The Emerald Isle With Stephanie – Part 3

The scenery in Ireland is some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. The past few days have consisted of scenic drives of the west coast. On the way from Limerick to Killarney, we start off with the Dingle Peninsula. This is the most stunning 46 km drive, and I highly recommend it if you are in the area. The coastline is unbelievable, with many spots to pull off for photo opportunities. You’ll want to give yourself up to 2 hours to complete the circle, especially if you want to take a lot of photos.

Dingle

Dingle Peninsula

The Ring of Kerry is the most well-known costal drive, and is longer than the Dingle Peninsula at 179 km in total. With stops for photos and snacks, this route will likely take you 4 or 5 hours from Killarney. If you can’t get enough of the jagged Irish coast, with crashing waves and green cliffs, be sure to take in both the Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula.

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Blarney Castle

On our final days, as we make our way back up to Dublin before ending our journey, one of my favorite stops was Blarney Castle. The current castle dates back to 1446, though there are parts of the structure that date back to 1210. The Blarney Stone is located at the top of the castle, and you have the opportunity to hang upside down to kiss it. I opted not to, since it was wet and rainy. Since its still off season in Ireland, there were not a lot of crowds at the castle, which allowed me to get some fabulous photos inside and of the grounds. Some of the staircases are quiet narrow and steep, and often wet, so be sure to wear suitable shoes and go slowly.

The last day of the tour brought us back into Dublin, via the small town of Avoca. The Avoca Mill, which is Ireland’s oldest weaving mill, has been around since 1723. Though they haven’t been in production continuously since then, they are fully functioning today. The small staff of 18 produces beautiful hand and machine woven wool clothes, blankets and more. There is a shop on site of course, so you can treat yourself to a fabulous woolen piece for our chilly Saskatchewan winters.

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Avoca Mill

To finish everything off, Cosmos offers an optional excursion to Taylors Three Rock for a fun night of Irish Cabaret. You’ll be treated to a great 3 course meal, drinks, traditional Irish dance and folk singers. The hosts are fabulous, and have a great sense of humor. The venue is small and intimate, with every seat offering a good view of the stage. It’s a fabulous way to end the tour, with lots of laughs and good cheer.

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Irish Cabaret

It’s hard to believe my time in Ireland has come to an end. It feels like I have done so much, in such a small amount of time. I’ve made a complete circle of the island, and put on a lot of miles. I can’t wait until my adventures bring me back here again!

 

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The Emerald Isle With Stephanie – Part 2

I’m so glad this tour has included Northern Ireland.  Giant’s Causeway, and the whole northern coast, is not something to be missed. The stunningly beautiful landscape was formed from several volcanic eruptions, ranging from roughly 58 to 61 million years ago.  During your visit, there is an audio guide to go along with your walk, which tells you about the folklore of the giant Fionn MacCool and how he created the causeway. There are thousands of natural columns, and 3 different trails to hike. The views are spectacular, and the folklore makes it that much more interesting.

Gians Causway

Giant’s Causeway

After our visit, we make our way back into Ireland to Sligo via Derry and Donegal, both towns of which we get a quick stop for a bite to eat or cup of coffee, and a bit of time to walk the streets. There is a pub on every corner, and even more in between. You’ll never be far from a pint!

The next day is another full of stops and sights. Galway is the first pit stop mid-morning, giving us time for a snack and cup of coffee. Since its Sunday, most of the shops are still closed in the morning, so we don’t have much of an opportunity for shopping. The city is popular for tourists in the summer, as there are lots of festivals. There is also a great historical district with a pedestrian only area full of shops, restaurants and pubs. I’ll have to make a point of coming back here in the summer to experience the city to its fullest.

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Cliffs of Moher

The highlight of this leg of the journey is the Cliffs of Moher. Located about 90 minutes from Galway, the cliffs are a sight to behold! I heed a warning first; it is extremely windy here, and the weather changes on a dime (much like Saskatchewan). Within 30 minutes there was sun, wind, rain and snow. Dress in layers, and make sure everything is secure; ball caps will definitely be gone with the wind. Once you get past the hurricane force wind (at least it seemed so), the views are spectacular.

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

The cliffs are nearly 700 feet high, and have the beautiful ocean crashing along the bottom. If the wind hits just right, it will carry the mist all the way up the cliffs. You’ll end up with fabulous photos, and scenery that is second to none.

The day finishes up in Limerick, where there is an optional excursion available to Bunratty Castle for a night of medieval feasts and entertainment. I’ve opted to just stay at the hotel tonight, and enjoy dinner at a nearby pub. It was a pretty long day already, and I’m definitely ready for bed. Tomorrow brings another day filled with small towns and majestic scenery.

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The Emerald Isle With Stephanie – Part 1

Céad Míle Fáilte…..one hundred thousand welcomes! I’ve been in Ireland for a few days now, and feel right at home. Though it’s a familiar land, there is still a foreign uniqueness to it. The first thing you need to remember driving is opposite of home, which means looking right instead of left before crossing the street. Luckily many of the streets have a reminder right on the street at each of the crosswalks; I’m guessing one too many tourists stepped out into traffic at the wrong time.

GuinnessIn the few days I’ve been here, I feel like I’ve already done so much. The Guinness Storehouse is a great place to start, since Guinness has been a part of Dublin’s history since 1759. You’ll start with a self-guided tour through their history, and finish off with a pint of the good stuff at the Gravity Bar with 360 degree views of the city. Jameson.jpgFor the whiskey aficionados, a tour of the Old Jameson Distillery is not to be missed. The 40-minute guided tour will bring you through their family history, the highs and lows of the business, and of course includes a taste of the world renowned whiskey at the end. The best way to get around to all the sights is with a hop on-hop off bus pass. The 2 lines hit all the major sights, plus include some bonuses such as complimentary pints, and food discounts.

