Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hollandmoon: County Kerry part 2

One of the things we would have done differently about our trip was to spend more nights in Killarney. We only planned a single night here which left us wishing we had more time to explore and scrambling a bit on our last day.

We woke up nice and early, checked out of the hotel and visited The Gap Of Dunloe which is a mountain pass that leads to the south end of the Killarney Lakes. There are no cars allowed along the gap which makes for a nice, leisurely stroll through the mountains filled with sheep (who talk back to you if you baa at them) and of course, gorgeous views. Unfortunately, due to our lack of time that morning, we were only able to make it part way and never got to the lakes before having to turn back.

Before we left Killarney we wanted to stop at Ross Castle which sits right along the lake. They have guided tours where we learned all about the history of the Ross family and they even have some of the original furniture from inside the castle which dated back to the 13th & 14th centuries! The way these castles were made, always factoring in protection and the possibility of attack and still containing amazing stonework and beauty is incredible. And to think of how old they are is absolutely amazing. (I guess that's what a typical American thinks since our country is so young.)

After our tour we quickly dropped off our rental car, randomly parking it in a handicap spot that the dealership said was fine and basically ran our way to the train station. We took the train back to Dublin for the rest of our trip and enjoyed the ride with snacks and naps until we arrived.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Crunch Time

Now that I am officially done with work we're in full-time moving mode around here! 

Stacks of boxes are growing taller and invading every room. Tasks are being crossed off the to-do list but also continuously being added. Cabinets, closets, and drawers are starting to be emptied and yet somehow our house seems like a storm went through it with all the mess we've created. I've been sipping on lots of coffee and letting myself relax occasionally with walks for the pup who is over joyed to have someone home all day.

Here's a glimpse into our crazy life from the past few days. 

Today also happens to be Ollie's 3rd birthday so there might be a bowl full of whipped cream in his future tonight. He's been super cuddly and begging for any & all attention today which just shows that even he knows it's his special day :-) We also have dinner plans for the evening and what do you know, more packing planned for the rest of the weekend. Hopefully we're able to throw in a bit of fun relaxing over the long weekend because I know next week is going to be crazy busy too! Wish us luck!

Current countdown to the big CO move: 
7 days!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Goodbye San Diego

As our time in San Diego is coming to an end I'm experiencing so many more emotions that I ever thought I would. Moving home to Colorado is exactly what J and I have been dreaming of for the last few years and is our dream come true. But I would be lying if I said the process was easy. 

San Diego (or more vaguely back then, Southern California) was where I dreamt of being as a young, naive, 18 year-old and it was a dream come true 6 years ago. I was headed to the west coast on my own to start something for myself. San Diego has been my home for so many years and I hold so many incredible memories from this place. So much so, that it's almost hard to let it go. 

Life has taken me on quite the journey since my beach-dreaming days. Living here by myself for a year, developing a strong relationship and eventual marriage with J here, hosting so many visitors, accomplishing so many of my goals and basically growing up here. It's so strange to think that I've spent my entire adulthood here.... and now I'm leaving. 

These past few weeks have come with so much excitement about the move and the new adventures in store for us but they've also come with too many "lasts", our last time at the beach, last time downtown, last time having dinner with our best friends here, that it's made me pretty reflective over the time I've spent in California. I cherish these years, the memories and the friends they've given me and will always have a special place in my heart for San Diego because its where.....

 I dreamt of going to college // J would visit when I was away // visitors from home came to see us // I made new friends in the dorms // my relationship with J grew leaps and bounds // we tried lots of new things
 we celebrated accomplishments // grew our family with Ollie // graduated from SDSU // went on weekend get-aways // had celebrations with more friends from home // owned our first house
celebrated 6 years worth of birthdays // went on constant adventures together // hosted our first Thanksgiving // decorated for Christmas // watched Ollie grow up // grew up ourselves

Its gets a little easier when I realize that San Diego will always be a short plane ride away whenever we need a beach fix and it will someday be a place we bring our future-family to so we can share all these memories with them. Moving away doesn't mean we can't ever come back, even just for a visit, but I still might shed a tear or two hundred as we drive away in 10 short days.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hollandmoon: County Kerry part 1

After our time in Cork, we headed north into County Kerry with the town of Killarney as our destination. We left bright and early on day 4 to make the hour drive north and to get an early start on The Ring Of Kerry. The Ring is a 5 hour drive around the Iveragh Peninsula and is typically the reason people visit County Kerry because of the stunning views and quaint little towns along it's route. We made many stops to get out of the car and made detours off the main road that lead us to areas where Gaelic was the only language. The scenery here topped every where else on the entire trip and we had such a great time exploring.

