Join us as we travel Europe and experience a new world of people, culture, and racing. We will be traveling from the shores of Ireland and through the south of France as we embark on a journey to witness the world renowned Formula One race, the Grand Prix at Monaco.
Our first major Irish expedition was a foray into the southern region and most importantly, the mighty Cliffs of Moher. After a few hours on the highway, we arrived in Galway where we would be staying the night. It was grey and rainy the whole day but I loved it. The ocean was close so the salty air mixed with the precipitation made for a relaxing mood. All our wet shoes and coats might sing a different song though. Galway is smaller then Dublin and another quaint city. The people and the overall feel was very laid back. I loved it. We explored the city, drove to the coast, took a small hike, then stayed the night in a little bed and breakfast.
On the next day, we lucked out like crazy and got a sunny day for the Cliffs. After getting lost and taking a random, single lane road through countryside, including some spirited driving in the STi, we arrived at my first castle!
We toured the inside and climbed to the top. It was there we could see the endless lines of tourists marching off their buses, so we high tailed it out of there. As my first European castle I was very pleased. It was a modest little caste. Well as modest as a huge stone fortress can get. After some more spirited driving we beat the tour buses to the Cliffs.
Pictures don’t really capture just how massive they are. Its INSANE of how tall they are. Hee hee. Me and Sasa have a healthy fear of heights, while Meg doesn’t. Our stomachs turned a couple times when she got too close. Even still, no one should ever visit Ireland without visiting the Cliffs. They are magnificent.
Sitting and quietly meditating on the natural beauty is a common occurrence in Ireland. I think thats why I loved it so much.
Ah, Ireland. The land of green, Guiness, and my ancestors. Planning the part of the trip in Ireland I left to Meg. I wasn’t very excited for Ireland and I didn’t know much about it. Needless to say Ireland was my absolute favorite place we visited. The people were nice, the cities were cool, the culture relaxed, and the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen in my life.
Lets keep this in chronological order, so lets start with Dublin. We flew into Dublin and went through customs without issue. National Security is not high on the to-do-list for Ireland I suppose. We met up with Sasa and got settled into his place before heading into Dublin city center. We took public transportation, aka the bus, into town. I could go on for hours about the ease and efficiency of European public transport but I’ll leave that for another day. We get to city center in the early evening right before the major crowds.
Now Dublin is a very low key, but major city. While a large transportation hub and port, it is very quaint and small townish. There are no gaudy skyscrapers or modern office buildings. While some parts are spruced up, for the most part its an older city that seems to enjoy being small and wants to stay that way. It is not filled with tourists as much as it is with college students. At night, the streets are absolutely jam packed with students occupying the pubs that take up every square block. There is probably more Guiness flowing at night then all the rivers of Ireland. Seriously. Lots of beer.
We only visited a couple pubs before heading home. After many hours of traveling, it’s hard to summon energy for a night out on the town.
Instagram. Snapchat. Facebook. Social Networking.
Society today is obsessed with sharing what we are doing, when we are doing it, and who we are doing it with and as fast as possible. When we experience something new or are having any kind of fun, the first thought is to take a picture or video. It has to be shared! Immediately! My friends have to know what I’m are doing! I am not alone when I say I enjoy seeing everyones pictures and videos. I enjoy seeing my friends and family happy and enjoying life. To see where their life is taking them is exciting. But while we are sharing our experiences we are also missing out on something very important.
We can get so caught up in taking pictures and what we will share and show our friends, that it distracts us from whats right in front of our faces. We are doing ourselves a disservice by impeding the quality of the experience. Its a cliche to say you need to live in the moment to appreciate life, but there is some truth to that. If we slow down, focus on what we are experiencing, the sights, the sounds, who we are with, the laughter, the conversations, then we can find 100% joy and satisfaction in each moment. Big or small. Simple or momentous.
The world we live in is busy and fast paced so these types of moments can be few and far in between. Maybe for some of us they happen more regularly. Either way, we can all benefit by experiencing the experience. So take a few pictures and get back to enjoying life! Uploading pictures can wait! Then if you aren’t able to take pictures to share, guess what? Now you have a story to tell.
