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cave-born shadow babies

Happy Saturday! You made it to the weekend, babyyyy! Go you, hot stuff! How have you been? 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 - “you know nothing, jon snow” - you can click here to read all about my visit to the Game of Thrones Exhibition in Belfast with my best friend from high school! 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 I’d appreciate any and all support I can get to make my way to first before the 16th! Thank you for everything so far!! If you’re all caught up on the adventures thus far and Maxim Cover Girl voting, then sit tight, strap in, buckle up - whatever you choose! Let’s hop on board the Game of Thrones filming locations bus tour! Beep beep!

When my best friend from high school, her fiancé, and I spent time in Belfast, much of our time was focused around Game of Thrones since we were all big fans of the show (and books). We took a Game of Thrones bus tour that drove us around to some of the filming locations for the show. We got to make a stop at the stairs where Arya washes ashore after being stabbed by The Waif in episode 7 of season 6, the cave where Melisandre gives birth to a Shadow in episode 4 of season 2 (that my friend's fiancé helped me recreate in the cave and then painted the shadow baby on his phone while we sat at dinner later that night, cracking up over Chinese food back in Belfast), and The Kingsroad (from episode 2 of season 1)!

The stairs where Arya climbs back ashore while in Braavos are located in the Canal at Carnlough Harbor in county Antrim, the caves where Melisandre gives birth to the shadow are known in real life as the Cushendun Caves (also in County Antrim), and the Kingsroad, lined on either side by tunneling beech trees, is (surprise!) also located in Country Antrim and goes by the name "The Dark Hedges." I got to visit The Dark Hedges a couple times while living abroad, and the beauty of the beech tries lining either side of the private road never ceased to amaze me.

We also got to drive past The Wall (you know, like The Watchers on the Wall and our sweet baby boy sprung back to life Jon Snow, Night's Watchman extraordinaire), but it was too vast to capture on camera in order to do it justice. Although it was not 300 miles long, made of solid ice (brrrr), or 700 feet tall as depicted in the television series, The Wall was still incredibly massive and thoroughly impressive to see in real life. My advice would be - when the world opens up to international travel again (someday... seriously, am I the only one waiting with nearly bated breath?) - for you to absolutely invest in doing the Game of Thrones bus tour in Belfast as it found a way to show off so many beautiful places in Northern Ireland as they related to GoT filming but also included a couple locations not from the show (Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge - separate posts to come on both these locations in the future since they were popular hot spots in my year of living in Ireland). Our bus tour together was filled with lots of joking around and lots laughter in case you couldn’t tell the mood of the trip from the few photos shared here!

Have you ever busted into the giggles and sillies while on a group tour? Let me 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! The race is close, and I 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!

63. gulliver's travels in belfast

64. all aboard the HMS Caroline

65. all aboard the RMS Titanic

66. you know nothing, jon snow

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