Author Archives: caseymaher

About caseymaher

Traveling is something that I value in my life. I am an aspiring entertainer, who loves gaining new experiences. Music is a powerful life force that strives within me. I am more of an oldies music gal, and I have to say that pop is my favorite genre. Cereal and milk are something that I can't live without. I am excited to document my journeys throughout the world on this awesome site!!! España, here I COME!

Day 38 (6/7/11) Off to Minnesota

Today, we had a nice brunch of pancakes and omlettes, watched Icelanders playing dodgeball, and THEN took the bus to the airport. Our plane got delayed about an hour (we had to switch terminals). No clue why. I happened to see one of my college friends in the Iceland Airport. What a funny coincidence. The flight was about 6 hours back. I’m surprised I slept through none of it. I watched “Black Swan” (for the first time. Good movie, but I’m still confused by it) and I watched “Romeo and Juliet” (the Leonardo version). Touched down in Minneapolis at about 7pm, being welcomed by a whopping 100 degree temp. WOW.

It’s good to be back home. I’m excited to see all my friends and family. But these European adventures will never be forgotten. It was truly the trip of a lifetime.

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Posted by on June 8, 2011 in Uncategorized


Day 37 (6/6/11) Last Full Day: Fish N’ Chips Please!

We had an awesome breakfast buffet this morning at our hotel. They even had WAFFLES!!! Oh my gosh! Hadn’t had one of those in 4 months. After that, we started driving back to Reykjavíc. Stopped at this really awesome beach, with these really cool rock formations. It was awesome.

When we got to Reykjavíc, we checked into a cute little apartment, and turned in our rental car. Then, we hung out around town for the evening. We went to this awesome Fish N’ Chips place for dinner. The breading for the fish that they have there is actually made out of whole wheat flour, and the fish is fried in canola oil (so it’s slightly healthier than normal Fish N’ Chips). It was very tasty. And instead of chips, we got to pick our side. (lots of different salad and potato selections). I got this awesome mango salad, that was actually made with SPINACH instead of iceburg lettuce. It was so nice to eat something dark and leafy green again. Very good last supper here in Europe.

Wandered up to the Lutheran church in town, to take a look around. Got some treats at the grocery store afterwards, and played a rousing game of Phase 10. I went out walking around town for a bit. It’s now almost 1:30am here, and still light out. That’s so crazy. Off to bed!

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Posted by on June 7, 2011 in Uncategorized


Day 36 (6/5/11) Glaciers and Sheepies and Ash Storms..Oh MY!

This morning, we started making our way to Hofn, a town at the Southeast end of the country. We had a few stops along the way, for sightseeing. (Glaciers, cool rock formations, sheep, etc…) There were a couple of times throughout our drive where we drove through a bunch of ash whipping up into the air. That’s a pretty common happening here. There is still tons of ash from the volcano a few weeks ago, and when it gets windy, it picks up a bunch of ash and whips it around. It seemed to get into the inside of my socks, but not the outside of them…hmmm.

Ate some lunch at at a restaurant in Hofn. Then, started making our way back west. On our way back, we stopped at a hotel that had little log cabins to stay in, to see if we wanted to stay there for the night. We look out the window at the reception desk, and notice that a huge dark cloud is coming our way. We asked the receptionist if that was just a regular storm cloud. She told us it was a huge ASH cloud, and that it was traveling rapidly our way. Even though the little log cabin we looked at was cute, we decided to book it, to avoid the storm. But then, as luck would have it, my mom lost the car key! Perfect timing. The wind was starting to pick up, and that ash cloud was really gaining on us. I ran all around the cabin we had looked at, and all around the main office, and finally, I found it lying on the ground. We booked it outta there. It was kind of exciting to be driving through an ash cloud. Once we beat the storm, it was so cool to see difference between the lighness of the day, and the darkness of what we had just driven through. We got some good pictures of that.

Drove for another 30 minutes or so, and settled in for the evening at this nice little hotel not too far from Vik, where we stayed last night. (We even have free WiFi and breakfast in the morning. Awesome!) Tonight’s dinner: Cream of asparagus soup with homemade bread. It was so delicious.

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Posted by on June 6, 2011 in Uncategorized


Day 35 (6/4/11) Off to Iceland (HELP! It’s TOO Expensive!)

This morning, we had to say our goodbyes to London. Before the cab came to take us to the airport, we walked to a place not too far from Buckingham Palace, where the guards were getting ready to march in front of the Queen for the “Trooping of the Guard.” (The guards are changing from their winter grey colors, to their summer red colors.) It was cool to watch them practice marching. There were lots of bagpipes playing, which was awesome. I just love their tall, black fuzzy hats!

Took a cab to Heathrowe, where we got a little lunch, and then hopped a plane to Iceland. When we got there, we went right to the rent-a-car area. We will have a car here for two days. It’s super expensive, too. $308 for two days. UGH. (They told us that if we start to see a sandstorm, to immediately start driving away. Cause it’s not a sandstorm, it’s truly volcanic ash. They also asked us if we wanted ash insurance for the car.) Gee, we must be in Iceland.

A couple little fun facts about Iceland: 1. There are only 330,000 people in the entire country.  2. They have some of the purest water in the world.  3. They believe in trolls and fairys. 🙂 COOL!

