A Travellerspoint blog

Loafing and Laughing in London

semi-overcast 51 °F

We had a great day in London! I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to begin the day around 9:45 this morning. Since Justin was up so late writing the post last night, I let him sleep in longer while I had some cereal and read my book. He needs his beauty sleep too! I woke him up about an hour later because we had a lot planned for the day and he still needed to eat some breakfast before we left. We left the apartment at 11:30 and we were thrilled to be in the crisp air outside. We couldn’t figure out how to open our windows last night, so we ended up baking in our apartment all night because we also couldn’t figure out how to turn off the heat! It seems like the whole building has a single heating system that is controlled by someone else. I started our walk off by just wearing my tank top! Justin only wore a long-sleeved shirt and was just happy to be cold again for once.

Luckily, we cooled off as we continued walking. The first thing on our list for today was to walk through Hyde Park on our way to the center. Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in London and it’s just a few blocks away from our apartment. It was massive! We walked through the entire park and got to pass by the two small lakes located in the green space. There was a scary amount of birds at each lake and Justin found that to be a fun time to bring up Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” movie. We didn’t spend much time admiring the waterfowl and soon we were on our way to our next destination. We saw the massive Christmas fair at the end of Hyde Park, but we figured we’d stop by another time since we still had plenty to do today.

The streets were insanely crowded as we approached the Winter Wonderland Christmas Fair. We fought through the people and finally found some open space on our way to Buckingham Palace. The roundabout located in between the Winter Wonderland and Buckingham Palace was even more packed than the sidewalks! The entire roundabout was congested with double decker busses and there was absolutely no movement. They looked like they’d be trapped for quite a while. We weaved in and out of the traffic while crossing the street before we finally made it to Buckingham Palace. Both of us were surprisingly underwhelmed with the palace. I think it’s tough to surprise us with palaces after seeing all of the French chateaux in the Loire. It all just looked so plain here! We still took some pictures and spent some time watching the guards located on the inside of the gates. We were also expecting there to be guards on the outside of the gates, but there were only tourists there.

We left Buckingham Palace feeling slightly unsatisfied and continued our journey through the equally crowded St James’s Park. This particular park is the oldest of London’s eight Royal Parks. We walked all the way through the park until we reached Horse Guards Road, where there are literally guards on horses standing watch. I hesitantly took a picture with one of the stern looking guards before moving on to check out Westminster. The streets continued to thicken with tourists trying to catch a glimpse of Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster. The sidewalks definitely are not equipped for so many people! People were starting to spill into the streets trying to take pictures. Justin and I patiently waited for an opening in the sidewalk so we could take a Kuku selfie with Big Ben! The light was pretty incredible at this point and Big Ben was beautifully reflecting the sun light. The entire palace had some pretty impressive architecture and for those of you who don’t know, the Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, which are the two houses of Parliament in the UK. Justin and I definitely weren’t up to date on our British history! We were starting to get claustrophobic so we walked across the street and headed over to Westminster Abbey next.

Westminster Abbey had more incredible architecture and we got to admire the church from the outside. We would have gone inside if the entrance fee hadn’t been a whopping 18£! We took a mini break here and game planned the rest of our afternoon. It was still early at this point and we knew we had a few more hours of daylight that we wanted to take advantage of. Even though we were more than a few kilometers away from the apartment, we decided to walk back instead of take the tube because we wanted to check out the Christmas market at Hyde Park. It didn’t take us very long at all to get back to the crowded Christmas market. It did, however, take a while to walk through the Christmas market itself because it was so overcrowded. We were sandwiched like sardines and were forced to follow the flow of traffic from one stand to another. We only stayed for a brief amount of time because there were way too many people for us to handle.

We continued our walk through Hyde Park and made it back to the main street by our house. We were eager to get back and rest and have a snack since we had been gone all afternoon! Luckily, we still had some delicious curry leftover last night. We feasted and enjoyed some episodes of Chopped! Justin was full and sleepy after having his lunch and decided to take a nap right as the sun went down around 16:00. He’s still resting as I’m writing this post and both of us our waiting for our friend La’akea to arrive! He’s coming for the night from Oxford before we all head off to Wales together tomorrow morning :) It’s always fun to reunite with familiar faces and we’re excited to continue the adventure with him!

