You’ll be glad to know that Finn McSpool has made it safely home after over two weeks of traipsing around the land of his birth. I was ready to jump into all the adventures this wooly monster had in Kilkenny, Cork, the Aran Islands, and Dublin, but Finn insisted on a post to highlight his favorite parts of his Irish homecoming: the beers, the breakfasts, and some very special (and very monstrous) friends he made in between breakfast time and beer time.

The Most Important Meal of the Day: The Irish Breakfast

Also known in more honest terms as the Irish Fry, this is a meat-and-calorie laden meal that will keep beasties and humans full until late in the afternoon. On his first morning in Kilkenny, Finn was eager to fuel his day out with one of these hearty breakfasts.

finn mcspool, irish breakfast, ireland

“Wait a minute. What in the world is this? Fruit? Yogurt? Is it at least fried yogurt?”

“Sorry, Finn, but those of us not made of wool and stuffing need to eat a few healthy items.”

Soon enough though, “real” breakfast was dropped in front of him. He was too busy gnashing his way through the scrambled eggs, bacon, and fresh-baked scone to notice I hadn’t ordered him the full Irish.

finn mcspool, irish breakfast, ireland

As if all this wasn’t enough, on our final day in Kilkenny, our wonderful host Josephine of Carriglea B&Bย filled our bags with some fresh-out-of-the-oven apple muffins for our onward journey. You know, just in case the 10,000-calorie breakfast didn’t see us through.

There were no home baked treats in Cork, but once we made our way to the Aran Islands, Finn was in hog heaven once again. Not sure how the hogs feel about this pork-filled breakfast, but…

finn mcspool, irish breakfast, ireland

And just as my arteries were starting to flow freely, on our final day in Dublin, Finn managed to cram in one more massive plate of cholesterol…

Irish Beastie Meets Irish Beer

Longtime followers of Finn will know that this Beastie loves his beer. And since alcohol is a solvent for lipids, it only makes sense that once the stomach starts to rumble, you should fill it with beer to wash away any lingering fat from breakfast. Science!

However, a beer that’s nearly twice as tall as yourself, might be overdoing it.

“You doing okay, Finn?”


“Perfectly shhplendid. Why do you ashk?”

“No reason.”

finn mcspool, guinness, ireland, beer

And then there was this. Luckily Finn doesn’t weigh much so he’s easy to carry home, if needed.

finn mcspool, guinness, ireland, beer

Still, Beasties must have amazing abilities to metabolize alcohol because by the time Mr Husband and I were done with our dinners, Finn was ready for more drinking. A lot more drinking!

finn mcspool, guinness, ireland, beer
Let’s just be glad Finn doesn’t have the skill (or muscles) to tap kegs!

By the time we made it to Dublin, this little monster was getting bored with his usual pint of the black stuff. Luckily, his maker, Helen of Crawcrafts Beasties, had the perfect cure for stout-overload and booked us in at Open Gate Brewery, the more experimental side of the Guinness World. The three humans each got a sampler of four craft beers, but it didn’t take long for Finn to claim them as his own.

finn mcspool, beer, ireland, guinness, open gate brewery
“So, what are you guys having?”

Most of these beers are a bit stronger than your usual Guinness, and it took even less time for the results of his hoppy gluttony to become apparent.

But that Beastie metabolism kicked in and he managed one more glass of a super tasty IPA.

finn mcspool, beer, ireland, guinness, open gate brewery

Loads of New Friends Including Some Wonderfully Wooly Ones

As you know, Finn loves making friends on his travels. Whether it’s cats in Italy, surfers in Hawaii, or giant pickles in Portland, he’s always ready to meet the locals. In Kilkenny, he had chat with this representative of the Kilkenny Cats hurling team.

ireland, finn mcspool, kilkenny cats

Also in Kilkenny, at the castle, Finn met up with this fellow who, if I remember right, represents the River Suir. Regardless of who he is, he looks like he’s already downed a pint or two himself despite it only being about 10am!

