Finally got around to posting about our honeymoon. There was just so much I had to work through, such as sort through alllllll the photos and figure out which ones to post! Which is why i'm just now posting about our honeymoon! It has been a few weeks since I had seen the pictures we took while in Ireland, and they certaintly bring a smile to my face :)
We got married Saturday, March 11th at the beautiful Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen, TX. The weather cooperated with us, thank goodness! When we were wedding planning, we didn't know where we wanted to go on our honeymoon. At one point we didn't even know if we would have a honeymoon because we just couldn't narrow down a location! We picked March 11th as the day of our wedding because Ivan is a teacher. That following week March 13th-March 18th was Spring break for most of Texas and other parts of the states. Going to a beach was automatically out of the question, for risk of too many potential "spring breakers". We just didn't want to take the chance, and let's be honest. We can go to a beach anytime! You can find awesome resorts at great prices because beaches are so popular!
We tried to book a honeymoon to Greece. I would of loved to visit the Islands of Santorini! Greece just looks so romantic and beautiful. However, we were not able to find a travel package within the dates given previously :( That is when Ivan came up with the idea of Ireland. I remember sitting in the living room, and he said "hey. isnt St. Patrick's Day on that Friday?" and I said "Yea why?" and he mentioned "Why don't we just go to Ireland and go to the St. Patricks parade?" BRILLIANT! I thought. We enjoy festivals, beer (and i love wine too), bars (aka pubs), and sight seeing so Ireland seemed to fit the bill!
We found a great deal and package through goaheadtours.com where we would spend a week in Ireland touring different cities in the southern part of the country. This package included hotel stays, 1 meal per day, the bus ride to and from locations, and a guided tour so WHY NOT!? We put a deposit down and we were BOOKED!
This officially has been the first abroad trip we have ever made together and I know it won't be the last.
Day 1- Travel
I fell asleep at 4am the night before and woke up at 7:30am that morning! We packed, chatted with my parents, had breakfast at my in-laws and left the Dallas airport around 5ish pm in the evening, only to arrive in London by 7:30am. Then from London, we flew into Shannon, Ireland around early afternoon. We hardly slept because of the excitement of the wedding, the movies and games the airline provided to keep us busy, and just the simple fact that we have a hard time falling asleep on the plane!
Day 2- Galway
When we finally arrived to Shannon, we met with our lovely tour guide Kristiann (her nickname for us was Turtle Doves lol) who grouped us together, and off we were on a bus with about 34 people. It was about 1 hour - 1.5 hours later when we arrived at our hotel in Galway. I did snooze a bit, but again it was hard to sleep! Excitement of arriving had now kicked in. :) However, once we settled at the hotel, we then went on a walk and first guided tour at Galway! I love how mid-evil the city looked!
Day 3- Galway
We visited the Galaway Cathedral and walked around again around Eyre Square where there were a lot of shops. This where I first learned about the Celtic (Claddagh) ring and their symbol. Read more about the rings meaning here! You know I grabbed one of these before leaving Ireland!
Cliffs of Moher
Somewhere along all the activities we got to do, we went to visit the beautiful landscapes of the Cliffs of Moher! One of my favorite places that we stopped at! Mother nature at one of her finest moments. Cold and windy, I would have loved to spend a whole day here. We took a risk and decided to walk along this off-track route to get a great view of the cliffs. Luckily we made it back safe!
Quick fact! Cliffs of Moher arises 700ft above the Atlantic Ocean! Certainly a beatiful sight to see..
Super cool man who allowed me to take video. Loved this!
Day 4- Cork
It was also in Cork where we visited Blarney's Castle! I was so excited to see castles in Ireland. Even the abandoned ones are absolutely gorgeous! The story of Blarney's castle is about climbing the steps to the top of the castle to kiss the legendary stone and receive the gift of eloquence. Read more of it's history here!
Yes me and Ivan totally kissed the stone... YOLO! :-D
Day 5- Dublin
This was the city that we original came for, but we were so happy that we got to visit and see the country versus spending the whole week in Dublin. While there is lots to see in Dublin, I would of wanted to venture out either way! Glad we had an itinerary, and a tour who was a local!
On our way to Dublin, I snoozed when we all of sudden came to a stop on the side of the beautiful country road. Literally, in the middle of nowhere, our tour guide gave us all a St. Patrick's day gift! Since we were from Texas, she gave Ivan a super cool cowboy Irish hat! After giving us all gifts, we then got down from the bus, she handed over a paper cup that read "IRELAND" at the front and we all took a shot of ...WHISKEY! How awesome is that? We could never do that the states! Only thing is, since I don't really like whiskey, i let Ivan had mine. :p Still, the experience was very fun!
When we officially arrived at Dublin, we paid a visit to St. Patrick's Cathedral. It was so remarkably beautiful!
We also walked around discovering the City of Dublin
Day 6- Dublin- St. Patrick's Day Parade
What a lovely parade! The weather cooperated until the very very end. Nonetheless it was fun, creative, and worth waiting to watch. St. Patricks Day felt more of a respected holiday for the people of Ireland, versus all the hardcore partying that occurs in the states. DOn't get me wrong, Irish people CAN drink! but the feeling I got was more of honoring the day.
We also went to restaurant, Taylors Three Rock for an Irish dinner and entertainment. Amazing! Whiskey shots were already set on the table (I tried to drink it but it was too much!), and they even served us seconds! So much fun!
Day 7- Guinness Storehouse/ Dublins Castle
My favorite thing to eat was beef stew! I had it about 3 times while I visited. Other things we tried was the Irish Coffee which I mentioned earlier and had Whiskey. Ivan of course loved all the whiskey he tasted! Visiting the Guinness Brewery was also really cool! Even though I"m not a Guinness type of person. I do have much more respect for the beer. We even got "certified" to pour on our Guinness!
We also visited Dublin's Castle which was of course...BEAUTIFUL!
Day 8- Departure
While we were definitely jet lagged throughout, we had a lot of fun! It was nice being in a different country, meeting new people, and enjoying everything that Ireland has to offer. I truly feel that these photos don't justice. We would love to go back again for St. Patrick's Day sometime in the future. Ireland will always have a special place in our hearts :)
Have a lovely weekend my little turtle doves!