london here we come…

sunday.  nov 18.  2018

we got up at 3:45am to catch our 6:30am flight from dublin to london.  we got great tickets-cheap tickets on ryanair-but our small american luggage is way bigger than their small luggage allowance-and i was worried we were going to get nabbed and have to pay a large fee…but the lady was nice and gave us a warning.  hopefully every flight they’ll just warn us, because it’s a hefty 50pounds fine per bag-jeeze!

we got our rental car-free upgrade to a mercedes-that’s a first:), and headed to our townhome we are staying in for free through lovehomeswap.  we found our place, which is so lovely and across from a beautiful park.  the owner left a basket of yummy food to get us started.  we napped, watched movies, and just relaxed today.  we are anxious and excited to start seeing london, but the exhaustion just got the better of all of us today.

monday.  nov 19.  2018

oh today started with a lot of bickering.  good thing we had a mile to walk to the tube, kind of worked it out of everybody:)  we started our day riding the double decker bus, and heard about hamley’s toy store in the commentary, and nadia knew right away she wanted to go see it.  so we got off the bus, walked through piccadilly square, through soho, grabbed some amazing lunch, then about 10 items from the bakery, and kept on towards the toy store-hamley’s toy store.  and the funniest thing…the singing elves out front just made it really great.

we were walking back to the stop to catch our jump on jump off bus, and saw discounted tickets for wicked…and knew we had to do it.  we jumped back on the bus, finished seeing london in the dark night with everything lit up and it lightly raining.  we then tubed over to victoria station, grabbed some hot cocoa’s, warmed up, and then headed over to the apollo victoria theater.  it was the girls first broadway show, and they loved.  such a good story-they loved seeing their first broadway in london!  we then tubed home, and walked the mile back in the rainy dark singing and talking and enjoying the freezing weather together.  it started out not so much a great day, and ended up being pretty amazing.

tuesday.  nov. 20.  2018

woke up to even colder temps today, and a bit more rain.  after the long day we had yesterday, i needed a day to rest and catch up, so the fam headed to the city without me and jarom took the girls to see the globe theater.  with them studying shakespeare in school, we couldn’t leave without them getting to see the theater.  then we cuddled and watched movies in the evening.  it was nice to have a little of an off day, at least for me.  i just stayed back, took care of plans for our next stay, and got some down time.

wednesday.  nov. 21.  2018

we went to cereal killer cafe, and then the borough market-flew to prague!


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cliffs of northern ireland…and the christmas market in belfast…

saturday nov. 17.  2018

we got up early, packed our stuff, loaded the car, and headed up to northern ireland starting in ballycastle to see carrick-a-rede rope bridge.  the cliffs and water were simply stunning.  the chill winds made it a little uncomfortable, but we bundled and made the best of it.  the beautiful walk along the cliff’s edge was calming for the soul.  we crossed the rope bridge, and soaked in the views.

we next headed about 15 minutes west along the northern coast to the giants causeway-a natural phenomenon.  we caught some lunch at a nearby cafe near the giant’s causeway-authentic ireland food…which was pretty good.  listening to the waves crash and the stunning views was again so lovely.

we then continued west about 10 minutes along the coast to the dunluce castle, which we viewed from the parking lot-took a few pictures of the castle and sheep, and left for the next stop.

the dark hedges are beautiful, and apparently in the game of thrones…they were beautiful, mysterious, and had great character.  we took a few pictures and headed back down to belfast-an hour’s drive, to get to the christmas market.

we parked at the marriott where we had stayed, and walked half a mile to the belfast city hall, enjoying the sites and sounds of belfast, ireland.  we made it to the market, astonishes at how gorgeous it was, how amazing the food was, and how festive it was…and it was all Merry Christmas-which was great to see!

we then had an hour and a half drive from belfast down to dublin, which was hard to make, as we are still adjusting to the time and jet lag, but we made it to the clayton hotel near the airport, dropped into bed at 10:45, and got up early at 3:45 for our morning flight from dublin to london…this was the morning i was most concerned about, but everyone did pretty good.


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Belfast and the Titanic Museum…

Wednesday-Thursday-Friday.  Nov 14-15-16.  2018

we flew from denver wednesday morning of the 14th to boston, then an overnight flight to Dublin arriving on the 15th.  we thought we’d be ready to go touring after sleeping overnight on the flight, but we were completely exhausted.  We drove our car rental 2 hours north from dublin to belfast, fell into our hotel beds, and called it good for thursday, sleeping the whole day away.   jarom and i woke up for a bit to find food for everyone, a ginormous pizza, and then we went back to bed until friday afternoon on the 16th…and finally felt rested enough to go do something.  having only 1/2 day left today and a whole day tomorrow to tour.  we spent our half day on friday visiting the titanic museum, and walking along the waterfront both ways.  it was a lovely time.  after we headed back and got some food at taco trucks, we headed back to the room for relaxation and back to sleep-we have an early morning tomorrow.


the beauty of bali…

may 5-june 7th, 2018

we had such an amazing family adventure for a month in bali…i wanted to share a few things we learned from our trip.  if you ever visit, i hope these tips can be helpful.

It’s really really hot-like summer in Georgia hot.  Like really uncomfortable sweaty hot.  So if you ever come to Bali-make sure you are near a pool to cool off throughout the day.
Lots of people and windy roads with no numbers-just names.  Thank goodness for google maps.  Or, book an Airbnb with a person that offers a driver.  Ours is very reasonable-about $48 for a full 8 hour day of driving us all over.  Much easier than renting a car.
Good stuff…
Things are cheap…food, activities-if done right-and spas!
We got a couples massage, in the open air jungle for 90 minutes, and it was $40 total.  $20 a person!  Honestly, that is the second best thing here, besides not having to cook dinner(because it’s cheaper to just buy from restaurants).  For a family of 5, we usually spend $20 total.
Beautiful things to see-we love being out of the people packed touristy areas and in with the locals.  It’s just fantastic.  And laid back.  And the people put out their offering and incense daily, which is so lovely to watch.  The culture here is pretty awesome.  The people are some of the kindest we’ve met.