Friday, February 8, 2013

Dublin and Paris vacation!

So remember that one time I went to Dublin? Me too! And I'm finally going to tell you all about it. Because I KNOW you want to know, duh.
(sidenote: most of this I am taking from my journal, it has the most accurate memories in it)
I have a travel journal that I write it when I travel internationally. I've recently decided to add domestic trips to it as well, because that's traveling too!

I went to Ireland with my friend Carlos for a week in November (so long ago, I know). It was so incredible! I've never been to that part of the world before so I'm glad I got to experience it at my age. 

We got to Dublin at 6:30am, and the sun doesn't ruse until 7:30! We got to leave the airport in the freezing cold and darkness. We stay at Durbin Residence, a little bed and breakfast. We got settled in and decided to start our day early. But not before Carlos left his backpack on the bus! We tracked it down and were on our way a couple hours later. We went to Trinity College first and went to the Book of Kells exhibit. Book of Kells is "an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together  with various prefatory texts and tables. It was created by Celtic monks ca. 800 or slightly earlier." So.. yeah. It was so cool! The college is beautiful as well. I took forbidden pictures in the library, but don't tell anyone that. 
We spent the rest of the day at Grafton Street (a little shopping district) and we found a Disney store! Then we went to a huge park that is conveniently located in the middle of Dublin. It had a little lake and too many pigeons and neon green grass. Literally the grass looks neon because it's so green and watered and beautiful. The pictures do NOT do it justice.

The next day we went to the National Leprechaun Museum. It's not really a museum so much as it is a hands-on experience on Irish folklore. You go through a magic tunnel that shrinks you to leprechaun size and then you play in a Giant's room. It had HUGE furniture and lamps. You then go through a rainbow to a pot of gold, the land of the fairies (they're evil!) and then a wishing well. It was all so cute. Out tour guide was a great story teller. 
We then went to Dublin Castle. It's more of a palace but some crazy guy a long time ago said it will NEVER be called anything but a castle. It has one tower of the original building still standing because someone burnt the rest of it down. These Irish people are crazy! 
Then we were off to Christ Church Cathedral. Lots of stained glass and amazing architecture. We ate dinner at a little cafe in the basement called The Crypt. We had really great soup, a sandwich, and tea. Then we went back to the hotel, hung out a little bit, and went to bed. 

Day 3.... Zoo, Guinness, and random pub.
Day 3 was LONG. We started by taking a taxi to the zoo. The driver was great. He pointed out the prison as we drove by, haha! The zoo was so cute. It was pretty big and clean and WAY better than the zoo in Utah. There wasn't that many people there. They had multiple types of lions and tigers, seal, an otter, a safari land, wolves, and red pandas! And way more too. We decided to walk to the Guinness Storehouse. Bad idea. It didn't look that  far but we were very wrong. It took forever! The storehouse is cool because it has 7 floors of information about Guinness, including a place where you learn how to pour it the right way. Your ticket in includes a free pint! Too bad Guinness is nasty. We stopped at a little pub to eat American food on the way home because we were homesick, haha. I had chicken wings and Carlos had a burger.

little otter

The next day was Thanksgiving! It was also the only day it rained.
We started at the Jameson Distillery. It was a guided tour through the making of Jameson, including the aging process and a tasting at the end. All the barrels they use to age came from America! Carlos and I were chosen to do the whiskey tasting at the end, which compared Jameson, scotch, and american whiskey. I don't like whiskey either so Carlos drank mine again too. I just stuck my tongue in it. Classy, I know. 
We then went to a little fish and chips place the was recommended to us. They had chicken too :) It was a take out place only, so we ate on a wet bench at St. Patricks Cathedral. Happy Thanksgiving dinner! We toured the cathedral and went to Hard Rock Cafe for thanksgiving dessert. 

The next day we took a spontaneous trip to Kilkenny. It's a little city southwest of Dublin We took the Irish version of greyhound for an hour and half and we were there! We walked around, saw the outside of Kilkenny Castle, and ate at a cute little inn. It was the perfect little city, with lights and cute buildings and small hidden restaurants. So cute!!

When we got back to Dublin we spent the night in the Temple Bar area.Who goes to Dublin and doesn't go to THE Temple Bar? We had to! It was PACKED with people. We went to a few places and ended up staying at Auld Dubliner and dancing the night away. There were some guys Irish "jigging" hahaha It was great! It was so much fun. All the bars play just about the same songs, all of which are famous in America. 

The next day we spent sleeping, packing, and souvenir shopping. Pretty laid back. We watched movies and got all ready for our 22 hour layover in Paris. 

We woke up at 6am to catch our flight to Paris. When we got there, we checked our bags and hit the town. It's an hour train ride to the actual city from the airport. This blog is getting really long so I will make this short:
We hit everything. Notre Dame, a crepe place, meandered through the city to the Louvre, through parks to the Champs Elysses, to the Arc. Then we took a bike taxi to the Eiffel tower! We also saw another Disney store. It was more packed than anything. They had a line outside! Everything in Paris was amazing and perfect. It wasn't cold, hot, boring, or anything bad. We went to the top of the tower too! When we got back to the airport we found out we couldn't stay there like we'd planned, so we had to find a hotel. Luckily there was one attached to the airport. We stayed there and woke up early for our 11 hour flights home! Carlos had a layover in Seattle and I went straight to SLC. 

The best part about this trip was that I paid for it all by myself. I'm poor now, but hard work pays off.
I am finally all settled in Orlando for my Disney College Program. I will tell you all about that...someday.
Probably not soon.


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