lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

An Isle of Magic July 26, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 2:30 pm
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There are some mornings that are just magical.IMG_0945
And this is coming from a very non-morning person.

After our adventure trying to find the address-less hotel, the time came for our brief day in Killarney National Park.

We started with a boat ride to Innisfallen Island.

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We hired a man with a speedboat to ferry us out to this tiny place where the Annals of Innisfallen were written. The island feels like a place that might actually be enchanted. Between the ruins of the abbey and the herd of deer, magic is hidden in every corner of the island. (more…)

 

The Importance of Coordinates July 20, 2017

I spent three summers living in Alaska. I love the quirks of that beautiful place, and you sort of get that feeling that it’s preparing you for other adventures in life. Like how you start to feel super cocky about living in a place where an address is really just whatever mile marker you live closest to, and a prayer that your mail actually gets to you. And then we went to Ireland.

The first two days were fine. We were staying in a city. We’d bought the update so our Garmin worked in Ireland, which sort of felt like cheating, but whatever. But then Killarney happened.

Killarney is amazingly beautiful. We got there before dark and wanted to poke around the outside of the national park to see what sorts of things we wanted to do the next day. We found the park, found a way in, found a ruin.

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It was simply breathtaking.

I had naively been expecting Killarney National Park to be like an American national park—all rough trails and long forgotten woods. But it was more like an estate placed in national trust. Beautiful lawns, ruins, paddle boat rentals, a castle but we’ll get to that later.

We figured out what we wanted to do on our big park day and decided to head back to the hotel. Put the hotel in the Garmin…nothing. (more…)

 

The Ferns of Blarney July 13, 2017

Most of you have probably heard of the Blarney Stone. If you haven’t, here’s the short of it. There’s a stone in Blarney Castle, and if you kiss it, which is way harder than it sounds, btw, you’ll be blessed with the gift of eloquence.

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Naturally, when planning our Ireland expedition, we decided we had to swing by Blarney Castle. Yes, I have heard all the awful stories of locals doing terrible things to the stone at night. But if I’m going to start the zombie apocalypse, I’d just assume get the monster germs that end the world doing something memorable.

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We had planned to be at Blarney Castle for like an hour. Get in, kiss the stone, and leave. Honestly when we saw the price of admission to the castle grounds I rolled my eyes a bit. It was quite a bit of money to kiss a stone. But then they gave us a map of the Blarney Castle Grounds, and it all made sense. (more…)

 

Vanquishing the Judgment Monster July 10, 2017

I would like to take a break from our regularly scheduled tales of wonderment in Ireland to tell you how damned proud of myself I am. No I didn’t land a huge role; no I’m not on the NYT bestseller list; but I did just brush aside unnecessary judgment like it was nothing, and that is a landmark decision.

It wasn’t criticism of anything important even. It was that terrible Mean Girls’ judgment that haunted us all through our teen years. I was just talking about something I liked and was really excited about and JM (judgment monster) decided to make horrible tishing noises like I had just declared eating puppies and throwing babies off buildings were my favorite pastimes. I tried to turn the conversation, which really didn’t involve JM, to another thing I was excited about. Once again, nasty noises like I was a serial killer.

Then I got this horrible twist in my gut. (more…)

 

The Travelers in the Tower July 3, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 8:00 pm
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I grew up in Upstate New York in a two hundred-year-old house. I’m pretty used to old buildings… by American standards. But you go over to Ireland, and there’s just a four hundred-year-old church chilling out on a street corner like it’s nothing. Or stone walls that are a few hundred years old separating farms.

The level of casual history is just crazy!

We found (in our handy, dandy guide book) a church in Cork that was crazy old, still in operation, and next to a butter museum. And the biggest draw: you get to ring the church bells!

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I got to live my Quasimodo dreams minus the hunch back and crushed feet! (more…)

 

An Outing for Olives June 30, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 7:30 pm
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A couple of months ago (I honestly can’t believe it’s been months, but whatever) the husband and I went to Ireland. Now that life has slowed down to a non-deadly pace, it’s time to share my adventures.

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Ch-ch-changes June 16, 2017

Hello Lovelies!

I’ve decided it’s time to grow up and be a big kid author. There are, like, marketing plans and things happening. In my new vigor I’ve decided to streamline my social media. The Life Beyond Exaggeration Twitter and Facebook pages are gone. However, this blog is not going anywhere! I will still be blogging away. I’ll just be sharing the blog on my author pages.

https://twitter.com/MeganORussell

and

https://www.facebook.com/ORussellauthor

So please like those pages to make sure you stay up to date on all my wonderful misadventures!

Now I’m back to Neverland and learning to play the mandolin for Peter Pan!