Scotland & Ireland Part THREE: Away we go!

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Today, I’m recapping our last day in Scotland and our first day in Ireland. It’s a little this and a little that from both beautiful countries.  Now, if you missed PART ONE (our first two days in Edinburgh) or PART TWO (our day spent in St. Andrews), then go back and read those first.  If you’re all caught up, then dive on in…

Those smiles!  We were out the door and ready to spend our final full day in Edinburgh.  After a fun day in St. Andrews, it was nice to finish things off here.  This was Saturday morning, so we headed out to find some place to eat breakfast…

…and found it in a pub 🙂 .  It was delish!  The World Cup was going on while we were over there, so already by 8:30 that morning, the pub was full with happy beer drinkers cheering on the TV. It was so lively and extra entertaining!

Three happy sisters!

After breakfast, we walked over to the Edinburgh Farmer’s Market which happens on Saturday mornings.  We smelled soap, looked at beautiful jewelry, ate macarons, and more.  It was a fun way to spend the morning…

…the food was AMAZING!  There were stalls filled with so many delectable things.

After the farmer’s market, we strolled a bit more…

…Kensington and Ashby each selected a cashmere scarf as a treasure to take home.  Please note, they are wearing them the rest of the trip 🙂 .  Those two were so sweet!  They really wanted “grown up” scarves.  Madeley did not.  Ha!

When I look at them, I want to sing “Sisters, Sisters” from White Christmas.  🙂

After that, we walked over to Camera Obscura & World of Illusions.  We bought tickets right then and there and walked in.  My kiddos LOVED this place!  I bet we were all in there about 1.5 hours.  It’s filled with all sorts of illusions, camera tricks, believe it or not stuff.  It was so much fun for them!

Just one of the many fun things inside!

Hahahahaha!  So cute!

So, before we left home, we had purchased advanced tickets to visit the Jameson Distillery in Ireland, but after being in Edinburgh for a few days, we had heard a lot of amazing things about the Scotch Whisky  Experience there, so we walked over and stood in line to visit.  (Several guide books said it was a must see for families!)  We waited about 30 minutes in line and then it was our turn.  I know this might sound crazy…but visiting both of these places (Jameson and Scotch Whisky) were two of our FAVORITE things!  My kids are still talking about them.

In line with four kids waiting to learn all about how Scotch is made.


They were pumped.  Madeley had a new ball type thing that she was pumped about.

The tour starts with a Disney-type ride in a barrel.  It was hard to take pics and load kids into barrels, but I tried to capture it for you…

…these barrels come out on a conveyor belt type thing and you hop on and “ride” for about 10 minutes while you watch this progressive movie about how Scotch whisky started and is made.  It was very interactive and interesting for grown ups, but totally geared towards kiddos too.  After the ride, we ended up here on our tour (there were about 25 in a “tour”)…

…where they passed out scratch and sniff cards that explained the different regions of Scotland and how the different whiskys are made based on that part of the country.  After that, we went into this small theater and watched a panoramic movie about Scotland.  This was my favorite part!  It was very IMAX -ish (but on a smaller scale).  There was swooping and gorgeous footage of Scotland and the narrator explained the different regions of the country.  It was gorgeous!  I really felt like I learned so much by the time it was over.

After that, we went into a tasting room where you could sample different types of Scotch or if you didn’t want to (or you were a kiddo), they gave out sodas that were crafted in Scotland.  My kids loved that too.

The tour wrapped up in this room.  It’s the largest unopened private collection of Scotch in the world.  It was spectacular!  Beautiful bottles were everywhere!

The whole thing lasted about an hour and a half or so.  It was so fun!

It was the middle of the afternoon when we left, and we were all happy and STARVING!  We found a pub with an outdoor seating area and enjoyed lunch outside.

Beautiful weather and shepherd’s pie.  Win, win.

On Instagram, so many of you told us to get ice cream from Mary’s Milk Bar, so we did!

This is the view looking out of Mary’s Milk Bar.  Not too shabby, right?!

Ice cream for the WIN!  We loved it!

Cones and castles!

