Gunniess, Jameson, Game of Thrones, oh my!

 6/10

Hi all!  

I can’t believe Nico and I are in Ireland, the Emerald Isle. Yes everything is so beautifully green.

We’ve loved absolutely every minute since arriving here. 

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Our journey began in Atlanta. If you know me well, you know I schedule myself to the very minute. After completing a wedding on Saturday it was time to hit the road to Raleigh. We had to take our darling (dog) daughter to go visit her grandparents. Onward! A six hour drive from Atlanta to Raleigh. We arrived around midnight and went straight to bed. We had to be up for our 6:30am flight at 4:30am. That means we only got roughly 4 hours of sleep. My lovely mother took us to the airport and as we pulled up and said our goodbyes, we couldn’t help but notice the check bag line... 

 

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Here we are happy and unaware. 

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Can you believe this is Raleigh-Durham Airport? They only had two people checking bags. After an hour of waiting in line, we ran to security to find this line. Raleigh WHY?! The line wrapped around the airport basically.  

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Another 40 minutes later we were almost certain we were going to miss our flight Wouldn’t be us without a little drama, right? We ran to our flight and just barely made it. 

We were happy again.

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Once we arrive at JFK airport at 7:45am, we mentally prepared for the long day ahead.  Our flight to Dublin didn’t leave until 10:05pm.   

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Hello Delta Sky Club. It was some of the best money we ever spent. Free food, drinks, comfortable seating, and charging stations.  

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We ate and drank and drank some more. 

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I had quite a few mimosas. Like I said, it was a super long day. 😉 

6/11 

We made it!  

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After a very uncomfortable flight, we finally made it! After over 36 hours of traveling we FINALLY MADE IT! 

We couldn’t wait to get there and meet up with Anna and Jonathan to explore Dublin! Once we grabbed a taxi, we took the 25 minute drive to our AirBnb! 

 

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A very Ssimilar theme happened once again. Stairs. Lots and lots of stairs. Once we climbed the mountain of stairs, we were met with another flight of stairs to get to our room. Whew! 

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We were exhausted, but completely hyped up and running on adrenaline. Our first day was scheduled, yes, to the minute. We arrived to our Airbnb at 11:30 and had to be at the Guinness four our brewery tour at 1:00! We had very little turn around time. 

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Here we all are! Together at last!  

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It was so much fun. We were able to wander around on our own and see what we wanted to see on our own time! The brewery was HUGE.  

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The best part was enjoying a Guinness at Gravity Bar. It has 360 degree views of the entire City of Dublin! I also learned that I actually like Guinness. Who knew?!

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After leaving Guinness we headed to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and oh was she beautiful. 

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There are a lot of Patrick’s in my family so this was a must.  We walked around enjoying the beautiful architecture and lit two candles for two very special loved ones, Patrick Zummo & Gloria Quintana. Nico and I have made a very special habit of lighting candles for these two in every church we visit along our travels. 

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I thought this was pretty accurate. Haha! 

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After St. Patrick’s we made our way to Jameson Distillery. We had a tasting “tour” scheduled at 5:30!

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In all honesty Jameson isn’t my go-to whiskey, but I found a new love of one of their whiskeys. Unfortunately they only sell it in Ireland. 

 

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The tasting was incredible! The tasting room was beautiful and

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I was so impressed with Anna. She strongly dislikes whiskey, but was a trooper and tried every single one and FINSHED THEM. 

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You'd think after traveling, a Guinness tour, a Jameson tasting, we’d want to sleep. Nope. We went out. We went for sushi because our AirBnb host owned the sushi restaurant next door. After sushi we went to one of the OLDEST pubs in Ireland, Brazen Head, established in 1198.

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love my girl! 

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After Brazen Head we headed to Temple Bar. Even though we were told only tourists go there, we all decided to go anyways. We figured since we’re tourists we should see what it’s all about. 

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It was so incredibly packed inside so we decided to walk around the neighborhood in search of live music and more beer. We stumbled upon the perfect little place with two guys playing the most beautiful music. I was hoping they’d play Galway Girl and after the 10th or so song THEY FINALLY PLAYED IT! I was so happy. “And I ask you friend, what’s a fella to do? Cause her hair was black and her eyes were blue!”

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I love my man and my best friends. I feel so incredibly happy to be able to share this adventure with them! It was the perfect first day in Dublin.

6/12

After a long, long day of new experiences we had to wake up for the bus to Game of Thrones tour. It was another early morning, but so worth it. We had be at the hotel to meet our group by 7:45am. We had a 2 hour drive ahead of us to Belfast. 

 

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Our tour leader had so much energy and was so passionate about the show. He really made the tour as great as it was. He is actually a regular extra on the show. He is also work on the show “Vikings,” “Aurthur,” and was an extra is “Braveheart..”

The tour included a lot of filming locations on of season 1 and 2! First stop was Trolleymore Forest. 

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In heaven. 

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Trolleymore Forrest is the location for many key scenes, such as the pit where Wills finds the dismembered bodies in the snow, Tyrion and Jon’s campfire on their journey north to the Wall and the bridge where the Starks discover a dead direwolf and her pups.

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The Wildling pit. 

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Jon Snow sat on this very stump. Yes I am essentially sitting on his lap. 

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Pretending I’m actually a Stark. 

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The Direwolves were found in the right just behind us to the right! 

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After Trolleymore Forrest we stopped at the Lobster Pot for a delicious meal before a SPECIAL SURPRISE! 

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WE GOT TO MET SUMMER & GREYWIND! 

LOOK AT THAT FACE!

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I want one. They’re now 8 years old! They were the puppies shown in the original scene and they were eventually Robb Stark and Bran Stark’s pups. It was seriously the highlight of the whole day. They were so sweet! 

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The owner and his brother are very involved with the show and are key extras. The direwolves are Inuits, the closest domestic dog to a wolf. Their owner’s brother now helps with shooting and cameras while onset. Below is their dad. He was an amazing man will interesting stories of behind the scenes. He was also an extra! He was the slave lord of the Dothraki. 

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We have arrived at Castle Ward, also known as Winterfell. A lot of CGI was involved to crest the castle we know and love. 

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This is where Brienne of Tarth and Jamie stumbled upon the three hanging women and the three Stark men. 

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Behind us is where Robb Starks camp is located!  

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Below are pictures where we completely nerded out. Enjoy. 

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Jon Snows Sword. 

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Jonathan is holding Ned Stark’s sword, I’m holding Jon Snow’s, and Nico is holding Robb Starks. 

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It really was the most amazing day and worth every penny. I highly recommend it if you ever find yourself in Ireland! 

 

Once we got home around 7pm we rested until 10pm. We quickly realized we hadn’t eaten yet and that everything was closed. We shamelessly ate McDonald’s for dinner. We then found ourselves bar hopping...again.  

We started at a bar  recommend by one of Anna’s family friends, Doheny and Nesbitt. 

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Since I am a HUGE P.S. I Love You fan I had to go to Whelan’s! 

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The music venue part of it was closed, but i has to go take pictures and stand where Gerald Butler sang Galway Girl.  

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Here’s a pic of me and my new friend. 

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Dublin was amazing and just set the standards for the rest of the trip! I can’t wait to see what adventures await. 

 

XOXO,  

The Quintana’s  

Megan Quintana