This time last year, I had been feeling rather frustrated with the daily routine that was my life. Don't get me wrong, I loved my job and the people I worked with, but I was longing for something more. I found myself constantly looking up destinations on Pinterest every chance I got. I dreamed of visiting these places, meeting new people and eating and drinking the local cuisine and beer.
Ever since joining Pinterest, I have come across pictures of the Cliffs of Moher and have become obsessed with visiting them. But when I looked it up on Google Maps, I saw that it was on the opposite coast from Dublin and I didn't think the chances of visiting the Cliffs would be very likely if I ever visited Ireland. However, I was determined to at least try and even went as far as getting my international driver's permit from AAA before I left, but the idea of me driving on the opposite side of the road across Ireland didn't make my mom too excited. So, instead we found a day tour that took us from Dublin to the Cliffs and back.
The last stop on our grand European adventure was Ireland. We spent two days in Dublin and one day taking a tour of the Cliffs of Moher. We started our stay in Dublin by going to the place that Ireland is most known for, the Guinness factory!!!!!! People always told me that the Guinness was better in Ireland but I never believed them. I just thought it was that whole, "it's just because you were in Ireland" deal, but boy was I proved wrong. The beer really was better, smoother, sweeter and creamier than in the states. After the beer tasting, we headed into the heart of Dublin and explored the streets for a bit before I was hit by a massive wave of fatigue and was forced to retire to our hotel and sleep.
The last two days in Paris were spent doing the rest of the touristy things on our list such as, visiting the Notre Dame and the Louve. We walked around, ate as much French food as we could fit into our bellies and tried to take in as much of the city as we could. But before we could do all of that, we realized we had no clean clothes and so we were forced to do laundry in a foreign country. Let me tell you, that was an interesting experience! You figure that using a washing machine would be pretty simple, even in a foreign country... but I was wrong. Word to the wise, make sure you ready the directions for the washing machine before you start putting in the detergent! Nevertheless, after a slight delay, we were on our way to taking in as much of Paris as two days would allow us.
As a Southern California native and a former Disneyland pass holder, making a trip to Disney Paris was an absolute must for me during my visit to Paris. To start the day, my family and I paid a visit to our favorite bakery and fromagerie for some chocolate croissants for breakfast and a baguette and brie for lunch, since buying food at the park can be expensive. Then we hopped on the red line and took the 45 minute commute through the French countryside to the park. It was exciting for me to compare and contrast both of the parks. The park was very similar as the original in terms of design and rides and I was surprised as to how much English the employees spoke and how even the parades were in English! However, it was a bit smaller and had a few less rides than the original, so it didn't take all day to go through it. I would highly recommend this day trip to anyone who is in Paris and looking for something fun to do and a way be a kid again, even if it's just for a few hours.
After an 8 hour bus/ferry ride we arrived in Paris. Tired, sleepy and in a country where we didn't fully know the language, my family and I decided to take it easy the first day. The first thing we did after leaving our luggage at the hotel was find a bakery and buy fresh chocolate croissants. I don't know why but the chocolate croissants are just ten times better in Paris than in the U.S. We then hopped over to the Museum of Natural Science and the Museum of Natural History. Both are very interesting places and I highly recommend them if you are looking for something to do for a relaxed or rainy day in Paris. The next day we headed over to see the Eiffel Tower. The elevators were broken at the time so we had to walk up the 600+ steps, which made us appreciate the view that much more. After some lunchtime crepes we went to see the Arch de Triomphe, did some shopping on the Avenue des Champes-Elysees and finished the day with a French dinner that included delicious escargot.
The last two days in London were very relaxed in comparison to the first two days due to the rain and Easter Sunday. This meant that I had to get creative since everything was either closed due to Easter or because it was raining very hard outside and I didn't want to get soaked. Luckily, I managed to pay a visit to the Tower Bridge and Big Ben before the rain. On Saturday night I even got to see my friend, Matt, who is doing his MBA in London, and who showed me the hip part of London by taking me bar hopping and to a disco tech. On Sunday, I went to church for Easter Mass at one of the most beautiful churches I'd ever seen, St. James. I finished off the day by heading over to the Natural History Museum before hopping on a bus to Paris.
After years of wanting and wishing to visit Europe, I finally had the chance to this last April. I spent two weeks eating, drinking and walking around London, Paris and Dublin. My first stop was in London, where I spent four very fast paced days exploring the city. It was exciting to be able to see the city I had read so much about growing up. During my stay, I visited all of the usual tourist spots such as, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and King's Cross Station. I even managed to get my Sherlock Holmes fix by visiting the museum on 221B Baker Street and visiting the Sherlock Holmes Pub.