Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The Proposal

I didn't know how I wanted to be proposed to.
I didn't have a perfect setting in my head, or a right time or place for the special moment.

But my boyfriend did.

On a random trip to Latvia, I was delighted to see that we could take part in a husky
sledge ride. I had always wanted to do this, I love husky dogs and the idea just sounded quirky, cultural and different.

It was so much fun. From the very start of meeting the dogs, being showed how to control them and watching them get so excited, we were both laughing with delight.
The actual ride with Ronan driving and me sitting and turning was hilarious and exhilarating.
It was much faster than expected, and we had to think quick when we got stuck, when we hit a bump that sent us flying and when one if the dogs took an unexpected toilet break on the run!

I was disappointed when it ended, but we continued to take pictures with the dogs.
As I was kneeling down to get a good picture with one of the dogs, Ronan was preparing to pop the question.

When he got down on one knee in the snow, I was shocked and speechless but in the most amazing way.
I was still on a high from the husky ride and this just sent me off the scale.
I laughed with joy - and eventually said yes!

Surrounded by snow, it was most unusual proposal and yet it was perfect, it couldn't have been more romantic or more suited to my taste.

Staying within this fun snow theme, we are currently organising a ski wedding ...
Stay tuned for the happy ever after!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Always proof read ... twice!

I have booked hundreds of flights and hotels.

I book flights for family and friends. It is what I do, it is what I love to do.

But the danger with experience is that you get too relaxed, too sure of your talent.

And we all make mistakes, even so called ‘experts.’

I wanted to take a break for Valentine’s Day. I felt as a couple we needed it and I wanted it to be special, so after much research into Latvia I set about on a publicity campaign to convince my partner this trip was going to be the best ever - while also being economical.

When I got the go ahead, I was ecstatic. Delirious with delight, I immediately booked the flights and hotel in case of any change of mind.
I quickly read over the bookings and threw my credit card details at it before I printed out the documents, stapled them and put them in a folder ready for take off.

Two days before I 'checked in' online, but for some reason I couldn't 'check in' for the return flights. This situation didn't alarm me, I was in my happy holiday mood.

An early morning flight brought us to Riga International Airport and there in the snow was our romantic Valentine’s Getaway ready for exploring.
There was no issue until the Saturday morning, the day before we departed for home. I said I better check in. I tried it on my phone.
No luck, it kept refusing me, so I asked for the use of the hotel’s computer, which they readily obliged.

Then it hit me, instead of the return date February 17, the flight home was booked for March 17.
A whole month later, it couldn't be, how could I make such a mistake? 
But I had, it was there in black and white. When I told my partner he didn't panic, but I did.
We couldn't get through to Ryanair. We couldn't book a flight for February 17 with Ryanair and there was no other direct flight to Dublin.
So we would have to get two connecting flights, which included a 10 hour over night connection in Norway.

The connection time was hell, we tried sleeping on the airport floor but it was impossible.

Unscheduled stop over in Norway
(c) fifiheavey

Lesson: No matter how many times you book flights and hotel ALWAYS read the details carefully - read them twice even!
Or pay the hefty price and develop back pain from trying sleeping on an airport floor and an unforeseen credit card debt!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Latvia - Proposal - Engagement - New Puppy

The past three months have been a whirlwind.
From an exciting trip to Latvia which resulted in a wedding proposal (I said yes!), an engagement ring and coming home to a new puppy, there has simply been no time for blogging.

Since February 15 there has been screams, champagne, screams, dazzling smiles, dazzling diamonds and dreams followed by plans and a few more screams!

To settle my mind and to document my adventures I will be returning to the blog world with tales of how a last minute city trip turned into a romantic snowy proposal, a review of Riga and my impression of Latvia along and events since.

Husky sledging outside of Riga, Latvia
(c) fifiheavey

This is an adventure blog, and although travel is my main adventure hobby, doing something new, being something new is also an adventure. Please hang in there if you start noticing a 'wedding theme' running through, it won't last for long and I promise to keep it to a minimum. Also expect some puppy talk!

Thank you to all for your messages of best wishes and for continuing to read.
Fiona x

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The City on the Shannon

Limerick is going to be the first ever Irish City of Culture 2014.

In 2012, Limerick made it one Irish people's top ten cities in the world to visit.

And in the glorious year of 2013, I made my virgin visit to the home of Munster Rugby, the historic and noble city on the Shannon.

The Shannon, Limerick City
(c) fifiheavey
Once known as ‘Stab City,’ Ireland’s third largest city has been underestimated by the rest of the Irish population for too long - with some blame placed at the city's dire portrayal in the award winning but misery filled ‘Angela’s Ashes’ book and film.
But last year, more Irish people visited the city than before- was it just for the rugby? Or was it for the history, heritage, and stunning sights?

I had two days to explore Limerick, and I used them to the best advantage taking one day to explore the city and another to drive around the county. 

King John's Castle, Limerick
(c) fifiheavey
The Treaty Stone, Limerick
(c) fifiheavey
Sunrise, sunset and every minute of the day provides a beautiful photo opportunity of the River Shannon which passes through the city on it’s way to the Atlantic Sea. Seagulls, brave wave riders and some atmospheric landscaping is all you need for some memorable pictures. Take a walk along the water, and cross Thomand Bridge to enter as medievals would have onto Kings Island and the majestic King John’s castle. the impressive structure is even more captivating inside.

Just across the Shannon from King Johns Castle stands The Treaty Stone. The Treaty of Limerick was signed in October 1691 after William of Orange won the war over King James. There is some interesting reading around the historic stone.

Don’t bypass St Mary’s Cathedral- throw just €3 in the kitty for restoration and wander about the cathedral with walls filled with great ancient Royal names. The Cathedral is oldest building in Limerick, founded in 1168.
Art lovers - Hunt Museum hosts one of Ireland’s private collection of art and antiquities, dating from the Neolithic to the 20th Century, including works by Renoir, Picasso and Yeats.

Limerick is Rugby - Munster Rugby and Thomand Park is the throne. Also if you are looking for the future of Limerick take a drive or a stroll to the University of Limerick. I was struck by how big the area is, full of life during the week - pop into the Student Bar for a Philosophical chat!

Adare Village

Outside of the city you must visit Adare Village. In the Summer this picturesque village is thronged with tourists, so this time of year is perfect for an indepth look about. English style cottages, Adare Manor Hotel, Desmond Castle, Trinitarian Priory and the cutest little village park I have ever seen, will keep you occupied for a few hours. 

Statue of King John, Limerick
(c) fifiheavey

Seafood is the speciality down here, and it is delicious and fresh. The Chowder at the Strand Hotel and anything from the menu at Freddy’s Bistro come highly recommended.