Ireland or Bust

We went to Dublin!

When your coworker finds super cheap tickets to Dublin…..talking about $304 per person round trip….you can’t really say no to going abroad. Momma Mishappenings, my sister, The Engineer, and I all loaded up and flew over for a quick 4 day adventure in Dublin and the surrounding country side.

We arrived in the city around 8am on Thursday, basically 20 hours after we boarded our first flight out of Minneapolis. After a very brief…..frankly too brief….power nap at our Airbnb, we ventured out into the city. Our house was down in Dublin 8, a quiet district a bit south of the downtown area and several of the popular destinations. It was sometimes nice to be a bit away from the hustle and bustle, but if you’re going to Dublin mostly to party and enjoy the bar area, I would stay closer to the River Liffy.

I didn’t get a ton of photos taken the first day, I was mostly too tired to think to take any pictures. We did visit St. Patricks Cathedral as well as the original fortress of the city, Dublin Castle. The original castle was almost entirely destroyed in a fire, but they do have an interesting exhibit which allows you to see the ancient foundations. It was an odd fact to learn, but St. Patricks Cathedral was actually build outside of the walls that protected the medieval city of Dublin. There was a cathedral built inside of the city walls, but because of the supposed historical significance of a bubble spring well that St. Patrick might have used for baptisms, the second cathedral was built outside of the safety the walls could provide.

Seems like a very risky thing to do when the threat of invasions and war is lurking every time people sailed up to your shores, but I guess they didn’t pick where St. Patrick chose to perform his baptisms. Also, they built the cathedral on top of some marshy river land. It means that there is not a crypt below the church, and also the walls of the church have shifted and bowed as the soft, wet ground moves beneath it. Another strange choice the way I see it, but the church has stood for hundreds of years so what do I know about it.

The next morning we were well rested and headed off to tour the Guinness Brewery. It’s self guided and ends with beer and food, so you’re free to spend a few hours soaking up as much or as little information as you would like. The gravity bar at the top was very crowded and overly warm when we got up there….it was a surprisingly sunny day….but there are plenty of other places to explore and sip your pint in. Also, do yourself a favor and get a bag of the spicy chips….so spicy and savory! I need to find a reliable supplier of those chips in my life!

The Guinness tastes different in Dublin. They say it tastes different everywhere in the world, but the best obviously can only be had in Dublin. I will drink a Guinness anytime anywhere, but The Engineer and Momma Mishappenings aren’t huge fans of the Guinness we can get here in the States. Even they liked the Guinness fresh from the source! It’s smoother, a bit easier to drink, and doesn’t have the bitterness people typically comment about. If you’ve only had Guinness at bars in the USA it can be hard to imagine spending a whole night powering down pints of the black stuff….I mean I’ve done it….but it’s defiantly a commitment. In Dublin, it’s so smooth and easy to drink it’s like drinking any basic lager here.

We saw an Irish rainbow on the way to lunch and our visit to the other medieval cathedral in town! We stopped in a small chip shop near the cathedral and had a nice alfresco lunch of fish and chips in the cathedral yard. Note to your American taste buds…when they ask if you want salt and vinegar on your fish and chips, maybe request extra salt! Also, as you widdle down the huge filet and the mass of chips that come wrapped in newspaper….hold on to the paper. One brisk wind gust might send the whole thing flying off your lap as you consume the deliciousness!

Christ Church Cathedral was built inside of the original city walls, and is just down the street from Dublin Castle. Speaking of streets, Dublin streets are a bit confusing as they don’t form blocks at all. You often have to walk out of the way of where you want to go because nothing connects! Apparently they follow the original streets and paths of the medieval city, but I can’t imagine how people drive and live in them now.

The crypt of Christ Church is open to visitors, although it was under renovation during our visit so it was a little crowded. Also, their restroom was out of commission which lead us to run across the street and break into the fancy hotel bathroom! Much like St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the walls of Christ Church have a slight visible bend to them. This was caused in part by the collapse of one side of the cathedral in 1562. Much of the cathedral was destroyed in the collapse, but they do have one small area of original tile flooring that was saved. That isn’t what is pictured, the original tiles are very worn and weathered, and had almost no color left. Replica tiles now align the floor of both historic cathedrals.

