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We arrived in Dunmore East, a picturesque town along the southern coast of Ireland, and drove past the local swimming beach where the 50 degree water temperature made even the hardiest Irishman a landlubber for the summer. We were in search of a pint of Guinness and a warm meal--certainly not too lofty of a goal. After a quick recommendation from our B&B owner, we hiked up a hill with a never-ending pattering of cold rain at our backs to the Haven Hotel. Within minutes of sitting down and the waitress' suggestion, I had a gigantic bowl of fresh vegetable soup, a heaping pile of brown bread and butter, and a beautifully poured pint of liquid gold, all within my reach. Each of the three items was heartier than the next and warmed my spirit from the inside out. I remember the pure heft of the brown bread. It was as if someone had put lead weights inside. Sometimes a meal is said to "stick to your ribs"--well this was it and it hit the spot. I couldn't have imagined a more authentic eating experience form the weather to my location to the company I was with. Food is certainly the glue that holds our memories of travel together.
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