Learning How to drive in Ireland

After a great week in Iceland where Gate 1 was in charge of our vacation and we just enjoyed it, we were about to start a whole different experience in Ireland. We landed at Dublin in the morning, got our rental car and with GPS in hand we were off to go to the city. The excitement started going like three times around on our first roundabout after leaving the airport. That warm up my husband to be over conscious about driving on the right seat. Once in the city it took us a few loopy loops around the area to find a parking. Although we started to feel the pain of our adventure we were excited to walk around, eat in am Irish pub and get some traditional food.

After tummies we’re full we visited our first castle of this trip, Dublin Castle. We took a tour, I highly recommend, here I learned the difference between castle and palace. Dublin castle is two in one.

We fell in love with the city, the energy and the movement of people throughout the streets. But energy was exactly what we were lacking in the afternoon. We had a long day after traveling from Iceland early in the morning. Still we were needing to drive to Limerick that was the place we were staying, so we had 2 and half more hours to go. Around 5pm we left Dublin but leaving that area was a little bit stressful because of the traffic and our tension of not taking the wrong turn because for us was completely new driving on the right seat of the car. Once we got into the highway was a sweet drive. Beautiful mountains, tower ruins everywhere, lots of green view. We got to the hotel around eight at night, we rested well and the next day we were off to go. I will tell you what we did on the next post.

Abracadabra your wish is going to come true!

I saw at the distance the a mist erupting the water, my heart was pounding as fast as the boat raft  we were on, that was speeding at full gear. I looked at my husband wondering if the captain was going to slow down. I kept looking at my surroundings and more mist in different locations blew out of the water. I counted like eight of them, and we were getting closer. Finally the captain slowed down and said while I was pointing out “humpback whales!” I took my face gear out, pull my camera, and start shooting pics. I stopped shooting for a minute and just looked. I was so happy, I wanted to do everything at the same time, take pictures, videos, and observe. I was looking for that perfect moment to shoot the fluke while the giant dive in. I tried before and I wasn’t successful, actually I was kind of frustrated to be honest. I had one more chance.

They were so close, I heard them breathing, I saw the mist of their breath going up to the sky.

Then, magic happened…

Kenai Fjord Adventure! 

The alarm clock yelled at us at five in the morning to wake up. Diligently we got ready and like soldiers on duty, at 6 am we were walking through the dark and silent 4th Ave. We thought we will find something open to have breakfast, but the small town was asleep. Finally around 6:30 we saw the Breeze Inn open and for our surprise Arthur was our server again, but now in a different restaurant. It was funny to see him again.

Once we finish with breakfast we were doing our registration with Kenai Fjord Tours at seven like was instructed to us. I looked around and saw people so bundle up for the tour that I question if I came prepare enough for the cold winds of  Resurrection Bay. Before starting our tour I got two souvenir, a hoody and a coffee mug. I advise my hubby to buy some kind of hat or hoody to cover his ears because it was going to get cold with the combination of the wind  and  ocean. He didn’t want to, he thought I was exaggerating same as the rest of the people.

Well, it was time to move, the catamaran started slowly to navigate through Resurrection Bay. The wind started caressing Jorge’s ear with cold hands and he looked at me like he was in trouble. The famous “I told you so” came out of my soul, still I gave him my hat that barely fit him and I wrap my head with my scarf and a not so warm hoody that one of my jackets had. Let me show you.

Despite the cold wind, my level of excitement were higher enough to kept myself focus on the outdoor experience.  I had my camera in hand at all time. I was the first one in the bow. I had a great position to take pictures, I did not want to leave my spot. In other hand Jorge tried to keep up with me but he couldn’t, every so often we went inside to hide from the chilly wind.

Our first encounter was with a sea otter right after we left, them we our our first eagle. He was blending with the rest of nature. Moving his head side to side wondering where to fly next. We stop to see it and then we kept going. Everything was so beautiful that I wanted to capture all.



We moved  along through perfect scenery. Big rocks formation merging out from blue-green waters. The morning light trying to get through the maze of rocks and mountains, green pine trees on top of the rocky mountains moving slightly with the soft wind. Then, cute sausages were looking at us. Harbor seals!



