What I Did With 3 Days in Galway between Christmas & New Years, 2022

Dan and I spent a few days between Christmas and New Year’s in Galway, Ireland. This was our third trip to Galway, and we had a lovely time, despite it being winter. This article shares information on what we did and some tips for visiting Galway between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Galway on December 27th!

WHAT WE DID IN GALWAY BETWEEN CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR’S 2023!

Galway is decorated beautifully for Christmas and Christmas decorations, with the exception of the small Christmas market on Eyre Square, stay up through New Year’s, possibly longer. As such, this is a great time to just stroll around Galway, take in the decorations, and simply enjoy the town.  And that is just what we did. We didn’t have too much planned for our three days in Galway, but we ended up doing some shopping, some pubbing, some sightseeing and a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher.

Galway decorated for Christmas – with blue skies!

Sailboats with Christmas lights in the River Corrib.

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Hotel Review: Christmas at Mount Juliet Estate, Kilkenny, Ireland!

Dan and I spent last Christmas, as well as my birthday (!), at the absolutely lovely Mount Juliet Estate with seven other family members (9 total!). Located about 15 minutes outside of Kilkenny, Ireland, Mount Juliet is an Irish country estate with a world renowned golf course, multiple restaurants and bars, and enough activities to keep one busy for a week. It is also part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection (a surprise plus for us!). All 9 of us had a lovely time and found Mount Juliet to have something for everyone, particularly those of different generations. This post reviews our stay over the holidays as part of Mount Juliet’s Christmas Package.  However, in short, Christmas at Mount Juliet was just perfect – the decorations were gorgeous and the staff took care of everything. We felt our stay was worth the cost and the food was excellent!

Christmas at Mount Juliet Estate!

THE MOUNT JULIET HOTEL

As mentioned Mount Juliet is a grand estate with lots to do for all ages, but I’m first going to talk about the actual hotel. For purposes of the hotel itself, the hotel is split between two buildings: the Manor House, the original home on the property, and Hunter’s Yard, the former stables. We stayed in Hunter’s Yard, and I was happy with our decision. Guests of either building can freely use facilities in both; vans and golf carts shuttle passengers between the two if walking is not feasible or preferred (but its a flat, paved 5 minute walk between the two).

Hunter’s Yard in gingerbread form.

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Airport Lounge Review: Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, JFK (New York) Terminal 4

Dan and I have found ourselves in JFK’s Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse a few times over the last year. The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse quickly became our favorite stop at JFK (when we can get in), so here is a post on the lounge at JFK (in follow up to my posts on the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses at Newark (New Jersey) and Johannesburg (South Africa)).  Located in JFK’s Terminal 4, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse is found in the A Gate area, near Gates A4 and A5, on the second floor of the terminal. The entrance is manned with a little checkin desk, and staff really does not like to admit those seeking entry on a card (Capital One, AmEx Platinum, Priority Pass, etc. – the access cards varies frequently). We have found they are much more likely to get in if you are nice to them!  We’ve also asked when it may be open to card holders and if we can come back at that time with success. Once granted access, we simply presented my Capital One X Venture card and our boarding passes and we were in!

Walking into the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK.

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Exploring Uyuni’s Salt Flats!

Dan and I visited Bolivia’s Uyuni salt flats in April and of course, we really wanted to experience the very best of the salt flats as efficiently as possible. We, however, did not want to do a multi night Salt Flats tour, which is common, as we heard from many sources that those tours were a bit backpack-ery, and that was just not what we were looking for… We ended up taking a full day tour of the Salt Flats from Uyuni and a separate star gazing night tour the following day. This articles details our Uyuni tours, which itinerary I understand is the same for most similarly priced companies.

The Salt Flats at sunset.

For those unfamiliar, seeing Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni is a wild experience. Located at over 12,000 feet above sea level, the salt flats span 4,000 square miles, going all the way from Uyuni town to the Chilean border. The salt flats are so large, you can see it from the sky, apparently even outer space. The salt flats look like a huge area covered in snow or sand, but it’s actually all salt. Yes, like the salt you put on food. Tourists come here from all over to experience the salt flats and see its unique landscape.

The Uyuni Salt Flats.

View of Uyuni Salt Flats from the plane.

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Restaurant Gustu: A Magical Foodie Experience in La Paz, Bolivia

Dan and I lunched at one of the best restaurants I have been to in a while for his birthday in April – Restaurant Gustu in La Paz, Bolivia!    Restaurant Gustu is the creation of Claus Meyer, the father of New Nordic Cuisine and co-founder of the famous (now closed) Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark. Gustu means “flavor” in the local Quechua language and the restaurant uses ingredients exclusively from Bolivia. Gustu only opened in 2012, but it has won many awards since. Its currently on the 50 Best Latin American Restaurants.

Arrived at Restaurant Gustu.

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