Ireland or Bust

Well, our Ireland trip is officially official!

Everything but a plane ticket has been booked. Not to be one of ‘those’ people yes, I have a countdown already. 189 days until we land in the Emerald Isle!

Here is a rundown of the trip that awaits us.

September 18-Fly into Dublin and take bus to Belfast. We originally planned on flying to Belfast but the flights to Dublin are almost 500 bucks cheaper.

September 19-Pick up car and drive to the Dark Hedges and then to Giant’s Causeway (number 1 on my list of things to see!). From there we are heading to Strandhill and staying the night.

September 20-Galway and then staying at a beautiful accommodation outside of Galway. A bit out of price range but this is our delayed honeymoon so we decided it was worth it.

September 21-26-Staying at a cottage in the countryside in County Kerry. From there we will have a nice base for a few days, explore the area, eat good food, drink good beer, and I’m sure take wonderful pictures.

Here is the view near our cottage:

Cottage View

September 26-28-Kilkenny. Another base for 2 days to explore the area.

September 28-October 1-Dublin. We found a nice rental apartment that is near the Temple Bar area (but far enough away we won’t be kept up all night!). Number one tourist attraction for me to see in Dublin you ask? Trinity College Library. I am sure I’ll walk in and feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven.

I’m sorry I haven’t been able to update in awhile. My computer crashed and for now I am using my wifes until I can get mine fixed.

So, fellow Ireland travelers and local Irish peeps-what do you think about our plan? Can you give us any ‘must-sees’? I want your opinions!

Until next time…slán

 

 

 

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My Travel Style

As a reader of this site you may have noticed that I don’t take a multitude of trips. I sometimes wonder if “TripwithBrit” is an honest name for this blog. I don’t travel year round, traveling isn’t my job (yet). One of these days it might be, especially if I win the Powerball on Wednesday. I can take a lot of trips once I pocket 500 million dollars. I try to take one trip a year if that is feasible. I work full-time and I am lucky to get about 5 weeks of vacation, plus sick time and a lot of holidays. I can also work longer hours and use those extra hours for vacation. There are perks to working for the US government. My wife Angela also works full-time but her job isn’t as hip as mine in terms of vacation time. I’ve taken one trip without her and to be honest, I didn’t enjoy it. I’ve grown used to having her with me all the time.

So, while I may not have as many trips under my belt as other travel blogs, I still felt like maybe I would write about how I prefer to travel. There are so many different travel styles and I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea about my blog. One thing I will be up front about is that we don’t ‘do’ hostels. Not that we think there is anything wrong with them of course. But we are married, my wife is in her 40’s, I’m in my 30’s and we have certain ideas about when we travel. We like our own space. We like our own bathrooms and showers. I think that comes from just living on our own for so long. We don’t really drink so we prefer not to stay in any sort of place that has the reputation as a ‘party’ place.

There is one thing I prefer to do at least part of the time on my vacations. I like to rent apartments. One thing is that it saves money because you have a kitchen and you can cook for yourself. But do you want to know what I love about rental apartments? A kitchen means its an excuse to go to the grocery store in a foreign land. I love grocery stores! I mean, not so much here in the US, I know what I am getting into. But in another country I just think it’s so fun. I mean, have you seen their chips? They have the coolest flavors! We had steak and potato and turkey dinner chips while in Paris. The turkey dinner? It tasted like Thanksgiving. C’mon America! Lays has a contest every year but I find their flavors so boring. Cheese garlic bread? Please. Give me some steak and potato chips and I’ll buy out the whole aisle. I stayed in a rental in Krakow, Paris, and Amsterdam. When in Switzlerland my brother and sister-in-law rented a beautiful apartment in Lucens. That is what I prefer. I prefer a place that feels like home, a place where I can cook. I don’t have to get up, rush to get ready and find a restaurant to eat my meal at.

Our Paris apartment was a block from the Louvre. We went with the website Vacation in Paris There were a few things we were not happy about with the apartment but for the most part the apartment suited our needs perfectly. And it was in the ideal location. VIP comes pretty highly recommended on a lot of different travel sites I frequent. There was a Franprix just around the corner

 

When in Amsterdam we stayed in a gorgeous little apartment called the Korenbloemen. Unfortunately Hugo, the owner, no longer rents this apartment out. It was the idea location, close to the Dam Square, close to the Red Light District, a quick walk to the Anne Frank House and a bunch of different museums. It was small and a bit dark but we couldn’t have asked for a better apartment. There was a grocery store just a few blocks away.

In Switzerland my mother, brother, sister-in-law and niece stayed in a really great bed and breakfast type establishment. It really was just 2 levels and the first level was occupied by the owners and then we had the 2nd floor. Unfortunately this place is also not in operation anymore but it is probably one of my favorite places I’ve ever stayed in. I was incredibly ill on that trip and all I wanted was a comfortable place to lay my head and this was it. The temperature went down to around 5o°F (in July) and I slept like a rock. And the view? Well, that speaks for itself.

