Although our trip to Europe was in March 2018, this blog only existed in my imagination at that point, so recapping our trip of a lifetime has been a ton of fun!
After the excitement of our wedding slowed down in Fall of 2017, my wheels starting turning on planning our next adventure. For all of 2016 and most of 2017, our time, money, and energy had gone towards the wedding, so after our wedding and honeymoon in August, I was in need of a new project. I had been to Europe once for a course in-between semesters during college which only grew my desire and love of traveling. On that first-ever trip to Europe, I stayed in Kensington, London. During my time there I visited Stonehenge, stood in two hemispheres at the same time, actually saw Prince William and Kate and Steven Spielberg after stumbling on the War Horse red carpet premiere and did a day trip to Paris too. I had such an amazing time that I was excited to get back there with Phil this time. These pics below are from that first Europe trip of mine!
Most of our trips go like this: I get an idea of somewhere to go, and slowly begin planting seeds for Phil. He’s much more fiscally responsible and until recently wasn’t a lover of travel, so he needs a bit more convincing for trips. Since Europe was the biggest trip we’ve taken together, I needed to bring my persuasion A Game and made a PowerPoint presentation with pricing and details. He had interest in Ireland and we found round-trip flights for $800 for the both of us out of Toronto and so we were finally both sold! Our Europe trip was 11 days total with 3 days spent in Ireland, 3 in Amsterdam, and 3 in London.
The way I structured our time in Ireland was like this:
Day 1: Hotel check-in, acclimate ourselves to the new time & explore, Guinness Storehouse tour, laid-back dinner and night near the hotel
After landing at the Dublin airport at 5 am local time, we grabbed a cab and immediately started exploring since we couldn’t yet get into our hotel room. We stayed at the Holiday Inn on O’Connell Street which I’d recommend. It was modern, clean and affordable with a central location within bustling Dublin. Given that this was our first Europe trip planning ourselves, safety was a top priority of mine so I booked American hotels only however on our next trip I’ll be comfortable expanding that to Air BnB’s or local hotels.
We were so jetlagged the first day that we almost fell asleep sitting up in a café for breakfast but we powered through! We visited Trinity College during the sunrise which was quiet as the city was still waking up. The college has beautiful cobblestone architecture that the sun bounced off of.
We also visited the Guinness Storehouse which is touristy without a doubt, but worth a visit with the top floor lending a 360-degree view of the city. The 7 floors are themed well and tell you the full story of Guinness which captures your interest even if you’re not a beer lover.
That night we did dinner at an authentic Irish pub down the street from the hotel, Murrays Bar, which served Irish stew and Guinness pie. We weren’t super adventurous though and stuck with eating Fish & Chips and a chicken sandwich.
Day two and three were packed full with amazing things so those will be coming in a separate post tomorrow. Have you been to Ireland before? If so, anything we didn’t get to this time that you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments below!