Some more Scotland and Ireland

I can't believe I'm almost half way through my UK adventures!  Time is flying!  This last week was spent in Ireland where I walked through gardens, met a really old person, learned some world history, and saw a bit of where I come from.  It was a really terrific week. 

Days 7 & 8: 
These two days were spent exploring Glasgow on my own.  I spent most of the time on the hop-on-hop-off bus on the first day and on the second I got off and did some exploring on foot.  The second day also happened to be MY BIRTHDAY!  I did lots of walking, ate a decent amount of candy, walked through the Kelvingrove Museum and was treated to a delicious birthday dinner complete with double chocolate cake!  It was a pretty great way to turn 22!

Day 9:
Ireland here we come!  The day started at 4am so we could catch our 7am flight and this made for a very sleepy Emily.  Other than nap and eat, we didn't do that much.

Day 10:
So much was seen and done!  It started with a brief stop at Carrickfergus Castle and was followed by another brief stop in a town called Whitehead, a pretty little seaside town with a not so pretty name.  After that we stopped for a quick bite to eat and went to Carrick-a-Rede, an old foot bridge that fishermen used to cross during the fishing season.  Our final touristy destination was the Giant's Causeway.  Let me tell you, that place is magical - a definite highlight.  By the time we were done there it was getting late so we got some dinner, ate at a beach then headed home.  Not surprisingly, I crashed in the back seat.

Day 11:
We eased into the day then spent the afternoon at a gorgeous house and garden that used to belong to the minister of education.  It was hard to believe that anybody less than royalty could live in a place like that...
For dinner that night we went to a little restaurant in Holywood called Little Wing.  If you ever get the chance to go there, get the chicken caesar salad.  It will change your life.  Or at least your expectations for every future chicken caesar salad you have.

Day 12:
We spent the day at the folk museum.  This place was called a museum but it was like no museum I had ever been to before.  It was more like a little town with houses, stores, farms, businesses, everything you'd expect to find in an 19th century town.  It was incredible.  

Day 13:
The Titanic Belfast.  An exhibition where you can see the exact spot where the Titanic was built, the buildings in which it was designed, the ship that brought passengers to and from the boat as well as read lots of history about Belfast during the time that the Titanic was built.

Day 14:
We spent the day in downtown Belfast wandering around and learning about the history of the city.  We took another hop-on-hop-off bus around the city which we all found really interesting.  Before this trip I hadn't realized how much had happened in Belfast.  I learned a lot on this trip about why all of the animosity existed and how things have changed.  It was really eye opening.   Later in the evening we went for a big walk.  We got to see both rolling country hills as well as the moon rising over the ocean.  A really great night!

Day 15:
This was a family history day.  It started with meeting my 102 year old great aunt.  I had never met someone remotely close to that age and to be there, talking to her (well, kind of talking..  She couldn't speak very well, but we tried!) was really neat.  After that I got the tour of where my grandpa and uncle grew up in.  A lot had changed but I got an idea of where I come from so that was great. 

Day 16:
The last day in Ireland started with breakfast in Donaghadee where we established that the people who live there have no excuse to be improperly groomed or under fed because the only things that exist in the town are hair salons and cafes.  Then we said goodbye to Ireland and caught the plane back to Scotland.

Day 17:
Yesterday we spent the day at home, leaving only to get groceries so we could have a BBQ!  That's right folks, it was actually nice enough that we were able to sit outside (without wearing any rain gear at all) and eat dinner!  I don't have photographic proof because the excitement of being outside not in the rain was just too much for me and I forgot to take pictures... However, I do believe there are a few pictures being saved for blackmail in the future.  Something about being mid-bite into a tasty burger, I think.

On Tuesday I catch the train into London(!!!!!) where I will be spending the rest of my time.  Life is feeling pretty amazing and I am constantly saying little thank-yous to the universe for making all of this possible.  I am so full of gratitude and feel so lucky to have such generous, warm, caring people in my life that are helping make this trip so unbelievably incredible.

See you in London!