Ireland: Memories from the Emerald Isle

Every year on St. Patrick’s day I’m reminded of my travels in Ireland. During the lucky summers of 2007 and 2008 I found myself in Ireland – first with my sister, then with Matt – both with my college.

When I attended O’More, the school was very much in touch with its building’s namesake, and Franklin’s sister city, Abbeyleix (located in Co. Laois, Ireland.)

I first traveled to Ireland in 2007 as a student. Shortly thereafter the school formed a partnership with Sister Cities of Franklin and Williamson County and a Global Travel Course was born. I began working as the school’s International Coordinator and traveled to Ireland the following summer as both a student and an employee. Two very lucky summers indeed!

I still cherish the friendships and memories made in Ireland and I truly believe my trip with Matt in particular played a key part in our decision to start dating – even if it was two years later.

Below, I’ve compiled snapshots of some of my favorite memories from my two trips. Through these, I hope you can experience a little bit of Ireland this St. Patrick’s Day!

 

Antiquing Road Trip

The thought is what truly creates a gift…

And my sweet love thought to take me on an antiquing road trip for my birthday — the man knows me well. We hit a slew of great antique stores (and one really bad one) from Marion, IL to Nashville.  Truly though, this idea made for a fantastically fun birthday!

Below are some of the treasures we saw and found along the way…

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20 places on my list to revisit

I have a board on Pinterest entitled Revisit (the sister to my Go board.) My Revisit board contains windows to the places I’ve traveled and that I would return to in a heartbeat.

This week, we’re hosting the Platform Conference at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs and I am officially adding The Broadmoor to my Revisit board!

We have had such an unforgettable time here – especially because we were able to dine at one of the 35  5 Diamond 5 Star restaurants located in the United States: The Penrose Room. It was truly an experience to be remembered.

Browse the board below to see my other favorite travel spots. Perhaps you’ll be inspired for your next vacation!

Follow Lauren Brady’s board Revisit on Pinterest.

An apple picking day in ellijay

Apple picking this weekend was a first for me. I’ve picked cotton, blackberries, blueberries, limes and oranges, but never apples. The day was ripe for picking – cool, clear and crisp without a cloud in the sky… experiencing this “first” alongside my nephew, Asher, made the adventure even more enchanting!

I suppose pictures are worth 1000 words, so I’ll just let you see for yourself…

Major props to my brother-in-law, Ben, for those last 5 gorgeous photos!  Oh, and for the sake of reference… we spent the day picking apples at B.J. Reece Orchards in Ellijay, GA

Serenbe

Several years ago my husband and I stumbled across the community of Serenbe. We were completely enchanted as we wandered around the peaceful secluded community. Over and over again we talked about what a perfect place it would be for my sister’s family to live.IMG_0082

A year or two later, as they were seriously considering their move to the Atlanta area, we introduced them to Serenbe. They instantly fell in love and have been renting a beautiful farmhouse ever since.

However, it is said that all good things must come to an end…

This weekend was bittersweet as I helped my sister begin packing. I realized, though it wouldn’t be my last time to visit Serenbe, it would be my last time to visit Serenbe at their house.

While we’ve made many memories simply by visiting them – they’ve certainly made many more memories by making Serenbe their home. Beautiful hikes through the wooded trails to the waterfall and to the tree house, feeding the horses, goats, pigs, and rabbits, shopping the Saturday morning farmer’s market, and even shooting a short film on site, many memories have been made, indeed.

There is so much to learn and experience here, so much beauty. Fittingly, the evening provided a most lovely farewell with it’s stunning sunset over the lake…

More photographs from my various visits to the Serenbe community can be found on my photography page.

 

arizona travels, continued

397d028d1751b4cc8764bfae061f7ba6I recently wrote about my first trip to Arizona and the many things my second cousin, Terri and I have in common.

The ultimate hostess, sweet Terri pioneered a girl’s road trip guiding us through the cliff dwellings of Montezuma’s Castle, the Grand Canyon, (a surprisingly close encounter with an Elk), and the stunning red rocks of Sedona.

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I visited Arizona for the first time this past week and fell in love! My second cousin, Terri, and her husband Steve, provided an unforgettable first experience.

Drinks at the Royal Palms, dinner at Elements, and brunch at Petit Maison; a scenic drive to the Grand Canyon, through Oak Creek and Sedona.

Though every moment was precious, I think the most exciting moment of my trip was realizing how Terri and I share so much in common – we are kindred spirits! I am still amazed that two people – family – who’ve not been in touch in so many years can be so much alike!

This likeness was found not only in her beautiful decorating, but also in our treasure-hunting at a local antique store. So much can be learned about a person when antiquing!

Here are a few examples from Terri’s stunning spanish-style home – pieces I completely connected with and would have chosen for myself in a heartbeat.

Thank you Terri and Steve for such a fantastic trip!