Andy and Lindsay’s Excellent Adventure

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Andy and I are going on an adventure!!! This June! To London, Inverness and the Scottish Highlands, and Dublin! With Andy! I think I said that already but I can’t remember because I’ve had a lot of caffeine this morning YAY EUROTRIP!

Because this is the internet I decided that maybe, just maybe, there’s a chance that some of you beautiful magical butterflies out there know somewhat more about these destinations than I and my approximately four hours of research on Trip Advisor do. That was a long sentence, I wonder if it made sense? Maybe I should do that thing called editing and turn it into two shorter sentences. Lord, who let me write a book? Why was I so sure that was a good idea? Shut up, self, move on.

Anyhooker here’s our plan. I am sharing this with you today in case I have missed anything absurdly obvious, or you have a favorite pub or lunch spot or something in one of these places. PLEASE share your expertise. I don’t want to get lost in Europe and never make it back home again (yes I do).

 

london

 

London

We’re planning to spend four days here. And I’ve got some questions. First of all, what is there to do at Buckingham Palace if we can’t go in (according to Trip Advisor the place is closed to tourists until July)? Besides the obvious changing of the guards, of course. Why is Trip Advisor telling me we should spend two hours there? Also, is it really going to be as easy to rent bikes/a car as the internet has promised?

Day One

  • the British Museum (which is FREE hollaaaa)
  • Covent Garden (actually a shopping market and not a garden…don’t tell Andy)
  • renting bikes and riding through Hyde Park
  • making out on the London Eye at sunset
  • dinner at a some pub TBD

Day Two

  • Buckingham Palace
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Houses of Parliament/Big Ben
  • Borough Market and Maltby Street Market
  • dinner at some pub TBD

Day Three

  • Driving three hours to Stonehenge (totes worthsies)
  • Touring the stadium where Chelsea (Andy’s favorite British soccer team) plays
  • Camden Market
  • dinner at some pub TBD (are you noticing the pattern?)

Day Four

  • HintHunt London (Andy was SO excited about this, and it does sound kind of fun…you solve a mystery or something, idk)
  • Tower Bridge
  • Tower of London
  • Seeing a play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (yasssssssss)
  • You guessed it…dinner at some pub TBD

 

 

inverness

Inverness and the Scottish Highlands

So funny story, for the near 26 years I have been alive, I could’ve sworn that it was England and Ireland who shared the same landmass, and Scotland was its own separate island. Turns out I’m wrong, it’s Scotland and England who share the big island and Ireland is on its own across some water. Which, in hindsight, makes the English’s obtrusion into the Highlands in Outlander (and also in real world history) make WAY more sense. I could not, for love or money, figure out why they cared so much when it wasn’t even on the same island. Anyway, I digress.

We’re planning for just two days in the Highlands, which makes me sad but I’m not really sure what else there is to do? Regardless, I am SO excited about this part because hello Isle of Skye. Google “Quiraing” and “Fairy Pools.” And then hop in my suitcase because you’re definitely going to want to come. Oh also in case you’re asking how we’re going to get from London to Inverness, right now I’m thinking overnight sleeper train. Looks like Andy and I can share a two-person cabin, even though the beds are teeny tiny and separate. But hey, we can play 1950s for one night, right?

Day One

  • Arrive, get settled in
  • GO TO FREAKING LOCH NESS
  • Find Nessie
  • Instagram Nessie
  • Shopping in the city center
  • Picnic on the banks of the River Ness
  • Dinner in some pub TBD

Day Two

  • Rent a car and day trip to the Isle of Skye
  • See the Eilean Donan Castle
  • Hike the Quiraing
  • Walk the Fairy Pools
  • Make out at the Fairy Pools
  • Dinner in some pub TBD

And then somehow we’ve got to get to Dublin. I’m open to suggestions.

 

 

dublin

Dublin

Andy and I’ve been obsessed with Dublin ever since we watched David Koechner from Anchorman (and apparently from other things too but who cares) host an episode of The Getaway there. The place looks amazing. He and his wife tasted different whiskeys, walked around the quaintest shopping districts, had dinner in a local pub and got to hear locals singing Irish folk songs, the list goes on. I was sold. We’ll be there for three days and I can’t wait to do all the things.