Both cathedrals were preserved and renovated with the donation of millions of dollars earned from alcohol! The Guinness family and and another prominent whiskey distiller in the area took the restorations of the cathedrals into their own hands in the 1800’s. It’s a shame to know that such gorgeous historical places could have been allowed to fall into such disrepair over the years, but I think that is just the way of history. Often times things teeter on the edge of disappearing forever before people realize their importance.

Fish and chips kinda view.
Notice the slight sway in the walls?!

Jameson is one of The Engineer’s favorite, so I took him on an early Valentine’s Day date night to a special tasting at the distillery while Momma MisHappenings and my sister hit up the shopping on Grafton Street.

A Tale of Four Whiskeys

We met for dinner at a pub I found through Instagram called the Hairy Lemon. It was small, crowded, and loud….but in a good way. The downstairs was just seating for dinner, but upstairs was just standing crowds of people drinking pints and having a Friday night at a pub. I had coddle, which is a traditional veggie and sausage stew. Momma had bangers and mash….hold the mash add extra roasted veggies. My Sis had fish and chips…..for the second time that day….but it was her birthday so that’s allowed!! The Engineer had shepherd’s pie which he informed me was better mine. :/

Saturday we headed back to Jameson Distillery to take the “official” tour as a family. Nothing like a bit of morning whiskey drinking to bring a family together! After some whiskey sampling and sipping we headed for lunch. Along the way we stopped in an area that started out a Georgian mansions, and eventually transitioned into tenement housing until almost 1980. It’s sometimes easy to forget that most of Ireland’s history has been tumultuous. We also like to think of European countries as these old, well established countries. Ireland is relatively new, having only gained their independence in the 1920’s.

While we were looking at the large, brick homes that became tenements, The Engineer and I had a nice chat with a local man. He thought a car near us that was booted belonged to us and we stopped on the side of the road to bust it off for us. He showed us his busting tools, and told us all about his previous car troubles and gave us a citizens view of the Irish economy… wasn’t a good view to be honest. He’d let the cops take his previous car because he owed taxes on it, but he had only paid 300 Euro to begin with for the car. It was also alarming to find out that parking can cost nearly 3 Euro an hour….no wonder cars and parking were such a hot issue for him. It was an entertaining chat for sure!

Lunch was at Nando’s, a chain chicken restaurant, and if you’re ever near one I would definitely recommend it! I mostly wanted to go because I watch some trashy, English reality TV shows, and they are always talking about going to Nando’s. Also, I think there is some lingering debates about whether or not its acceptable to take a date to Nando’s….I vote yes! Get your girl some spicy chicken and some sweet potato fries!

Image result for nandos

Seriously….go grab yourself a cheeky Nando’s!

Image result for cheeky nandos

After lunch we wandered down to Trinity College to see the library and the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells is a spectacular ancient book containing the 4 gospel books of the bible. It’s hard to describe if you aren’t there to see it in person. The fact that it is preserved in the condition it is even after being stolen and lost in the bogs for years is amazing. The long library….it’s amazing! It’s the way you imagine all college libraries should be. It’s volumes and volumes of books and knowledge lined up all neat and tidy and just waiting for you to dig in an discover something. It looks like it should just be a movie set, but this is an actual working library….on an actual college campus! If it doesn’t look like the library at your college, don’t feel bad…..mine looked nothing like it either! Maybe only the ancient libraries of Europe are allowed to look this good.

Sunday morning we boarded a tour bus and headed out into the countryside. We met farmers, sheep, and walked through the ruins of a church that stopped being used in 1214! It had gone through it’s life all before 1214!! That just amazes me. I love being American, but there is just something so impressive about the history that surrounds you in Europe that nothing in America will ever match. It’s the deep, robust, slow cooked kind of history you just can’t find over here in the New World!

First stop was to see a farmer named Rich and his herding dog Bruce. We learned a bit about the traditional way he and his family have been raising sheep in the mountains for generations.

There were even a few early lambs for cuddling!

