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Korey’s Fabulous 50 Adventure

How do you properly celebrate turning the Big 50….go to Ireland and London of course.

Well that’s exactly what we did for Korey’s big bday celebration and the fun surpassed expectations.

From up close at the Solheim Cup, to a little hiking in the Irish countryside, to amazing Pubs, English Parks galore, memorable tours, monuments and food that was so incredibly enjoyable, we had a fantastic time.

Rather than relive our trip in one blog post (which would be pretty impossible) we’ll simply share some of the highlights and a slideshow of our favorite pics from the adventure.

Thanks to all for the well wishes, encouragement and bon voyages.

Until our next trip (which certainly won’t come soon enough ;))…Slainté!

Ireland and London 2011 Trip Highlights

  • Attending The Solheim Cup (DUH).  It’s the reason we decided on this bday adventure and it certainly didn’t disappoint.  Unbelievable golf, gorgeous links course, the rowdiest, yet well-behaved crowd and cheering I’ve ever witnessed at a golf tournament let alone other sporting events, and a nail biter finish (only bad part was it didn’t end the way we wanted).  It was spectacular and surpassed our expectations.  I think this article from Golfweek really sums it up.
  • Dublin Sightseeing.  There was so much to take in, in Dublin but I think we did a pretty good job of seeing most of it in two devoted days of sightseeing.  Highlights (for me) certainly were touring the Guinness Brewery, The Harp Bridge (beautiful design), The Oscar Wilde statue at Merrion Square, touring Jameson Distillery (a really well done tour), seeing the Book of Kells, hanging out in St. Stephens Green and Phoenix Park (would definitely like to spend time there on another trip).
  • Live Irish Music.  The night we went to O’Donoghue’s Pub to listen to Irish music was soooo much fun (even if we did get lost walking home ;)).
  • Guinness on Tap.  Yes it really is that good when poured correctly at the right temperature.  We should know we tested the theory quite often :).
  • Wild Wicklow Tour.  Especially seeing the cute little seaside town of Dún Laoghaire, driving through Wicklow Mountains and our all time fave of visiting Glendalough.  Being able to do a little hike and explore the “Glen of Two Lakes” was the perfect way to experience the Irish countryside.
  • Tower of London.  We had both heard so much about touring the Tower of London but I’m not sure either of us realized just how cool that would be.  Needless to say I was thankful Korey had me watch all the seasons of the Tudors because it gave me a pretty good sense of the history I was seeing and hearing about.  It was so cool to see where a few of King Henry the VIII’s wives (who fell out of favor) were laid to rest, seeing the crown jewels was mind blowing and just wandering the grounds and thinking about who had walked there overtime was awe inspiring. It was a great tour I would recommend to anyone.
  • Constant Historic Surprises in London.  London has been one of my favorite cities (and no, not just because of the shopping and bread pudding though that helps ;)) but I love how you can wander around and just happen on some amazing historical landmarks (similar to Paris).  Whether it’s just peering through the gates of Buckingham Palace, walking the halls of Westminster Abbey or stumbling upon the Prince Albert Memorial.  There is just so much to see in London that I’ll never get bored of going back there.
  • London Gardens and Parks.   We were beyond lucky with the Indian Summer they were having in London but that just made exploring the beautiful parks there so much more enticing.  Our hotel was right by Hyde Park and Green Park so it was like having two big playgrounds right outside our front door.  To add to that our wanderings also led us through St. James Park and Kensington Gardens, both perfect places to end a hectic sightseeing day.
  • Pollen Street Social.  I don’t care what people say but the Irish and English can certainly cook.  We had amazing food in both Ireland and London…fish and chips, guinness stew, shepherds pie, curry, toffee pudding, bread pudding etc.  Our all time favorite meal though was probably Korey’s London birthday dinner at Pollen Street Social.  It was Michelin caliber food but not at those prices and bonus they gave us a “breakfast doggie bag” with two amazing little muffins and tea.  How cool is that!
  • James’s Hot Whiskey.  When we were in Ireland we were introduced to “Hot Whiskey”.  It contains whiskey as you would imagine, hot water, lemon or orange, cloves, other spices and honey (similar to a hot toddy).  It was the perfect drink to have on the golf course while it was raining on you :).  When we got to London Korey wasn’t feeling well so we went to our hotel bar and asked for the same drink.  This adorable senior bartender guy (who we named James…we have no idea what his real name is) made them for us and they were delicious!  So delicious we had to go back our last night to have him make them again which he did and treated us to them.  James actually almost came home with us (just wasn’t sure about Virgin Atlantic’s luggage limit ;)).

There are tons of other favorite moments but these are just a few of the standouts.  Oh and we did have a few of those “Things that make you go hmmmm” moments to.  Notably…

  1. Patty being told she wasn’t American she was European by an older Welsh woman.  Apparently because of how I look, the fact that I don’t have an American accent (???) and my parents were born in Europe I’m definitively European not American (not really sure where to go with that).
  2. We met a DJ from the one and only Country radio station in all of Ireland.  He told us they get dinged for playing too much Brad Paisley and not enough Irish Country (whatever that is).
  3. Stumbling upon the Kirsten Dunst movie premier by our hotel.
  4. Touring Tower of London with Senator Kerry.
  5. Korey being asked if she was some guys college friend from Boston College (convenient pick up line I guess ;)).
  6. Wondering how so many British people can be at Pubs everyday starting at noon.
  7. Going to Ireland and London on vacation and coming home with a tan.

All in all a fantastic trip we’ll always remember!

Now for the pictures…


One Comment Post a comment
  1. Debbie Beaston #

    Looks like you’ll have plenty of drinking pictures to add to the photo montage for your 60th Birthday! LOL

    Looks like y’all had a grand time!

    Love y’all!

    October 4, 2011

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