Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Europe Part 1: Ireland

We finally did it! And we decided to do it within a month of leaving. Lisa and I were on a hike in Spanish Fork canyon on our anniversary (August 22), and we were talking about our favorite trips. I mentioned that we should go to Europe. I had just gotten out of a 10-month training for the Air Force Reserves, and all of a sudden we had a LOT of free time, with no job offers in the works. We had some money saved, and if I started a new job, I likely wouldn't have much time off for awhile. It all made sense in my head, and I slowly (or quickly) convinced Lisa. By the end of the hike, we were already making plans!

So I'm dividing this up into the different areas we traveled: Ireland, England, Benelux (Belgium/Netherlands/Luxembourg - minus the Luxembourg), and France. Then I'll end with some planning advice and things we learned from our trip!

Part 1: Ireland - 14-17 September

We left SLC early on the 14th toward Dublin, with a long layover at JFK in NYC. We went into the city during the layover (because why not?), had dinner, and walked around Central Park. We hurried back to the airport and boarded our red-eye flight to Dublin. We arrived around 3am Mountain time--local time 10am (15 Sept). We picked up our rental car, and immediately headed out to our first site, the Rock of Cashel, while jamming to Irish-born U2 and Enya. Everything was so green! We spent a few hours exploring the castle and grounds, and ate an early dinner in the nearby town of Cashel. We then headed back to Dublin, and checked into the Glashaus Hotel in Tallaght, on the southwest side of Dublin.

We woke up early the next morning (16 Sept), and grabbed breakfast and snacks for lunch at the Tesco supermarket across the street from our hotel. Then we hopped on the Luas (light rail) to ride into downtown Dublin. First, we picked up our hop-on hop-off bus tickets, and then rode the double decker bus a few stops to our first sight-seeing stop, Trinity College. Our main interest was the Book of Kells, illuminated manuscripts of the four Gospels that date back to 800 AD. Above the exhibit, located in the Old Library, is the Long Room. This room was awesome; it holds thousands of rare books and artifacts in a room 213 feet long. I wish I could have that room in my house.

Next, we hopped on our bus and headed over to the National Museum of Ireland, had a picnic lunch at St. Stephen's Green, and then visited Kilmainham Gaol. This was the jail where many of the Irish revolutionaries were held and executed in the early 1900s. We also explored Grafton Street (a giant pedestrian way), Dame Street, the Dublin Castle (didn't go in), and the Temple Bar neighborhood. We finished the night with dinner at the Porterhouse pub in Temple Bar, then headed back on the Luas to our hotel. After all that walking, we slept very well that night. We headed back to the airport the next morning, dropped off our car, and boarded our Aer Lingus flight to the London Gatwick airport!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

D Planned it, I loved it

When my sweet husband gets something in his head that he wants to do, he will go ALL OUT to make it happen. I love that about him…most of the time (syncing slut – you know what I’m talking about Babe). So when he had the brilliant idea to plan a snowboarding trip for part of his Christmas this year, he made it happen. I literally did nothing for this trip. Other then nod my head and say, “sure honey, that sounds like fun”, and go on a shopping trip with him to find snow clothes for the trip. It was glorious. I love it when he plans, it’s always so much better than when I do it.

He found a ski resort in Colorado called Telluride. At this ski resort there are 127 runs! So cool! Granted, I only snowboarded on one run, pathetic I know, but I’m still learning. This was my 4th time going in 4 years. It’s hard to develop any kind of skill if you aren’t practicing more than once a year. But anyways, Denis went on a handful of runs, he’s much better than I am, and he had a blast. That is really all that mattered. Truthfully, I was there for the last half of the trip where we relaxed in private hot tubs on the rooftops, rode gondolas to go eat fantastic food, and took walks around the cute village and town. It was a beautiful weekend full of sun, fun, and flaming octopus’s.

Presenting Telluride

Hot tubbing

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Snowboarding2015-01-17_12-39-33_IMG_6712 EDIT2015-01-17_15-29-46_IMG_0431 EDIT2015-01-17_16-28-46_IMG_6722

Exploring2015-01-17_18-31-20_IMG_6741 EDIT2015-01-18_14-17-24_IMG_68172015-01-18_14-23-24_IMG_6794 EDIT2015-01-18_14-27-36_IMG_6799 EDIT2015-01-18_14-19-21_IMG_6793 EDIT2015-01-18_14-31-35_IMG_68222015-01-18_14-32-57_IMG_68192015-01-18_13-43-10_IMG_68142015-01-18_14-01-19_IMG_6816

Gondola Riding

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