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Hi there! Welcome to my corner of the internets. I'm a 26 year old therapist, photographer, and shop owner currently living in Seattle, Washington. My online spaces are educational and lifestyle accounts dedicated to educating, engaging, and empowering women through digital art, home design, and travel.... with a touch of humor and personality sprinkled throughout. Stay a while!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Aint Yo Typical Corn On The Cob (Ireland - Day 2)

Ok, so I was nervous about driving around in the winter, because people had made it sound like I was crazy for wanting to drive around Ireland in December. Here's a quote from someone on TripAdvisor in response to my schedule for our trip: "That would be a punishing schedule in June, but in December almost impossible."

Like, daunting, right?! So I had planned out everything we were going to do, then kept getting a bunch of feedback like this and changed everything to be in just two cities. Then I realized it was dumb to go off of what some strangers on TripAdvisor were saying, and changed everything back.

Needless to say, I am glad I stuck with our original plan because it wasn't a problem at all! Our second day we got up at 8:00ish and started the 2 hour drive to Cobh. A little while after starting the drive I wanted a hot chocolate, and we saw a sign on a freeway indicating coffee shops were that way, so we took it.

Little did we know we had just stumbled onto the village OF MY DREAMS. It was the CUTEST place I have ever been in my life. I swear to you it was like a magical world. 

The village was called Kildare, and they had this amazing shopping center we walked around. 

Everything was so cute. They had little lights and winter displays everywhere. Like how funny all the moose had sweaters? Lol. 

We were trying to find a coffee shop and stumbled upon this little gem I will never forget. It was a camper made into a hot chocolate stand. HOW CUTE IS THIS. 

I wanted to get a cute picture in there, but the hot chocolate stand guy intimidated me lol. Guys, I am so shy and throw away so many good photo opportunities just because there is someone there making me feel awkward lol. 

Also I always get annoyed on trips, because I'll have an idea in my head of how I want the picture to be, but I can't take it of myself and I have about a zillion photos of my husband standing in cool places giving me "the look" lol. It's hard to be a photographer and not be able to just transfer images from your mind to other people of what you want the picture to look like lol. 

J weirdly wanted Starbuck's, so we meandered over there. GUYS. NICEST STARBUCK'S EVER. Look at that interior!

They had different pastries too, which was fun for me haha. Starbuck's will always be my home away from home. It's so comforting because you know, wherever you are, you can go in there, get free water, use a restroom, and sit for as long as you need to to regroup. I love it. 

Ok this village also had the most beautiful bathrooms. I have no shame. 

Ok so here is where more magical things happen. So we were walking back to our car and I saw this random dog sniffing around in the parking lot. I called it to me and it came. I was petting it and telling J how amazing this was, and then it turned around and looked at me and had TWO DIFFERENT COLOR EYES! I am convinced this dog was like, a magical entity bringing us good luck for our trip, or SOMETHING. Like how random and magical?! Needless to say, I will remember this Village Of My Dreams for a very long time. 

At the end of the trip, J said he didn't mind driving around so much, because it was fun to drive in a new place and it "felt like go carting" at times lol. Take that, mean TripAdvisor people!!

Lol but in all reality driving around is one of my favorite things to do and has been since I was a wee babe! I am convinced we need to rent a car on every vacation we go on, because it was so nice to see all different areas of the country.

In Cobh we stopped at Coffee Cove for a quick breakfast, even though we had eaten and hour before lol. I got French toast with bacon. The French toast was really good! The bacon tasted more like ham? But then again I am not big on the meats, so what do I know. The hot chocolate wasn't my favorite, but J LOVED it. It was his favorite hot chocolate of the trip.

J got this porridge but didn't eat a lot of it because he had a sandwich at Starbuck's when we stopped in Kildare. The woman serving us was like, "Oh did your porridge have too much milk?!" and J was scrambling to explain to her that he wasn't very hungry and this was his first time having porridge and she was like, "Ohhhh, you didn't like it?!" And it just cracked me up, because I rarely eat like, full meals at restaurants and people are always quizzing me on why I didn't finish my food lol. When in reality I just prefer snacking all day, than eating three huge meals? Anyway, it was funny to see this happen to someone else for a change haha. 

After breakfast we wandered around for a bit!

Travel photography tip for you: Interval mode! I set mine to take a photo every 2 seconds over the course of 10 seconds, and you end up getting a lot of fun photos lol. 

J's man bun 10/10. Also this is the main attraction in Cobh. It is so confusing to try to find where people take the "iconic" photo, but basically you go down this super steep street and there is a patch of grass you can stand on to get a good shot! Except it was too close for my 50mm, so enjoy J's android shot hahaha. It's much better composition than mine.

The church is so pretty too! I whipped my wide angel lens out for these and honestly, next time I am just going to bring my 50mm and wide angel and leave everything else at home. That way I am forced to switch my lenses out instead of using a stupid iPhone or digital camera lol. 

View from the cathedral of Cobh! It's a cute little town, but there isn't much to do other than the row houses, cathedral, and the water. So I wouldn't recommend staying there or anything, more so just passing through. 

BLESS THOSE WIDE ANGEL LENSES. I have this one and I love it. 

Mega fail at us trying to get a cute picture. This was the only time I actually whipped out my tripod and I regret it lol. Our next trip I am 100% getting one of those Joby tripods, because the big ones are just a pain. Anddddd none of these photos turned out in focus lol. Oh well, they have charm now. 

Before we went on to Kinsale, J wanted to drive through Cork and see some sights. It was a fun little drive and we did see cute things. I originally had us staying there, but am glad I switched us to Kinsale because Kinsale was a lot cuter, IMO. 

I LOVED all the colorful buildings in Ireland. They know how to do architecture, man. 

A lot of the streets were really narrow and winding, like this. Thank heavens J liked driving them (aka the gocarting) because I feel like I would not have the nerve? 

We stayed at the Macdonald Kinsale hotel, which was like 30 minutes from Cobh and AMAZING. It was less then 10 minutes from downtown Kinsale, but super hidden in the woods and felt really secluded. I loved it. It was also $85 a night, which is like, such a good deal!

We got there as the sun was setting and it was so pretty. I loved how modern things were in Ireland. 

Oh, not to mention how Christmasy all the hotels were. It was amazing. The editing on this Christmas tree picture sucks because once again, I shot JPEG instead of RAW and this was under exposed to begin with, so just bear with me and use your imagination lol. 

The room was so nice! Nice and modern furniture, separate shower and bathtub, nice view. What more can you ask for?! Also, no, none of my hotels were sponsored on this trip, I just want people to know that hotels in Ireland aren't a million dollars and it is a totally doable trip for anyone on a budget. You get a lot of bang for your buck!

The outside area was really nice too and had water views. 

Little Christmas details like garlands on the staircase get me <3

We hot tubbed for a bit at the hotel, which was amazing! Then we got hungry and wandered into town to find food. These pictures are all at night and suck because once again, I shot JPEG and hate myself, but you can get the idea of how Christmasy and colorful everything was. 

We ended up getting takeaway (what they call take out lol) fish and chips at Dinos. YOU GUYS. THESE FISH AND CHIPS WERE SO GOOD. Ok, so the only fish and chips I have had were at Harry Potter world, which probably isn't the best comparison. So, I asked J (avid eater of all meats) if they were good fish and chips and he confirmed, they were amongst the best. So, there you have it! 

I believe we finished off The Sinner this night. I thought it was soooooo good. We stayed up a little too late and ended up sleeping until 10 the next day, which threw me into a frenzy lol. But you can read about all of that tomorrow!