Our days spent driving the west coast of Ireland were without a doubt some of the most breathtaking I’ve experienced.
From the deep blues and greens of the Slieve League Cliffs to the vast expanse of The Burren, and warm, cozy towns in between… this little piece of the world felt like heaven, especially as we all began to sink into the ease of vacation that sets in slowly, sometime after the rabid excitement of the first few days has its fill.
Somewhere along the way I melted my curling iron and lost my brush and my laptop cord — but, at least at this moment, I didn’t care a bit…
I’ve always liked to think of myself as a fairly well-informed world citizen… or at least informed at all. Not so charmed as to think that every country is like my own. But I’m ashamed to say that prior to visiting Belfast, I had no idea just how real Northern Ireland’s decades-old, and decades (I thought) dead conflict still is, both in the minds of those who lived it, and in the lives of those who continue to live it today.
While the Good Friday Agreement may have transformed The Troubles into a different beast, waged on the political stage and behind closed doors, on the streets of Belfast, much of the violence still remains.
Are you ready? Because over these next few days I have a whole lot of sharing to do. I won’t cover our trip day by day, but I would like to go through a few at a time (we have so many pictures!) and, of course, point out some our favorite restaurants and places to visit along the way! We had such an amazing time and discovered so many places I wish I could visit every single day (just looking at the picture above it kills me that I don’t live closer to Wildflour Bakery or Love Supreme.
… then again, maybe it’s best I don’t have access to all of that deliciousness on a daily basis. Among my many lovely souvenirs, I may have brought back five solid, happy pounds of fresh fish, pasta, Guinness, and sweet treats on my thighs. I’ll cherish them always.
I think if anything could qualify for multiple dates, it’s our final few days of vacation.
We’re still combing through something like a million and five pictures, so I’ll be sharing lots more next week. But here’s a little sneak peek (in addition to this post and, of course, everything you’ve already seen on Instagram) of what we’ve been up to these past few weeks…
Happy Friday, and happy Labor Day weekend! I’m missing the festivities, but we’ve had plenty of our own here in Ireland… pub crawls, amazing meals, eye-opening tours, and so much more I can’t wait to tell you all about when we come back.
For now, I’m just checking in to tell you about one tiny little bit of fun we had along the way.
When I asked Mark what he wanted to see in Ireland, he had just one thing on his list: the Giant’s Causeway. The incredible natural formation on the northern coast seems like it was carved out of stone in the same way the perfect Incan ruins were carved at Machu Picchu… each stone fitting together just right.
So of course we made sure to stop — and while we were there we took some time to wander off and play by the water on one of the most gorgeous days we’ve seen so far.
Have an amazing weekend, and stop by next week for even more amazing guest posts! We have some really good stuff still to come.
If you happen to read Endlessly Enraptured or follow my Instagram feed, then you know my husband and I have a passion for sweets. I wanted to take a bit of time today to share a few of our favorite places in Portland to get your sugar fix.
Bakeshop (above) is a special place run by special people. We can never pass up their delicate hand pies or nutella puffs. Oh, and if you happen to be in the mood for something savory, I highly recommend their ham and cheese croissant. They make the best I’ve ever had.
I might’ve suspected it before, but a second trip confirmed beyond a doubt that Newport Folk Fest is a world unto itself. One where the memory of Pete Seeger hangs heavy on the hearts of all music-loving attendees there searching for a little bit of that same spirit and light. One where artists come to each others’ shows, and mingle in the crowd without incident. And one where the spirit of folk is raised to new heights, to a significance that embodies not just a genre, but an ethos.
I was raised on music. As a kid my dad would call me upstairs and turn on the tv, or the record player, and tell me all about the band I heard or saw. From The Wall to Jethro Tull to The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.
When Mark and I travel, we tend to put a disproportionate amount of effort into eating (surprise, surprise). Our meals are mapped out well in advance, usually with a little wish list on the side of places we’d love to eat if we could just manage to stuff it all in. (And I’m glad you asked… yes, we do usually feel sick by the time we come home.)
So, needless to say, some of our very favorite travel resources involve finding the best places to eat — Anthony Bourdain’s “Layover” guides, for example, are amazing, and Yelp is always an old standby. I’m also a big fan of Fodor’s (and when we’re feeling really fancy, a quick look at the Michelin guide).
But when it comes to other planning resources, we’re not so well-versed.
What tools do you love to use to plan your vacations? Do you worry as much about food as we do? Or do you have an awesome resource that hits the nail on the best activities every time?
We only have a month until we leave for Ireland and France, so I’m dying to know!
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember that January’s Alt Summit left me feeling a little discouraged. There were so many amazing folks doing so many amazing things, and I wasn’t sure if I’d ever measure up. But I resolved to stop whining and work harder, knowing that the work would eventually pay off.
Last week I returned to Alt as a speaker, wondering if I’d have a completely different experience or if I might just leave with that same scary pit in my stomach as before.
Well I’m happy to report that I did have a completely different experience, but it wasn’t because I was speaking.
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