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What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Hear Me Roar! January 30, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 12:30 pm
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Once upon a time, I had the best day ever in Dublin.

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First of all, Dublin is great. There’s a big garden, tons of history, museums, great theatre. And Viking tours.

The husband and I were walking through Dublin when suddenly we heard these people roar. I squeaked and searched for the source of the sound. It was a duck boat filled with people in Viking helmets. I knew at that moment I needed to be on a Viking boat. I needed to roar on the streets of Dublin.

But the duck boat of Vikings drove away, and I didn’t know where they’d gone.

I resolved to continue with my Viking-less life, but my husband found wifi and Googled the starting location of the tour. I basically ran there, ready to give the man however many euros he wanted to let me on the boat.

The duck boat was actually from WWII. Like, Rosie the Riveter made the boat, which starts the whole thing off on a super awesome note. (more…)

 

Seeing the Ship January 26, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 12:30 pm
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When I heard about the Pompeii movie, I knew I didn’t want to see it. I know how it ends (unless they decided to stretch the truth). It’s history, I’ve been to the ruins. Everyone in Pompeii died.

I feel the same way about a lot of Titanic things. I’ve felt the temperature of the ice water people fell into from the deck of the ship. I’ve heard about the drunk chef and the bravery of Mr. Astor. It’s a horrible tragedy that I don’t really feel the need to immerse myself in any further.

But then the husband and I went to Belfast, where the Titanic was built. Needless to say, there’s a huge museum at the shipyard. It’s at the top of the “must dos” in Belfast, so we did it. And I was not sorry.

The Belfast Titanic museum is a far cry from any other memorial museum I’ve been to. The focus is on the building of the ship and the impact on the people of Belfast. (more…)

 

A Tour of Thrones December 29, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 2:30 pm
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My husband and I are huge Game of Thrones fans, and a lot of Game of Thrones is filmed in Northern Ireland. We didn’t know that when planning our trip, but once we figured it out, we knew we had to fit some GoT into our adventures.

There are actually a couple of apps you can download that will help you on your GoT quest.

For example, we ventured to a beautiful estate and found Winter Fell.

The estate was lovely, and we somehow managed to end up at an Easter Festival (with amazing crepes)! There’s actually a manor house on that estate and tons of walking trails, which we explored on our meander to the Starks’ home. Did you know if you want to be super fancy, you can book a group activity where you get archery lessons where Arya Stark stole the bow to show off? It’s true.

We also drove to a little creek where something happened. We never really could figure out what. But the creek was really pretty, and a couple of locals told us we had to drive into town to see where Saint Patrick is actually buried. (more…)

 

A Giant’s Bridge December 8, 2017

I have lived/visited many windy places. None of them were as lovely as the Giant’s Causeway.

The coast of Northern Ireland is one of the most beautiful (quite possibly the most beautiful) places I have ever visited. The combination of rugged mountains and beautiful seascapes are breathtaking.

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The Case of the Missing Innkeeper November 22, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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Once upon a time in Northern Ireland, my husband and I had a very long day.

We took a wonderful drive around the horn.

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Got trapped on a “two-lane” road that wasn’t large enough for a single car.

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And finally made it to our Bed and Breakfast in Derry.

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We found a parking space, walked right up to the door to ring the bell…and nothing. So we knocked. Nothing.

We asked around on the street to see if the neighbors knew when the innkeeper would be back. Nothing. It was one of the two moments on the trip when I really wished my cell phone worked.

With no pay phones in sight, we headed into town.

We had decided to visit Derry because it’s actually an intact, walled city.

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What we hadn’t realized is that “The Troubles” are still very fresh in Derry. It’s not that we ever felt unsafe or anything like that. But there are freshly painted murals of children hiding from violence. Signs begging for people to be let out of prison. The violent part of The Troubles might be behind them, but the actuality of peace and agreement within government are still fresh.

The husband and I wandered around a bit, looking at the history, really needing a bathroom. Until finally we did the best thing two actors in a foreign country can do: we walked into the theatre and asked for help. (more…)

 

The Sneaky Sheep October 7, 2017

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Our road trip through the Irish countryside is definitely one of the most beautiful I have ever taken. The wide valleys, the rocky mountains… the sheep.

Most of the sheep are in giant pastures with color-coded butt swatches. And the butt rainbow makes sense. Granted, I am not a sheep expert, but it seems to me that it would get really hard to tell one fluffy sheep from another. So farmers tag their sheep with their gang colors.

Well, one farmer with pink-butt sheep was having a very bad day. (more…)

 

For the Love of Music September 19, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 12:30 pm
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I found my favorite city in the world the moment I heard the music on the street.

First of all we found a parking garage, which was like the freakin’ Holy Grail on this trip. Second, everything we wanted to see was in walking distance of where we parked the car. Third, I found a salad.

So really, I was in a great place to enjoy things in the first place.

But Galway is going to have to be split into two blogs. The latter shall be a tale of magic, music, and a perfect Guiness pour. But first we must discuss the oil-drinking vampire.

After we found my beloved parking garage, we found our hotel.

It’s just a few doors down, right above one of the best pubs in the city. I’m feeling really great about my travel planning choices. Then we walk up to the desk to check in…he has no record of our Expedia booking.

I have the confirmation with me, so I’m all like, “Nope, I like it here. I’ve paid to stay here. Find my booking.”

He reaches for a paper folder to sort through things (apparently, they’d switched systems and lost some bookings, but he didn’t see fit to mention that right away).

As he’s thumbing through paper, a man walks in and asks for two rooms for the night. The concierge says sorry, but he only has one room left… our room. (more…)