A Vacation From My Vacation
Spain has been wonderful and while it really feels like a vacation sometimes, I am actually working. I have a bit of free time in my schedule during the middle of the day but the early mornings and late nights with the kids can be tiring.
After my birthday I decided that I could benefit from a small change of scenery. I skyped with a friend that is studying in England and then we were off.
Our first stop was the city of folklore, magic, pubs and world renowned alcohol. Dublin is the perfect place for a mini vacation. I was in awe of the city before the wheels of the jet even touched the ground and when they finally did, there were bushels of bunnies playing on the green space on the runway. No one can tell me that Ireland is not a fairy land.
I have been to Ireland before and spent my time in Cork instead of Dublin. That is a decision that the Passport Control officer found laughable and so did I after exploring the capital city. Cork was a beautiful city but Dublin garners the most tourists in Ireland for a reason.
We started by having a wonderful three course meal at F.X. Buckley. that put all of the food that I had eaten in Madrid to shame. I literally cried when the dessert came because I 1) was way too full to mess around with dessert and 2) knew that I wouldn’t be able to stop eating it because it was so good!
Downtown Dublin is a walkable city, which is perfect for people that want to vacation on a budget. After dinner, we spent a good portion of our day simply walking around the city to take photos.
Dublin has a lot to offer but the Guinness Storehouse tour is by far the best thing to do there.
We spent about 3 hours on a self guided tour but a true enthusiast could really spend an entire day in the storehouse. For 15-20€, you get access to:
Guinness’ Most Successful Advertisements which includes physical representations of all of them,
The Taste Experience where everyone touring has the chance to smell the four main Guinness ingredients and then learn how to drink the beer properly before getting to taste a shot of the dark beer,
The Guinness Academy where visitors are taught how to properly pour a Guinness pint and then get a chance to do it themselves,
The Gravity Bar which provides an amazing 360° view of Dublin while patrons sip on their free pint of Guinness beer (or soda if that’s not your thing),
After gelato, more rain, and a taxi fiasco, we were back on a plane to our next destination. Here are the rest of the photos from this whirlwind weekend.
Toledo (Madrid), Spain
I would not count Madrid as a vacation spot since it is now the place that I call home but there are many places in the region of Madrid that I have yet to see, like Toledo.
Toledo is known for being a walled city where Jewish, Islamic, and Christian people lived and worshiped in peace for hundreds of years without conflict as well as their steel that was primarily used to weld swords. We had good food and wandered the narrow streets for the better part of the day. We also happened to visit near Corpus Christi so the streets were crowded with people putting up wreathes and pink decorations.
Here are some photos from our trip to this beautiful, holy city:
Our next destination would took us 4 hours to get to so we booked a seat in a nice guy’s car through BlaBlaCar and spent a few days in a 3 bedroom flat that we rented on AirBnB. Valencia has beautiful architecture and fountains but we did not see any of it because their biggest selling point is their beautiful beach.
There was a lot of topless sunbathing
so I went home with a terrible sunburn, children playing, and almost too much rest and relaxation…almost.
I cannot wait until my next vacation away from my vacation. There is nothing better than exploring new cities.