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As a way to commemorate my trip (other than my spoon collection) I opted to collect bracelets. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get them from every single place because that would have been a lot to wear and I was packing light. The collection actually started in New York City in 2012 with my first Alex and Ani bangle. Right before I left home I added to my arm with NTIO bracelets I purchased online and a Brave collection (all of which ended up falling off). A special gift to ward off evil from a dear friend completed the look before I even got on a plane! I wore these bracelets everywhere, even swimming (except for a select few that would tarnish) and to bed. Growing the collection as I went; I added piece by piece, losing some and gaining others. By the end I was kind of over the weight on my wrist, but every time I look down at them it brings a smile to my face. This trip was so life changing and special; I love having little souvenirs to remind me of that time. Along with the bracelets and spoons, I did get some magnets and a few knick-knacks. Most of these extra souvenirs were sent home from abroad, the lack of luggage space was a challenge to say the least. I will say, every time I had to climb stairs or lift luggage overhead though, I was utterly grateful for my carry on. Now, each time I hang my keys on my Barcelona key rack or open my fridge or look at the Oia glass decoration in my bathroom; I remember this great time in my life. And every time I wear these bracelets it brings me back to places I saw and the amazing experience I was lucky enough to have. There is something to be said for souvenirs.

June 13- October 1, 2013

Left to Right: Florence, Nice, Antibes, NTIO company, Paris, Dublin (Alex and Ani), NYC (Alex and Ani), Gift from friend, London, NYC (Alex and Ani).
Others that are not pictured were from: Athens, Popeye’s Village, Brave Collection, Switzerland, Barcelona.


The Luck of the Irish… Well, Sort of.

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In honour of St. Patrick‚Äôs Day this past Monday, I’ve decided to do yet another post on Ireland. While I travelled all around the countryside on group tours, my base was at a hostel in Dublin. It was located behind the old Jameson Distillery and I chose it for that specific reason. I love whiskey! I drank my way through most of Scotland and Ireland, trying different scotches and whiskies; which was fun but also caused some painful mornings. The most epic of these nights involved me stopping for one drink at a pub on my way back to the hostel on my last night in Dublin. A few pints of Guinness later and lots of Jameson, I almost left my phone and credit card on my barstool as I was leaving (luck was on my side). Unfortunately, I did lose my room key though but luckily did not have to pay for a new one (thank you reception guy). The night finished with my lovely roommates packing my suitcase for me for my 6am flight to Malaga and setting their alarms to wake me up on time… That was the worst flight of my life. However, Aer Lingus is a great airline and I’m sure if I was awake or not dying it would have been a very enjoyable flight. The next day an Irish friend referred to my state as the Irish Flu, I can definitely understand that saying. It was a lot of fun though, live music, lively people from all over the world, and lots and lots of laughs. I still have contact with those roommates and I still giggle to myself when I remember the adventures of that night. I met so many people in Ireland and had such great fun; it makes me miss it all when I tell these stories. Even the worst hangover could not make me want to change a single moment!

September 4-5, 2013

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

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Seriously, pictures do not even come close to the real sight that is, Giant’s Causeway. It is breathtaking, incredible and completely unbelievable. Until you actually see it for yourself, it’s hard to really comprehend how a place like this can exist without being man made. Each column has 6 sides (some more or less) and those columns differ in height; creating a sort of step like appearance. The stones stretch out quite a distance along the bottom of the cliffs and disappear into the sea. When we were there they were filming a movie, so part of the area was closed off. The film crew was also in the middle of a lot of my scenery photos, unfortunately. It was still a great experience though and definitely a must see! I opted for a tour that also took us through the Bushmills Distillery, Carrick-a-Rede Bridge, which was a convenient way to travel around Ireland. Beware, as a day trip from Dublin (which is what I did), it was a long day of approx. 12 hours. I wouldn’t have changed a thing though; I had a wonderful time and made a new friend. I met a lovely woman, also travelling alone, and we chatted the whole time. I even helped her to conquer a fear of heights by crossing the bridge and as a thank you she sent me a spoon from Belfast, for my collection (yes, I collect spoons). It was unnecessary but very thoughtful and touching. I made a few friends while in Ireland, maybe it’s due to that luck they keep talking about over there?

September 2, 2013