After a visit will the lambs and an impressive herding demo from Bruce, we were off to the ancient monastic site and lakes of Glendalough. I’m not sure if Glendalough is technically a town anymore, but at one time it was a thriving center of religion nestled in a valley abutting the Wicklow mountains. Our guide pointed out several churches around the area, I think she said there were 6 or 7 in the immediate area. All are in ruins, although the largest one, the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, is mostly intact except for it’s roof. It was built in the 10th century and abandoned in 1214 because of the Norman invasion. Instead of being sprinkled around the countryside, religious leaders of the time were called back to the safety of Dublin….remember the wall around the city?!

There are two lakes near the monastic site, the Upper and Lower lake. To be honest, the Lower lake isn’t much to write home about. Actually it took me a while to even realize we were walking past the Lower lake. The Upper lake was amazing though, and totally worth the cold, windy hike. A word to the wise about traveling to Ireland. Even though the temperature might be projected to be in the mid to upper 40’s, you’ll need to pack like it’s a Midwest winter. I packed jackets and my raincoat, the things I would wear when it’s 50ish degrees here at home. While I was there I ended up buying mittens, an additional sweatshirt, and a scarf. Granted, I would have bought those things anyway, but it certainly helped with the temperature and wind.

Our last stop on the bus tour was Kilkenny. We had a cozy pub lunch next to a crackling fire, watched a rugby game with some locals, and saw the historic Smithwick’s brewery. Turns out we know nothing about rugby…even when trying to google the rules, but no one in the pub really seemed to notice or mind. Kilkenny is also home to a massive castle and it’s expansive ground. Thousands of acres belong to Kilkenny castle and the surrounding grounds. The castle itself looks almost modern from the outside, and served as a private residence for most of it’s existence. The carriage house and grounds across the street from the main castle have been converted into cute little shops and a restaurant. It was an impressive end to a day spent winding around small country roads watching sheep graze on hills in the distance.

Monday morning we said a very early morning goodbye to our lovely little Airbnb and took our final double decker bus ride back to the airport. For being a short trip, I feel like we really got in some activities. Granted, there are dozens of additional things to see and do in Dublin, but you can’t do everything and I feel like we got a good sampling of the city and surrounding countryside.

Since we’ve gotten home everyone has been asking if it was a good trip. I think it was, and I’m glad we went but I’m not sure I would return specifically to Dublin. It gave me a bit of the same impression I had when we went to New Orleans. I enjoyed it while I was there, but the reality of French Quarter doesn’t really live up to what you imagine it will be like. Dublin felt a bit the same to me. It was nice, we saw some lovely things, and had great experiences, but I had a much different idea of the city before I went. In my mind it had always seemed more quaint….less like the bustling metropolis that it is in real life.

If I go to Ireland again, which I wouldn’t turn down a few years in the future, I would like to adventure over to the other side of the island to see the cliffs and the small surrounding villages. Try something a little less city and a bit more country!

Spring Things

It’s been a busy March around Casa Mishappenings.  I’m not much for basketball, but I feel like my March has given a whole new meaning to March Madness!

To start the month, The Engineer and I took our first real, adult vacation!!  We spent a few days in Orlando catching a couple spring training games.  We also did some regular tourist things…..beers at Coco Beach, the Kennedy Space Center, and of course….

……THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER!!!  We totally bought too many butter beers and I got an overpriced Ravenclaw sweatshirt, but I don’t even care!  Pro tip about Universal Studios….if you’re on a budget and don’t want to pay for express passes, I would seriously suggest going through the rides as single riders.  Basically you take an alternative track to the front of the lines and they use you as a space filler.  If you don’t go single rider, and don’t splurge for the express passes, you’ll spend a lot of time in lines.  We spent at least 90 minutes waiting in line at Gringott’s bank because we didn’t wait the extra 10 minutes for the single rider line to reopen….big mistake!  This won’t work out well if you’re a family with kids probably, but was fine for The Engineer and I.  We always ended up in the same car or group anyway….just maybe not sitting right next to each other.

