Dublin: exploring the banks of the River Liffey

souls move quickly in Dublin, their gaits shortened by the pace of their day or the stoutness of their stature. it’s a chore to move between them as they zig zag along O’Connell Street, their faces surprisingly not buried in their phones, but usually in clustered conversation with others.

it is forever spring here, the dampness protruding like veins across the moist earth. it’s too warm for snow, too cold for sun. the pewter skies permanently hang in the ceilings of schoolchildren running through the greens.

we ourselves wandered through Oscar Wilde Park, stopping to swing with our hair in the wind, and to pose with flirting statues. across the street, parsnip soup and the National Gallery of Ireland beckoned.

gliding through the rooms depicting Irish artists, sommkid found herself immersed in Jack Yeats, displaying street life and country customs. the vast European collection included Vermeer, as well as Caravaggio’s “The Taking of Christ.” artwork just doesn’t look the same these days. we gawked in awe.

a breezy stride through St Stephens Green offered fresh air and proper playtime, a break from the cultural immersion.

we traversed north to Trinity College, and while ultimately entering, we bypassed the exquisite library and it’s Book of Kells, and opted for Dublin Castle instead.

because castles of course is what sommkid is all about.

we danced in the drawing room and twirled in the throne room. our hairs stood on edge in the viceroy’s rooms; the darkness of air protruded from the walls like thick mist. tragedy happened all around here. for such a long time.

the sommelier, who has been down for the count, met us for an early dinner full of leeks and venison and Irish borne steak.  it’s Christmas time in Dublin, so the lights and trees and tinsel parade the glistening streets.  the dew is constant and slickens the pavement beneath us as we walk back to the hotel.

Nollaig Shona, Baile Átha Cliath!

burgundy: ice cream with the negociant.

on monday we awoke with vigor, cracking the domaine fresh eggs into a hot pan, staring in disbelief at the dark orange color of the yolk, the free range, hormone free, european goodness transparent. the smell of fresh baguettes permeated the 2-foot thick walls. the day was ours!


we left the exposed, pier-beamed ceilings of our Burgundian fortress to brace the bright sun and infinite blue skies that had become our new normal. after all, carousels and cobblestone streets await.


daintily we sprinkled our texan flair around town, eventually stopping to admire the hospices du beaune.


a middle-aged relic in her own right, the hospices chanted softly into the back of our ears, reminding us of the holy ground on which we walked. we listened intently to the historical characterization of each room, and earnestly sought out every detail in the canvases which adorned the walls.


sommkid declared she wanted to travel back in time, assist the nuns, and take care of the sick of the day. the sommelier smiled.


after our history lesson, we walked the cobblestone streets down the passage ste helene, and into the courtyard across from the infamous ma cuisine.


aromas of roasted chicken twined in rosemary, sautéed mushrooms, and fried potatoes filled the air. we feasted on pickles and capers and homemade wild game terrine.


we sipped on champagne and chablis, laughing and telling stories of winemakers and road trips. it was easy to feel apart of it all the basement of Le Serbet, the air so welcoming and friendly.


sommkid grew restless as the hours wore on, so we gave kisses and hugs to the girls in the office and made our way out to the country to meet with the grand matriarch of negotiants, a pioneer in the field of wine.


after chasing kitty cats and pining after goats, horses, and cows, sommkid had her fill of healthy chocolate ice cream, and seconds… and thirds. and with her very full belly, she listened to the love story of two wine lovers entangled between England and France, the conversion of old barns, and the vintner parties that ensued there.


it was the end of the day, and we became tired and weary. the sommelier led us to maison columbiere for charcuterie and trios eoufs, our fill of cremant and a glass of villages du Bourgogne. our bellies burst with flavor as we struggled to stay awake. we would sleep well tonight.


and tomorrow, Bordeaux.