lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

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…)

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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…)

 

An Accidental Love September 16, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 12:30 pm
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After we left the Cliffs of Moher, we headed to Galway. A little detour into background (if I had a way to make a chime sound for a flash back, I would).

The husband and I spent three summers in Alaska. Alaska reinforced our love for three things: climbing mountains, good beer, and live music. Galway had the beer and the music, so we were super excited to get there.

So we left the Cliffs of Moher and headed north. Usually, I’m really good at road trips, but for some reason, I really needed to get out of the car and walk on the way. We looked in the guidebook and found a really cool-looking place. Couldn’t find the place, gave up, and pulled over at a park instead.

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A Toilet Utopia September 12, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 12:30 pm
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If you ever have a chance to go to the Cliffs of Moher, go. I don’t care if you’re not a Harry Potter fan and don’t want to see where Voldemort hid a horcrux. The cliffs are breathtaking.

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And while you’re there, go to the bathroom.

I’m not kidding. Not only is it a trek so you should use the bathroom while you have the chance, it’s also an interesting cultural experience. You see, it’s one, large, unisex bathroom with like thirty stalls. Like Ally McBeal style.

My husband and I both had to use the bathroom, so we followed the signage and arrived at a door. We both looked around for a Men’s vs. Women’s room sign, but there just wasn’t one. And we weren’t the only confused people, mind you. There were like five of us hovering outside the door, trying to figure out who got to go in and pee.

Then men and women came out of the same bathroom, so we all went in. (more…)