17.06.2010 70 °F
I'm going to make this a little bit quick, as we're pretty beat (well, Kev's been sleeping for a little bit already!), but wanted to let all of you know that we made it to Dublin! (And by "all of you" I mean both sets of parents, who are probably the only ones concerned )
Yesterday we soaked up every single hour of enjoyment before we had to leave Ladera. We ate a leisurely lunch (chicken caesar for Kev, tuna nicoise salad for me), and only took pictures of this awesome sesame-encrusted feta cheese appetizer. Oh, and Kev's "bread face" ... Ladera serves amazing bread baskets at each meal, with different selections (cinnamon buns, muffins, scones, etc. for breakfast, different varieties of rolls and breads for lunch and dinner), and EVERY SINGLE MEAL Kev would grab the basket and pretend to be hiding it from me and make this funny face like he was going to take the best one. OK, I guess you had to be there, but I laughed every single time. I guess that makes a good couple - when you think each other's (really awful) jokes are funny!
Also, here are a few shots of our last day, including the spa where we got massages and the entrance to our villa.
Once we finally left the resort (kicking and screaming!), we arrived at the St. Lucia airport. This is a very small airport - pretty much just one big room with minimal air conditioning, a few shops, and 2-3 gates. When we checked in, though, they said we were granted access to the "Lounge" since I was had status with the airline. We figured why not check it out, not expecting much, and it was SO nice! It was a full bar, snack bar, and large lounge area (with AC) with a dedicated staff, and only one other couple in there! We didn't take pictures, but it made our 2 hour wait at the airport much more pleasant!
When we got on the plane, we were excited to fiddle around with our fully-reclining bed seats, sift through the menu for our overnight flight, and generally act like kids in a candy store Our two seats kind of faced each other, which was pretty great! One genius British Airways feature that American should definitely adopt - the underseat "laptop locker" which gives you space to put all the "stuff" you want with you on a long flight without having to keep rustling through your bag. Anyway, we ate a quick meal, read for a while, and got in about 4 hours of sleep, pretty comfortably. When we woke up, we ate again, read a little more, and arrived at London Gatwick!
Now, if you don't already know, we are doing this AMAZING One World Award ticket to take advantage of the mileage I have accumulated on American Airlines over the past 3 years. This ticket covers almost all of our flights, with one exception of today's transfer from Gatwick to Dublin. Again, if you don't know, there's a really cheap airline in Europe called Ryanair, so we booked tickets easily on there. However, on top of the cheap tickets, they also charge you for such "luxuries" as an actual seat on the plane, online check-in, a checked bag, etc. We knew that each of our checked bags would be over the 15 kg weight limit, but we figured we'd just pay that as well. However, when we arrived we found out it was 20 GBP (pounds) for each additional kg! We had 14 extra between the 2 of us, so that would have been about 280 GBP, or somewhere upwards of $400! So we decided to buy an extra suitcase (20 GBP) and pay for an additional checked bag (70 GBP). This was still ~$150 (complete rip off!!) and kind of a pain, but we had plenty of time so it was worth it. Oh well, we just sucked it up and forgot about it, and we think that Ryanair was still actually a bit cheaper in the end, but those things just bug me
Once we dealt with that, waited around in the airport for a few more hours (we had a 5 hour layover), ate, and got to our gate, it was time to go again. The Ryanair flight was a little less comfortable than the British Airways one, but it was quick and got us where we needed to go! We were excited to arrive in Dublin and were welcomed to our hotel with a warm congratulations for our honeymoon.
The hotel delivered wine to our room for the occasion. More exciting, though, was this other package we got ... from DEVIN and MICHELLE!!! They were just in Dublin (we missed each other by 1 day!), and dropped off a bottle of champagne, a really nice card with their Dublin highlights, and some awesome "Lyons" coasters. YOU GUYS ARE SO SWEET AND THOUGHTFUL!!! (After all, who else hand delivers a Green Monster in Mexico on my wedding day?) Thanks, Devin and Michelle!
After a nap, Kev and I wandered around Dublin a bit looking for a place to eat. We stumbled across this awesome authentic Irish pub and decided to head in! I took a ton of pictures because I thought it looked so "Irish"!! There seemed to be a mostly local crowd there, which we really liked, and it had a great atmosphere. We had some drinks (Kev got his first Guinness!) and dinner (vegetable soup and grilled chicken garden salad for me, club sandwich and fries and salad for Kev), and got to watch the Mexico-France World Cup game. We decided we would be for Mexico (after all, we did get married there!), but we wouldn't cheer too loudly until we figured out if that was a big enemy of Ireland or anything like that. Everyone here is REALLY into football (soccer), so it makes watching the World Cup a lot of fun, and ... Mexico won 2-0, yay! It was a great first night and we're really glad we found this place. We grabbed some Digestives (that's what they called plain cookie/ cracker things in Europe - Kev thinks it's wierd!) and some Smarties (BEST European candy - not like the Smarties we have in the US!) on our way home, and called it a night.
Now, I'd love to wait up another 5 or 6 hours to watch Game 7, but I'm going to have to send the Celtics some good luck ESP instead. Aside from the 4-hour "nap," we've basically been awake for 36 hours! It is a little bit funny to say that, because in college (or some late McKinsey nights), I wouldn't consider 4 hours that bad, but I'm getting spoiled by this awesome honeymoon and 8-9 hour sleep nights!!! We have an awesome day planned tomorrow, including a leisurely morning, historical walking tour of Dublin given by Trinity College graduate students, late lunch and watching the US in the World Cup, maybe a nap, and either the authentic Irish Music Pub Crawl or an Irish storytelling and dinner combination. We are loving Dublin already and are so excited to really get started tomorrow! Thanks so much for reading all this