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gulliver's travels in belfast

Happy Tuesday! How are you doing? Getting back into the swing of things after the holiday weekend? Are you taking time to check-in with yourself and give yourself the care, love, and attention you need? If not, it’s perfectly okay to set aside time for yourself to do whatever you want/need to do during ‘me time.’ Maybe it’s yoga, meditation, running, reading, tending to a pallet garden you built, sewing some pillowcases for your home decor, making a dress to match your homemade mask, or even playing animal crossing with family and friends. Whatever you want to do during your assigned ‘me time,’ make sure you’re doing it and giving yourself a break.

If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s post - “Maxim Cover Girl Quarter-Finals”— you can click here to read about my contest journey and how grateful I am to you for your support! Also, if you didn’t get the chance to cast your free daily vote for me to be the next #MaximCoverGirl, you can click here to vote or click here to read about why it’s important to me (and then vote!). You can vote once every twenty-four hours for free, and I am so grateful for your support! Voting for the Quarter-Finals round ends July 16th, so we’ve got some days to tally up those votes! Thank you for everything so far!! If you’re all caught up on the adventures thus far (cheat sheet at the bottom of this page) and Maxim Cover Girl voting, then buckle up! Let’s head back to Belfast, Northern Ireland for some more adventure (and an incredible yellow gazebo I'm still drooling over)!

When we were last in Belfast, I wrote about touring Belfast City Hall with my dad. I realized that although I mentioned a beautiful Christmas tree on display the first time I visited City Hall, I neglected to include a photo! Welp, problem solved! One of my other favorite places to see in Belfast is actually part of the Victoria Square mall. There’s an encased glass dome lookout tower that offers a panoramic view of the city with factoid blurbs etched into the glass. The first time I visited I was on my own, and there was an older gentlemen who worked there to maintain people’s safety and to answer any questions visitors might have had about the blurbs. Most of the information had to do with various key points of interest, but I knew I’d hit the jackpot when the Northern Irishman asked me if I was a fan of Jonathan Swift. When I answered with a resounding “Yes!,” he pointed out a mountainside and asked if I could see the man lying down in the mountain (if you look dead center at the photo on the very top of the page, you can see the man lying down between the large building and the white crane). I could and immediately laughed at how excited I was to see the imaginary man lying down on the hillside. The man who worked at Victoria Square then proceeded to tell me that Jonathan Swift saw the man in the hill one day and was inspired to write Gulliver’s Travels because of it. Legend has it that the man lying down on the hillside was the inspiration for Gulliver waking up ashore in the land of Lilliput. When my dad and I visited Belfast together, I emphasized the importance of us seeing the Victoria Square lookout tower and how it tied into us reading Gulliver’s Travels together when I was little.

Have you ever found something utterly magical in the otherwise mundane? I had no idea that a shopping center lookout spot would end up reminding me of reading Jonathan Swift with my dad as a little girl. Have you had anything like that happen? I’d love to know! Subscribe in the e-mail submission box below and reach out, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so happy you're here and that I’ve been receiving a lot of really incredible stories, questions, and feedback from a community all over the globe! Other people’s stories that I’ve gotten to read via e-mail, text, tweet, DM, etc. recently bring me such smiles, and I am so grateful for all of it! I hope I get to hear all about whatever stories you’ve been thinking about as we’ve been on this virtual journey together! Also, I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you have any restaurants/eateries/pubs/coffee shops/ice cream joints/theatres/lookout spots you would recommend in other countries or even in your current home town or city, I'm absolutely 100% all ears!! I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, truly, thank you.

And please, if you have 10 seconds to spare, I would really appreciate your daily vote for me to be the next Maxim Cover Girl 2020. Click here to vote! Voting for the Quarter-Finals is now live and continues everyday until July 16th! I’ll need to finish first in order to advance, so I would really appreciate your help and support as I continue to try and become the next #MaximCoverGirl by moving ahead into round 7/the Semi-Finals of the competition! Thank you for all your support! I wouldn’t have made it this far without you! Click here or on the photo above to vote!



P.S. - If you want to catch up from the beginning on this series of travel adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):

1. Won't you join me?

2. grateful for starbucks and sandymount strand

3. Once Upon a December in the National Gallery

4. plant a smooch for that gift of gab

5. may the 4th be with you: Dingle style

6. cinco de mayo: the best Mexican food in Dublin

7. pizza in roma

8. mussolini’s window and the philosophers’ metro stop

9. father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife

10. it's the vatican, not the vatican't

11. spoiler alert: i did not lose my hand

12. more pizza and gelato and Neptune, oh my

13. craft beer, romper season, and volcano magic

14. bus singalongs and the okey dokey karaoke origin story

15. the beginning of the journey to the land of outlander

16. the boy who lived and the musical rapper

17. oh i just can't wait to be kingggg

18. fudge and haggis, quite the dynamic duo

19. the banshee labyrinth... or, my first time trying buckfast

20. the world's most magical toilet

21. gwyneth paltrow's (improv) sliding doors

22. scottish sombreros and jam, thank you

23. bob seger, a cèilidh, and arthur's seat

24. the next maxim cover girl!! 25. you can vote now!!

26. kindness at… the airport??

27. conversations with strangers and #basic meals

28. aren't gas stations amazing?!

29. not just mac's... supermac's

30. American vs. European Cell Phone Providers

31. brown bread ice cream

32. Black Lives Matter

33. technology and theatre

34. a love of Dublin pizza: Manifesto

35. a love of Dublin pizza: Dublin Pizza Company

36. a love of Dublin pizza: with my dad

37. Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness

38. thank you! round 2!

39. a love of Dublin pizza: and every other pizza

40. ahh-oooooh werewolves of london

41. a special london edition nerd alert

42. defying gravity is a WICKED good time

43. that wanker Van Morrison

44. The Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre

45. LA girls love London green juice

46. Super Bowl LII Champs at Wembley

47. champagne fizz and fruity cocktails

48. How-to: DIY Pallet Garden

49. dublin tattoo magic

50. juneteenth

51. thank you! Maxim round 4!

52. dublin bog bodies

53. dún laoghaire ice cream

54. local celeb sighting

55. 13.1 in Dublin

56. thank you! Maxim round 5!

57. every girl likes a bad boy

58. poolbeg lighthouse

59. conflict, bias, and propaganda in belfast

60. bow to your lord mayor


62. Maxim Cover Girl Quarter-Finals!

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