With cones in hand, we walked from old town to the newer part of town.  Smith had a football and wanted to play at the park, so we did…

…the girls were so happy to play too!  We stayed on that side of town the rest of the day.  We played, we strolled and then we ended up here for dinner…

…back at Contini (where we had already had breakfast there the day before).  The dinner menu was spectacular…

…oh my word!  We were SO FULL when we left!!  I had the Contadino, and it was like the best thing ever.  Andrew had the risotto and when I tasted his, I thought it was divine as well.  It was such a good spot to enjoy our last supper in Edinburgh.

Happy smiles 🙂 .

We wrapped up our day at dinner, walked back to the apartment and packed up.  Next stop…Dublin!

The next morning, we woke up, grabbed our bags and headed to the airport for Dublin, Ireland!

The car service we used to take us from the Edinburgh airport to our apartment told us that they could do the return trip on this day (it was a Sunday), but because of some big city wide thing happening that morning, they estimated it would take at least 2 hours in the car to get there, so they suggested we take the train instead.  We looked and it was an above ground train kind of like a subway…but above ground, so we hauled our luggage down there early that morning and headed to the airport via train.  It was just around the corner from where we were, so it wasn’t a big deal at all.  That being said…it was the beginning of a long day.

Listen, I want to be really clear about something.  The first week of summer, we left the local pool after only 45 minutes and I made all four kids come home and nap because they were being RIDICULOUS.  Like seriously, y’all…I was appalled by how whiny, difficult, sassy and argumentative they all were.  So, they spent the whole afternoon napping.  All four of them.  I want you to know that they have moments like that, so that when I brag on them now, it tempers it just a bit.  They can be very difficult sometimes, but friends…on this day, they were AMAZING.

In the above pic, we finally made it through security and were enjoying lunch.  Security took forever.  We had so many bags, a stroller, four kids and a long line.  That was after the train ride which was fine…but there were a lot of stops and people were getting on and off and you know…it just took a while.  Thennnnnn…our flight to Dublin was delayed.  So, we waited even longer at the airport.  All in all, I think we were at the airport close to 6 hours.  So, that little flight to Dublin (it’s only 50 minutes) that should have been quick on this day was LONG.  After we landed, we waited 1.5 hours for them to bring us our rental car too.  I mean…I was not in the best mood, but friends, my kiddos were so good!!  They never complained!  I was tired and hungry, but they were all so sweet and so well behaved.  They might act like fools some days, but they had it together on this day, and this mama, wanted to brag a minute.  We finally got our rental car and walked down to the parking spot to get it…

…9 passenger van for the win!  Hahahaha!  We wanted something big enough for all of us and our stuff.  Look at Andrew on the opposite side of the car.  It was an adventure for sure!

We drove out of the airport and over to our apartment to drop off stuff.  We were starving!  I think it was like 7:00 PM at this point.  We dropped off our stuff and started walking to find some food…

…we found this burger place and sat down to dinner.  We were so hungry and tired, but HAPPY to be in Ireland!!!

After dinner, we walked back to our place but stopped for ice cream first…

…it was a long day but well worth it!  We were so excited to start exploring beautiful Ireland.

That’s it for today!  Don’t forget, if you missed the other two parts, you can see them here: PART ONE and PART TWO.

See you tomorrow! xo

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  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog July 10, 2018 at 4:37 am

    I love going to farmer’s markets, whether in my own city or when I’m travelling! It’s such a great way to check out the local lives of the people there. And I love looking at fresh produce, haha! 😀

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Erika Slaughter July 10, 2018 at 5:32 am

    I have all the thoughts this morning…1. I mean did you ever get over that view?? Castles in the background? Amazing!! 2. Now prior to 6:00 am, I’m craving past after peeking at the menu. 3. What happened to Ashby and Madeley’s bodies?? 🤣🤣

  • Sheaffer Sims July 10, 2018 at 5:45 am

    The big girls in their scarves are just adorable. Another great day! It’s such fun being along for the ride!

  • Elspeth Mizner July 10, 2018 at 5:45 am

    Wow what a packed full and tiring day! Can’t wait to read about Ireland!!

  • Alicia July 10, 2018 at 5:48 am

    I can’t wait to read all about Ireland from your perspective! Scotland and Ireland are my ultimate dream trips!