Day One

  • Travel (HALP), arrive, check in, drop bags, go Dublining
  • National Gallery (this is also free…Europe and I are really going to get along)
  • Old Jamison Distillery tour and tasting
  • Shopping on O’Connell Street
  • Temple Bar for more shopping and dinner

Day Two

  • Walk around Trinity College (so Andy and I met at and graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio – anytime any Trinity grad mentions their alma mater, people always think we went to this college in Dublin so obvi we have to visit it and probably get a t-shirt or five)
  • National Museum of Ireland
  • George’s Street Arcade (yet another market masquerading as something else)
  • Guinness Storehouse tour and tasting
  • Drinking more Guinness at a pub somewhere

Day Three

  • Take the train up to Howth Head, where we will invariably take a gorgeous walk along the cliffs and eat lots of fish and chips
  • Dublin Castle
  • Shopping on Grafton and Dawson Streets, stopping at the Celtic Whisky Shop (because the internet told me to)
  • Dinner and drinks at some pub

 

And there you have it. Andy and Lindsay’s Excellent Adventure. What have I missed? Do you have any tips? Have you been to any of these places? Am I going to get murdered on public transportation (remember we don’t really have any of that in Texas)? Will I be okay renting a car and driving on the other side of the road? Do you think I will crash? Is this enough questions? Are you tired of me yet?

—The Wife in Training

18 Comments

  • Reply February 26, 2015

    chelsea jacobs

    I’m so excited for you! Can’t wait to see pictures!

    • Reply February 26, 2015

      Lindsay Landgraf Hess

      Thank you Chelsea! I’m pretty excited too! And you KNOW I will be obnoxiously Instagramming the whole time ;)

  • Reply February 26, 2015

    Kalyn

    IT’S OFFICIAL I AM SO JEALOUS! I want to do a Eurotrip so so so bad but my husband could care less. My plan is to just book it then be like, SURPRISE we’re going to Europe this summer (actually it will have to be next summer since we’re going to Canada this summer and this is the year of many small vacations and next year will be the year of the “big one”) (did that even make sense?) and he’ll just have to deal with it because I’ll tell him it’s nonrefundable.

    My advice: Ask Helene (from http://www.heleneinbetween.com). Take lots of pictures.

    • Reply February 26, 2015

      Lindsay Landgraf Hess

      You should absolutely just book it and surprise him next summer. And thanks for the tip, I’ll have to ask Helene for travel advice!

  • Reply February 26, 2015

    Molly

    We went to London and Ireland for our honeymoon and I researched every aspect for about 400 hours and some things till ended up being a bust. Here is what I would recommend from our experience:

    (1) We flew Aer Lingus from London to Ireland and were really happy with it. I shopped around and it was the cheapest and had manageable luggage restrictions. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the size and weight restrictions because they are much smaller on European commuter flights (plus they are in kg) and they are super strict about them. If you have a tendency to overpack or plan to buy a lot of stuff before your flight to Ireland, I would suggest bringing a handheld luggage scale (this saved us from having to move stuff between bags at the airport).

    (2) I would recommend eating/drinking at The Blackfriar in London. It is a pub right off the River Thames by St. Paul’s Cathedral. They have really good food, the inside is awesome, and they have a cool patio.

    (3) We rented a car in Ireland and my husband drove the whole time. A lot of the car rental places are right off the interstate so from the time you get in the car and the time you are on the interstate is like 45 seconds. When you first get on the interstate it will be the most terrifying moment of your life. He said he was pretty much used to driving on the other side within a day or two, though. We didn’t do much driving in Dublin (we drove along the southern coast and then back to Dublin through the middle of the country). You could not pay me to drive in London, though. Their streets are terrifying. One thing to note, if you rent a car in Ireland, they are one of three countries in the world that do not accept car insurance attached to credit cards, so you really need to purchase the CDW policy (and it is pricey). Also, most insurance policies don’t cover damage to side mirrors and tires because, due to people not being used to driving on the left side and the roads being narrow, it isn’t uncommon to ding these up or lose them.

    (4) In Dublin you MUST eat at Murphy’s Ice Cream on Wicklow Street and try the Dingle Sea Salt. All the ice cream is made from milk from cows from the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland and I can only assume Dingle cows are magical because this ice cream is the best thing I have ever eaten. My husband and I were in Dublin for 48 hours and ate here 4 times (plus we ate at the original shop in Dingle. Yes, I am aware we have a problem).

    (5) If you need a breakfast spot in Dublin, I would suggest Le Petit Parisien (also on Wicklow Street). Their food is really good and it is more affordable and opens earlier than anything else nearby. I still dream of their Croque Monsieur.

