Archive for the irish

Weekend Review: Ireland, England, and Belgium

After publishing my goals stating that I’d blog every Monday, I’ve already missed 2! However, it was for good reason – I was away in Ireland, England, and Belgium!

I was only gone for 11 days, but managed to travel to 3 different countries in that short time frame. Somewhere in the last few days, I did a rundown and I won’t lie to you – I was really exhausted.

Here’s pretty much my trip in a nutshell: 11 days, 8 planes, 4 buses, 3 countries, 2 trains, and an undetermined amount of drinks.

It’s crazy to think I fit all that into one trip, but it was absolutely worth it. It also helped me achieve my 2014 goal of traveling to 3 international destinations. Boom! So what exactly was I doing? Well, I’ll tell ya 🙂

Ireland: I was invited to long-time friends, Edel and John’s, wedding. I first met Edel and John in Australia when I went back after I graduated from college. It’s crazy to think we stayed friends all this time, but how could I not? They are, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful couples I’ve know from the start. I was even there when they first got together. I remember the days when Edel and I would gossip over coffee and she’d gush that she had a crush on John! Teehee.

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At the reception, Edel and John’s wedding.

I also got to catch up with long-time friend, Emer, who I also met during my Aussie days. We hadn’t seen each other in 7 years. We decided we won’t let it go that long again!

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Myself and Emer

England: I certainly couldn’t go all that way without hopping over to visit my sister and her munchkins. I realized this summer that they were just growing up too fast and I didn’t want to miss a single moment. A quick flight to Manchester and a train out to her and I was snuggled up with my 2 little English muffins, Lewis and Georgina.

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Georgina playing with my nose ring.

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Eskimo kisses with Lewis

And I couldn’t forget a selfie with my sis, Izzy. I’d say we haven’t changed all that much since our days in the Netherlands.

Me & Izzy

Me & Izzy

Belgium: And as promised to myself, anytime I went to see my sister, I’d stop in to see the Manchester girls. It was a promise I made when Allison passed away – a reminder that the days are long, but the years are short. The Manchester girls and I always try to do something a little bit different. Even if we can’t afford much, we like adventure. If you can believe it, Brussels is actually pretty cheap – to both get to and to get around. We went for fun. You can read that as lots of drinking, little bit of sightseeing. Definitely a great holiday!

Shelley, Lindsey, and Me in Grand Place, Brussels

Shelley, Lindsey, and Me in Grand Place, Brussels

A little blurry, but the trio in a pub (shock!)

A little blurry, but the trio in a pub (shock!)

Grabbing lunch at Le Cirio, Brussels

Grabbing lunch at Le Cirio, Brussels

The only thing I wish I’d had more of (other than sleep!) would have been time. I would have loved to be able to make it Glasgow to see my old work friends and down to London to catch up with a few more travel buddies. It’s just been too long. Maybe next year 🙂

Weekend review: Dog love

Last September, one of my good friends moved to Boston. I was happy for her because she was starting a new chapter in her life, but also sad as she was my hiking buddy and she took her pup, Sophie with her. Rude.

But last weekend, I went to visit said friend, Sophie, and do a little Paddy’s Day celebrating in Southie like a local. This visit also meant I could cuddle with Sophie!

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I was actually really excited for the change in city and the change in pace as compared to my previous weekend shenanigans. Instead of being a lush, we were outdoorsy and did several hikes in the North Boston area.

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There was still plenty of snow on the ground, but it was manageable. It was also good training for my knee. I’m finally comfortable enough to get out there and do more rigorous activities…and not a moment too soon! But of course after every hike, there was always a bit of cuddle time. Sophie really has mastered the selfie…

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After 2 relaxed days of hiking, nomming, and catching up we headed to South Boston on Sunday for the St. Patrick’s Day parade and to hang out with some of her friends. Her friends had a townhouse right on the parade route – talk about an amazing view! Nothing beats a good Sunday session!

