublin tattoo magic
51. thank you! Maxim round 4!
52. dublin bog bodies
53. dún laoghaire ice cream
54. local celeb sighting
55. 13.1 in Dublin
56. thank you! Maxim round 5!
57. every girl likes a bad boy
58. poolbeg lighthouse
59. conflict, bias, and propaganda in belfast
60. bow to your lord mayor
61. HAPPY HAMILTON DAY!!
62. Maxim Cover Girl Quarter-Finals!
63. gulliver's travels in belfast
64. all aboard the HMS Caroline
65. all aboard the RMS Titanic
66. you know nothing, jon snow
67. cave-born shadow babies
68. afraid of heights?
69. giants and their egos
70. the Kingsroad
71. sunsets in Donegal