The only major buzzkills of the trip were our flights, the hotel, and the total lack of anything not touristy to do in Orlando.  It felt like we couldn’t even find a nice place to go to dinner that wasn’t just a chain restaurant.  All I really wanted was some good fish, or even an amazeballs plate of fish tacos, and we couldn’t even find that between the Red Lobsters and the Joe’s Crab Shacks…..  I did however get a Mickey Mouse ice cream head like we got as kids when we went to Disney as a family….so all hope wasn’t lost!


Tastes like childhood!

Our hotel, the Days Inn Kissimmee formerly known as the Copacobana Motor Inn, was less than stellar.  It was a hot deal off so we didn’t know the name prior to booking.  I will say, it was clean and you could tell they are slowly trying to make improvements……but doors that close and don’t seem like a strong breeze might rip it outta the door frame would have maybe been my remold starting point.  It was about as good as you’d picture a $35 a night hotel being.  The desk had two different chairs, there were patched holes in the walls, and overall it just wasn’t great.  We debated leaving for a different hotel, but we spent such little time there it seemed like more work to try and get our money back and move.  We did however pack everything up and put it in the rental car everyday because you could never really tell if the door was going to stay locked from the outside… “locked” from the inside, but again lock is relative.  If someone really wanted in our room….they would have gotten in.


Hers and His….and some surfers!


Beach hair don’t care!





















We flew Allegiant because it leaves from home and offers a direct flight to Orlando.  I’m not sure I would ever fly them again.  We paid for and booked everything up front, but with Allegiant you have to pay for specific seats.  So I paid for two seats together for both flights.  We didn’t get the seats we paid for on the way to Florida, and I had to pay extra on the way home to move The Engineer and I back into two seats together.  They also overbooked the flight down to Orlando and were trying to convince people to drive to Omaha and take a different flight…..again…..we’ve all paid for specific seats on the plane….so why is this even happening?!  We didn’t take the offer as it would have essentially burned a whole day of our vacation being at home and driving to Omaha….plus the issue of getting our car back from the Omaha airport.


How flying makes me feel….least favorite activity!


People watching at baggage claim….the best!

All in all I’m making the trip sound horrible, but it was actually a really good time!  It would have only been better if it had been a wee bit warmer, but then we would have come home as cripsy fried bacon probably….so it’s just as well.  It was warm enough if you were in the sun and out of the wind to feel hot.  In the shade or out in the wind on the coast it was chilly enough that we wanted long sleeves, but I refused to wear anything other than shorts!  It wasn’t too cold to drink beer outside so I’ll take that as a win.  Speaking of wins, there was no relationship feuding over the results of the baseball games.  The Phillies and Braves each won a game, so all was fair in love and baseball!


Another big March event was that The Engineer has now officially moved it!  As part of our new “double income household” life, The Engineer declared that next vacation we aren’t getting the cheapest hotel and skipping the express passes…..”We need those passes!”  You don’t need the passes…..just follow the pro tip it took us all day to learn and go single rider all the way….the hotel however…..will be upgraded on our next vacation!  Although, if we can survive the horrible hotel and his somewhat whiplash-y driving in the very zippy rental car for a week….we can probably survive just about anything together!


Small Town Shopping

A couple weeks ago I was home to go to the dentist.  Yes, I know….I should probably just find a new dentist instead of using vacation days to go home just to see the dentist.  However, I have more vacation time then I ever know what to do with and change makes me nervous sooooo I think I’ll just keep going home.  I tried a new dentist once……worst decision ever!

Anyway, I was there for the weekend spending time with Momma MisHappenings and we did a little bored shopping to pass the weekend.  I’m a big online shopper, mostly because I hate having to leave my house, and most of the premium shopping opportunities are on the other side of town.  Also, sales people who bug me while I’m just shopping annoy me.  How is it when you don’t need them they are swarming around you, but if you actually have a valid question they scatter… bees…..they can just sense the struggle I guess.

I don’t mind going to small town stores though.  I know that you sometimes pay more, but my theory is that if you don’t support the small town options you won’t have any left.  I grew up in a smaller town that saw multiple businesses come and go over the years.  For some reason, coffee shops and bakeries seemed to have an especially hard time in my town…..which is a shame because adult MisHappenings loves coffee shops and bakeries.  Don’t get me wrong, I still do plenty of shopping at Walmart, but I believe life is all about balance….budgets, shopping, ya know…..things.