    On another note, your blog is my favorite. I visit daily and look forward to every post. ❤️

    • Mix and Match Mama July 10, 2018 at 5:54 am

      Well, thank you so much Alicia!!!!

  • Laura July 10, 2018 at 6:18 am

    It looks beautiful! Love those tricky photos! That sounds like a fun museum!

  • Abby Carver July 10, 2018 at 6:40 am

    My grandmother used to sing Sisters, Sisters to my sister and I all the time. Thanks for bringing back a great memory!

    Your trip looks amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  • Carolyn July 10, 2018 at 6:43 am

    Hey Shay- a travel question for you. I see you guys chose apartments for this trip. Is that because in a hotel- you guys would have to have 2 rooms? What service did you use to book your apartment? We have a large family also- it’s hard to find economical accommodations in Europe for all of us.

    • Mix and Match Mama July 10, 2018 at 8:15 am

      We used my travel agency 🙂 . We stayed in two hotels in Ireland as well (and got two rooms), so yeah…it was a split between that.

  • Laura July 10, 2018 at 6:47 am

    How did the 9 passenger van work?
    We are going to Ireland next summer and heard some of the roads are not the best – it was suggested to rent a car. Curious how the van was…..
    Thanks!!!! 🙂

    • Mix and Match Mama July 10, 2018 at 8:15 am

      It was fantastic!! Loads of room plus big windows to see the sites!

  • Narci Dreffs July 10, 2018 at 6:53 am

    Well, I loved reading all of this today! The picture of the girls in their scarves is precious, and I love all of the gorgeous architecture! So pretty!

  • Sara M Alexander July 10, 2018 at 6:59 am

    It all looks so lovely. I can’t gauge the temperature based on the pics because I saw people with coats and people with shorts. How was the weather?

    • Mix and Match Mama July 10, 2018 at 8:14 am

      Low 50s in Scotland!

  • Tracie July 10, 2018 at 7:13 am

    I was really excited to read about your experience with the scotch whiskey tasting because I will be 6 months pregnant when my husband and I are there next month. I didn’t know if it would be enjoyable for me, but now it seems like a must-do!

  • Kristin July 10, 2018 at 7:13 am

    Ah my husband would’ve had a field day learning about Scotch! So cool. Did y’all buy any bottles from the distillery to take home?

    Random question – what is Ashby coloring on at the first pub breakfast? It looked fun! My kiddos are amazing travelers but we struggle with restaurants and I’m always looking for ways to entertain them while we wait without pulling out a screen. If you have any good suggestions I’m all ears! I have a daughter Madeley’s age and a son between Smith and Ashby’s ages.

    Thank you for sharing your fun travels! Makes me want to be more ambitious and take our fam out of the country. Xo

    • Mix and Match Mama July 10, 2018 at 8:14 am

      It’s one of these scratch off coloring books. The page is black and she uses the little wooden tool to scratch (instead of color) and there is color underneath. My girls love them and bonus, not messy!

  • Meagan Ruse July 10, 2018 at 7:33 am


  • Laci July 10, 2018 at 7:34 am

    Long days of travel and kiddos behaving is a win win!!

  • Audrey Bolton July 10, 2018 at 7:38 am

    I’ve been to Ireland so I’m so excited to read about this part of your trip! It is such a beautiful country…although now you have me wanting to go to Scotland.

  • Sarah Shaneyfelt July 10, 2018 at 7:47 am

    How amazing is it that some people just lead normal, everyday lives in Scotland with castles in the background?! I could never get over that fact haha!! And your skin looks so smooth and flawless!

  • Brooke Richardson July 10, 2018 at 8:03 am

    That menu though…..I would of wanted a bite of each. Lol. Can’t wait to see what your time in Ireland was like.

  • Mimi July 10, 2018 at 8:11 am

    I love reading about all of your travels and I’m a little jealous! I can’t wait to read about Ireland! I student taught there for my last semester in college and loved it.

  • Tammy M July 10, 2018 at 8:23 am

    Thanks for taking us to Scotland and Ireland with your pictures. I am enjoying every one of them! What an amazing vacation! Can’t wait to see more…

  • Robin July 10, 2018 at 8:32 am

    Looks like a great trip! Were the apartments you stayed in during the trip Air BnB’s? I know that hotels there can be tiny cramped rooms so apartment rentals do seem like a great idea. Any info you can share on that would be great! 🙂

    • Mix and Match Mama July 10, 2018 at 10:58 am

      We have used Air BnB before, but on this trip, we rented them through my Europe vendor I use for European vacations.