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It only took me 2 days into this week to feel rested and back to normal, but it was worth every minute. Tiny hats ftw!

Weekend review: Birthday celebrations

This past weekend was BF’s birthday and I waited until today to share because we didn’t finish celebrating until last night!

Like years past, BF’s birthday tends to fall on the Mid-Atlantic GAA finals, so it’s pretty easy to get all the lads together because everyone is already planning to go out. After many, many hours of sitting in the sun, we finally headed out in Baltimore for a good laugh. There were loads of birthday shenanigans and I even wore heels! It probably wasn’t my smartest idea, but I looked good. 🙂 Unfortunately, the only pic of the night, was a selfie I grabbed after a few drinks:

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I think we both look funny in this photo, since we’re trying to not act a little tipsy (but I lubs it all the same). I also think I’m biting my lip which isn’t normal at all. All in all, the night was really fun and BF said he really enjoyed his birthday…success!

But it wasn’t over just yet; I’m quite the fan of extended birthday celebrations! Since we both enjoy tasty noms and since it was Restaurant Week here in DC, we visited Filomena Ristorante in Georgetown last night for dinner. I couldn’t believe how good the food was, not to mention the size of the portions! I think we both ate the appetizers, brought home 2/3 of the entree, and at least 1/2 of the dessert. I won’t have to cook for the rest of the week!

I tried to snap a few photos inside, but I hate being that girl with the flash and it was romanticly lit (read: kind of dark inside) for dinner. None of those photos really turned out, but I did mange to get this photo of the “Pasta Mamma” upstairs making pasta as you walk in. Isn’t she adorable?

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So needles to say, if you’re in DC and looking for a really nice Italian restaurant – you can’t go wrong with Filomena!

And Happy Birthday boo, there’s no one else in the world that makes me smile like you!

Weekend review: The Killers

This past weekend felt like I stepped back in time. Back before there was wedding stress, back before summer craziness, and back before I didn’t have the time to enjoy everything. It was much needed and I loved it.

On the whole, the weekend was fairly laid back and the major event of the weekend was a bus trip to Merriweather Post Pavilion to see The Killers. This was my 4th time seeing Mr. Flowers, because I am that obsessed. Everyone’s got a favorite band, The Killers are mine!

We started the adventure at 4:30 and took a 24-seater bus to the venue. We had looked at other party bus services, but as it turned out, renting one for ourselves was much cheaper and more fun. It was the whole gang (+ lady friends so I wasn’t the only girl!) and plenty of shenanigans. Don’t they all look adorably Irish? 🙂

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And of course, a few adorable yanks, waiting in line at the bathroom (so classy!).

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Since we had all purchased lawn tickets (so we could hang out and party together), the view of the stage wasn’t brilliant. However, the atmosphere was perfect. And a good time was had by all!

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This coming weekend is BF’s birthday and I’m already looking forward to celebrating his special day!

Weekend review: Up, up, and away

This past July 4th weekend has to be one of the best of the summer (so far). I could tell you about fireworks or being lazy by the pool, but that’s not why this weekend was so special.

On Sunday, BF and I knocked an item off my Before I turn 30 bucket list and went on a hot air balloon adventure over the Shenandoah Valley (that’s in VA). We also took the time to honor a friend lost a year ago, by getting a little closer to heaven.

I’ll warn you there are a lot of pictures, but seriously, I couldn’t help myself. I needed to share them. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

BF caught snooping on the first balloon. It was just as exciting to see them getting everything ready.

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After they’ve blown air (from giant fans) into the balloon, they fire that baby up. Literally, they use the fire and heat inside the balloon to tilt the basket and balloon into the upright position.

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And they’re off. Check out the sun creeping over the trees. Did I mention it was 6 AM?

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And then came our balloon. I was a little less impressed, namely because of the patch repairs that were quite visible in a few spots. But hey, you get what you’re given. And of course, it was totally safe.

