ADI’s Travel

We are a young family that loves to travel and go on adventures. When it was just the two of us — David and Iris — as college students we kept ourselves on a very tight budget. Now that we have our amazing daughter, Abigail, we've learned to go on family-friendly trips while still saving big. We love to go on all sorts of adventures, but most of all, we love cute chocolate shops, museums, and plays.

Adventures

A Concert of a Lifetime

A weekend day trip for Abby's favorite band!
April 2024

Boston Marathon with a Baby 🏃🏼‍♀️

Perfect weather, cheering the marathon runners on.
April 2024

93% Solar Eclipse in Boston

The heavens line up for something greater: a fun afternoon.
April 2024

Spring Break 2024 - A Family Adventure Through Ireland, London, and Paris

Our first time in Europe. A non-stop whirlwind tour to see all the highlights in 10 days of spring break.
March 2024

Cruise to Roatan, Cozumel, Costa Maya

8 days of pure relaxation!
January 2024

Friday, March 8, 2024 - Arrival Day (From Boston to Shannon, Ireland to London, England)

Iris,

Our departure was textbook for us—leaving things till the last minute and trying to get as much work done as possible before heading out. We darted out at 4:30 PM for our 7:30 PM flight, riding that fine line between panic and excitement. The drill was pretty standard: get everything packed while our daughter's at daycare, then swing by to pick her up, stroller and all, before heading to the airport. (i.e. I’ll pick Abby up, with the stroller already there. Then my husband will order an uber and put all the luggages in the uber and just do an “extra” stop at the daycare to pick us up.) Everything went perfectly, except for David ordering the uber a bit later than I would’ve liked and on top of that two uber drivers canceling on us.

Keep updated on our adventures

You'd think we'd be pros at navigating Logan by now, but nope. Forgot to check in online and guessed wrong on the terminal—turns out it wasn’t the international one. Somehow, we breezed through check-in despite these hitches. At security, we've got our method down: I manage the baby and stroller while David handles all the luggage. This strategy gets us through to our gate with about 30 minutes to spare before boarding.

Even though we qualified for priority boarding, we didn't jump on it because we figured Abby wouldn't want to stay put while everyone else got on the plane. Instead, I took her for a walk to burn off some pre-flight excitement. She had a blast running in and out of people, finding all the different colored squares on the ground, and washing her hands in the bathroom. At first, she was a bit hesitant and was holding my hands everywhere, but eventually she’d get so brave that she’d run through people and would find it so funny, when I would have to run around the crowd to “find” her. We were one of the last people on the plane. By the time we boarded and secured one of the first seats in coach—reserved for attaching a bassinet—we discovered the overhead bins were full. Our belongings ended up scattered across the plane, making it tricky to access essentials like snacks and diapers. Then during lift off, since we had to put everything above us and didn’t have time to go through our bags, Abigail's milk spilled on a lady two rows behind us (not breastmilk, just regular milk), but still. For future trips, we're considering a new plan: have David board first with our luggage, while I board later with the baby, hopefully streamlining our boarding process and keeping necessities within reach. Most of the flight, Abby was asleep, probably because she was a bit feverish; she was very clingy to mommy and burning up. I nursed her to sleep, and she basically stayed nursing asleep the whole time. The one time we did try to transfer her over to dad, she woke up. At one point, the steward offered to set up the bassinet, but we declined it. Looking back, I kinda wish we had the bassinet, although we probably would’ve only been able to use it for a few minutes, it still would’ve been worth it, because by the end of the flight my arms were so tired and I was so hungry, but it was so hard for me to eat anything with a baby sprawled all over my lap.

When we arrived, things took a turn for the worse. We opted to wait until everyone had disembarked from the plane because our belongings were scattered throughout the aircraft—some at the rear, some in the middle, and some in first class. Additionally, Abigail was asleep, so we decided to let her rest. However, once we gathered everything, our stroller was nowhere to be found at the gate. After inquiring with a worker, we were directed to baggage claim, where, after waiting for everyone to collect their checked bags, we still couldn't locate our stroller. Another staff member checked the plane again, but to no avail. We were then instructed to fill out a form, only to be informed that the stroller had been sent with the other luggages to be prepared for our London flight, which didn’t make any sense to us. It was around 3 am, and we were only in Ireland for a 12-hour layover, so we reluctantly accepted the explanation and left without it, accompanied by a crying, cranky, and slightly sick baby, and a plethora of belongings. My sole regret was not stopping at the Shannon Global Entry Stop during our layover to complete the interview process. However, considering the time we had already lost, I didn't want to sacrifice any more.

Then we got the car, which was a super easy process plus they had an infant stroller which was pretty easy to set up, and packed everything in the car, which just barely fit, and left for the Cliffs of Moher. After hearing the rants of my mother saying I shouldn’t drive and driving on the left side is hard and that we’ll be sleep deprived, it will be dangerous, and feeling really bad about it, but really wanting to see everything in Ireland, driving on the left side of the street was actually a pretty easy transition. The only thing that was harder than normal was that I’m typically used to having a rear-view mirror, which this car didn’t have.