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The view from our house in Lucens, Switzerland ©TripwithBrit

One thing I like to do is stick to a budget when it comes to accommodations. I like some comfort but rarely do we stay in a luxury apartment or hotel. Our Ireland trip will be the exception. It is our delayed honeymoon and a few of the nights we are staying in a high end hotel in Kilkenny, Ireland and we are staying at the Glenlo Abbey Hotel (Glenlo Abbey) outside of Galway for one night. The rest of our trip we are staying in mid-range priced places. But luckily for us most of Ireland is fairly cheap (especially compared to Paris or Bruges).

When I travel I can be occupied for hours roaming around taking photos. I am so glad that Angie is a lot like me. Our first trip together was Paris and Bruges. We had never traveled that far together and I don’t think we knew what to expect of each other. I’m so glad she too likes to take it easy on vacation. We don’t over plan our days. We have an idea of what we want to do on a particular day but we don’t plan it by the hour. I prefer not to come home from vacation exhausted from overdoing it every single day then I need another vacation to recover!

A must for me on vacation though? A shower. Not a hand-held shower hose but I need an actual, legit shower that I can stand up in and have the water cascade down me. I think that is about the only ‘must’ for me when I book any accommodation. You want an amazing shower? Try out the shower at Hotel Pullman Brussels. Pullman

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We may have splurged a bit on this hotel… ©TripwithBrit

“Ireland sober is Ireland stiff.”

So.
It’s been awhile.
I would apologize but I have nothing to apologize for.
Life happens.
Plus…I really had nothing to write about.

Now I do.

I love to talk about my travels. I just wish I did more travel to really discuss them. At least we are planning a trip now. I think I should discuss my trips less on Facebook and more on this blog. I think I am starting to annoy my friends. I’m starting to annoy myself!

Ireland
September 18-October 1.

As somebody that absolutely loves to plan trips, let me just say, this one is a doozy but I am loving every single minute of it. I’ve never had to plan a trip for an entire country. I’ve mostly dealt with 1 or 2 cities. But this time we are flying into Belfast, driving up to see Giant’s Causeway, then down to Galway, then to Cork, then up to Dublin. Mind you, these are the areas we are staying in, we won’t just see these few cities. We’ve already book 3 accommodations, need to book 3 more, plus a rental car.

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This is how I plan trips…

Shall I discuss the driving that I am so nervous about even though I won’t even be the one driving? A manual, steering wheel on the opposite side, driving on the other side of the road? My wife says she can do it. I think she is doing her best to reassure me. We considered renting an automatic but that doubled the price on a rental car. We can do it, right? We shall overcome, we shall persevere. We shall…okay I’m done with cliches.

Ireland travelers and Irish readers-if there is one spot (just one!) that you would recommend for us novices, what would it be?

 

 

 

You have to dream before your dreams can come true.

While sitting here

desk

Dealing with this

paperwork

I dream about

The best advice I can give anyone is to close your mouth and open your mind. Go out and see the world. Because until you do, you haven’t lived. If you can’t afford to right now, don’t worry. Eventually you will. Put a little bit of money aside each check, even 5-10 dollars. Save it. And then go on that amazing trip you’ve yearned for your entire life. It pains me, to see my generation, sitting idly by as their life passes them by. They have no desire to experience something completely out of their comfort zone. They are the stereotype, the typical Stupid American we hear so much about. They have no desire to educate themselves, to realize there is a huge world outside of this country and there is so much to see. Countries filled to the brim with deep, rich history. It was amazing to me to walk around Krakow and imagine life for the Jews during WWII. Or walking through Auschwitz imagining what went on there. To go to Bastogne, Belgium and see the tribute to America. To stroll through Paris and imagine life in the jazz era. You see…I feel like I’ve lived. I feel like I have. And I want to see so much more. This hasn’t quenched this thirst, this incredible need to see more. When I travel I want to feel something.

“Travel is rich with learning opportunities, and the ultimate souvenir is a broader perspective.”-Rick Steves

Speak Up

Here I am, amidst the blogging world and all I can think to myself is “What am I doing here?!”

A few weeks ago I lost my step-father of over 23 years. He was my rock, the dad I always wanted and needed, my best friend. For the past few weeks I have been wondering what am I doing with myself, with my life, how am I really handling this. In speaking with a friend who told me when her dad passed away she turned to writing. She said that years ago she remembered that writing helped me as well after a painful break up. So here I am. Returning to a love that had since folded up and put away into an old box.

This blog will be about travel, my dreams of travel, my yearnings to see another country and live life as a local. Food and recipes (mostly foreign) will be interspersed throughout. I will write about the love of my life, Angela, and the movies we watch and the music we listen to. I will write about my friends who are more than willing to let me write about them and are more than willing to let me use them as guinea pigs when it comes to new recipes. I want to let everyone into my world. In a few weeks I travel to Paris, France and Bruges, Belgium on a long awaited vacation. Be forewarned, travel will be the theme of my writing. After Angela travel is my true love.

Are you ready for this?

I’m Brittany. Pleased to meet you.

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