Friday, July 30, 2010


We were pretty exhausted by the time we got back to Dublin but we had a few more sights to see and one last night to have fun

On our flight back to Dublin, we needed to spend our last Pounds since Ireland uses Euros so we both decided we had to pick out a candy bar that we couldn't get at home

The classic Dublin photo...

You almost have to take this picture just to prove that you really did go to Dublin!

We each had to get one out front of the Guinness Storehouse

Kilmainham Gaol
Kind of the Irish equivalent of Alcatraz. They only way to go in and see the jail is by tour so we headed over and waited for our group tour to start

Checking out the jail cells. The jail part was neat, the stories were interesting, but the crazy history lesson was just dragging on!

At this point we were very ready for the tour to be over. Our tour was only supposed to be an hour. Here we are hitting hour TWO!!!!

We actually were trying to figure out if there was a way to escape. We didn't realize that part of the tour was to actually feel like a prisoner too!!!!! The warden is in the top right corner...

After our prison sentence was over we headed back to our hotel, relaxed for a bit then headed back out for dinner. We found a cute little pizza place to sit and enjoy good food and the "football" game. We flew out the next afternoon and amazingly were upgraded to 1st class again! We had such a great trip and saw so many amazing things. We made it home Tuesday afternoon, unpacked, did laundry, repacked, and headed to California on Wednesday! By the time we got there neither of us had any clue what time zone we were on, or whether we were coming or going!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


We had a great few days in Edinburgh enjoying the sites, food, people, and history. Oh and not to mention the World Cup craziness going on everywhere during our whole trip!

Edinburgh Castle from below

Walking through the city to the Castle and Royal Mile

The Royal Mile

While walking down the Royal Mile we came across the Heart of Midlothian which marks the spot of the old gallows that were in front of the old prison. You stand on the edge of the heart and try to spit into the center loop; if you make it in its good luck.
As we were walking towards the statue on the far right Ryan told me that if I could tell him who the statue was of then he would take a picture of me with it (this is going back to him hating how people take pictures with any statue and me deciding that I have to!) Luckily I had already read all about the Royal Mile in our guide book so I quickly responded "Sir William Scott" 

The Hub (church), Edinburgh Castle, and the site of the last public execution in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle
The next morning we made our way back over to Edinburgh Castle to tour around. It was really neat to go here because it gave you an idea of what they castles really were like. Most of the castles that we had seen on our trip were ruins or empty castles. This, however, still had everything there including the roofs, windows, interiors, and so much more. They also have the Scottish Crown Jewels which was awesome to see, along with the "Stone of Scone" which was recently returned from England but must be taken back for any coronation. 

This guy was amazing on the bagpipe, while he was playing you could hear him almost everywhere around the grounds

We got the audio guide to take around with us-- it made everything so much more interesting! 

Boys and their weapons! The top cannon is Mons Meg and actually used to be drug around the battlefield at a whopping speed of 3 miles a day! It weighed 6.6 tons...I can't imagine being one of the many men whose job it was to get this monster from point A to point B

Leaving the Castle
The bottom right picture is the plaque that commemorates the 300 witches that were burned in Edinburgh

That night we did a haunted ghost tour of Edinburgh. It was so much fun! They walked us around the Royal Mile and told us true stories of horrible things that happened, and of the ghosts that were now present in Edinburgh. Our next stop was 4 stories under neath the Royal Mile in the vaults
Left: We were only in the 3rd scariest room and I was already freaked out!
Middle: Ryan wasn't scared at all, he thought it was funny how I didn't want to get left behind the group
Top Right: Thats where one of the ghosts likes to chill...
Bottom Right: I was a volunteer for showing how they used to do the hangings

Around the city
The top right photo is Ryan holding a replica of the Death Mask

Back at our hotel we ordered room service...just for a bucket of ice!! 

We headed out early the next morning for our last day in Dublin...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


It was a beautiful ceremony full of bagpipes, kilts, and tears

Mr. & Mrs.

The beautiful bride

Catching up with everyone I haven't seen in years

The garter & bouquet toss

Enjoying the wedding


Being taught how to dance by a "true Scotsman"
This was a workout! He was flinging me around the dance floor, but I did pick up on the dance!
Definition of a "true Scotsman": Wearing the kilt with nothin' underneath. I discovered why only women wear skirts and dresses...its just too much for guys to handle!!!

Rita and Ryan trying to figure out the dances. It was kind of the blind leading the blind! By the end of the song they almost had it down! I love the picture in the top right corner that shows them doing something totally different than everyone else!

Dancing the night away! We even tried to teach the Scot's how American's dance...line dancing!!!

We had so much fun at the wedding. The reason for the trip ended up also being the highlight of the trip! The Scottish people are so friendly and welcoming. The night was full of great food, laughs, and lots of dancing! By the end of the night Ryan and I were even partnered up doing Scottish dancing together! We were so glad to be a part of the happy couples special day!