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Inside and all fired up! Fun fact, they have to burst the flames while you’re getting in to keep the basket on the ground. It makes for an awkward experience for a klutz like me. Fire, falling into baskets, yeah you see where I’m going.

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And then we were flying, just past 6 AM.

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And this is what happens when you give your camera to someone else in the basket and try to get a ‘couple’ shot. You may notice a hint of OMFG in my face. That’s because I kind of forgot about my fear of heights.

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My fears diminished significantly after about 10 minutes. It also helped that the pilot kept us at varying altitudes. We were at tree level for some of the time and even said hello to the couple coming out of this house. Their dog went nuts, likely trying to figure out how he could catch that big balloon in the sky.

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In total, we probably spent 45-50 minutes in the air. Plenty of time for BF (and me) to relax. I kind of caught him off guard with this photo, but I know he was thinking about his best friend.

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And then he snatched my camera and took a picture of some cows. Farm boys, eh?

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And then this one, of moi.

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So I had to reciprocate. Isn’t it gorgeous out there? He’s pretty cute, too.

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And last, but not least. If you’ve made it this far, here’s your reward. Hands down, without a doubt, the best photo of the day. That’s the first balloon that took off, probably around 6:30 AM, heading towards the sunrise.

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ps. this was also my July adventure putting the count to 7 of 12! You can see all the others here.

Weekend review: Boston

No throwback Thursday today, I gotta fill you in on the excitement from the weekend. It’s been a busy few weeks, but this past weekend we (BF, BF’s sister and brother, and BF’s friend from home) all went up to Boston for a few days.

Since my boss lives in Marblehead, just outside the city, I decided to head up a few days early, spending a total of 5 days in Beantown. I was seriously impressed with the city and surprisingly not overwhelmed which tells me how much I’ve grown since moving to the DC area. So, to make this easy for us all, let’s count it down!

5. Duck Tour

We had a few people tell us that no matter what we did in Boston, we HAD to do the Duck Tour. I wanted to be impressed and I wanted to tell you all the cool things I learned about Boston, but in the end I was disappointed. Yes, we were on an actual WWII duck (not a replica) which meant that I was sitting on a piece of history, but because the loch was being let out, the current was too much for us to see the city from the water. WHAT?! Yep, we went in and then we came right back out. LAME! I did get a few good pics and we had our craic (“quack!”), but all in all, I’d probably ask for my money back if I could.

Isn’t BF cute when he catches the sun? That’s him with some color. Red IS a color. 😀

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4. Salem

Before the lads came up, I visited Salem with my boss. She took me all around showing me witch shops,  telling me all about the Halloween festivities, how you can walk the witches trail (probably not the official name), and see where the witch trials took place. I was crazy fascinated. I’ve already decided that if I can’t make it to Salem this Halloween, it’s going on the list for 2014! I mean, check out this shop… and this is NORMAL!

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There was also a really cool bookshop there that looked like this on the inside:

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And it was surprisingly organized. This was the thriller section. I kind of/totally geeked out.

3. Marblehead

I’ve only visited Marblehead once before and I remember it being pretty, but I forgot how breathtaking it was. This is what New England does best:

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And my boss has a pup named, Brownie. He was too cute for words, see…

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2. Boston nightlife

It’s not a night out in Boston with the Irish if you don’t make the rounds to all the pubs and clubs. We didn’t make it to South Boston where all the Irish live, but we made our own fun in and around the city.

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1. Everything in between

And the best part of the weekend away? All the funny jokes that pop up when you have that many people together. There was some amount of antics to be had and I smile just thinking about all the fun we had. Here is a random photo that I find amusing, even without context.

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Needless to say, I’m looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend starting tomorrow.

Happy birthday to ME!

It’s my birthday today and I LOVE celebrating, so please excuse the little party I’m having on my own blog for my own birthday. While I’m here, I also thought I’d share the awesome gift from BF this morning:

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It’s a double-sided grumpy cat tea mug, complete with Irish sayings. Isn’t it perfect?! Squeeee!!

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