  • Betsy July 10, 2018 at 8:40 am

    It is those long travel days where everything seems to go wrong that usually end up creating the best memories, when enough time has passed to laugh instead of cry at the misfortune.
    We travel a lot and we have scaled down to one small carry on and one daypack each. Makes those transfers super easy and less stressful. Plus you don’t need to worry about everyone and all the stuff fitting into cars, taxis, etc. I always find myself wearing the same outift 2-3 days in a row at home, so why not abroad? Ha!

  • Tanya July 10, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Looks like a fabulous trip, but what a long travel day. Thanks for always keepin’ it real. We are getting ready to have a mega travel day this weekend. Fly from Houston to London to Munich, then drive 4 hours to Lucerne…whew. I think we can, I think we can!

  • mary July 10, 2018 at 9:23 am

    As a girl who is dairy free, I am so jealous of all your ice cream eating on this trip 😉

  • Amanda @ That Inspired Chick July 10, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Loved those pics of Madeley and Ashby with their heads on a plate! Hahaha! It took me a minute to figure it out. Those castles though…can you imagine living there and seeing that every day?! It sure beats a Walgreens on every corner!
    That Inspired Chick

  • Angela Ellingson July 10, 2018 at 10:28 am

    So incredible! I love the play by play!! You were all troopers on that travel day. And now I’m wanting one of those ice cream cones! 🙂

  • Peyton Cline July 10, 2018 at 10:49 am

    I have loved your travel posts so far, and I have loved the leather earrings you have been wearing in a lot of the pics! Do you have a link for them?

    • Mix and Match Mama July 10, 2018 at 10:57 am

      They’re Nickel and Suede!! They are so light!!

  • Emily July 10, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    I want to join your family just for your love of ice cream!

  • Liz Thorson July 10, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Wonderful post, Shay! I love reading about your family’s travel adventures! Here’s to your kids for the loooonnng travel day to Dublin! Whew!

  • Joanna Sloan Anderson July 10, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    Just curious do you fly business class or coach? No judgment either way. We just flew with our children to Hong Kong in coach in June. They couldn’t sleep because they are teeneagers and didn’t have enough room to get comfortable.

    • Mix and Match Mama July 11, 2018 at 4:50 am

      When we fly as a family of six, we fly coach!

  • Jordyn July 11, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    The passenger van made me LOL at my work desk. And although the random-est question ever- how IN THE WORLD does Madeley keep her shoes so white on the bottom? Do you clean them? I am constantly trying to keep the whites on toddler shoes white- but it’s a loosing battle. I have no idea why- but I noticed how white those little shoes of hers are and she seems to wear them a lot! 🙂

    • Mix and Match Mama July 11, 2018 at 12:48 pm

      I have never cleaned them!! Either you can’t really see how dirty they are in the pics…or I’m carrying her too much. Hahahahaha!

  • Colleen July 11, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Your trip looks absolutely amazing. I have 4 children as well and love traveling and cannot wait to take them to great places like those. My kids are 7, 5, 3, and 1 and have been traveling since they were born and seem similar to your children behavior wise. Great kids but each of them have their moments for sure. I did notice that you are sitting at restaurants and even more amazing that they are doing walking tours through the cities. I realize my kids are a bit younger but do you have any tips or suggestions for restaurants and tours? When did you start taking them on tours of cities? I saw the post about Madeley using a coloring book at the restaurant. We are still only counter service right now and haven’t ventured into tours yet but cannot wait to start. Thanks ahead of time! I love your blog and follow it for many tips!

  • Diana July 11, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    I need to add Scotland and Ireland to my travel bucket list, they sound amazing! Just curious… what all do you have to do to drive in a foreign country? Do you need a Irish driving permit or something? It would be tricky to remember to drive on the wrong side of the car, on the wrong side of the road! Thanks again for sharing your travels 🙂

    • Mix and Match Mama July 12, 2018 at 6:23 am

      Nope! Just a good old US driver’s license lets you rent a car. Ha!