    (6) I would highly suggest making dinner reservations in Dublin, even on weeknights. We tried to be free spirits and eat at whatever restaurant was nearby and looked good around dinner time and ended up eating at crappy burger places because everyplace we went had 2 hours waits (including hole-in-the-wall pubs). We tried 13 different restaurants one night (in the pouring rain). It is a crowded city. A good standby for dinner is O’Neills Bar & Restaurant on Suffolk Street. It’s a buffet, but the food is mostly traditional Irish and English food and the quality is good.

    (7) Get a decent-looking rain jacket that can pack up easily (I got a black one that folded into a little pouch I could throw in my purse). You will need it and you will probably want it to not be hideous since it will be in 80% of your photos.

    (8) Buy and eat potato chips at every opportunity (the Irish or the English). Seriously. They have crazy delicious flavors and are unlike anything you can find in the US (the Irish ones tell you the name of the field from which the potatoes you are eating came). I have spent endless hours trying to find them online and you can’t buy them anywhere and I cannot tell you how sad this makes me.

    • Reply February 26, 2015

      Lindsay Landgraf Hess

      Oh my goodness Molly thank you SO MUCH for such a thoughtful answer! I am absolutely taking heed, I even just googled “cheap rain jacket” hahaha. I’m wondering if it’s appropriate to eat Murphy’s Ice Cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner, because honestly that seems like the obvious way to live your best life. And I don’t even know what a Croque Monsieur is but you’re making me want one. Thank you again SO much for these tips! Wonderfully helpful!

  • Reply February 26, 2015

    Becca @ Becoming Adorrable

    I’m only a little jealous. But I know nothing about Europe. :’(

    • Reply February 26, 2015

      Lindsay Landgraf Hess

      Hahaha I’m sorry to make you jealous! I know, I know basically nothing about Europe either so I’m just going to concentrate on not making an idiot of myself when I’m there.

  • Reply February 26, 2015

    Juliette

    I HATE YOU. I am SO jealous. I’ve wanted to go see Stonehenge for over 10 years and when I got my laptop when I was 18 I made Stonehenge my desktop picture. And don’t EVEN get me started on the Tower of London… I want to see that more than probably anything else. I hope you have fun but I also hate you a little.

    • Reply February 26, 2015

      Lindsay Landgraf Hess

      I LOVE YOU TOO. I will take so many torture pics for you in the Tower of London. Pinkie promise.

  • I don’t know WHY THE EFF it’s telling you to spend 2 hours at Buckingham. You can walk around and say hi in about 15 minutes.

    The only thing(s) I would add is Hampton Court (home of King Henry VIII, and badass because you can basically wander all over the place and pretend like you’re in an episode of the Tudors), and if you don’t mind being sad, The Holocaust Museum. Of course it’s horribly depressing but it’s so thorough and MASSIVE. I spent like three hours in there and just soaked up every moment and left crying but it was such a worthwhile experience.

    Also if you’d like to do London in the style of 2009 Natalie – let teenage British boys buy you screwdrivers in a random pub, get stupid American wasted, and then somehow still make it back to your hotel without being abducted a la Taken.

    • PS give Nessie a kiss for me. And please let me come k thanks bye.

      • Reply February 26, 2015

        Lindsay Landgraf Hess

        I think I would really have fun doing London in the style of 2009 Natalie. But I’ll let Andy buy me screwdrivers in a random pub and then after I get stupid wasted I’ll force him to make out with me in public. And yes I will kiss Nessie for you. And instagram her (him? her.).

  • Reply February 26, 2015

    shannon @ gin & bare it

    I WANNA COME.
    HOW CAN I MAKE THAT HAPPEN?

    PREFERABLY FOR FREE.

    • Reply February 26, 2015

      Lindsay Landgraf Hess

      HOP IN MY SUITCASE AND BYOB.

  • ohhh my goodness!!!! i am SO excited for you! ireland is on the top of my list for places i want to venture to and find some sort of distant cousins!

    i will be stalking you hardcore through your trips and i can offer no advice on these places so i’ll be relying on you when we venture to london (potentially) later this year!

    have SO much fun!

    • Reply February 26, 2015

      Lindsay Landgraf Hess

      Thank you! I’m so stinkin’ excited too. I will happily share any and everything I learn!

  • Reply February 27, 2015

    Sevi

    So basically I need to start stretching so I can fit in your suitcase! This is so exciting!!!! David and I are trying to plan a Eurotrip right now, I may need to pick your brain about your planning!

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