The drive to the Cliffs of Moher wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. Abigail isn’t much of a fan of driving to begin with, and feeling under the weather didn’t help her mood. She was pretty grouchy but thankfully ended up sleeping through most of the hour-long trip until the last 15 minutes, when she woke up screaming and proceeded to throw up. We had to make a pit stop at a gas station/grocery store combo, where I managed to feed her and get her into a fresh outfit. Her soiled clothes went straight into our wet bag, safely tucked away so we didn’t have to deal with the smell or mess for the remainder of our journey. After that, we drove another 10 minutes to a shack, which was supposed to be this amazing religious site, St. Brigid's Well, but it turned out Google Maps had led us astray with the wrong address.

Cliffs of Moher Adventures 🍀

Cliffs of Moher

So, we drove 5 more minutes to the Cliffs of Moher. Arriving super early paid off with great parking. Abby fell back asleep, and with the wind going wild and the sun yet to rise, we decided to catch a nap for about an hour. My seat on the driver's side was jammed though, so I didn’t get much rest, but it was still a nice break. At the Cliffs of Moher, parking requires a fee, but viewing the sights is free, though donations are suggested. As we woke up, we noticed the parking lot had already filled up quite a bit. The sun had come out, making it a tad warmer, but the wind was still fiercely cold, so a thick jacket was a must. Abby was still in dreamland, but we were keen to explore. So, mommy bundled up in several layers, then secured the hip carrier, placing Abby, still asleep, on her chest and wrapping her up in all the extra layers. We then made our way to the Cliffs, got a lay of the land including the HUGE visitor center and the breathtaking cliffs themselves. We decided to venture closer to the cliffs, not walking too far but managing to snap some incredible photos and soak in the stunning views. It was a bit of a challenge for mommy to walk, hold Abby, and keep all the makeshift blankets in place, so we only stayed outside for about 20 minutes. But it was absolutely perfect! It's definitely a spot we’d love to return to and explore more thoroughly when Abby’s a bit older. Afterward, we spent some time at the Visitor Center, checking out the exhibits on the bottom floor, which were fascinating, and admiring the center's incredible aesthetic. I only wish we had more time to fully explore the visitor center, grab a bite, and check out the stores. But we wanted to hit the road again before Abby woke up.

Burren Wonders 🌼

Burren National Park

The next destination was the Burren! Arriving there, we found a quaint little parking area (with space for no more than 6 cars), and I managed to reverse into a spot with what I must admit was quite the impressive parking maneuver. Stepping out to explore what the Burren had to offer, I discovered around 4 hiking trails, each taking about 30-40 minutes. Under different circumstances - say, less chilly and windy, and sans baby - I would've eagerly embarked on a hike with my partner. However, reality being as it was, with the cold, the wind, and Abby in tow, we opted to stay put in the car until she awoke. Afterwards, we did take a brief walk around, but in hindsight, continuing our drive might have been the wiser choice. The vistas we passed while driving through the Burren were nothing short of magical, akin to traversing vast lunar landscapes. Plus, Abby might have remained asleep, allowing for a much more serene journey. From the parking lot alone, one couldn’t truly capture the essence of the park.

Then, we had initially thought about heading to Bunratty or exploring a castle, but exhaustion had set in, and with Abigail becoming increasingly fussy during the drive, we opted to head to the airport earlier instead. The airport turned out to be quite small with limited activities available, leaving me with a bit of regret about our decision. At the time, we hadn’t anticipated breezing through check-in and security in mere seconds, given we were the only ones there. In hindsight, I wish we had booked a slightly earlier flight, instead of the 11:30 to 7:30 slot. It turns out we would have had enough time, and I hadn’t fully considered just how weary we’d be after the hectic week prior.

The flight from Shannon to London was notably brief, yet exhaustion had deeply set in for all of us, myself most of all. My patience was threadbare, to the point where even minor fussiness felt overwhelming. A heads-up for anyone taking short flights: drinks are not complementary! Upon landing, our stroller was nowhere to be found, and we found ourselves waiting until the entire flight had deplaned. At baggage claim, it seemed everyone else had collected their luggage and departed, yet our stroller was still missing. Frustrated and upset, we headed straight to our hotel. I had pre-purchased tickets for the London Express, but take note: you need tickets both to board the train and to exit the station in London. In a typical oversight, my husband and I let our phones die, and with the tickets stored on my phone, I ended up booting my laptop at midnight outside Paddington station to access our tickets, juggling a baby and our luggage, due to double security on my email.

Navigating from Paddington to our hotel, the Hub by Premier Inn Westminster Abbey, was an adventure. Interestingly, the nearest stop was St. James Park, not Westminster Abbey. A valuable lesson learned: neither of us carried a physical credit card, essential for tapping in and out of the tube stations, complicating our travel since we had to juggle the one working phone we had. Upon reaching the Hub, some guests breezed through check-in via kiosk, but we faced a hiccup, possibly due to booking an accessible room or having a baby with us, leading to a wait in line for our keys. I wish I could say we collapsed into bed upon arrival, but David had a looming assignment, Abigail was suddenly all energy, and I was beyond exhausted. So, as David worked and Abby played, I found myself crying from sheer fatigue. Eventually, we all managed to get some sleep.

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