July 19, 2019

Sláinte, Ireland! Part 02

I can't believe I finally got to cross a new place off my travel bucket list. The place in question, as the title of this post totally gives away, is Ireland. I've wanted to visit the Emerald Isle since I was a child, and to be able to have that experience and share it with three of the people I love best in the world - Macky, Mel & Rachel - was truly special. I'm very excited to share all about our trip!

[As a special note, anything I particularly loved during our trip is marked with a heart – it’s something I’d personally recommend taking the time to do if you’re planning to go to Ireland. I’m happy to answer any more questions if you’ve got them, so feel free to leave a comment or reach out via email or DM on Twitter or Instagram!]

Travel Tip #3: Book tickets online for timed activities. We did this for our visit to the Guinness Storehouse and the Book of Kells exhibition, it saved us a lot of time that might have been spent queueing up for tickets bought on the actual day.
  • Trinity College (including the Book of Kells Exhibition and Old Library): We did see a bit of the actual university grounds, but our primary reason to pop into the college first thing in the morning was to see a very special room in person, at my request. We wandered through the exhibit that highlighted the Book of Kells (an illuminated manuscript Gospel book) and its history, before we ascended the staircase to see the Long Room in the Old Library in person. I felt an immediate sense of awe at being in a place filled with so much history, and rows and row of rare and old published work. It was so cool to finally be there in real life!
  • Cliffs of Moher: Honestly, since I was a young girl, I have always wanted to visit these cliffs in person. (It may or may not have something to do with a specific Westlife video...) It was quite the drive to get there, but it was honestly worth it as we spent hours wandering down and back one of the cliffside paths. While we were there, we were blessed with both overcast skies and blue skies and sunshine and that worked in tandem with our walk to surprise us with different perspectives of the cliffs. Honestly, if we'd allotted more time for a visit, we'd probably have wandered even further or in the opposite direction, but I guess that just means we'll have to return one day.
  • My Melody: We popped into this restaurant on a whim on our way back to Dublin. The place is small and cozy, and it seemed to be a place where a lot of regulars came. But personally, I thought the service and the food were both so-so and not particularly memorable.
  • Sean's Bar: This was actually the real reason we were in the town where the restaurant above was, as it's got a place in the Guinness World Records as the oldest pub in the world. We wanted to be able to say that we'd stopped in and had a drink, though if we'd had more time and didn't have to make the drive back to Dublin, we'd probably have lingered to hear some of the live music and have more drinks.
Travel Tip #4: Check to see if your hotel or AirBNB is in a central location. Even if you end up paying a bit more, it'll be worth it if you can find plenty of options for food, shopping and sightseeing within walking distance from where you're staying.
  • ♥ Vice Coffee: All three of us sisters enjoy coffee, so we ended up picking out this spot to try on our last full day in Dublin. The actual location is really charming and relaxed, and the staff working that morning were all very welcoming and kind. We ended up really liking all the drinks we ordered - a latte for Rachel, a Teeling Irish coffee for Mel and a Vietnamese iced coffee for yours truly.
  • Lovinspoon: It was a rainy morning, so it was lovely to duck into this cozy little spot to grab an Irish breakfast (though we had it for brunch). They offer a variety of sizes (and as the sizes go up, there are additional sides included) of a full Irish breakfast, and we really enjoyed their comfort fare.

Okay, so, I'm about to go into full fangirl mode for this last bit, so consider yourself warned.

When I was 11 years old, my mom and dad took me to my first ever concert. It was a Westlife concert, the Manila stop on their Where Dreams Come True tour, and that was the night I fell deeper in love with the band and developed a love for seeing my favorite musical artists perform live. Flash forward to 18 years later, and the night of July 6, 2019, where Macky, my sisters and I were all sitting in Croke Park waiting for the second night of The Twenty Tour in Dublin to kick off. It truly feels like I've come full circle, since I got to see one of my all-time favorite bands with three people I love dearly -- and the night was incredibly magical.

The Twenty Tour was the real reason for this trip to Ireland. When the members of Westlife announced that they were reuniting to make more music together and then announced that they were going on tour, it was a no brainer for Mel and I to decide we wanted to be at one of their shows... and specifically, we wanted to be at this show. And the fact that we actually did it, that we were there to sing and dance along to all of our favorite tunes old and new, and that we joined a sea of 80,000 people to celebrate a band we all enjoyed? It still feels so surreal, and it's a night I'll never forget. One of my all-time favorite concert experiences, hands down!

Check out this video my sister Rachel made chronicling our trip!

Be sure to check out the first part of my Ireland diary if you haven't already!


  1. This is my #1 place I want to travel to. My mom and I are hoping to go after about 2 years but we shall see!! Beautiful pictures.

  2. I'm so glad you had so much fun! I love the Cliffs of Moher. When I visited in January, it was pretty foggy, so I definitely want to visit them again sometime. :)
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian


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