There’s a cute little store in my hometown called The Lemonade Stand.  It’s sorta shabby chic style with custom distressed furniture and cute decor and furnishing items.  They were open and then closed due to a family death, but I’m glad that the owner reopened the store.  It actually just recently reopened so I suggested to Momma that we swing through and see what had changed.  I ended up finding a couple cute things.

I’m trying  to make my upstairs loft/office into a sort of a Merlin’s laboratory or like Hogwart’s potions class style room.  To a point…..I’m not going to hang permanent cobwebs on my bookshelves or anything, but just the general vibe.  I’ve slowly been collecting stylized bottles and other small pieces that might work in the space.  The Lemonade Stand had a couple cute little things that I snatched up, and a cute little cement M for my Engineer since he was at home puppy sitting the Pupperoni girl.


Ahhh…cute lil cement “M” for The Engineer


Hopefully, I can get in an get this turned into mercury glass, like a fancy little test tube stand!


The upstairs desk needed a garbage can, and this little rusty, distressed bucket seemed like he’d work great!











































Momma had seen advertisements of a little consignment store down in Nebraska on Facebook, so we decided to take a little road trip down to check it out…..if Runza was going to be involved.  The store ended up being very cute.  It was much larger than I would have guessed, but they had a good mix of consignment items and new purchased items.  Momma and I wandered for awhile and scoped out the scene.  I could have spent way more money than I did, but I feel like I made some good purchases!


This centerpiece came in three lengths, this was the mid length.  It’s all hinged so you can set it out in basically any shape you want.

I found a cute little reclaimed wood cabinet.  It has what appears to be an old cabinet door as a back panel, and then the rest is just pieced together.  It matches the upstairs bathroom which is blue with bird accents.  So, for $18 I got a cute new cabinet for the bathroom.  Besides, he had a pretty thick coat of dust, so it’s obvious he had been at the shop for awhile.  A new home was definitely in order.

Takes A Lot of Water….To Wash Away New Orleans

I know I missed last week’s blog…..but I was on vacation!  We took a trip to New Orleans with my Daddy’s side of the family.

I have some….thoughts…..about NOLA, but let me show you some of the sights we saw around the city.

We stayed in a large rental home on the North side of the Gentilly area on an inlet from Lake Pontchartrain.  The Wi-Fi was non existent unless you were at the bar, and it was quite far away from the French Quarter so we had to Uber in and out everyday, but it was a lovely house with plenty of room for all nine of us.

Stop one on morning one was Cafe du Monde.  Wait in line and commune with the pigeons while you shove steaming hot beignets covered in powdered sugar into your mouth.  This is the way every morning should start.  Coffee and sugar covered beignets can never be a bad life choice.


We maybe went to Cafe Du Monde……a few times……..

The French Quarter is beautiful….if you can get around the overwhelming amount of people and ickiness that that many people in a small space create.  There were small glimmers of time when there would be on one else on the streets and you could see the buildings for the beauties that they are, but the crowds and craziness takes a lot away from it.

Most of the food we ate was underwhelming.  Maybe we all just had really high expectations of what Cajun and Creole food was supposed to be.  Even Momma, who isn’t widely known for her love of spicy food, was adding hot sauce to most of her dishes.  One place I would go back to anytime if given the chance was Jacque-Imo’s!  It’s a ways out of the French Quarter but still easy to walk to using the Green street car line through the Garden District.  Also, apparently dessert is complimentary!?  We had no idea, but even though we were all exploding with food we did manage to power through creme brûlées and bread pudding.  I don’t even really like bread pudding, but I’d willing eat huge plates full of theirs any day!


Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake


Duck and Andouille Gumbo


Seriously…..get in my belly!













































What’s vacation without a few selfies?!?!  Most of them include alcohol because you can drink anywhere you want in the city.  Most restaurants and bars have tables or shelves of plastic cups by the exits for you to transfer your drinks into when you leave.  This probably contributes to some of the ickiness of the city, but I guess it’s all part of the vibe that is New Orleans.



The humidity was surprisingly fine.  I was expecting much worse but my hair has seen much worse days!

