touring with the fam

A couple of weeks ago my family was able to come a visit me. After a having a proper cry upon seeing them for the first time in months I was excited to show them around my stomping grounds. We had a pretty jam packed schedule so like Italy, I’ll just summarize each place.


We started with a weekend in Paris and boy what a weekend it was. We enjoyed crepes next to the Eiffel Tower and even got to go to the top, took a boat cruise along the river Seine, went inside the Notre Dame and just enjoyed the life in city. Were we shocked at how full of life the city was after dark, people grabbing dinner around 10pm and just casually out strolling the streets. If only we could take a weekend getaway to Paris whenever we wanted…



Our first day in London happen to be VE Day (Victory Europe) so after I showed the fam around Oxford and Piccadilly Circus, China Town, Covent Garden, Trafalgar and Leicester Square we headed towards parliament and ran right into the parade. And we stay to watch because we were stuck and were told the Queen would be coming round and duh, we wanted to see her. She didn’t end up coming :(, but we got to see lots of cute Veterans, which I enjoyed. Other than that we pretty much hit all the major stuff, Big Ben, the Eye, Tower of London, Westminster, Harrods, Hyde Park….the list goes on and on. But instead of going to see a show at Piccadilly we decided to do a Jack the Ripper Tour instead…and it was well worth it. Our guide Barney, a Beefeater, was engaging and knowledgeable and it was nice intimate group. I think my family would agree with me when I say that was one of our favorite things we did in London. If you ever go to London I’ll gladly give you the info for the tour.

                           STRATFORD UPON AVON

Stratford was a typical quaint English village and happens to also be the home of Shakespeare. We got to tour his house and gardens and it’s crazy how well preserved his house is today. They also gave us free scones and sparkling wine, so that obviously made the experience better. I think we all enjoyed the visit and it was really the first time my family got to see a true English town.


Bath blew me away with it’s beauty. I almost wish I had considered studying abroad in Bath becasue it really was that beautiful. All the buildings are made with stone from bath and it’s set on a hill so the views are incredible. While there we got to tour the Roman Baths and enjoy some true Cornish Pasties. I think we all wished we got to spend a bit more time there and agreed we would when we come back.



Stonehenge was interesting. To be honest it was kind of creepy. They are just the big and tall stones set up in a specific way but no one really knows why…and then in all the land surrounding the stones there are these human burial grounds that form little hills, so you basically know you are surrounded by dead people. I’m really glad I got to experience it and looking back I still don’t really know how I feel about it.


I might dare to say that I liked Scotland better than Ireland…Edinburgh was so beautiful, the views were incredible from every angle. We got to check out Edinburgh Castle and the Scottish Crown Jewels, walk the royal mile and taste about every free sample of whiskey there was. We also took a hike up a cliff, but didn’t got too far as we weren’t properly equipped and we are old and out of shape. It’d seemed there were bagpipes being played everywhere and I couldn’t have asked for a more lovely day in Scotland with my family.



Scarborough is on the East coast of the country and it’s a place that definitely comes to life in the summer. With it’s long stretch of beach, and arcades full of carnival games it is pretty much a child’s paradise. Nonetheless it was still lovely to walk along the beach and enjoy the seaside smell. It was quite refreshing actually. It was the perfect way to spend our second to last mornign together.


York is your typical medieval English town. The city walls are almost still fully in tact and the shambles are so picturesque. We got to enjoy a proper high tea at Betty’s, the best in Yorkshire, and then enjoyed walking down all the pedestrian streets looking through the windows into the cute little shops. It was also race day in York so while relaxing for a bit before out tour we encountered many people in really good ‘moods’ and all had a laugh at that.

                 Writing this post makes me miss my time with my family but it’s a good thing I return home in about 2 days.



P.S. I’ve got about 3 more travel posts to go



After spending an interesting night in the hostel and managing to get ready in the dark, we hopped on the train to Galway for the day. Interesting story on how that came to be. We actually couldn’t find any hostels in Dublin for 3 nights so we ended up booking a different place for each night. And said hey, let’s do Saturday night in Galway.

Sidenote: I can literally not pronounce Galway correct for the life of me, lol.

IMG_5266 IMG_5269Photos: Galway

Once we arrived in Galway, we had a brief moment of ‘how the hell do we get to our hostel?’ We got really turned around and confused. Nothing new there. We finally made it, and for 3 euro extra upgraded our room to a 4 bed private with an ensuite. But, we had no time to get comfortable because we had a tour to catch. After grabbing a quality fast food lunch and managing to find the bus, we were eager to a different side of the country.

The first stop was a castle. It was cool. We even got to walk around the whole thing.

IMG_5479 IMG_5482 IMG_5475 IMG_5471Photos: the castle and the surrounding bay

Then we headed through the countryside to the cliffs of Moher, the driver played traditional Irish music all the way there and it just felt so right. I enjoyed the scenery and the cows. After much anticipation we reached the cliffs and headed straight up the left side. Our driver, Dominic, advised us that the views to the left were better. Once we got up there, is was just incredible. It was a beautiful day too, not a cloud in the sky.

IMG_5448Photos: en route to the cliffs

Honestly, I could have sat there all day with my feet hanging very the edge listening to the waves crash against the rocks. I was also secretly hoping that I would become the princess bride, lol. After taking a million pictures and trying to avoid falling over the edge we were back on the bus, heading back to Galway along the coastline.

IMG_5332 IMG_5423 IMG_5429 IMG_5354Photos: at the cliffs

This might have been my favorite part, it was beyond beautiful. I had to put my camera down and stop taking pictures after a certain point because I knew it was one of those things where I needed to take it all in with no distractions. The best way I can describe it is it’s one of those places where you go during a mid life crisis or something to really contemplate life. Like just buy a farm with sheep and cows and live off the land, buy a bike and wander along the coast line.

If I ever just say ‘f it’ to life, that’s where I will go.

IMG_5320 IMG_5301 IMG_5286 IMG_5315 IMG_5310 IMG_5282 IMG_5292Photos: a few of the coast

Once back in town, we had a dinner fit for kings….Lasagna, chips, coleslaw and garlic bread. It was everything it needed to be. After that we were ready to enjoy our private room at the hostel. I opted to go first for the shower, because it had been a long day. So, I’m thinking I’ll take a quick but nice and warm shower. Well since I was first to go, the water was freezing cold. I pushed the button to start and I scream bloody murder because it was ice cold. When then since it was a push start I didn’t realize that you have to keep pushing it for the water to stay running. So it stops and then I push it again and it’s still cold and I’m still screaming.

What I thought would be a nice shower ended up being a mess.

Regardless, Galway was perfect. And, I would even say it was better than Dublin. Overall, the weekend in Ireland was better than I could have expected even though I wasn’t sure what I expected Ireland to be like beforehand.



P.S. I’m still having a lot a problems with my photos and uploading them, and it’s making me really really upset, because they are all so beautiful and I want to share them, but some of them won’t show up. So hopefully I will try to get an Ireland album up on flickr by tomorrow.

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