On our way to see glaciers, I diligently looked for my whale encounter. Until that wonderful moment that I saw a humpback whale breaching! Everything happened so fast and so slow at the same time. The boat captain didn’t notice, she only saw the splash.  I saw the massive body lift through the waters but nobody noticed it.  I  pointed out to the direction where the whale was, people turned to see what was going on and the captain slowed down the boat. We waited to see if the whale was going to continue with the show. But it didn’t happened. That memory will stayed always within me, because I wasn’t able to capture it on camera.

As we approached the glaciers, the air was colder and the water light green. We passed floating pieces of ice, we were getting closer and closer.


We spent quite some time at the glaciers. We witness the glacier transform. Huge pieces of ice broke, falling to the water making an aftermath of small waves and sounds. The time passes and nobody cared. It was nice to see nature working.


We left the glaciers and I was getting worried that the tour was going to end without any whale encounter. I was still in position, in front, on the bow. I was looking everywhere, like the captain was needing me to give her signal at the first whale sight. And then, it happened.


Everyone was so excited, this time was for real to all those waiting for this moment. Cameras were going frantically. Every time the two whales dived we all investigated all sides of the boat so see where they were coming up again. One of the whales waved at us happy to see us.


My adventure was complete! I was so happy. The only lament that I have was that one of the whales breached so close to us and I missed it. I missed the jump, the whale… everything. The only thing I saw was the splash. Still this tour was amazing  experience. Six hours of enjoyment, also they fed us. That was the only moment went I got inside and sat for few minutes.

Here is a video with a glimpse of our tour. I hope you like our adventure and come with us every time through TravelmyStories.

Until then,

xamlinnette 🙂

Some Miami Big Houses!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little insight observation of the glamorous Miami life style touring on one of the boat tours you can take in the Miami Bay Area.

Until then…

xamlinnette 🙂

 

Food Tour in Winter Park

Sometimes is impossible to be traveling 24/7 like I will like to, or at least to travel a lot more than I want. But thanks God I live in Orlando that the list of things to do don’t have an ending. No matter if you a tourist or local there are plenty of things to keep you entertain in Orlando FL.

One of my favorite places in Orlando is Winter Park, called like that because it was the “paradise park” during winter for a lot people from up North. Winter Park have this European look, with a classy feeling on the air. Nice, expensive stores and restaurants with the classic outdoor sitting. Winter Park is dog friendly, there is a bowl of water in every other entrance of restaurants and/or stores. You can see people of ages walking with their furry friends, sitting outdoors to eat and the furry friends could sit with them to eat.

There are so many restaurants that if you are not familiar with the area its difficult to choose where to go. It was my husband birthday few weeks ago,and I wanted to do something different. I wanted for us to try something new with the edge of feeling out-of-town. In my search I found this Living Social deal for a food tour in Winter Park. Boom! Perfect!!

 

Orlando Food Tour

We all met at 11 am at Prato, a modern rustic Italian Bistro. We were a group of five couples, I think and two tour guides. We absolutely loved their pizza! We have pizza with a choice of wine or beer.

 

 

The second place we went was the Ancient Olive, is an Olive oils and balsamic vinegar shop. I would never imagine that a place like this could be included in a food tour. Well let me tell you it was my favorite place. We were able to sample different types of food, snacks, dips, ice cream, drinks,olive oils, and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We went for a walk after our tummies were full of deliciousness. We learned a little bit of Winter Park history and saw some houses that could tell the story.

 

 

A wedding at Casa Feliz

We continue our tour to The Spice & Tea Exchange, this place is own by the same people of the Ancient Olive. Again a wonderful place, where you can’t imagine that you can taste so many good things. Here we bought some spices to mix with cream cheese and sour cream. We tried it here and it was an explosion of delicious flavors that you can eat with pita chips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we went for some Thai food at Orchid Thai Cuisine where we had sample plates with different things to try. Then we went for dessert at Kilwin’s chocolate & Ice Cream. We finished our tour on a candy store; Sassafras Sweet shoppe. I don’t care much for candy and less for cotton candy that it was what they offered us, so that is the only part of the tour that I didn’t enjoy like the rest of the tour.

In general we had a wonderful time, I would recommend it to anybody. My next food tour will be on the east coast of Florida, when we do it I will tell you about it and we will compare the experience.

Until then,

xamlinnette 🙂