European Honeymoon Part 1...Dublin!

So, some time has passed since I have posted anything because I knew what an undertaking my next few posts would be, so I procrastinated a bit. So, grab a snack and get cozy because I am taking you on a picture collage whirlwind tour of our honeymoon to Europe! We found cheap tickets to London last August when we had only been engaged a few weeks. We spontaneously bought them, hoping to use wedding cash/tax refunds to help pay for the rest and it worked out just great! We went to London, Dublin, and Paris and to say it was fun would be an understatement. After we flew into London on March 30th and stayed a couple nights, we were off to Dublin and a couple surrounding towns.

Ireland is a magical land of rolling emerald hills,  old castles and churches, lakes, rainbows, and leprechauns. Seriously. 

The top left, middle right, and bottom left are all pictures of our side trip to tiny Glendalough (pronounced Glenda-lock, meaning "land of the two lakes" in Gaelic). It's also known as "Braveheart" because a lot of that movie was shot in the area. It was pouring rain and it was, of course, the one day I forgot my umbrella.  So, we bought a touristy one and tromped around the awesomely old monastery ruins in the mud. It was just like the Ireland I had always imagined (although I didn't imagine being quite that wet and cold) with greener-than-green grass as far as the eye can see. On our way back from Glendalough we saw that perfect rainbow (bottom middle picture above). Seeing a rainbow in Ireland seemed like 10 times cooler than seeing one in Orem. I half expected to see a leprechaun with a pot o' gold! Speaking of leprechauns, see that little (ok, large) leprechaun in the bottom right picture up there? That delightful character was trying to get business for one of the pubs in the touristy Temple Bar neighborhood of Dublin. I was so excited to see him because what's a trip to Ireland without a ginormous leprechaun? 

The top right, middle left, and middle center pictures above are of a castle and church (with awesome red doors!) in a small town called Kilkenny, which we stopped at on the way back from Glendalough. First I should mention that our drive into and out of Glendalough looked like this:

What the...?! Snow?! I guess we were pretty high in the mountains (the Wicklow Mountains, to be exact), but still! Our fantastic guide said that snow is very rare in Ireland and that spring is usually here by the beginning of April. Obviously, spring was running late. Ah well, it definitely made the drive more exciting! 

When we arrived in Kilkenny, I thought I would die from how cute it was! Exhibit A:

Funny thing is, it was Good Friday and a lot of things were closed, including the awesome castle. But that didn't stop us from taking billions of pictures outside (see Crazy Tourist Karina in bottom left picture above, as well as in almost every picture below). As you can see, we totally bought and rocked the Euro scarves as soon as we got to Dublin and realized it was a necessity.

We basically LOVED Kilkenny, even with some places being closed. Subway was open, though, so we ate there. In case you were wondering, it was just like Subways in America, stale bread and all.

Soon, we were back safely in Dublin. It is a city that is bustling and laid-back at the same time. Our favorite thing about Dublin (and Ireland in general) was the people. Everyone we talked to was genuinely friendly. Both times we asked someone a question in the National Library of Ireland, we ended up talking to the person for at least a half hour. Irish people love to chat and joke around. One guy thought Alan looked like he was a "Viking" and "would have put money" on me being Swedish. Everyone was so fun to talk to and really willing to help us out, even though we were tourists (I'll get to Paris in the next post, ahem!). Plus, their accents are awesome! It's true that th=t (i.e., thanks=tanks, think=tink), which we never got tired of listening to!

We got to visit the most beautiful parks including my favorite, Iveagh Gardens (top row of pictures below—we even met a playful Irish kitty!), St. Stephen's Green (middle row—recognize that bridge in the middle picture from Leap Year? Ladies? Anyone?), and Merrion Square (bottom row—where we met an Oscar Wilde statue with some sass). As you can see, Alan made some awesome faces/poses ;).

Another thing that we love love LOVED about Dublin (ok, those are obviously my words, not Alan's) is the architecture. There are fantastic fan lights on every street, charming buildings from a century ago, and brightly colored doors on townhouses lining every street! Not to mention the many straight-out-of-a-movie pubs. We walked from our adorable bed and breakfast to the city center every day and I was amazed every time by everything we saw along the way. One of our favorite experiences was going to The Auld Dubliner pub. As you would imagine, we were the only ones not partaking of Ireland's many famous beers and ales, but boy did we have a great time! We got the hearty three-course meal; Alan got the fish and chips and I got the delicious Guinness stew (hey, it's the only Guinness I can try since the alcohol cooks out!). There was a live band playing traditional Irish music which made the whole experience seem so unreal because everything just felt so...Irish! We didn't want to leave, that's for sure. So, we are living proof that Mormons can have fun in the land known most for it's pubs and alcoholic drinks!

The top right picture above is the original (older) part of Dublin Castle which now houses the Chester Beatty Library, where we saw a few of the oldest Biblical pages in existence. I also loved the maze in the grass! The top right picture is the newer part of Dublin Castle which was interesting to see how different the architecture is. The bottom left picture is the famous St. Patrick's Cathedral (surprise, it started raining again). St. Patrick was an incredible guy. Look him up and you'll see that he definitely deserves a holiday! The bottom middle picture is the River Liffey that runs through Dublin, adding awesome to the city. 

Another awesome place we visited was the Archaeological Museum, which was ten times more interesting than we thought it would be. Turns out Ireland's bogs preserve bodies really well. They had like five cases of creeps like this guy:

(shudder) Look at his perfectly preserved hair and creepy half body! I was so oddly fascinated with these preserved humans that I couldn't stop looking. Alan was starting to get worried. Who knew Ireland had a wealth of really realllllly old stuff (and creepy people)? 

We also stopped by Trinity College and wandered the grounds. The mysterious Book of Kells is there, but we decided we didn't care 10 Euros worth to see it.

All in all, we fell in love with Dublin. It was Alan's favorite place and it is a serious contender with London on my list of far away places I would love to live. Great people, great sights, great food (blood sausage, anyone?), great shopping, great place for us to be together! Our feet were so sore at the end of every day exploring Dublin, but to me that just means we were having lots of fun!

Next stop: Paris!


  1. Haha, "creeps like this guy." He is a total creep with that weird single dread of hair.

    This makes me want to go to Ireland. Like right now. So fun!

  2. The creep's hair was red...Soooo authentically Irish! Love the pic of Alan on the bench looking straight ahead being, if I may say, quite the creep himself. I LOVE it all! I have to try this "blood sausage" you keep talking about...it sounds...appetizing? Can't wait for Paris:)

  3. I'm so jealous! I love Europe and so does my husband....we just have never gotten to share the experience.

  4. So picturesque! Seems unreal. I can't wait for Paris either!

  5. I am laughing like a lunatic right now all alone in my living room. Why? Because of "creeps like this guy" comment...and then scrolling down to see that Lyndsee enjoyed it just as much as I did. :-)

  6. Hey Karina! Did a little google search and found your blog :) I'll have to take some time to read through it a little later...but I'm just checking up on your journal/blog writing :) Ha ha You are great and I love having you teach our cute Laurels!
    Love - Teresa