Our Scotland and Ireland Journey Begins

Day 1 and 2 – All travel, all the time.

We were up by 4am to catch a 7am Delta flight on Thursday from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to JFK, then on Aer Lingus to Dublin, Ireland.  The last leg took us on RyanAir from Dublin to Edinburgh, Scotland, landing on Friday around 4pm.  It was a long journey, but well worth it for the upcoming adventures.

Kevin’s girlfriend, Chelsea met us at the Phoenix airport.  I’m sure she was apprehensive since we hadn’t spent a lot of time together.  She and Kevin had only been dating for about a year and he was working overseas most of that time, so we only saw her a few times when Kevin was in town.  She was quite brave to commit to a 2 week vacation overseas with her boyfriend’s family with all of us staying in the same 3 room unit. [Thanks Chelsea for being willing to take the plunge.  It was wonderful to have you with us.]


I could go into detail about the hurdles that we encountered on our travel days, but think that would be pretty boring.  To sum up:

  • We were NOT impressed with JFK airport or their TSA agents.  It is one of the most unorganized and poorly run airports that we’ve ever been in. (Have you had the same experience there?)
  • Aer Lingus airplane seats are not as comfortable as Delta.  My legs kept falling asleep on the transatlantic flight.
  • RyanAir flights might be cheap, but their baggage restrictions are quite “restrictive” and expensive.
  • Good news – a 123 mph tail wind really helps with flight times.  We left JFK an hour late and still arrived in Dublin 45 minutes ahead of schedule.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FOOD: If you know anything about me, you know that part of the fun of any trip is enjoying the variety of foods that you can find.  And of course, part of enjoying the meal is taking pictures of it, so you’ll learn more about the foods of these countries during our journey.
This is part of our first meal outside the US on this trip, in the Dublin airport.
Dublin Airport Food
Dublin Airport Food
  • Hunky Dorys are a brand of potato chips (although they’re called crisps in Ireland – chips are French Fries) and we read every word on the bag for a description of “Buffalo” flavor, but couldn’t find anything. The web site says it’s inspired by the herd of Buffalo based near the factory in County Meath.  I would describe it as a kind of barbecue flavor.  They were pretty good.
  • The lemon water had too much of an artificial flavor to it, but I haven’t found one that I like in the states either.   Have you?
  •  The BLT was quite tasty, but we learned very quickly that the Irish like to put mayonnaise AND butter on any kind of sandwich, if you’ll let them.
  • Often a “salad” is some version of cole slaw (with more mayonnaise) and sometimes corn is added.  By the end of the trip we were really missing our fruits and veggies.  Both countries have very carb-heavy menus.
As we go on this adventure together, I’m planning to share one or two travel tips in each post.  I’d love to get your input and travel suggestions as well.
1. Choose your reading material carefully:  This one’s from my hubby – I’m hoping he’ll write a post about it during this series.  History comes alive when you take along reading material that focuses on your destination.  Terry always brings along a book or two about our travel locations, because its a great way to fill in the blanks and enrich your experience with the history and culture of the area you’re exploring.
Learning about Scotland on the way there

2. Or instead of reading, do some writing:  I’ve found that I’m too excited about the trip to concentrate on in-depth reading, so I use my down time writing in my journal.  I try to write every day, even if its just as simple as listing short bullet points about what we did, where we went or reminders of stories I want to expound on later.  I have learned that if we have a jam-packed vacation it’s easy to forget about some of the best little gems of the trip if I don’t write something down.  When I have the time, I fill in more details throughout the week.  This trip I kept the journal in the car so I could add notes as things came to mind.  We’ll talk more about journaling along the way.  I’d love to hear how you record your vacation memories too.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.  I promise we’ll have some great adventures!

6 thoughts on “Our Scotland and Ireland Journey Begins

  1. Chelsea

    What a wonderful trip! I was so happy to have been a part of it. 🙂 I had such a great time getting to know all of you. 🙂 (I won’t lie… I don’t miss the chips, crisps, or mash… my jeans are a L.I.T.T.L.E. tight) As a side note: TSA was MUCH more friendly on my way back through JFK.


  2. Joyce Allen

    Sounds like you a Terry make the perfect travel companions. He supplies the facts and you record the facts! Looking forward to traveling along with you as you share your journey.


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