This is Justin picking up where Kaela left off. La’akea is with us know and we have had a great time hanging out tonight. We picked up supplies for pasta at the store and La’akea picked up some wine for us to split. We enjoyed our delicious dinner, that Kaela prepared, at home while watching the Real Madrid game. We spent the evening sipping wine, enjoying each other’s company, and sharing stories. Kaela is currently asleep and La’akea and I are up late watching the Hawaii football game! We have a train to Cardiff, Wales in the morning. We are excited to see another country and even more excited to be traveling with a good friend of us!

Love,

Kaela and Justin

P.S. La'akea came up with the fantastic title for this blog post.

G0191060.jpg
Big Ben!

G0331426.jpgG0321410.jpgG0030679.jpg
Our gorgeous street!

G0050717.jpgG0060737.jpgG0070767.jpgG0100845.jpgG0110872.jpg
Walking through Hyde Park!

G0130906.jpgG0150962.jpg
Buckingham Palace and the surrounding gardens

G0160977.jpg
Kaela was so nervous and shy around the horse! So cute

G0211151.jpg
Westminster church

G0231240.jpg
Me: "Kaela, why would you go inside the phone booth to use your cell phone?"
Kaela: "That's what makes it funny!"

G0241267.jpg
The Princess in her natural habitat :)

G0261298.jpgG0261309.jpgG0271321.jpg
Walking through the egregiously crowded Winter Wonderland

G0281334.jpg
Pretty fountain of Queen Elizabeth II

G0291353.jpg
Yes, time sure does fly

G0301376.jpg
One Last scenic shot from our walk back through Hyde Park!

G0311387.jpg
The streets of London!

Posted by JK_Adventures 17:33 Archived in England Comments (0)

Travel Day: Dublin to London

overcast 50 °F

Today started off much much earlier than we were used to, particularly in comparison to the sleepy several days we have had in Dublin. Couple this with a late night the previous day and both Kaela and I knew that we would be in for a long day! We both woke up to our alarm at 6:15 and started our last minute packing. While Kaela zipped up her bag, which was stuffed completely full, I made us both a cup of yogurt with granola. we enjoyed our breakfast for a few minutes before getting back to work on cleaning up the apartment! I took the trash downstairs. Unfortunately, it leaked a little on the way out, and onto my snow jacket, so Kaela and I spent a few minutes cleaning up that mess. We really didn't have much else to do in the morning, since we completed most of it the night before. We headed out the door once I finished brushing my teeth shortly after 7:00. We walked ten minutes to our bus station and just missed one. Within ten minutes another showed up and after a short check-in process, we got on the bus and headed off to the airport! The bus made several other stops around Dublin before making it to the airport, which proceeded to make Kaela nauseous again. I moved to another seat to let her spread out and cool down, since it was obnoxiously warm on the bus. It started to become apparent that the bus was going to fill up so i moved back over next to Kaela and prayed that we would arrive at the airport soon. Even with the driver's lead brake foot, we made it to the airport earlier than we were expecting. This whole ride to the airport was quite different for us as well. After the entire fiasco the night before about the airline not letting us check in one of our bags, even after we went to enormous lengths in order to contact them to rectify the situation, all we learned is that we would have to pay the enormous penalty of 75 Euros for a checked bag at the airport. Instead of going to the airport content with our situation and then being surprisingly ripped off upon arrival, we both rode the bus knowing that we would get ripped off no matter what. It is an oddly different feeling.

Once we got to the airport we found the British Airways podium and headed over to try to plead our case before forking over ungodly amounts of money. The attendant was incredibly nice and said that she would be able to un-check Kaela in for her flight so that she could go through the check-in process once more to ensure that the proper baggage allotment is indicated and paid for. I was able to get free-wifi from the airport and Kaela fixed her booking details within minutes. She went back up to the counter and was able to check in her bag for the online price of 22 Euros, since she paid for it on my phone. Kaela thanked everyone at the counter for being so nice and helpful. Kaela also mentioned that she called the USA division of British Airways the night before and the representative there said that there was nothing that the company could do for her once she was checked in. However, the attendant at the airport quickly noticed the problem and helped to fix it with a few clicks of her mouse. I wonder what that says about the customer service in the United States. This is just another example about how nice every person, that we have encountered, is in Ireland.