At the very end of The Ring we made a stop at Ladies View, named after Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting as they were in such awe of the panoramic views of the Killarney Lakes from this spot. Our last adventure of the day was to the Torc Waterfall and some incredible views of the lakes from the other direction. We finished the day with a walk around town, a little bit of shopping and a delicious dinner before calling it a night. 


Friday, May 17, 2013

Currently [v5]

>>> Down to my last few days at work which meant turning in an extra time sheet today so I can get all my checks on my last day next week! I love that my company is able to do that for someone who's leaving but also kinda sad that it'll be my last pay check for a long, long time.

 >>> Trying to make the massive headache I've had all morning go away! I'm prone to getting headaches easily because my jaw isn't aligned right and I grind my teeth at night and today is no different. Its seriously pounding and all I want to do is nap.

>>> In awe that our trip to the beach last weekend might have been our last trip before the move which means from now on we'll have to make a vacation out of every beach trip instead of just a Sunday afternoon. I admit that we haven't been to the coast as often as we should/could have but I'm so glad we were able to go this past weekend.

>>> Starting to get the process started with packing up our house. There's no longer anything hanging on the walls in the whole house, rooms are starting to get emptied out and the stacks of boxes are growing. Two weeks from today and we'll hopefully be on our drive to CO.

>>> Really looking forward to the weekend. We have dinner with J's boss tonight, our last Padres game tomorrow night and dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in San Clemente with my favorite people in Southern California on Sunday night. All these "lasts" sure are sneaking up fast!

>>> Happy to announce that I've jumped back on the MyFitnessPal wagon this past week and it's been going really well. After coming home from Ireland a little heavier that I'd like to be (thanks to all the potatoes and whiskey) I decided I needed to prep for summer and start counting calories again. And I'm already down 3 lbs since my post-Hollandmoon weigh-in!

>>> Thankful for the musical inspiration I got on my drive to work today. The right song played at the exact right moment and was seriously a sign that I'm in exactly the right place I'm supposed to be in life right now.

I'll be back next week with more Hollandmoon Recaps so don't worry!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hollandmoon: County Cork part 2

After our late lunch/early dinner in Kinsale we decided to take a drive. We didn't know exactly where we would end up but that was part of the adventure. With our trusty GPS (that only led us down a one-way street a few times :-/ ) we hopped into the car and headed southwest. 

This was actually one of my favorite parts of the whole trip, quite possibly because we didn't have a specific plan or destination we had to make. If there was a road that looked interesting, we'd take it. If there was a gorgeous beach we found, we'd get out of the car and explore. We ended up driving from Kinsale to Skibbereen that day before heading back to Cork for a night out at the pub. And seriously, it was really this beautiful. Normally I do some enhancing/editing to pictures but these are straight from the camera. Also, my new camera's self-timer is awesome, used it SO much this trip. 

The next day (what is it now? Day 3?) we drove east of Cork to the city of Cobh, located in Cork Harbor. Cobh is a seaport town that was as cute as can be. We were there on a Sunday which meant the town was pretty quite and we were one of the few couples walking the streets among the ringing church bells and mist from the ocean. Cobh is famous as being the last port for the Titanic before starting on it's maiden journey so we did the touristy thing and stopped in The Titanic Experience.

Then it was finally time for some whiskey! The Jameson Distillery is located in Midleton and gives guided tours of the "old distillery" throughout the day. Whiskey is such a tradition in Ireland and it was really interesting to learn this history of the brand and how the process here is different than other places around the world. I will admit that we were referencing the show Moonshiners on Discovery between the two of us as we walked around, no shame. And of course, who would say no to a free drink at the end?!

This was our last day in Cork before moving on to another adventure so be sure to stick around for more.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hollandmoon: County Cork part 1

We left for Ireland on Thursday morning from San Diego. Our flight left around 11am and we had a layover in Philly that was just long enough for us to have dinner and get buzzed before our red-eye flight to Dublin that would land Saturday morning. The flight was pretty miserable especially since we were already feeling the effects of changing time zones and there was a screaming child behind us but we'd finally made it to Dublin. We were able to navigate from the airport to the train station and get on a train to Cork City for our first destination of the trip. 

