Christmas Package at the Powerscourt Hotel experience!

MountainViewSuite Powerscourt Hotel

After the sumptuous Christmas Eve meal at the Sika restaurant in Powerscourt Hotel..

After our fantastic Christmas Eve meal at the Sika restaurant (that I haven’t written a review yet, whoops!), we were so excited about our Mountainview Suite and looked forward to our evening of rest. We didn’t book for any babysitting arrangements and decided to stay inside our hotel room to relax after a short tour of the hotel.

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Christmas 2016: Powerscourt Hotel and Estate Day 1

powerscourt

Our Christmas getaway at the Powerscourt Hotel and strolling at the Estate..

We didn’t travel internationally for this year’s Christmas. Instead, we had a staycation at one of the best hotels in Ireland – Powerscourt Hotel. The hotel is situated within very close proximity to one of Ireland’s leading tourist attractions – Powerscourt Estate.
I have been to the Estate on my first year in Ireland but this is the first time for me to stay in the hotel. So, I was really looking forward to Christmas since the hotel is operated by no less than Marriott! 🙂

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Gallery viewing at the CHQ Building

CHQ Building

This is what happens when you bring a toddler inside the CHQ Building

One of the things I “learned” after relocating to Dublin in 2012 is to make the most of every opportunity to go outdoors. Not really for myself but for my rapidly growing toddler. I think of myself as mostly an introvert anyway. So in most days, I am happy spending the day indoors. However, I notice the more my son grows, the more he “craves” for outdoor activities or the chance to play outside.
It wouldn’t have been an issue if the weather is ALWAYS nice. But now that autumn is here, it is a little bit more tricky to strike the right balance to let him enjoy outdoors and prevent him from getting sick at the same time. I do allow him to have a quick walk outdoors so long as it’s not raining or too windy – to catch some fresh air!
Before 2016 ends, I have to use a couple of annual leave days before 2017 arrives. So I planned to take a day leave starting October until December to use the days sporadically. And on those days, I’ll get the chance to enjoy (really?!) some time with my son, too!
On the first day I took the time off, it was surprisingly sunny. Not warm, though. But at least, there was no hint of gray clouds around. So I took my son for a quick walk outdoors. I thought it was a good chance to have a change of scenery for myself as I’ve been working from home, too.
On that day, I decided to take him to CHQ – same venue as the recently concluded Oktoberfest. I ditched the Luas and walked to get there to enjoy some breath of fresh air. I think my son also liked the scenery as he was so excited pointing at cars on our way there.
When we got there, I let him run a bit outside the CHQ Terrace. We arrived at the area around 2 PM. Unexpectedly, it was STILL slightly busy. There were some heading to grab a quick lunch while others on their way back to work.
After a few more minutes, I decided to take him inside the CHQ building – it was a little bit cold. At that moment, the dining area was still slightly filled with people. I’d probably consider going here at a later time to make sure most have finished their lunches and on their way back to work.
After we got inside, my son hurried to a small art gallery exhibit located at the back of the CHQ building. I didn’t have the time to check which exhibit it was for – I was too preoccupied running after the little fella! Luckily, there was nobody around when he stormed inside – we had the entire room for ourselves!

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We didn’t spend much time inside but it was a good chance for me to catch my breath. I think my son liked the photos on display, too. He was too busy checking everything out!

Galway and the Oyster Festival

Galway Seafood and Oyster Festival

On the second day in Galway, we went to the Galway Seafood and Oyster Festival

We only stayed in Galway for the long weekend so we had to make the most of our last day to roam around. On our first day, we took a leisure stroll around the city center and visited a number of attractions around. And in case you missed it, you can read my entry here.
The next day, we woke up to a really gloomy weather. I even checked my weather app to see if things will get better. But to my disappointment, that day was expected to receive showers and gray clouds. That didn’t stop us from stepping out, though. We just prepared ourselves by wearing the appropriate outdoor gear to protect us from the rain! Continue reading “Galway and the Oyster Festival” »

First Day in Galway: Walking around Galway City Center

Galway City Center

Out and about Galway City Center

As you are probably aware, we recently had an impromptu trip to Galway. Luckily for us, the commute was straightforward. The trip was a little bit long (almost 3-hours) leaving from Heuston Station in Dublin City Center but at least, we didn’t have to change trains in between the trip.
We took the morning train at 10:05 AM for an estimated arrival at around 2 PM.  Since anything-can-happen if traveling with a toddler, we left the apartment really early and had our breakfast at the train station. It is a lot better to spend a few extra minutes lounging around the station rather than stressing to get to the station. Continue reading “First Day in Galway: Walking around Galway City Center” »

Unexpected long weekend trip to Galway!

Galway train

Birthday treat: A trip to Galway!

This year, I didn’t travel internationally as much as I did the previous years I’ve been living in Dublin. I even wrote about my sort of travel hiatus and the local sites we visited in Ireland in lieu of it. And in case you missed it, you may read the related articles here and here! After I posted the entries, I wasn’t expecting to add anything to the list before the year ends. But since a friend came over to visit for a couple of days just in time for my birthday, we made plans to have a weekend getaway to show her around. And luckily for me, we voted to go to Galway – and that’s definitely added to my “where I’ve been to list” for 2016, yay! 🙂  Continue reading “Unexpected long weekend trip to Galway!” »

Dropping by Dublin’s 2016 Oktoberfest Celebrations!

Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is finally here!

I recently published a post thru ExpatPost about the Oktoberfest celebrations in Dublin. And since having my little boy around, my Oktoberfest celebrations has never been the same. For one, I don’t go there in the evenings anymore. Kids are not allowed to get inside the fence after around 5 or 6 PM. Plus, I don’t think I’d want to since the autumn winds are quite chilly over here, too.

Oktoberfest
It might rain any minute now..

Despite that, I still try to drop by the Oktoberfest tents a few times over the 18-day festivities. Continue reading “Dropping by Dublin’s 2016 Oktoberfest Celebrations!” »

Spending the weekend at Dublin city center

Dublin city center GPO

Last weekend at Dublin City Center..

Last weekend, we missed the Luas to go to Dublin city center. And because the sun was shining brightly, we decided to go for a walk. Before my son was born, my husband and I rarely use the Luas – especially during the spring/summer season. And since my son is no longer a baby and the weather still warm, we decided to use our feet to go to the city center.
It was great. We used the time walking to chat and appreciate the refreshing breeze outdoors. Apart from that, we also noticed that preparation for the Oktoberfest is now ongoing. Booths and food stalls (I failed to take a photo of, too busy chatting with my husband, 😆 ) are already setup. In case you are interested to know more about Dublin’s Oktoberfest celebrations, watch out for my article on ExpatPost tomorrow (16 September 2016) about it!
We went to mass at the St Mary’s Pro Cathedral located at Dublin city center. As usual, my husband and son stayed inside for the first half of the celebration. We were lucky we were seated beside the candles for prayer offering – allowing my son to keep still longer than usual. But that didn’t prevent him from running around the Church ( 😐 ). So eventually, my husband took him out and I was left inside to finish the mass.
After the mass, we have to wait a couple of minutes till the shops open at 11 AM. We decided to drop by a local Starbucks shop to wait and grab a bite, too. On our way to Starbucks, I had to appreciate the fantastic weather outdoors and snapped a couple of photos of some attractions at Dublin city center! Continue reading “Spending the weekend at Dublin city center” »