After Kaela dropped off her bag we made it through security much more smoothly than we thought, since we had a set of metal silverware on us (accidentally) and it caused a problem when leaving paris, but the guards ultimately let us keep the silverware. We made it to our gate and waited for an hour or so until the boarding process was about to begin. One of the attendants at the gate (who happened to be the same who helped Kaela rectify the baggage problem in the lobby), made an announcement that the flight was full and they would take any unneeded cabin baggage and put it under the plane free of charge. Kaela and I both jumped at this opportunity to get my carry-on bag off of my hands because, although it is a regulation carry on bag in the United States, it simply is too large for European airlines. Kaela jumped up in line with my bag and I soon took her place. The attendants announced that they had enough bags and they didn't need to take anymore. Knowing that mine was probably too large, I hung out around the area and the same lady who helped Kaela downstairs took my bag and checked it under the plane free of charge. What a relief! After we got on the plane it was fairly simply to see that I wouldn't have had a prayer to get my bag to fit in the over head compartment. Kaela and I didn't want to pay for another checked bag though, since it is so expensive, and since our bags are technically within the parameters that the airline provides.

We both came to the airport expecting to get ripped off and it turns out that it was one of the luckiest travel days we have had so far. What could have costed us upward of 150 Euros ended up costing us only 22. Most travelers go to the airport happy and leave disgruntled after they feel they have been wronged in some way. We arrived feeling wronged and disgrunted and left happy and in a great mood since everything just seemed to work in our favor. Lucky us I suppose!

On the flight to London, Kaela napped off and on the whole time while I had some quality reading time for The Girl who Kicked the Hornets Nest. It would have been a decent flight if it were not for one individual in the row next to us shouting the entire time to the person next to him. This man was observably disturbing all people around him. It was as if he had headphones on and didn't really know that he was yelling. This literally continued for the duration of the flight so much that Kaela had difficulty sleeping and anyone who knows Kaela knows that she can sleep ANYWHERE! We landed around an hour after take off, I think, and we disembarked and headed to the baggage claim. We saw an ATM while we were waiting for our bags so we decided to pull out a few pounds so we would have some of the local currency on us. Since we both know how expensive the pound is in comparison to the dollar, and even the Euro for that sake, we both audibly laughed when we saw the ATM give us the options of pulling out 500, 600, 700, or 800 pounds! We decided to go the safer route and just pull out a nice even 40 ;) which is still equivalent to almost $65! That is quite the difference. After we pulled out money we grabbed our bags and headed to the light rail system into the city. We were able to purchase our tickets remarkably easily, but that is because Kaela researched which ones we needed ahead of time. We had a rather long ride on the light rail, and we had to transfer once in the tube as well. All in all, it took us around 45 minutes to get to our station in London after leaving London City Airport.

Weirdly enough, it took us around 15 minutes just to figure out how to exit the station. We walked in circles around the whole ring but there was no where to get out! We couldn't believe it! We ended up just following some people and eventually figured out that we had to take some sort of freight elevator up to the top floor. It was definitely a little weird and it wasn't clearly marked at all! Once we finally made it to the surface we were at the doorsteps of our apartment building within 10 minutes. We are located on the most beautiful street! All of the buildings are white and look like (and probably are) old mansions that were converted into apartments. It looks absolutely pristine and we didn't fail to notice that residents are not afraid to park cars on the street in this neighborhood that cost more than sending an army of children through college. Kaela called the landlord and he soon opened the door and showed us to our apartment. He pretty much just opened the door and said here you are, so we were left to figure out the nuances of the apartment on our own. He was kind enough, however, to show us where the bathroom was because it was detached from the studio and we have to walk outside in the hallway to get to it! How funny. After we both started to settle in, we both spent nearly 20 minutes just typing random guesses into the wifi account because we couldn't read his handwriting! After we relaxed for nearly 2 hours, and Kaela took a few small naps, we figured we should go outside and walk around our neighborhood a little before it gets dark, and pick up some items for dinner.

We walked around and tried our best not to get run over by any cars. It is definitely interesting to see which countries stop for people in the crosswalk and which don't! We poked our heads into a few stores just to get a gauge of prices and it was definitely shocking! We definitely wanted to still be as efficient with our money as possible so we looked around for a few options before we made a decision. We actually found an American foods store that had all kinds of cereal, pop tarts, treats, and cakes that one would typically find in an American supermarket, but is incredibly hard to find in Europe. We decided not to get anything there though because Cheerios just didn't seem worth $14 to us. We went into a few other stores and eventually found some decently priced pre-made meals including curry. Just for the fun of it we decided to see how much it would cost for us to make curry and it wasn't as bad as we though it would be! We picked up all of our supplies, and some cereal and milk for a different breakfast this time, before heading back to the house. It was around 16:45 and the sun was already setting. The sky was dark at this point! It was crazy to think how early it was and how dark it was at the same time. We are definitely going to need to adjust to that a little bit during our stay throughout the United Kingdom.