Monday, July 26, 2010


Inverness is in the Highlands of Scotland and is absolutely beautiful. We loved our B&B we stayed in for 3 nights, our host was so friendly and loved to talk! We were up here for my friend Rita’s wedding, which was on Friday. We were so excited to see them and go to a Scottish wedding. We got up Thursday morning and had a great breakfast before heading out for the day.
Our first stop was the Culloden Battlefield. This was where the final battle between the Jacobite Highlanders and British took place in 1746. The battle only lasted an hour but during that time 1,500 Jacobites were killed and about 50 from the British side. Because of the massive numbers they were actually all buried on the battlefield with their Clans. After this battle all Scottish culture was outlawed, no more bagpipes, kilts, clans, or tartans.

Ryan standing on the mass Clan Mackintosh grave, which is about 77 yards long

The building that was used as a hospital for the lucky few who made it out alive

The outside wall of the amazing new visitors center has 1,500 bricks jetting out as a memorial to the lives lost. At the far end there is a gap and then 50 bricks to represent those who died from the British side

Awkwardly standing with our tour guide! He kept saying that it was too hot for him to be in his full kilt and I thought he was kidding around until I realized that the Scottish people were roasting because it was "too hot" for them!

Clan MacLaren

Walking down an alley looking for an internet café

Relaxing in a throne at the haunted Tulloch Castle

Waiting for everyone else to arrive to celebrate the night before the wedding

All the girls

Strikin’ a pose

Attempting to lift Neil like the guy’s did with Rita!

Loch Ness
We headed over to Loch Ness the morning of the wedding to see for ourselves if the legend was true!
Inside the “Monster Exhibit” it was pretty funny to hear all of the stories and theories. People have spent their entire lives trying to solve the mystery!!!

The Loch Ness, even without the lour of the Loch Ness Monster it was really a beautiful place

In search of Nessie

“Oh look—there she is!!”

“I don’t know, maybe she’s out there”

I’m a believer

After our intense search we made our way back to our B&B to get ready for the wedding

Sunday, July 25, 2010


We arrived in Dublin Tuesday night and checked into our hotel before hitting the city. We went out to a fun little Italian restaurant and walked around before heading back to our hotel. We had a 6am flight the next morning for Edinbourgh, Scotland so we made sure we were all packed up and ready.
Wednesday morning we got up at 4am to show up at the airport and were immediately thrown into total mayhem! We got in line for the Ryan Air desk and waited, and waited, and waited. We finally made it up to the desk and the extremely rude employee informed us that our bags were over weight and they were going to charge us 200 euros for them! I was trying to rearrange a few things in our bags to get them to the right weight while she was telling us that we had waited in the wrong line. There was no posting anywhere about what line to get into!! So after her taking about 10 minutes or so she said, “oh your gate closed 7 minutes ago.” That was it, no “I’m sorry” no “let me see what I can do”. Just told us to go stand in another line and we could try to change our tickets…for a fee of coarse. So we get in the other line and the lady tells us that she can get us on the next flight at 8am but we have to get back in line and then she’ll help us. So Ryan goes to the back of the huge line while I run around trying to find a place we can leave one of our suitcases. After finding a place I go back to the line fling open both of our suitcases and am madly sorting what we need and what we can leave behind.
While doing that Ryan gets to the front of the line and the same girl says that that flight was actually at 8 that night. All that for nothing!!! We got our flight worked out but we were so bummed because we had a whole day of activities planned in Scotland and a 3 hour drive from Edinbourgh to Inverness. We decided we had to make the best of our few hours in Dublin so we called the Hilton we were going to be staying at when we got back to Dublin the next week and they were nice enough to hold our luggage so we could enjoy the city. By the time we got into Dublin we were exhausted, hungry, and a little grumpy from dealing with Ryan Air.

Walking around Grafton Street looking for a place to eat

We headed into T.K. Maxx for this tiny little suitcase to avoid being charged at the airport later that night.

On the bus tour of Dublin, it gave us a good layout of this city while being able to sit down

The throne inside the Dublin Castle, they had to cut the legs down and add a foot stool so that Queen Elizabeth’s legs didn’t dangle while she sits in the chair!

The lookout tower at Dublin Castle, Ryan looks like he’s going to fall over!

Underground chambers where the dungeons used to be

The entrance gate to Dublin Castle

Driving past St. Patrick’s Cathedral

In the fields over looking St. Patrick’s

Eating lunch above the main street

Ryan looking like a total tourist

Finally getting on the plane…We can’t even describe how awful Ryan Air is!!!!

After a long exhausting day we arrived in Edinbourgh, got our rental car, and started the long drive to Inverness. Had we arrived that morning we had a few places we were going to stop along the way but since we got there at 10pm there was no where to go! Luckily with the summer solstice being so close it didn’t get too dark and we could see where we were going and all the deer on the side of the road. We made it to our B&B a little after 1 where our great host was nice enough to wait up for us to let us in. We were so glad we were there!

We got some rest so that on Thursday we could go enjoy Inverness