There are no pictures of any of this because we were so wrapped up in figuring out a new country, exchanging money/getting through customs and were incredibly sleep deprived that we were pretty much like zombies. The train ride took around 3 hours and after getting a bit of sleep on the train we decided to hike it up the hill to our hotel after sitting for so long. We stayed at The Ambassador Hotel and really enjoyed the 3 nights we stayed there. Instead of taking a nap (which was really hard to resist) we decided to make something of the afternoon and headed to our #1 must-see of the trip, Blarney Castle

A trip to Blarney wouldn't be complete without the tradition of leaning over backwards to kiss the Blarney Stone so of course we partook. We wandered the castle, marveled at the stone work, were in awe of the castle grounds and Blarney House, walked the Wishing Steps with our eyes closed, and absolutely froze. Needless to say we weren't quite dressed appropriately for the weather and it just so happens that that first night was the only time we got down-pouring rain the whole trip. 

After sleeping until noon the next day (something neither of us EVER does) we made our way to pick up our rental car and explore the southwest. Driving on the left of the road, on the wrong side of the car while shifting the manual car with your left hand was incredibly complicated and I'm so thankful J was the one who drove us around. Our destination of the day was the city of Kinsale and it didn't disappoint! 

We stopped at Charles Fort and took a guided tour of the grounds. It was incredible to hear all the history of the military fort and imagine how life must have been back then. Our tour guide was full of knowledge and kindly informed us that no, moats never actually have water in them. Apparently Warner Bros made that one up (and the crocodiles that live in them too). We headed into the city center and enjoyed the best fish & chips dinner I've ever had before continuing on with our journey.

Be sure to stick around for more Hollandmoon recaps! 
There's plenty more gorgeous sites to be seen.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Book of Lists: v6

I'm a few days late for this post which was supposed to go up while we were still on our honeymoon so I apologize for the tardiness. I'm still really enjoying making these lists and now that I have a good number of them, it's been really interesting to look back at some of the earlier ones too. 

This month's topic was "With me at all times"

As I was thinking of these items I realized that most of them were coming from inside my purse. I guess it fits since I never leave home without it and it's contents plus whenever I'm at home it's within easy access as well. I did try to throw in a few other items as well to mix it up a bit. 

Next month's topic: I'd rather be doing

To see all past lists, go here
To visit Kathleen, go here

PS: Hollandmoon recap posts will go up early next week, I promise! 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Numbers v1

THIRTY: the number of minutes it takes me to go from out of bed to out the door for work. love having a casual job.
THREE: the number of shots of espresso in my coffee today.

TWENTY-SEVEN: the number of years my sweet husband has been on this planet as of Tuesday.

TEN: the number of days I have left at work and it couldn't be better.
TWENTY-TWO: the number of days until we drive from SD to CO for the last time. can't wait for that move.
ONE HUNDRED: the number of things left on our to-do list for said-move.

FOUR: the number of months it's been since we said "I do". can't believe how time is flying.

TEN: the number of test panels my drug screen was supposed to have but failed to have thanks to an illiterate lab tech. hello repeat drug screen!

THREE: the number of years old my sweet Ollie boy will be at the end of the month.

EIGHTY: the number of pages I got through in A Million Little Pieces before giving up. I never give up on books but I couldn't stand this one.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Birthday Boy

Today is J's birthday. 
Hip hip hooray!

The love that I have for this man is difficult to put into words.
He is my best friend, my husband, my goofball and my soul mate. He's helped me become exactly the person I'm supposed to be, shown me what true love is all about and is definitely the reason I'll eventually have laugh-lines. 

Dear Hubs, I can't wait to celebrate your birthday with you today and feel so incredibly blessed I get to share in these moments with you. We've been through our share of birthdays together already and I know there are endless more in store for us. I hope you have a fabulous day and know how much you mean to me. Love always, Your Woof ;-)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hollandmoon: We're Back!

J and I are back from our honeymoon and let me just say, it was one of the best trips I've ever been on. 10 days disconnected from the regular, plugged-in, stressful world  spent with my husband exploring the island of Ireland was exactly what I needed. We saw some absolutely stunning places, drank many adult beverages and relished in the fact that we're married and starting on a new journey in life together. 

For now I'm pretty dang jet-lagged and back to the grind of working and getting ready for our big move but I promise to recap hopefully by next week. I have lots of gorgeous pictures to share, plenty of recommendations on what to do on the Emerald Isle and many interesting things we learned along the way. 

Happy Monday everyone!


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