After we got home Kaela started the curry (I helped to peel the carrots), and then we relaxed for a little while before deciding to shower so we can lounge in bed for the rest of the evening. We watched a few episodes of Cutthroat Kitchen on Youtube (we had to text the landlord to come back and show us how to use the television) while feasting on our delicious curry. Immediately after dinner Kaela started showing her typical signs of fatigue and I knew that her slumber couldn't be too far off now! We both have been running on three hours of sleep today so we definitely need to play a little catch up tonight. Kaela is fast asleep and I will soon be right behind her! Tomorrow we are planning on hitting all (or most) of the main sights in London so we can get a quick overview of the city before we return in a week. We definitely have a busy and long day (of walking) ahead of us! Until then.

Love,

Justin and Kaela

B6575233BB1F9E9832F24B38667CDAAA.jpgIMG_9551.jpg
scenic shots of our street in London!

B64B49DCDFDFB35BF6F74B5E4CD6BDE5.jpgB651C74AB2FCE36D93EB427CECF1CD83.jpg
What our studio looks like! The bathroom is in the hallway? That is affirmative.

IMG_9550.png
Sleepy Kaela

IMG_9547.jpg
And don't forget it!

IMG_2732.jpg
Walking through the streets of Dublin pre-sunrise

IMG_2733.jpg
Our flight to London! Was it a charter? I'll never confirm nor deny

Posted by JK_Adventures 13:11 Archived in England Comments (0)

Happy Thanksgiving from Ireland!

semi-overcast 46 °F

Well to start things off...Happy Thanksgiving! Justin and I are very thankful for many things this year. We are thankful for this trip and for everyone who has helped us along the way; we are thankful for our friends and families; and we are thankful to continue our adventure together on this crazy journey called life!

We started our day off a little late because it was still just too dang cold to get out of bed! Luckily, it wasn't raining today, so we decided we better make the most out of our last day in Ireland. We got ready and each had some yogurt and granola before venturing out into the city center. We bundled up as much as we could then headed over to St. Stephen's Green, which is a large park located in the center of Dublin. It only took us about twenty minutes to get to the park. We found a bench right away and sat together while we people watched for another ten minutes. There were plenty of people passing through the park and we had a great time chatting and enjoying each others company. We walked over toward the pond next and snapped some quick pics of two swans swimming before walking out into the busy shopping streets.

We noticed a Christmas market as we were walking out of the park. We obviously had to go visit and walk the entire market to see if we found any new goodies. Nothing caught our eye at this specific market, but we did find some fun souvenirs at a shop nearby! We ended up walking around the main shopping area for a little while before making our way over to the Temple Bar Pub, which is a historic pub dating back to 1840! We felt obligated to stop in and get a couple pints of beer. Justin ordered a classic pint of Guinness and I had a pint of Carrig Coalface Black IPA. They were both satisfying :) We enjoyed our beers and listened to the live music for twenty minutes while conversing, which was surprisingly fun.

Once we finished our beers we had to rush out to run a few more errands. We decided that we wanted to see the new Interstellar movie in theaters! We had to run to the grocery store to pick up a snack before the movie (since the movie is almost three hours long) and we had to head back home to actually eat our snack. We were about thirty minutes away from the house and the movie time was in less than and hour so we had to hustle! We practically ran back to the store by our house to pick up a quick snack and hurried even more to get home. We made it to the house and finished our snack ten minutes before the movie time, then rushed back out to find the movie theater.

Unfortunately, our biggest problem was actually finding the movie theater! We walked over to the mall where the theater was supposed to be, but apparently the entrance is in a different location somewhere else in the mall. We frantically ran around the mall and still couldn't find the dang theater! We were just about to ask someone about the theater when Justin suddenly saw a sign for the relocated cinema. We hurried into the theater and bought our tickets for Interstellar. We even got the student and the matinee discount! We picked out our seats then quickly walked up to the correct room. We made it just as the previews were starting!