The trips out to the plantations were maybe my favorite part of the trip, but I just like that sort of thing.  It was a little weird to learn that the plantations weren’t as wide apart and open as the idea everyone has in their brain.  The plantations were all located on the river, so most were quite thin areas of land that extended back from the river several hundred acres.  It’s very possible that you would have been able to see your neighbors from you house, which wasn’t the vision I had in my brain.


The Whitney Plantation—Photo by my Sister

Exterior stairways are also something you’d never see in the North!  The Whitney is only one room deep!  Large doors on the front and back of each room can be opened to allow the strong river breezes to blow through and cool the house.


The Laura Plantation

Raised up almost 6 feet off the ground to protect the living areas from the nearly continuous floods of the Mississippi River…..again, something you could never do in the North….you’d never be able to keep it heated!

Oh the crowds!!  We were all told this parade would be very risqué and worth the crowds.  Once again, I think we were all just a little bit underwhelmed.  It was a good experience and we all had a good time, but I think it was a bit over hyped.  Maybe this is just what happened when you’re hanging out in a high tourist destination??

We took a cemetery tour, and more to the credit of our guide than anything else, learned quite a bit about the history and founding of the city.  Not that the cemeteries themselves are all that interesting, but they are an interesting thing to see.  That’s probably confusing, but wandering cemeteries where you don’t “know” anyone isn’t necessarily the most interesting.  However, seeing the different styles of burials and frankly the totally random layouts of the old cemetery was interesting.  Also, we saw Nicholas Cage’s purchased eternal resting place…..a white pyramid…so that was a thing I guess!

We also swung through a few famous locations through out the Quarter.  We had drinks at the Carnival bar, although the bar was too full for us to sit and spin around.  We caught some local jazz and zydeco music at The Spotted Cat, and had drinks at the oldest bar in the country, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop.  On a side note…. the Carnival Bar hotel had these flowers planted outside in their window boxes…..anyone know what they might be!?!?!


The whole French Quarter was full of these gorgeous gas lanterns.  I had never seen anything like this, but I’m quite sure that at some point in my future I’m going to have these!


While I was away seeing new sights, Scout-a-Roo was staying with the BFB and the Hubby in Law.  I’m so lucky that they don’t mind having her and that she’s comfortable staying there.  I’ll leave you with some pics of my nugget in her home away from home!

Birth Control 101

Now, I’m not sure that that’s an accurate description of my weekend, but Lil B informs me that it is.  I’ve been in the Hills with Lil B and her girls since Thursday night.  We’ve done all sorts of things, but it’s been a more adult weekend then most I spend out here. No concerts, bar hopping, or hangovers this time around.  This time we did “mom” things…..but there was wine, because there is always wine!

Friday morning, we dropped the girls off at school before going to lunch and doing some shopping.  You can’t drink and do face masks at night if you don’t have masks… we needed a trip to the store for the necessities.


Lunch may or may not have involved a drink…..what else are two girls supposed to do on a Friday afternoon!?


Our “Mom Line” school pick up game is strong!

Friday night we made spaghetti and cookies because growing swimmers need good carb fuel for swim meets. In possibly my least favorite part of the weekend, we did makeovers before bed. The girls were very concerned about my ability to find a boyfriend, so they decided to glam me up. I had glitter in my eyeballs and lipgloss formed a nice film all over my teeth and the inside of my mouth.


Boyfriend hunting pro tip…..wear blush as foundation and blind them with glitter everywhere else!


Saturday and Sunday, Lil B and I spent the mornings reliving our youths by becoming swim team moms. Gone are the days of our racing suits when someone else organized our snacks and got us out of bed for weekend meets. We were now those moms, and we rocked it! Nothing got lost, left behind, or forgotten, and we weren’t late. Her daughter did awesome for her first swim meet!


I love the calm that is a flat pool before the meet starts.


We of course had to eat some of my favorite foods while I was out. Lewis’s burgers on Saturday after the swim meet, a fresh stock of Philly Ted’s, and ice cream tonight to celebrate a successful first swim meet!  We also swung past the BFB’s parents house to chat and drop off some dilly beans and poppy seed bread. Poppa got us all copies of the Reckless Kelly concert set list for Christmas, and I’m pretty excited about it!! 🙂

Tomorrow, I’ll make one last swing through the “Mom Line” to drop the girls off at school, and then it will be home to pick up my Scout-a-Roo!

