Jolley Nomads

Family Of 5 Traveling The World

Our Sixteen Day West Coast Road Trip

Our Sixteen Day 4105 Mile Road Trip.

“It was amazing how you could get so far from where you’d planned, and yet find it was exactly were you needed to be.”

-Sarah Dessen

(Authors note: This post is broken up into five pages. You can go to the next page at the bottom of the post.)

Coming up with a title for this post was tough. I wasn’t sure if I should go with “Our Sixteen Day West Coast Road Trip” or ” Our Sixteen Day 4105 Mile Road Trip.” Originally, the plan was to visit a few national parks on our journey from Wyoming to South Dakota. Then we would make our way up to Montana and explore the wonders of Glacier National Park, followed by a week or so of relaxation in one of my favorite areas from my church mission, Salmon, which is found in Idaho. This leads us to why I started this post with the above quote. We made significant changes to our plan after visiting Glacier National Park and it was exactly what we needed to do! The below map is a public map I created showing you exactly where we went and what places we visited.

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Initial Thoughts on Florence and Why Planning Isn’t Always A Good Thing

Experiencing Downtown Florence For The First Time

Alright, I need to admit something. I am a planner. “Be prepared” rings very true to me. But, sometimes it can be a problem. So that is why I decided not to research any place to visit in Florence in advance.

With every city that we have visited, I have browsed the web at night trying to figure out our plans for the days we would be visiting to make sure we capitalized on the time we spent there. To be honest it can be exhausting. It also leads to little let-downs. For example, Milan has an incredible Cathedral and I really wish that I hadn’t seen it online first. It spoiled the surprise.

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London England Two Week Overview

We spent two weeks in London. This is the second time that I have been here. The first time was with my Aunt Beth just about fifteen years ago. She took me around London and different parts of England. It was the first time that I had travelled somewhere by myself and I can still remember very vividly the roads we drove, the hotels we stayed in, and the cities we roamed. One of those cities, in fact my favorite city, was Bath, England. We stayed in South Hampton, Lakenheath and Mildenhall. It was one of the funnest trips that I have ever been on and I can’t imagine how much my Aunt Beth spent while we travelled around. This trip nearly fifteen years ago set up a lot of what we would do this time around.

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Bath, England – My Favorite Part Of The UK

View of The Bridge and River Avon

View of The Pulteney Bridge and River Avon

I first visited this incredible city around 15 years ago with one of my amazing aunts. It left an impression on me that I would never forget. In fact, I have had several dreams since then about this city and I have always wanted to take my wife there. Needless to say, when we started planning this round-the-world trip, Bath was at the top of my list. I hope this post persuades you to visit.

View looking down stream

View looking down stream

The only way to describe Bath England is breathtaking! Way back in 60 AD, the Romans built baths and a temple in the heart of what is now the city. The natural hot spring that they built around is still there and you can visit it and I recommend you do. But, I think the best thing to do in Bath is to simply walk around and explore.

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Lismore, Ireland – One Of The Most Beautiful Places I Have Ever Visited

Lismore, Ireland is incredible! Our visit there and what we experienced was almost by accident. This type of experience is why I love traveling. So, how was it that we happened upon this place? Well, it all started with wanting to see the Lismore Castle.

lismore-castle-from-road

You can see the Lismore Castle off in the distance in this pic.

The Lismore Castle

We had heard that the Lismore Castle was a must see attraction and since it was only about 20 miles away from Dungarvan, we figured it would be worth it to spend our morning there. So we set off towards Lismore and when we drove up to the city we saw the castle we had heard about (see the image above) and it was beautiful. This whole town is beautiful. We turned our car around and drove back to a spot on the road that would allow us to take pictures.

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Dungarvan, Ireland – Beautiful Coastal Town

The apartment we rented was located above MJ’s beauty salon and had a great view of the ocean and an old church. Everything in this town was within walking distance, so despite having a rental car, we really only used it to visit Lismore or Waterford.

Dungarvan has a nice shopping center, several grocery stores and plenty of great restaurants. They also have a movie theater that is nice and incredibly affordable. Like all of the towns we have visited, the people of Dungarvan are incredibly warm and friendly.

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Ahakista Ireland – Sheeps Head Peninsula

Sheila converted an old stone home into this beautiful cottage that she actually divided into two different livable spaces. One of the original walls is found inside this home. It has a lot of cool history and she even has a photo album documenting the transformation.

hilltop-view-of-ahakista-ireland-sheeps-head-peninsula

View from our cottage.

As you can see in the picture above, the view from this cottage is incredible. Everything about this place is tranquil. Located on the far south end of Ireland, we were surrounded by the ocean. There was nothing around us but water, green hills and cow pastures. Every sunrise and sunset was spent looking out our balcony window and telling myself, “I can’t believe this is real”.

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Louisburgh Ireland – Our First Rental

The reasons for visiting Louisburgh first were obvious to Katie and I. First, we wanted to be in a small and quiet town, close to the ocean where our family could adjust to the time change. (Ireland is 8 hours ahead of Arizona.) This ended up not being that big of a deal for the kids. I personally think that our stay in New York for four days helped the kids adjust easier.

Second, we wanted to be in a nice home, similar to our old home in Arizona in order to make it easier on the kids, especially Grayson. On the top of this post, you will see the AirBnB location that we rented in Louisburgh. This home is owned by Dolly and Graham. Simply put, they were fantastic to work with and really spoiled us. Their home was lovely and helped us adapt quickly.

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Best Way To Pay For Things When Traveling

What you need to know about money when Traveling

When my wife, Katie, and I started planning our round the world trip (RTW) in October of 2014, I had a ton of questions surrounding money and the best way to pay for things while we were traveling abroad. I think it is important that I start by telling you how much I HATE paying FEES! It doesn’t matter if it is an ATM fee, over-size bag fee, or late fee. I hate them all. Paying an over-size bag fee with US Airways led me to promising myself to never fly on that airline again. It almost ruined my trip to Seattle.

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Some Of My Thoughts On Ireland

Well, this post is a long time coming. We have been in Ireland now for just over three weeks. I think as I reflect back on our time here at a later date I will love Ireland even more than I already do. Luckily we still have a week left to look at the beautiful endless shades of green and interact with the incredibly friendly people of Ireland.

Flying To Ireland

We flew into Ireland on a Monday morning. We had taken the red-eye flight from New York with Aer Lingus, Ireland’s main airline. Our very first interaction with the people of Ireland came on that flight and it was fantastic. The flight attendants were friendly and helpful. They made us feel welcome while on the flight and even while Grayson woke up towards the end and threw a very rare ‘I am extremely tired’ fit. Each of their planes comes fitted with certain seats that have a drop down bassinet for children. They offer personal entertainment systems at each seat to keep you entertained and a choice of meal and snacks. The plane was clean, comfortable and enjoyable to fly in.

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