The movie was fantastic and a total brain game! I won't say anything more about it because I think everyone should go and see it if they really want to think about the universe that we live in ;) After the movie we headed back home to make some dinner together. We packed up our luggage for our travel day tomorrow then I started making a taco salad from our Thanksgiving meal leftovers. We even found some avocados in a roadside market stand on our way back from our sprint home earlier, which perfectly rounded out out meal :) We enjoyed our dinner together and watched another movie called St. Vincent. It was another great movie featuring Bill Murray! Once we finished dinner and the movie the real drama happened when I was trying to check in for our British Airways flight tomorrow. For some reason the airline's website is the least user friendly site I've ever encountered. I had problems adding baggage to my check in process and by the end of the process there was not a single option to add bags! This is extremely unfortunate because the price drastically changes between checking bags online and in person at the airport. This little setback will definitely cost British Airways a heavy complaint in regards to customer service because the online site absolutely sucks and even when my mom tried to help and call the US help line, the customer service rep was incredibly rude and unhelpful. We tried all options to fix the problem, but it looks like we'll have to deal with it at the airport.

Now that all of the fuss is over and I'm calmed down (thankfully I got to chat with my family!), Justin is in the process of buying an xbox with Christian. He's been on the phone with Christian and his mom trying to decided how to get the best black Friday deals. It seems like they have it all worked out now so it's time for us to head to bed! We have a busy travel day tomorrow and we have to get up pretty early for our flight into London! Until next time.

Love,
Kaela and Justin

IMG_9540.jpgG0110611.jpg
Hanging out at the Temple Bar Pub on this fine Thanksgiving.

G0010415.jpgG0020435.jpgG0040459.jpg
Spending time together at the park :)

G0050502.jpgG0070528.jpgG0120646.jpg
Loving the Christmas decorations around town!

G0080541.jpgG0100566.jpg8AA36CD9BE8F32C6203B3970DAE9C4B6.jpg
Great day walking around the city.

Posted by JK_Adventures 17:38 Archived in Ireland Comments (1)

Dreamy Day in Dublin

rain 37 °F

Today we woke up to freezing temperatures in Dublin, which made it particularly difficult to get out of bed. We set an alarm for 10:00 and we both cuddled in bed for a little while longer. Kaela started reading her book while I kept dozing in and out of sleep. I didn't finally get up until nearly 14:00! I guess I was exhausted! Our busy travel days throughout Ireland and our early schedules seemed to have taken their toll on me finally. Kaela hung out around the apartment waiting for me to get up and she even took another small nap herself. After we both finally got out of bed we decided that what we really wanted to do today was to spend it together at home. The fact that it was 37 degrees Fahrenheit outside and was supposed to rain for the remainder of the day definitely helped to contribute to that decision. We watched some random television and enjoyed staying under the covers in bed because our apartment was freezing as well.

Around 16:00 we decided that we finally had to leave the house for a few hours to walk around our neighborhood some and pick up some supplies for dinner. We decided to make our Thanksgiving dinner one day early in case we would have leftovers. Since we are leaving Dublin the morning after Thanksgiving we wanted to make sure that we could make our fantastic meal and not have to throw any remnants away, at least without trying to eat most of them first! We walked along the streets in our neighborhood until we arrived at the local supermarket. We decided to check out another store today to see if there would be any different supplies that we would want. We ended up getting only one item at the SuperValue and it was completely worth the trip; it was Red's Hot Sauce. This was our favorite Hot sauce our last semester of Graduate School in Hawaii and we put it on everything. Kaela's dad, Paul, got Kaela hooked on it because he uses it for his chicken wing sauce. From the moment we laid eyes on this miraculous red bottle in a lonely supermarket aisle in Dublin, we both knew that it had to be ours. After we finished purchasing our bottle of deliciousness (that should last a day or two) we headed over to the Lidl to pick up the rest of our supplies. We got everything we would need for Thanksgiving dinner: Chicken, potatoes, cheese, onions, green onions, sour cream, cream of chicken, butter, stuffing, etc. We also picked up a few extra supplies to us our leftover chicken for a taco salad tomorrow night!