With that said, thats my excuse for not updating this blog as it was happening and why even still, after three weeks, I am just now getting to telling stories about our trip and sharing our pictures. It was an amazing experience and I think we did a good job of enjoying it to the full. Not to say we did’t get some good pictures too!
I’ll be adding posts and pictures everyday for the next week so check back!
Here are some teaser pictures to wet your appetite….
After months of anticipation and preparation, we had…the Memorial of Christs death. Then we had the Circuit Assembly. Then I had to do Inventory at work. Then after that, I get to give a public talk. Wow, life is busy. It’s the best kind of busy though so I won’t complain. I love this time of year. It warms up, days are longer, people are far happier, and I get to spend more time doing door to door in the ministry. So it may not be surprising that my trip has taken a back seat in my mind.
People continue to ask me if I’m excited to go. With so much else going on in my life, I haven’t had time to get excited. Maybe once I give my talk on the 8th I can start getting excited. 10 days before we leave. Thank goodness we planned everything in advance. Phew.
Excited aside, in two weeks our trip will begin and I’ll be sure to update my blog as often as possible. Keep in touch! It’s about to get good!
The need, for speed! My love for cars is not merely a past time, but its my passion. So you would think I have a history of driving amazing machines. Ehhhhh……Wrong! Join me in reminiscing about my vehicular history, part one.
My first car lacked anything resembling speed, agility, or road worthiness for that matter. When I turned 17, I was handed the keys to the family jewel, the quintessential representation of my family at the time. A 1992 Chevrolet Astro van. BOOM! I know, very impressive. Being my first car, even after my family had owned it since the dawn of time, I loved that car. That sucker ran and ran and just kept going. It got me from A to B. It hauled me and friends around for our Mexi Night(more on that later). It did everything in style. But boy was it UGLY! The factory blue paint was chipping everywhere, my father painted the hood a different shade of blue, and to cover the rust on the roof we painted it with black Rhino Liner. The dents and scratches on it were endless. This was no trophy car.
As it should have been! Every kid needs a beater for their first car. When you’re young you don’t appreciate squat and you take advantage of everything you can. I went to high school with kids who got brand new cars and expensive sports cars for their first car. That’s not to say they didn’t earn them or deserve them, their parents just had more money and wanted the best for their kids, but you learn a valuable lesson when your first car is a junker. It helps you to appreciate the simple fact that you own something of significance and value. It helps you to understand that to have nice things, you have to earn them, as well as work hard to keep what you have. My butt ugly Astro taught me humility and appreciation. Did the kid with the brand new BMW learn those things? Doubt it.
It was a sad day when I said goodbye to my Astro. Yeah sure it was just a car, but the memories associated with it are what make it special. The good times you had with your family and friends, the trips you took, the time you almost rear ended an old lady cause it lost all power steering and braking, the Trail Rated sticker on the back that your future wife got you as an inside joke, the memories go on an on. I loved that car and I still miss. I deem it a privilege my parents found me worthy enough to carry on the Kerr Astro Legacy. My father carries the torch now in his 2001 Astro Van. The legacy lives on…
After my beloved Astro, came a dark time in my car history. A time I do not look back fondly on. The time of……………ze Volkswagen Golf….
Wellllllllll not really. We have had our fair share of trips and we have seen many wonderful places. The top places would be Hawaii, New York, and Cabo San Lucas. We have never been across the pond though. This being our first trip to Europe, hopefully not our last, we are both very excited. Like most people though, we have our fare share of anxieties as well. Visiting a new world can be very intimidating.
Anxieties aside, what I am excited most about, aside from the Grand Prix, is the history. Having been around for such a long time, each town, city, country has such a rich story behind it. To live in the present but have a glimpse into the past is very exciting to me. Its staggering to think about all people and events that have come to pass in the places we will visit. You begin to understand why people and cultures are a certain way because of their past. The past is where we have learned and have experiences, helping us to grow as people.
