Kissing the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland
June 20, 2015 – Day 5 of the Britannia with Education First Tours.
Blarney Castle: The grounds were gorgeous and green and views from the top, well, gorgeous.
We climbed to the top of the castle and had to lie down and hang out backwards over an opening with quite a drop. For this gal terrified of heights – the climb alone could have prevented the experience, but I prevailed. Then this nonsense. I did it, though – and that would be another item to mark off of the bucket list.
The day was warm and sunny as we strolled through the park. Of course, the best part of the day was that I got to share it with my son… Too much? Yea – that was rather corny – or was it Blarney?
As the day ended and we rode the bus to our next destination, I gathered all of the maps and brochures and my colored pens and recorded the event in my trip SMASH Book.
As I prepare for for my trip this summer with students I am continuing my tradition of keeping a smash book throughout the journey. I can’t wait to fill it!!
We are traveling with Education First Tours (EF Tours) and will be visiting Germany, France, Spain, and Portugal on a 16 day trip. I have the largest group yet, at 27 travelers. I encourage them to write about their experiences while we are traveling and I model this with my smash book. Writing down the little jokes and other things that make you laugh; exploring your feelings as you are far from home in a new culture, recording your memories for years to come…these are the things I tell my students when they ask “what should I write about?”
Every trip I take abroad with students can be relived while flipping through the smash book I created while on tour. Just keep things as you go and take notes – when you have a free hour, spend some time writing, pasting, and doodling. The end product is practically finished when you arrive home. The practice has grown on my trips and now multiple members of the group work on them as we travel. As for the others in the group, although they don’t care to complete a book, they do enjoy seeking out items to include in the smash book.
Post cards, maps, brochures. I am always sure to put several clips and various types of pockets in the book before I leave. It is also fun to try to fancy a pocket out of a travel trinket of some sort. This just adds to the unique, one of kind souvenir I take home. Also, I love to grab every free brochure at the hotels to cut the little picture out of the places that we end up going to. I also like to use the words and titles in them.
When I do finally make it home and print out all of my pictures from a trip, I will always get extra prints of a few of my favorite shots – usually the ones with the people in them – and put them in the book, too.