Traveling has always been a huge part of my life even from when I was little. I first braved the long flight solo at 12 years old from the west coast of the states to Florida to see my sister and that’s really when my travel passion started. Since then I have been lucky enough to see some amazing places around the world with friends and family.
When I started blogging it was a way to share our lives with the ones we love from a far since we lived abroad and to share all our traveling as a family with those that didn’t live near us. I never imagined that I would meet so many amazing people along the way, create new friendships and take my traveling even further to see those new friendships blossom.
We have been in Southern Ireland for the holiday season over Christmas and New Year to see Mr P’s side of the family. If you have been catching a glimpse of my instagram you can see the various country towns, cities and celebrations along our way. We are staying in Mr P’s late grandparents house that they raised their children in. The house has been kept exactly how they had it when they were still alive. I love that. The walls hold so many memories from so many generations already and it’s a honor to be able to create more with my own children there. While we have been visiting we have made sure to travel around Ireland and see as much as possible. We popped up to Dublin for my birthday on boxing day for shopping and a nice meal out in the city.
Talking about blogging and making new friendships online, it’s amazing how close you can feel to bloggers that you talk to on social media everyday or read their blogs continuously even if they are in another country. It’s not often we have a chance to get together other than blogging events and conferences so we traveled up to check out Belfast and meet up with the lovely Martin family from Life at the Little Wood while we were in the area. It’s always a little nervous to introduce husbands and children and hope they get along as much as we do.
Friendships come from all aspects of life, childhood friends, high school friends, university friends, work friends, playgroup friends, school gate friends. No matter where they come from it’s rare to find those few friends that you just click with instantly. The ones you feel like you have always known each other and have so much in common with. I have only a handful of these in my life that I hold very dear to my heart. When you meet friends in all the above places there are various factors that drive you together to create a friendship whether it’s babies, same class, same job or something that connects you. Sometimes when that something is removed you find you are not as close to those friends as you once were when you had that common connector. Those handful of close friends in my life I know that when whatever brought us together in the first place, is removed, we will all still be friends long afterwards.
From the moment our two families met it was such a lovely friendship. The kids right away connected over various things despite the age gaps and the husband’s were off on their merry male chats too. When you have blogging friends sometimes blogging is all you have in common so it’s nervous to put your families together but I quickly found Emma and I had so much more than blogging in common too. She made us feel so welcome in her home and showing us around Northern Ireland. She really is the best hostess, five star in fact, and the sweetest lady you will ever meet. I knew this already but she is even more so when you really get to know her and her family as a unit together. Her family members are just as sweet, loveable and respectful. I love the positive energy you feel around a happy, positive family. It leaves you with a smile thinking you want to be happy, positive too. We had the best time together.
The first day after our family greetings and time spent getting to know each other, we made our way into Belfast city center. It’s such a beautiful city and so much to see. We did a little shopping and Emma introduced me to a store I am now so in love with and might have to fly over to stock my house with it soon called Avoca. We leisurely walked through the city to see what it had to offer. Of course, we had to go up into the Dome to see the skyline and the city views from high above. We took a little night tour on our way back to the house to see where the Titanic was made, the university and some of the sightseeing monuments Belfast provides you. I would love to spend a bit more time there next time too.
Our little clan of Mini Boden twinsies was too cute. We all got dressed up and realized everyone pretty much matched. Great minds think alike. Even though B didn’t quite match he still adorned the Mini Boden brand. The kids all thought it was funny as much as we did.
It had just been my birthday so we had to celebrate with some bubbly with friends. It was so nice to put the kids all to bed and have a few adult hours to chat and laugh together. It’s such a pleasure when you have a couple that you can all get along really well and not just be one sided. Mr P and I felt so comfortable with the Martins as if we had always known them. It goes back to always reading about their family and seeing photos that really makes you feel apart of someone’s life already. Both eerie and lovely at the same time when you think about it. We laughed about that too.
We woke up with the sun shining bright and took advantage of it and headed to the park. It was the best day for a family walk and getting some much needed fresh air since we have had so much rain here lately. Mr M fixed my camera that I had been whining all over facebook about and saved the day just in time for a few captures at the park.
Eva, the eldest and MM were twinsies and took to each other right away. Holding hands and strolling around the park together. It was so cute. Both my tots had a soft spot for Noah and his funny jokes and fun games. Annie and B had great chats about how cool their glasses were at lunch the day before and what their favorite toys were. It was lovely to see some many various age gaps together and yet they all got along so lovely in their own way. B is still asking to go back and have a playdate with everyone. I was especially surprised to see MM come out of her shell so much as shy as she is, hold hands with the older children and run off and play with them so confidently. In some sense it made my two look so little and other ways they seemed independent and could keep up with the older kids which was nice.
We had such a lovely time in Belfast and exploring the great outdoors forming new friendships with a whole other family. I am so grateful blogging has brought families into our lives that we all can travel with and be friends together. I have to say a HUGE thanks to Emma for all her effort in making our travels to Northern Ireland such a pleasurable one. We can’t wait to visit again soon.
It just shows you how every connection in life leads you a different way and so many lovely things and people can come from anything you do in life. We look forward to seeing more of Ireland each time we come to visit and show our children different cultures and ways of life from country to city to beaches and more. The world has so much to offer and show us all, if we only look for it.