Monday, May 12, 2014

Dublin Ireland Birthday Trip!

 I said as we were leaving,
"Turning 35 isn't so bad, you get to go to Dublin with your hot hubby
with a long enough layover in Philly to see the Liberty Bell and grab a cheesesteak."
Off for a Birthday trip weekend in Ireland!
 We had not wanted to go this route through Philadelphia because it
had a 6 hour layover before the flight to Dublin, but when we decided to
take the flight here and researched that you can take a train directly from
the airport into the city we thought it could be fun to squeeze it in before our flight.
This was the streets of Philly, by the Independence National Historical Building.
 Can't go to Philly and not get a cheesesteak! Right?
Luckily we chose well.  We opted for provolone instead of "wiz",
lol, that just sounds nasty too.  It was yummy and the cheese was good.
The Reading Terminal Market.
This reminded me so much of Pikes in Seattle.
This is where we got the cheesesteak, an indoor market place 
full of butchers, bakeries, seafood, veggie stands and tons of eateries.
Must see if in Philadelphia.
 Jeremy in front of a statue at Independence Hall and us by the Liberty Bell.
We literally missed seeing it inside by 5 minutes!
Jeremy said next time, bell first then cheesesteak.
Lesson learned.  Still cool to see. 
 Cheers to first class!
We got first class going over, they wine and dine you and the 
seats lay completely flat.  Honestly I wished the flight was longer to
sleep some more going over.
 Dinner service.
This is after the warm nuts and drinks they serve you.
You feel so spoiled.
 Our hotel
The Radisson Blu, St. Helens.
Dublin day 1.
 The grounds were incredible.
Getting here was easy we rode the Air Coach taken directly from
the airport though the city to our hotel.  The hotel is a stop on the route.
The hotel was just outside the city and was perfect.
We loved it so much. 
 O'Connell Street.
Downtown Dublin.
 The row houses were my absolute favorite.
Every door color you could imagine.
So colorful and fun, reminded me of London.
 Old cool historic buildings and statues everywhere.
We spent the first day strolling the streets of Dublin and took the
hop-on-hop-off bus around the city.
(a great way to see the city)
 We are so American! lol
We had to try a real American Cola.
We ate fish-n-Chips at this cute shop on O'Connell Street.
They say they get lots of fresh fish being an island country.
 The famous Temple Bar.
 The whole area around here is called Temple Bar.
Full of restaurants and bars.
 This bar is actually huge.
I thought it would be one bar with a small space, but is is huge
and keeps going and going.
Opened in 1840.
Getting a pint in Temple Bar.
Their yogurts are so weird!
This one was in a glass jar.
We stopped at a small grocery store and got yogurts and
muffins for in the morning.  I love looking at grocery stores in other places.
So intriguing. They have the weirdest/coolest stuff.  They sold quail eggs by the 2 dozen.
 Day 2.
Trinity College. 
 Tower at the center of the grounds.
 Beautiful grounds.
Have you noticed all the blue skies?
We had incredible weather.  I am not sure how we lucked out
the first 2 days of our trip.   Blue skies and sunshine.
 Dublin Castle.
 Church in the castle.
 Center court of the castle.
 So cool to learn the history of Dublin.
 Queen of Tarts!
Cutest little pastry shop by the castle, 
we got a pear and chocolate tart,  it was delish!
Plus the cutest name ever!
 Christ Church.
Could you imagine living in the times of old churches and castles.
 Just down the block is St.Patrick's Cathedral.
They are within walking distance.
 Grounds in front of the cathedral.
Such a serene, peaceful spot in the city.
 We loved this little spot so much.
It really was beautiful and quiet.
St. Patrick's
 St. James Church.
They said there as many churches in Dublin as bars,
so lots.
 Guinness Factory and a pint of Guinness.
(gag, sorry but so gross)
 The cutest street ever!
Even with a church at the end of it.
This area was so fun, it reminded me of the streets in Paris.
 This area was right around the Trinity College.
 Tiramisu gelato.
As yummy as it looks.
 Dublin Day 3.
The back of our hotel.
The grounds were like Alice in Wonderland.
 Off to see the countryside.
 A big thumbs up for our beautiful hotel.
 Raddison Blu, St. Helens.
 The countryside in Ireland,
exactly how I imagine it.  Green and full of sheep.
 Passing through towns and villages with landscaped green rolling hills.
 Russborough Estate.
  We got to tour this massive estate, castle-like home.
 The view out front.
 Feeling Irish.
Exploring Ireland with my sweetie.
A birthday trip I will never ever forget.
 Isn't this how you imagined the countryside of Ireland?
(pronounced Glen-da-lock)
This was an old monastery.
A monk, St. Kevin started a church here. 
 This is the round tower.
 You know I love an old cemetery.
 What is left of the cathedral on the grounds.
They said it was attacked many times and rebuilt many, many times.
 Grounds of Glendalough.
Our no rain luck ran out today.
Can't complain though we had great weather up to this point.
 Last standing church in Glendalough.
 Next we visited Avoca Mill.
Oldest running wool mill.
We saw how they hand made scarves and blankets still today.
  Trying out some Irish food.
A beef and Guinness pie.
 Good-bye Dublin,
until we meet again.

We had the most incredible trip.  A trip I will never, ever forget.
The sights we saw, history we learned and food we tasted will stay with me forever.
I still can't believe we have already went and come home from our trip.
It is always a whirlwind.  We saw so much in 3 days.
The hop-on-hop-off bus is a fantastic way to see all the major sites and get
around the city.  Our pass included a 2nd day free, and it's nice to be
able to catch it anywhere you want.  Day 2 we started mid-route 
and was perfect to cater to what we wanted to see and do that day.
I loved hearing the Irish accents and our tour guide on our last day
was so incredibly knowledgeable.  All the small facts and tidbits she gave
were interesting and gave a glimpse into their history and heritage.
We lucked out and had amazing weather almost the whole time we were there.
The last day on our tour we got rain, and by rain I mean poured on and fierce wind.
But luckily it didn't last all day.
The countryside was exactly how I pictured it, green, lush and so many sheep.
I loved it.  It was nice to see the diversity of the city then the quiet hillside.
It was the perfect trip.  Love exploring the world with my hubby.

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