||[Mar. 16th, 2011|05:56 pm]
It's been a bit since my last post. Mark and I went to London and Ireland last week for our 1st anniversary/honeymoon vacation. It was fantastic, I have always wanted to go to Ireland, and it was as beautiful and magnificent as I thought it would be. :)|
We started by taking a direct flight from MCO to London-Gatwick on Virgin Atlantic. I recommend anyone in the Orlando area to do that if you want to get to the UK. Usually when we go overseas, there's layovers. On kayak all the flights seemed to have very long layovers, so it was nice to just have one long flight. Unfortunately, all the flights are overnight, so we left at 6pm on a Saturday, and got to London around 7am London time. There's about a 30-45min train ride from London-Gatwick to London city center.
We stayed in a small hotel in Pimlico of London, which was about 2 miles from Big Ben, we had a short bus ride to all the sites. We drank many a pints of beer and ate lots of fish and chips. :) We saw the Tower of London, which was fantastic. Walked around Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar square. We saw Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theater. Mark had never seen it before, and last time I saw it was in Jacksonville in middle school. It was fantastic. :) I LOVE all the music, and we sung it the rest of our vacation, lol. Since I have an obsession with Chef Gordon Ramsay, I HAD to go to one of his restaurants. Unfortunately his food is MAJOR expensive, around 160pounds for 3 courses at dinner. So, we had lunch, which was only about 70 pounds for 3 courses. :) It was divine. The food was awesome, and there was a waiter for each thing. Like one for bread, one for water, one for wine, one for the entrées. It was a bit overwhelming. They would come by and pour the wine from our table into our glasses. We also found a do it yourself walking tour online for Harry Potter stuff from the movies which Mark and I attempted. It was fun roaming around London taking goofy pictures of the sites. :)
Now Dublin, we took a cheap 1 hour Ryanair flight from London-Gatwick to Dublin, and stayed in the Clontarf Castle Hotel. I've always wanted to stay in a castle, hehe. This was the closest thing to one in Dublin. Of course all the rooms were in a separate building from the castle itself, but it was connected. There's pics on facebook. In Dublin we did the Guiness and Jameson storehouses. The coolest thing was touring St. Michan's church. The church has a crypt under it's property that when it was discovered there were some caskets that had been opened probably due to the fact that they stacked coffins on top of each other. Anyway, there were 4 mummies, due to the dry climate and limestone and methane that is natural to the crypt's environment, it created a perfect environment for preservation. The oldest mummy was around 800 years old, he was a crusader. We were able to "touch the mummy for good luck." Mark and I did.
We also did some tours outside of the city. One was a Northern coast of Dublin tour which took us to Malahide Castle. This place was extremely well preserved, it was built in the 1100s and lived in until the 1970s when the last heir was unable to pay the inheritance tax on it and sold it to the state. Unfortunately the last heir never married and thus the family line died. We also went to see the Cliffs of Moher on the opposite coast of Ireland. It was a 12 hour venture on a bus. About 4 hours to reach the other side of the island. We stopped at many sites in between of castles and abbeys. The cliffs were magnificent, there's pics on facebook. Unfortunately, there was freezing rain and wind beating down on us, but at least it wasn't too foggy to not see anything. :) Then we went to the limestone flats along the west coast. In each crack there's little plant life that live in and among the limestone flats. After our long day tour, Mark and I had a pint again in a local bar with a band, then slept in the next day. We wandered around Dublin on our last day (also our anniversary. :)). We saw some museums and meandered around a park. We had dinner at Pearl Brasserie, a french restaurant with rave reviews on yelp. It was delicious, and I tried pigeon with duck froi gras.
It was a fantastic vacation, and just long enough to not get too exhausted. It felt like it was time to get back into the real world of our lives. That's what I love about vacations, it lets you see how others live in foreign countries. It also helps you appreciate your own life. I kinda missed the Florida sun and our house and the food. I'm convinced America had the best food, probably b/c it is the worst for you. :) Mark and I had Chipotle our first day back in the states. I'm so glad we did the trip, also glad that Mark didn't argue against my impulsive desire that caused me to just buy the tickets and go from there. :)
Fitness update: I stepped on the scale at my gym the day after we landed back home. I maintained if not lost weight. I blame the miles and miles of walking that we did. :)