finn mcspool, kilkenny, ireland,

I’ll save all the friends Finn met on the Aran Islands for a later post, but when he got to Dublin, he was eager to get his photo taken with a couple celebrities. He got a bit too friendly with Molly Malone one morning, and I really hope there isn’t a sexual harassment suit in Finn’s future.

finn mcspool, ireland, molly malone

Although I always though he’d be fun and witty, Oscar Wilde didn’t even glance at Finn. Guess fame has gone to his head and he no longer has time for the little people monsters.

finn mcspool, ireland, oscar wilde, merrion square

Luckily, there were better friends to be made in Dublin including Finn’s maker. On our very first day in the big city, it was group photo time. That’s the world famous Explorer Beastie there on the right and, as you can see, from his work at Crawcrafts Beastiesย he’s a natural in front of the camera. The other three Beasties, just don’t seem to know where to look.

But wait, who are those other two Beasties? Well, strange things happen on an island that is so full of mysterious creatures and legends. Sometimes, you may find yourself Beastie-fied. That’s right, let me introduce you to Tammie and Mr Husband Beastie (aka “my birthday present from Mr Husband”).

As you can see, Helen really had her work cut out for her not only with two different outfits for these monsters (see dress and Hawaiian shirt in the first photo versus the Aran Island sweaters above), but also with loads of accessories, including a couple Hop Monster IPAs, a sandwich, cookie, satchel, backpack, sketchbook, Ireland guide book, and even a copy of every Beasties’ favorite book The Trials of Herc-Woolies!

Finn was a little jealous of the new Beasties at first, but he soon warmed up to Tammie Beastie. Wait, no, I think he just wanted to steal her cookie. Ah well, it’s a start.

Finn will be back in a couple weeks to begin his official Trip Report to show off all the sites he saw in between the breakfasting, beering, and befriending. And be sure to stop by Wednesday for a super exciting announcement from my writing world!!!

See you then!


20 thoughts on “Ireland: Land of Beers, Breakfasts, and Beastie Friends

  1. Delightful! I’m glad to see that Finn got to enjoy all those yummy calories (liquid + solid!), and made some new Beastie pals along the way. Their outfits and accessories are adorable – they are definitely adventure-ready! Looks like a very fun time. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. “massive plate of cholesterol” – oh my goodness this was an awesome and delightful post. I read it over my boring breakfast of a spinach smoothie. Finn certainly had quite the adventures! So cute when he got a little carried away with Irish beer (yum) and he might need to get his cholesterol checked after all those pork delights! So cool you got to meet Helen in person, the Queen of Beasties! Just wait till my tierneycreates Beastie arrives, I am taking her on many adventures too ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Yes, I met the legend herself! And do beware, it’s a bit unnerving to see yourself beasticized. At least you’ll be expecting it…my transformation was a complete surprise. As for Finn’s health, it’s amazing how little cholesterol clings to his stuffing. Lucky guy! Glad the post gave you a smile :))

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  3. omgomgomgomgomgomg there’s just too much good stuff to unpack, I’m overwhelmed!!!! So first off, those breakies, eh??? Lucky for me (and the pig population), they do plenty of vegetarian versions in Londontown, and I’m SO into eating those rubbish baked beans for every meal! Second, ugh I’m sooooo jealous of your brewery date! Those flights look ravishing. Thirdly – all the Beasties together – too much. I’m gonna need to see a more detailed shot of Beastie Tammie’s little black dress (I assume Helen can accommodate). They. Are. Perfect. Of course! I also think it’s so sweet that they were your bday gift from Mr Husband – as Sinead was my bday gift from my Mr Husband! They are indulgent, these men, eh? Plus, having your first Osteria novel Beastified?! How epic is that?! Love it all – can’t wait to hear about the rest of the trip!


    1. Yeah, I think Finn made the right call in holding off on the actual trip reports to make a detailed report on the important stuff…breakfasts and beers. I hardly eat any meat at all (maybe chicken once or twice a month), so the pig-tastic breakfasts were getting pretty overwhelming. The flights however were amazing, especially as I was getting a bit homesick for my super hoppy, super strong Portland beers…Helen and Open Gate saved me from despair! And while Mr Husband did get a whack over the head for the extravagance of the birthday present, I have to say it was a super surprise.