All told, we will be visiting eight countries. Some for only a few hours on a layover but we will try to make the most of it. We will be in Ireland, France, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Spain, and Belgium. All countries steeped in history and diverse people and culture. While a vacation is meant for relaxing and enjoyment, I hope to learn and grow as a person at the same time.
Phew, its gonna be a busy couple weeks….
Growing up in Utah, the exposure to Formula One or even professional racing is as close to non existant as possible. Utah has the Larry Miller Race Track out in Tooele, which certainly helps to increase racing awareness. But as a person with a busy life, its hard to follow closely a sport that happens thousands of miles away.
I’m not a true hardcore F1 fan, so why am I spending the time and money to go watch the Grand Prix? Simply put, I love cars. I love everything that a car is and what a car does. I love the creativity, hard work, and engineering that goes into cars. The things that teams and companies will create and build to reduce wind resistance, increase fuel efficiency, increase horsepower and torque, reduce weight, the list goes on, is astounding. I have so much respect and admiration for the individuals who create such amazing machines. To me cars are art. I admire a well restored car more then a priceless piece of art. Mona who? I’ll take a 1972 Nissan GTR.
Normal people will think I’m crazy and I’m fine with that. I know I’m not the only one who feels like this. We all have our own passions and interests, so we should stick to our guns and do what makes us happy. Mine just so happens to be cars.
So I plan to go to the Monaco Grand Prix not as an Formula One fan, but a car fan. As those open wheel racers rip by, their turbo V6 motors screaming to 15,000 rpms, I’ll be cheering my lungs out and clapping till my hands hurt. I’ll be cheering for power, downforce, and incredible feats of engineering.
David. My wife, Megan, and I were both born and raised in the United States and have never been out of the country. Well except a cruise to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. We have been married 7 years and while travel makes me uneasy, Megan loves it. She helps me to break out of my shell and experience the world. I’m breaking out of my shell now with this blog. I would never consider myself a writer, photographer, or terribly outgoing. Yet here I am…
This being our first journey to Europe, we wanted to make the most of our trip. What better way to make the most then to scratch some items off our bucket list.
For Me, the aura and prestige of the Grand Prix at Monaco always made it seem out of reach. As a kid I remember spending hours playing Gran Turismo and racing the Monaco course. It was always my favorite but the race always seemed surreal. Monte Carlo is a place you only see in movies, filled with rich folk living the high life. However, that all changed when my good friend Sasa moved to Ireland for work and we started planning to go visit him. Once I realized that going to race was within reach, I went all in to make it happen. I may not be rich but we WILL be living the high life come May 29th.
For my wife, she has always wanted to visit Paris. Whenever she would bring it up I would downplay it or pretend France didn’t exist. Funny enough that didn’t seem to work. So of course we had to plan to spend some time in Paris. Megan has also dreamt of going to Italy since she was young. So after the race we will be spending some time in Venice.
Grand Prix. Check. Paris. Check. Italy. Check.
Three bucket list items crossed off before we are 30.
Have a bucket list before you’re 30. Check.
We will be spending over two weeks as we travel around Europe. Our trip begins in Ireland, exploring the countryside as well as the city life of Dublin. We plan to see the Cliffs of Moher, Giants Causeway, and the Wicklow Mountains.
From Ireland, we will travel to France and spend some time in Paris. While we won’t have a lot of time to spend there, we will see as many sights as possible. On the list of sites to see are the Eiffel Tower of course, the Louvre, and the Arc de Triomphe. We hope to spend some down time where we can relax and experience the culture of France.
After a few days in Paris, we will travel through France by train and take in the countryside on our make our way to Cannes. The prestige and fame of the Monaco Grand Prix making buying tickets and booking hotels difficult the longer you wait. We purchased our tickets for the race this past september, but the majority of hotels were already booked so we had to find a room in Cannes. We will commute back and forth on the train. Cannes is a beautiful location so the travel is well worth it.
From Cannes we will make our way to Monaco…