our trip to ireland!

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a few months ago we were having drinks with some friends on their porch. as the evening wore on, our conversation turned to travel and we talked excitedly about all of the incredible places we want to explore around the world. before we left that evening, the four of us made a promise to not overthink it the next time we saw great tickets to one of the places we’d discussed- just book it. it felt like the next day (though it was maybe a week or two later) that we all got our daily email from kayak and couldn’t believe the tickets we were looking at- obviously this was our chance. we held one another to our deal and booked tickets to ireland for the next month!

we just got back a couple of weeks ago and while we’re still waiting for our film, we wanted to go ahead and share a few of our faves from the x100. we do kinda regret not taking a big fancy camera but we’re still really happy with these shots. can’t wait to share some film soon!

we left the dublin airport around 8 am and drove straight for the adorable town of kilkenny- such quaint streets filled with shops and pubs and skinny side lanes waiting to be explored! we stopped in the coziest, most welcoming little pub ever while we planned our next move. travel doesn’t have to be super stressful and planned out! (i’m saying this to myself…i love how this trip just came together day by day!)

i lost the battle on not putting this next picture up… ;)

now that i think about it, i’m not going to be able to tell you the play by play of this trip- it would take all afternoon! we did explore lots of beautiful, overgrown, crumbling castles and churches and enjoyed many stunning hikes. if we saw something that peaked our interest, we’d just pull over and start hiking- through sheep pastures, over rocks and fences, stopping often to soak in the incredible beauty around us. ireland never stopped surprising us.

tourist season in ireland officially ends the last week in october- we traveled there the first week in november. the countryside was almost eerily quiet and we felt like we were discovering the country all on our own- perfect.

the irish are the kindest people i’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. your fellow patrons want to talk to you at pubs, waiters and waitresses can’t wait to tell you stories about their country and share what could be their best kept secrets. random strangers on the street see you lost and pull out their phones to figure out how to help you get where you’re going. they call over other people they don’t know who are walking past to help them help you. it’s incredible how welcomed we felt the whole trip.

we booked our lodging through our favorite site, airbnb. everywhere we stayed made beautiful, big irish breakfasts for us every morning- irish bacon, pudding, sausage, eggs, toast, brown bread, beans, mushrooms and tomatoes. and that was after our yogurt with granola and fruit. lunch was never necessary. :)

it rained every day. not for too long and not too hard but enough to give us an excellent excuse to stop in for a pint. ;) but most of the time we just ignored it and went on exploring. there were a few times along the coast when i experienced the strongest wind i’ve ever been in- pushing my body even as i leaned into it. it was pretty exhilarating. and freezing. after the first day emily and i never ventured out in less than two pairs of socks, two pairs of pants, three shirts and a vest, jackets and scarfs- so please excuse our michelin men appearances. :)

it became evident early on that my fear of edges would need to be conquered in order to enjoy this trip. and while i cannot say that i’m cured for good, i did push myself closer to the edges of sheer cliffs than ever before. and by close i mean i remained at least ten feet away at all times. :)

actually, i’m going to give myself a bit of credit, i think i’m more like 5 feet away in these images, go me!

matt. my fearless leader. love him.

i love love love this next image:

captured from the front door of our b&b in galway, stunning to wake up to this in the morning. completely silent and still and beautiful:

matt and i couldn’t quite get over the centuries old stacked stone fences that divided most properties. i really want to find a way to incorporate some stacked stone into our little yard here in atlanta! but i’ll leave that project for january. :)

oh the cliffs of moher, it makes my chest tight just looking at these images. 650 foot cliffs. the rolling green countryside just suddenly falls into dark, slate grey water. we walked for miles along the edge- it really is the most extraordinary landscape i’ve ever seen. took my breath away- almost completely a few times… ;)

traveling with friends is the best. lots of laughter, lots of silliness and an abundance of great conversation.

and you can take pictures of each other without having to explain to someone how to use the camera every time! (thanks joel!)

galway bay oysters, the best end to a day of hiking, ever.

so that was just a little taste of our trip! i’m sure we’ll throw up a few more once we get the film back. overall, what an incredible, incredible trip. the vastness of the landscape just blew me away and the beauty is simply indescribable. i think you can consider us officially bitten by the travel bug- what a blessing it is to see the world and experience different cultures! who knows what’s next- we’re working hard to save up. we live in such a magnificent world. :)

season of love

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when i was younger my parents gave me a tape (yup, a casette tape.) that had a song on it about me. at least, this is what i was told. i don’t really remember much about it except one line of the lyrics- the line that my parents still repeat to me to this day- ‘good things come in little packages!’ not sure if my short stature was really a source of pride for me at that age but my parents sure tried hard to make it so! i was a blessed little girl.

for me that phrase still rings through my head from time to time- especially as the holidays approach. it helps me remember that little things can make the biggest difference. there is so much need all around me yet i am often so deeply involved in my own life that i don’t notice. this fall i’m making a point to keep my chin up and my eyes open- not that my eyes are usually closed, just open open, ya know? i want to see when i can help, when someone needs encouragement or a smile or a hello. life is so simple and basic but somehow i always still come up with a way to complicate it and get stressed- not this year! i guess all i’m trying to say is that even though i may not be able to grab the cereal you’re reaching for off the top shelf, i still want to help, so maybe a boost? let’s just all go out and love people. i want to quit saying, ‘let me know if i can help,’ and just figure out a way to help- and do it. but first, i better change out of my work-from-home clothes (mis-matched pajamas, obviously.) because a big smile from me at the moment would totally freak you out. here’s to a season of thankfulness and kindness!

and just to get things started, i’m sharing my (super secret) spiced tea recipe. add more ginger if you love it and concoct delicious variations by adding orange zest or vanilla- apples would probably be great as well. thick almond milk is a most excellent addition instead of cream. (also, matt just pointed out that this image is the color palette of our house- SO. ON. BRAND! ;))

now, take a sip of fall comfort and enjoy the season! :)