Another highlight has been Malahide Castle, located about 40 minutes from Dublin city center. This castle was owned by the Talbot family for more than 800 years, and they have occupied the land since the 12th century.

Malahide Castle

After the castle tour, I set off to start a 9 day tour with Cosmos Vacations that encompasses the island. The group has 41 people, and seems to be a good mix of ages. We’ve headed up to Belfast in Northern Ireland, where we’ve just wrapped up a city sightseeing tour and a trip to the Titanic Experience Belfast, which is located at the original construction sight of the ship. This is the world’s largest permanent Titanic exhibit, and I highly recommend a visit if you are a fan of the history.

Tomorrow we head up to Giant’s Causeway on our way back into Ireland, where we will end up in Sligo for the night. I still have a full week here ahead of me, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the country has in store.

 

Kyra’s Hawaii Island Hopping Adventure – Part 3

Aloha one last time!

26937521_2063688053902191_949194621_oMy trip has come to an end and the last couple days were just as exciting. We went to SteelGrass Chocolate Farm to learn about how chocolate is made. This tour also included fruit tasting and an 11 course chocolate tasting! So delicious!

We then drove up to the Waimea Canyon Lookout! It was breathtaking and a must see as they call it the Grand Canyon of the Pacific!

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The Island of Hawaii and Kauai are both so magical and have so many activities for you to check out! You won’t be bored on either island! If Hawaii is on your bucket list, feel free to reach out to me for more information or to get you on your way over to beautiful Hawaii!  My email address is kyra@uniglobevacation.com or you can call me at 306-955-1449.  Mahalo!

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Kyra’s Hawaii Island Hopping Adventure – Part 2

26609986_2062457970691866_213245686_oAloha again! I am now on the island of Kauai, also known as the Garden Isle! Wow is it beautiful here! Did you know that only 20% of the island is accessible by car? That being said, the best way to see the island is by air. I had the amazing opportunity to take an hour long helicopter tour with Sunshine Helicopters! During the ride we got to see a bit of Waimea Canyon, countless waterfalls, the Napali Coast, and even some whales! It was truly breathtaking and is the highlight of my trip!

We also got to go to Koloa Rum Co to sample some of their rum which they produce on the island. So tasty!

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We then ended the day with a sunset dinner garden tour at Allerton Gardens! Walking through the jungle-like gardens we saw areas where parts of Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides and Jurassic Park were filmed! That was pretty neat! If you love nature or movie locations, this would be a great tour for you!

Anyways, until my next adventure update, mahalo!

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Kyra’s Hawaii Island Hopping Adventure – Part 1

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Aloha!

I have been on the Big Island of Hawaii for a couple of days now! I’ve had the

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UCC Hawaii

opportunity to do some pretty awesome activities such as roasting my own coffee at UCC, attending a Luau at the Royal Kona Resort, glass bottom boat tour at Anaeho’omalu Bay, Akaka Falls, picnic lunch at Rainbow Falls, orchid planting at Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, and Volcanoes National Park!

Every activity has been so much fun and I would highly recommend all of them! The Luau at Royal Kona Resort includes your meal, your drinks, orchid bracelet making, sharpie tattoos, and the fantastic show! At UCC, you get to roast your own Kona coffee and they even package it up with a personalized label for you to take home!

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Glass Bottom Boat

On the glass bottom boat we saw tons of sea turtles, fish, and coral which was pretty amazing! All waterfalls seen have just been stunning! The orchid gardens are beautiful, informative, and a fun experience! Volcanoes National Park is very unique with different landscapes, craters, lava tubes, and rainbows! A tip though – make sure to wear warmer layers and a light jacket as the elevation tends to make it a bit chillier and there is misty rain!

Stay tuned for more exciting updates!

El Dorado Royale – Amanda’s Riviera Maya Adventure Part 3

Well friends, I’m sad to say goodbye to this lively place. I have done some fun activities and ate at some new restaurants at the resort, along with meeting some great new employees.

I took some fun Salsa and Meringue lessons led by the entertainment team. It’s always good to learn some new steps and meet new people. Spanish music always makes people feel like dancing. I also had a try at archery. I did pretty well for my first time.

We used some bicycles from our resort and took our own tour along the beach. We went all the way from the end of our resort, went by the Casitas resort and ended at the Generations resort. These are all very pretty Karisma resorts. It was good to see what they were like.

We ate at a restaurant called La Pizzeria and had some fresh oven baked pizza, with some nachos and guacamole. I love the health bar onsite for yummy smoothies and tasty treats. Our last meal was at the Kampau restaurant at the Casita resort. It was highly recommended by people we spoke to. There was really great Oriental food with lots of selection. There are even options for those who don’t prefer sushi or seafood.

The evening shows are all really great. Since my previous post we have seen amazing fire dancers, more acrobats, and ended the last night with Golden stars. There were singers and dancers performing songs by ABBA, Rihanna, Madonna, just to name a few. They were all amazing to watch. 20171217_222309

I must say the resort was relaxing and quiet, but also had some fun activities and entertainment if you choose to participate. There are many options depending on your vacation preferences. The customer service there is phenomenal and they always say “it’s a pleasure”.

Thanks for tuning in and feel free to contact me about a vacation at a Karisma property or anywhere else you may want to go.   You can reach me at 306-934-3400 or amanda@uniglobevacation.comGracias.

 

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