Once we got back home Kaela immediately went to work prepping the food and getting it into the oven. It is nice to have an oven for once since, throughout the majority of our trip, we haven't had one. It seems like a luxury to us now! We definitely got lucky to be staying in an apartment with an oven over Thanksgiving as well. While Kaela worked her fanny off in the kitchen, I was on the couch. And no I was not being the stereotypical lazy significant other. I was trying to better myself by finishing and updating my resumé with the hope that one day, if I get really lucky, it will land me an interview with the slight possibility of getting a job soon after that! Once the chicken and the potatoes were in the oven we watched a marathon of bridal shows on television together while I waited for the Real Madrid game to start. The game started just after dinner was all finished so we sat on the couch together to share our meal. Kaela continued with the wedding shows and looked up wedding ideas on her phone for a few hours until I was finished watching the soccer game. Real Madrid ended up winning 1-0 with a goal from, my favorite, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Since the Real Madrid game ended Kaela and I have worked on our ballroom dancing (she suggested we take lessons together; does that mean I am doing well?), laughed a lot together (she claims she is funnier than me), and enjoyed wasting time together. We are both in the process of cleaning up and then we will watch an episode of Kaela's favorite show, New Girl, while enjoying our apple strudel dessert, which is currently in the oven. After that, I hope to read a chapter or two of The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest before I head off to bed. Tomorrow we are venturing out into the city, even though it is supposed to rain, to see a few sights. We are also leaning towards going to see Interstellar tomorrow afternoon after our sightseeing! I can't wait to spend another day together with my gorgeous fiancée. Until then.

Love,

Justin and Kaela

IMG_9531.jpgIMG_9529.jpg5131FC75DABC271160DE033FFD100C29.jpg51327E9205BF31B9DC866D35762EEECD.jpg
Happy early Thanksgiving from Ireland! Kaela made a whole chicken, brussel sprouts, and one of Doug's potato casseroles :)

IMG_9525.jpg
Matching scarves for this chilly day ;)

IMG_9523.jpg
Sneaky pictures!

Posted by JK_Adventures 14:34 Archived in Ireland Comments (3)

Travel Day: Doolin to Dublin

all seasons in one day 41 °F

We woke up in Doolin to a cold, rainy winter morning. We got out of bed just in time to do a few minutes of packing before heading out to the dining room for breakfast. We were immediately served a cup of delicious coffee and within a few minutes our plates of bacon, sausage, and eggs soon arrived. It was all perfectly delicious again! We enjoyed our breakfast and talked with the owners a little more about the full extent of our travels. During breakfast, and after we finished talking with the owners, we realized that we were not going to be able to visit the Cliffs of Moher today. First of all, we didn't quite have enough time and it would make our journey rushed to get to Dublin on time. Second of all, it was still incredibly foggy and raining outside, which would grant us relatively no visibility to properly take in this natural wonder. We were able to see them from down the coast the day before and that will have to do for now. I'm sure that we will return soon to see them as we are having a great time in Ireland! All of these hearty breakfasts seem to be significantly contributing to that.

After we finished breakfast we headed back to the room to get all of our belongings together. Kaela met with the owners to pay for our stay while I packed up the car with all of our belongings. I enjoyed playing with the owners husky puppy for a few minutes. She gets excited very quickly! She even jumped up on to me a few times. What an amazing and gorgeous dog! It seems that the owners are having a slight problem with getting her to listen when she gets excited. Kaela and I both talked with the owners some more about our travels, separately, and after ten minutes or so Kaela came outside to meet me. She told me that she learned why most places do not accept American Express, and it is because they charge a much higher percentage (now we know!). We quickly hit the road (one of the owners helped us back out of their blind driveway) and started towards Dublin! The drive was supposed to take just over 3 hours and we enjoyed another beautiful route through the Irish country side. Kaela has been pointing out cows and sheep so much I think that her voice may starting to become hoarse.

We soon arrive in the town of Limerick. We drove through the city center to skip paying to take a toll road and this time, it ended up being he wrong decision. We hit some heavy traffic and were stopped at nearly every light. It took us much longer to get through the city than we anticipated. However, we were able to drive through and see all of Limerick! It is actually quite a large town in comparison to other ones that we have stayed in and visited so far; with the exception of Dublin, of course. We eventually made it out of Limerick and we realized that we were now pushed for time so I pushed our little red Fiat Punto to the limit, maxing her out at the speed limit of 120 km/hr. We made fairly good time on the free way, and had another slight detour to bypass another toll booth again, which was much faster and more efficient this time.

