Galway & Cliffs of Moher: Roadtrippin’ in Ireland

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Last Saturday, we woke up early and walked to the rental car center in downtown Dublin to pick up our wheels for our Irish roadtrip. Thankfully, my friend is a left-side-of-the-road driving professional from her time living in Uganda and India, so we made the two-hour drive to Galway without any mishaps (see my post on our Scottish highlands auto-rescue for a comparison).

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Dublin: Sláinte!

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We met one of my dearest friends and her fiancé in Dublin last week to celebrate their engagement and gosh did we have a lovely time. Even without the first-class company, I think I would have been a big fan of Ireland’s capital, from the abundant supply of bookstores to the bright facades and lively pubs. It reminded me more of the states than any other destination we’ve visited in Europe, and yet had a distinct European — or dare I say Irish — flair. We somehow managed to have particularly great weather, despite Ireland’s reputation for gray, rainy winters, so I’m very thankful to the leprechauns (I’ve got that all wrong, haven’t I?) Continue reading

Palermo: A Very Cannoli New Years

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Palermo made all of my cannoli dreams come true. But before I get to that, I must apologize for my four-month hiatus from the blogosphere! When you’re falling asleep reading anthropological texts for school at 1am and waking up at 6am to read some more before you head into work, there just doesn’t seem to be any time to blog. Luckily, I finished up my coursework last week and now only have my master’s thesis and regular work to occupy my days, so it’s catch-up time! I’m going to go a bit out of order, but for now I’ll start with our most recent adventure: Palermo, Italy.

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21-Month Anniversary

Optimized-118I don’t mean to disappoint, but I think it’s only fair to share bad news up front. This post is from Guillaume. You may know me as Melissa’s husband, a supporting character in the Plaid Shirt Diaries known for erratic driving through the Balkans and an unquenchable thirst for history. Have no fear! This is temporary! The Plaid Shirts Diaries is not about to become an unwanted history lesson. Thankfully, Melissa will soon return to the stage. Over the past few months, other projects have sadly pulled her away from this blog. But I can assure you that she will return and cannot wait to fill you in on our latest adventures.

Soon to come are posts on:

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Bruges & Brussels: Wafflemania!

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I realize it is a bit of a cliché — okay, a lot of a cliché — to associate Belgium with waffles, but my waffle experience was truly one of the highlights of our visit. I tried a waffle in Amsterdam last spring and was not very impressed, so I was pleasantly surprised when the one I ordered from a stand in Bruges, complete with fresh strawberries and cream, was delectable. When in Belgium…

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Skye: An Other-Worldly Isle

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After the car debacle, my dad had the unhappy task of taking the bus back to Inverness Friday morning to try to procure another rental car to transport us back to Edinburgh to catch our flights Sunday morning. A bit drained, my mom decided to spend the day relaxing at our adorable Airbnb, leaving Gui, my sister and me to craft a plan for the afternoon. Gui discovered at roughly 11:30am that the only bus of the day that would take us onto the Isle of Skye would come through Dornie in 20 minutes, so we layered up, filled our water bottles and dashed to the stop. The bus showed up about 10 minutes behind schedule — it’s amazing how much lateness freaks me out after my year and a half in Switzerland — and we climbed aboard, but not before embarrassing ourselves by asking for roundtrip tickets and then realizing we didn’t have enough cash to cover the cost. Whoops.

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Loch Ness: Nessie Gets Auto-Rescued

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My family’s visit to Loch Ness ended with a literal bang, but — as the headline might suggest — not quite the bang we had hoped for. It all started early Thursday morning, when we left Edinburgh with my dad at the wheel of a Mercedes wagon after Gui apparently charmed the lady at the rental car desk into a free upgrade. Notably, that wheel was on the right side of the car instead of our accustomed left, which explains why my dad initially hopped into the passenger seat when we prepared to set off from the parking lot. Americans…

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