I still don’t know that this weekend counts as birth control, but I do know that I have a huge appreciation for how hard my bestie works at making sure life is good and organized for her kiddos.  Mommas, especially single mommas, need to give themselves more credit for all the hard work and sacrifices they make for their kids!!

Things to be Thankful For

As we wrap up the Thanksgiving festivities and rev up for the holiday season, I think it’s important to spend some time reflecting on friends and family.  In an unfortunate turn of events, my Dad’s whole family had to gather together and bury my Grandpa.  Maybe he had it all planned out that way, because traditionally we wouldn’t all be together as a family for Thanksgiving, especially since everyone has gotten older and most of the grandkids have started families of their own.

We have always been fortunate to be able to take family vacations.  We’ve been to Alaska, Europe, Disney World, and San Francisco.  However, one vacation destination that has always been the go to has been Williamsburg Virginia.  I’m not sure why we ever started going there, I just know that now when we “need” to go on vacation, if no where else is decided, Williamsburg is really the answer.

In celebration of Thanksgiving, and being thankful for family, and because Williamsburg always feels particularly festive….I present to you:

Williamsburg Through the Decades

There are no photos of infant Mishappenings enjoying the colonial capital of 18th century Virginia.  The camera or the film didn’t cooperate and all the pictures came out black.  My very first vacation, and there’s no evidence I was even there!

These photos were from a trip we made in 1992.  There are still plenty of overly friendly and carefree squirrels and gingerbread cookies to be had, and it’s good to know that sometimes things don’t change.  Somethings, like traveling with our baby blankets, have changed.  Also, luckily for me, my fashion choices have changed….some…..


1997 was the trip of hats and bonnets.  When enjoying the capital city, it’s important to be fashionable and on trend.


2000:  Someone was still trying to embrace colonial fashions, I had maybe outgrown that need by now.



We went in December of 2004 shortly after my birthday and were there for the start of the Christmas season.  I had just been given this sweater for my birthday and as you can see I was quite please with it.  This was also my phase where I was pretty convinced that my green hi-top Converse All-Stars went perfectly with any and all outfits!

Sadly, the gentlemen in the photo passed away a few years ago, but he had been a familiar presence on all our previous trips.


2009 was the last time we all travelled to the colonial city as a whole family.  I believe it was in the spring.  It was the first time that I had to fly separately and meet my family there because I was away at college.  I also recall that I had to fly with several text books in my suitcase because lab reports don’t stop being due because you’re on vacation!



2016: Our first big family trip without Dad.  We decided that something familiar might be nice, so we headed back to Williamsburg.


Other things that never change are my love of the apothecary shop, and the need for my parents to take slightly posed photos of me in the shop.  I present to you the difference that 16 years can make!  I think it’s important to note that that jacket still fits me….so I’ve been basically this same size my entire life!


Another change is they now have beer….and I’m old enough to have it!  

Colonial Williamsburg now offers a selection of beers that you can purchase throughout the historic area.  We also tried out a modern restaurant right on the edge of the Historic District that had one of the largest beer menus I’ve ever seen!  If you’re ever in town I would recommend the DoG Street Pub.  It’s loud but the building is a nice blend of colonial and modern, and the food was delicious and huge in portion.  Easy to find right on the corner of Duke of Gloucester street between the Historic District and the campus of William and Mary.

If you aren’t into beer and American fare, then Sal’s by Victor needs to by on your to do list.  Again, I’m not sure how we ever found it, but it was a favorite of Daddy Mishappenings and we ate there often.  In fact, we ate there twice on our most recent trip….because why mess with a good thing!?


Yes….I ate the whole thing……TWICE….on our trip!


We don’t always get along, but when we do…we take snapchat pictures and embarrass my mother in public.  The face swap photo is probably hands down the worst picture of both of us that has ever….and probably will ever exist!



These are just some pictures of my favorite places and spaces around the Historic District for your viewing pleasure.