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Ireland — May 2016

Go big or go home, right? To start off the bucket list, we traveled over to Dublin, Ireland back in May!

Let me back up and clarify a little bit. We didn’t just dive headfirst into international travel because we’re 20-something and we can. Okay, that might’ve been part of it ๐Ÿ˜‰ Corey was actually over there for work for the quarter. So I let him get settled into his apartment, and I met him over there after about a month for vacation!

Since this is going to encompass the full tripย in one post, I’ll try to be brief and just hit the highlights of each day.

Monday:

My flight got in first thing in the morning. I’d left home the afternoon before, on Mother’s Day, actually (don’t worry, I had my mom’s blessing!). So after an overnight flight with little sleep, naps were in order. We spent some time in Dublin that afternoon when we inevitable needed food, but other than that it was a lazy/adjust-to-another-timezone day.

Tuesday:

Tuesday was one of my favorite days, mostly because of Conor. We took a walking tour of Dublin, and Conor was our tour guide. He was our age and had grown up in the city; clearly, he still loved it there! He was not only knowledgeable, but incredibly enthusiastic. That made the history lessons cool, and the anecdotes that much more fun ๐Ÿ™‚ We ended the tour at Trinity College, so we looked checked out theย massive library and the Book of Kells exhibit!

It's the Beauty and the Beast library come to life!
It’s the Beauty and the Beast library come to life!
Wednesday:

After being there a couple days, and still not fully adjusted to the 6 hour time jump, we took off on a cross country bus ride to the west coast of Ireland — to the Cliffs of Moher, specifically. Corey found this two day trip package deal where you rode from Dublin to the Cliffs, took a ferry out to the Aran Islands off the coast and stayed the night, then reversed the process the next day. The travel company clearly hadn’t been doing this trip for very long, as the ferry-to-the-island part still had kinks to work through, but things worked out well!

One of Corey's more artistic pictures. I loved it so much that I made it the blog's header!
One of Corey’s more artistic pictures. I loved it so much that I made it the blog’s header!
We caught some flack for this one. On first glance, it could definitely be mistaken for an engagement picture. And a few people did. Oooops.
We caught some flack for this one. On first glance, it could definitely be mistaken for an engagement picture. And a few people did. Oooops.
Thursday:

We spent the night at this adorable bed’n’breakfast on Innis Mor, the largest of the three islands. Largest is definitely relative — the big island still has a population of less than 1000 people. The sleepy island was definitely a nice getaway. The scenery was beautiful, and the whole place was incredibly peaceful. Life was slow, and that was more than okay with them!

Sign leading to our B&B. If you're ever in the area, definitely stay here. It's quite lovely! Also look at the stone walls. These covered the island!
Sign leading to our B&B. If you’re ever on the island, definitely stay here. It’s quite lovely! Also look at the stone walls. These covered the island!
This old stone church was once completely above the ground. Over the years, the sand has buried it. Kinda cool
This old stone church was once completely above the ground. Over the years, the sand has buried it. Kinda cool

On the bus ride back, we sat with some fantastic Australian grandparents. They made great conversation companions on the arduous cross-country trek (the drive was only about 3 hours ๐Ÿ˜› ).

Another Corey original. I love the pink flower in the foreground.
Another Corey original. I love the pink flower in the foreground. He snapped this on our drive back.
Friday:

Friday was definitely another highlight among a whole trip full of awesome days. We’re both Game of Thrones fans, and Corey managed to find a tour that took you around to different filming locations for the first few seasons up in Northern Ireland. Obviously, we had to check it out! That was a lot of fun, even though our bus broke down a couple times throughout the day. Our tour guide had even been an extra on the show, so his personal anecdotes made the experience that much cooler!

This castle was used as the basis for Walder Frey's 'The Twins.' They essentially mirrored this tower across a river and made it look more epic. Can you tell it was a windy day?
This castle was used as the basis for Walder Frey’s ‘The Twins.’ They essentially mirrored this tower across a river and made it look more epic. Can you tell it was a windy day?
christmas-card
Meeting the direwolves Summer and Grey Wind — otherwise known as Thor and Odin. According to the dogs’ handler, who took this picture for us, this looks like a family Christmas card for “the King and Queen of the North!”
At the end of the tour, we all put on replica cloaks, and a few of us got prop swords to hold. Corey has Oathkeeper, and I have Robb Stark's sword, which happened to be the most expensive prop they had!
At the end of the tour, we all put on replica cloaks, and a few of us got prop swords to hold. Corey has Oathkeeper, and I have Robb Stark’s sword, which happened to be the most expensive prop they had!
Saturday:

On our walking tour of Dublin, Conor told us about another tour that the company puts on, this one up to Howth. For those that don’t know Irish geography (I certainly didn’t), Howth is a peninsula northeast of Dublin. It forms the northern border of the Dublin bay. One of Corey’s friends from work joined us, too! We hiked around the area, got some fantastic views, and had probably the best seafood chowder I’ve ever eaten. Well,ย Iย had the seafood. Corey got something that didn’t come out of the ocean.

aiden-alexandra-howth
Ireland was surprisingly sunny while I was there. Didn’t expect to use my sunglasses as often as I did!
corey-howth
One of a few pics I snapped of just Corey. Translation: one of the few times I had the camera!
Sunday:

Since I had to leave the next day, we took it easy on Sunday and went to the zoo!

Typical us.
Typical us.
At the zoo on a class field trip in Kindergarten, just for comparisons' sake :)
At the zoo on a class field trip in Kindergarten, just for comparisons’ sake ๐Ÿ™‚

This post ended up being way longer than expected. Thanks for sticking with it!

Cheers,

Aiden

Bonus picture of Corey while I was off souvenir shopping. Typical guy... ;)
Bonus picture of Corey while I was off souvenir shopping. Typical guy… ๐Ÿ˜‰

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