We ended up arriving in Dublin slightly later than we were anticipating at 13:45. We had a little problem finding the place (we first pulled into the driveway next door) but we had a quick check in. A nice lady showed us the basics of the apartment and was soon on her way! We brought up all of our belongings and took a quick five minute break before heading back down to the car for our second mission of the day: to return the rental car! Unfortunately, this meant that we would have to drive clear to the airport to accomplish this and then, even more unfortunately, we would have to figure out a public transit to eventually take us back to the apartment we just checked into and so desperately wanted to lay down in. We needed to have the rental car back at the airport at 15:00, but we soon realized that was not going to happen. The drive from the apartment to the airport was supposed to take 23 minutes. We left the apartment at 14:15 thinking that we had plenty of time, even if (in the worst case) it turned out to take a little longer than that. We weren't even able to get out of the city of Dublin until after 15:00 because the traffic was so thick. There was construction on almost every road we took and things just weren't seeming to go away. Traffic cleared up after we got out of the city and we were able to make it to the car rental station at the airport right at 15:20. We quickly turned in the car and everything turned out to be all right! We had a great time driving through the Irish country side but we were definitely excited to get rid of that car! Soon after we left the lot one of the headlights went out, which makes it extremely more dangerous to drive at night, which is problematic when we are in a country where the sun starts setting at 16:00 in the afternoon. Also, for some reason the brakes kept locking up to the point where I couldn't use them and it wouldn't work. I literally had to manually stop the car with the handbrake several times so I could turn the car off and on, which seemed to temporarily solve the problem. Furthermore, worst of all, the car didn't have an MP3 input so we couldn't plug our phones into the speakers! But I digress. We took the shuttle back to the main terminals of the airport to find out way back to the apartment.

We found two bus companies and Kaela was able to figure out that the more expensive one took us much much closer to our apartment so we opted for that one. We also bought a return trip, since it would make it cheaper for us to get our necessary ride back to the airport in 3 days time. The ride back into the city was rather uneventful, although quite bumpy due to the road conditions in Ireland (that are littered with potholes) and due to the drivers somewhat erratic start/stop driving style through city traffic. We both spent the first 30 minutes reading on our phones but we both started to feel car sick because of all of the movement so we both stopped and counted the seconds until we could get off. We arrived at our stop and started walking home. After a few blocks, and a couple of instances of jaywalking, we passed by a Lidl and decided that we should go inside to pick up some supplies for dinner so we wouldn't have to leave the apartment again. There were so many items and meals in this store that it took us a good 20 minutes for us to decide what to make! We picked up the standard yogurt and granola for breakfast and moved on to picking out dinner. The store had sour cream, which is the first time we have definitively seen it on our trip. Also the store had 4 different types of curry, all for under one Euro! That is absurd when compared to the discount brand curry bottle we find buried behind various items for several euro. We actually had options! Also, there were avocados; which, when coupled with the sour cream, is the beginning to an amazing Mexican dish. We eventually decided on a dinner that we could easily make in the oven; an Italian pizza with pepperoni, sausage, and prosciutto with a bolognese lasagna. We checked out and finished our walk back to the apartment.

Once we got home we both cleaned up while waiting for the lasagna to finish in the oven. I watched a fantastic soccer match between Manchester city and Bayern Munich, which ended with Manchester City scoring two goals in the last 10 minutes to over come a 1-2 deficit and win 3-2. After the game ended we watched the movie The Maze Runner, which is a science fiction and we both seemed to enjoy it. We looked it up and saw that it is based on a book that is the first part of a trilogy so we may look into reading those books next! Now that we are back in an apartment for a few nights we seem to be back to our regular routine: Kaela is asleep and I am up late working on this! But, I have to make sure my gorgeous fiancée gets all the beauty sleep she needs. Tomorrow we are planning on checking out Dublin and visiting a few of the main sights. Also, I have been trying to get Kaela to take me to see Chris Nolan's movie Interstellar for a while and, since we are now in a predominantly English speaking country, we might check out a movie theater tomorrow. Until then!

Love,

Justin and Kaela

IMG_2715.jpgIMG_2714.jpgIMG_2717.jpg
Scenic shots from our drive from Doolin to Dublin

IMG_2718.jpg
A picture from the concert we went to last night at the pub next to our bed and breakfast!

IMG_2716.jpg
breakfast time! yummy

G0010390.jpg
Walking through Dublin at sunset

Posted by JK_Adventures 16:22 Archived in Ireland Comments (1)

(Entries 41 - 45 of 235) « Page .. 4 5 6 7 8 [9] 10 11 12 13 14 .. »