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      1. Yes, it’s pretty full-on to consume that much pig in the morning! I soooo hear you about the hoppy crafts beers. I find anything under 4% repugnant and undrinkable (especially as it’s usually warm over here) and will ALWAYS go for the APA or the IPA out in London. Once you’ve had the good stuff, it’s hard to go back! I can’t wait to see more of your bday gift on Friday!

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  4. Hahaha! Oh good call, Finn! Cover all the important stuff first. Our tourist office should really be employing him to show off the delights that await every visitor to our shores! It was so great to meet you and Mr Husband at long last, and I reeeeally hope you weren’t TOO freaked out by your surprise Beastification. I know Tammie Beastie was pretty excited to see herself as a human… But then she did have the advantage of being forewarned ๐Ÿ˜€ Now I’m excited to see the rest of Finn’s Irish adventure!

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    1. Wait, was that a job offer from the Irish Tourist Board? He’ll take it!! (And since I have to accompany him as his handler…) I think the meeting of my Beastie self was mostly confusion over who was actually giving me to myself. First you’re giving me books and then I thought you were giving Mr Husband the beasties as a gift, and all I could think was, “Damn, she’s giving us all this stuff and all I brought her were three little tubes of lip balm!” Then my blondness slowly wore off and I realized the beasties were from Mr Husband. Of course, then you started taking my dress off and the weirdness started all over again! :))


      1. Hahaha! ๐Ÿ˜† Note to all readers who weren’t there… It was Beastie Tammie, and I only undid the hook-and-eye fastenings on her dress to basically show off that there were hook-and-eye fastenings on her dress! There’s nothing to see here! ๐Ÿ˜‚

        Anyway, I’m glad we got to the bottom of the gift-giving fiasco, and I’m flippin’ loving my lip balm! The texture of it is absolutely perfect, and I’m willing every swarm in the Pacific Northwest to head to your hives so you can make more! Although by the sounds of things, you’ll soon be abandoning Portland and following Finn over here to take up his prestigious new position of Executive Director of Beers and Breakfasts at the tourist board!


      2. Man, what a dream job for him! So far, your swarm-willing ways aren’t working and my hive is still empty. Luckily I have enough wax from the last bunch of bees to last for many, many more batches of lip-soothing wonder. And yeah, sorry folks, no scandalous bodice ripping, just a little beastie clothing display. Although Finn does provide plenty of nudity….


      3. Oh no! Maybe my powers don’t extend that far. Shucks, you’ll have to move to Ireland! And is there any chance I can buy up some of that next lip balm batch in advance? I’m hopelessly addicted now! ๐Ÿ˜€

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      4. Well, I still have over 20 tubes left from the last batch, so if you need me to hook you up. Man, I feel like a drug dealer…giving you the first ones for free to get you addicted and begging for more. Soon you’ll be standing on Grafton Street with a sign that says, “Will work for lip balm.” ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚


      5. That did occur to me! Must… Have… More! Although thanks to your perfect recipe, a little bit goes a looooong way. A couple of swipes got me through an entire day of talking to students yesterday! Makes you wonder what kind of guff they put in the commercial stuff…


      6. I think it’s because so many of the “real” lip balms contain alcohol. Not that I’m ever one to complain about alcohol being in things, but in lip balm? Noooooo…makes the stuff evaporate faster and leaves your lips feeling even drier than before. Since this makes you use more (and buy more), I have to hand it to a clever product development team on that one!


  5. I just had my Irish husband (Terry the Quilting Husband) read your post and he loved it too! We love a good microbrew (I am still laughing over Hop Monster, showed him that too) and he loved Finn in the midst of all the samples!


    1. I don’t know which was better: the real Hop Monster beer I made, or the felt Hop Monster bottles. The real stuff was quite tasty, but I guess the felt ones will last longer! Hopefully your quilting hubby will enjoy Finn’s other reports on his homeland (well, I hope you enjoy them too!).

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