Our plan for these next few days is to stick to the bottom part of Iceland, driving across the country along the coast (the country is only about as big as the size of Kentucky). It has lots of interesting terrain. (It reminds me of a mixture of Alaska and New Zealand). When we landed into Reykjavíc (the capital) the terrain was pretty much like rocky tundra. Flat, flat, flat. No trees, no grass, nothin. Then we started driving to the south central part of the country, where we started to see lots of rolling green bluffs, mountains, and waterfalls!! They were so gorgeous.

Got to the town of Vik, where we will be staying tonight. Dinner tonight was a traditional Icelandic one, consisting of codfish in a cream sauce with potatoes, and fish gratin with potatoes and brown bread. (Can only afford to get 2 meals for the 3 of us here. Those two, which weren’t very big, came out to almost $65 US dollars. Holy shit!)

Checked into a little itty bitty (overpriced) B & B, and we are now sitting in a little internet cafe, checking emails and the like.

Another way to know you’re in Iceland: It’s 10:05pm, but looks as though it’s only 7pm. That sun will be out for awhile. Oh, and, it’s bloody cold.

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Posted by on June 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


Day 34 (6/3/11) Abbey Road, and the Best Night of My LIFE!

A SUNNY day in London Town. (We were quite lucky for that.) Started our day off by stopping at Starbucks. (apparently, there are over 300 Starbucks in London. I’m not surprised. Maybe I’ll get a job at one of THESE someday!) J Then, we walked over to Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guard. It was packed. Luckily, my mom hoisted me up onto a railing, where I could watch it, and get some good pictures.

After that, we took the tube to Baker Street, to go to the Beatles store. After that, we went to Abbey Road. We must have been there for a half hour trying to get the perfect, Beatles’ like album cover shot. J It was fun. And a bit frustrating. I didn’t realize that Abbey Road is actually kind of a busy street. Tourists feel rushed to quickly stand on the crosswalk, get their picture, and go, before getting hit by a local in their car. (I feel bad for the locals. I’m sure they’re driven NUTS by all of this touristy Abbey Road stuff).

After a million takes of that, we hopped a double decker bus to the marble arch, where we stopped to eat lunch at Mark’s and Spencer. Yum. Took a walk around Hyde Park, and sat under a tree by the Princess Diana Memorial for a while. The memorial is a giant ring of water that little kids can play in. (What a perfect idea, since Lady D was a preschool teacher, after all).

Came back to the hotel, and started getting ready to go see “Phantom of the Opera” at Her Majesty’s Theatre. My mom wanted me to sit in between her and dad (since they had seen the show a couple times before) so they could see my reactions. And they sure were entertained. I was wide eyed and jaw dropped for practically the whole thing. We were in the second row, and right in the center. In the beginning (after the auction scene) the famous “Phantom of the Opera” organs started piping and booming throughout the whole theatre. What an adrenaline rush! The chandelier was hoisted right up over our heads (which, obviously means it FELL right above our heads, too, in the end of Act 1.) I cried 4 times watching this show. It was so magical. Christine was my favorite. It’s one thing to listen to all of these singers on a CD, but another to be there in person hearing them (let alone in the second row). It was so moving. I was bawling by the end. I’m so thankful I got to see this. I’ve been wanting to for years. This had to have been one of the best nights of my life. J

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Posted by on June 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


Day 33 (6/2/11) London Bound!

Got up very early to catch our very last Euro-Rail Pass train of the trip. We went to the little town of Calais, France where we caught a ferry from there to Dover, England, across the English Channel. (It was my first time seeing the cliffs. Very pretty).

Had to take a 2 hour train from Dover to Victoria Station in the heart of LONDON! This is not our first time being here. We were here ten years ago. But we are thrilled to be back. I feel like I’m seeing London in a whole new light, being older.

We checked into our hotel, which is actually a college dorm room during the school months. But it is made into “The Vandon House” from late May to August for tourists. After that, we went exploring.

Before we came here, we made up a whole list of things that we want to see over these next couple of days. We started by strolling by Westminster Abbey and Big Ben, our old time favorites. We stopped to get a crepe at our favorite stand by the Westminster tube station. Bought a few day passes for the tube. We used it a lot. It’s very easy to follow here.

The rest of the afternoon included a visit to Trafalgar Square, where the statue of the “countdown to the 2012 Olympics,” as well as many entertaining street artists. Stopped by Picadilly Circus in the evening, and grabbed a bite to eat at a pub not too far from Covent Gardens. And…we took a tube ride to King’s Cross Train Station to see the fake “Platform 9 and ¾” that they have there. Yup. I’m a nerd, and I love it!

Before dinner, we went to the “discount tickets” booth in the theater district, and scored 3 tickets for “Phantom of the Opera” for tomorrow night at 7:30, at “Her Majesty’s Theatre.” I was overjoyed. Can’t WAIT to see it! I love this city!

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Posted by on June 2, 2011 in Uncategorized


Day 32 (6/1/11) 7 Trains to France

Well, the title of this post pretty much sums up what we did today….we took 7 different trains to get to this town in France called Lille, where we currently are right now. (It happened to be this many trains, due to missing a few because our connecting trains were late, etc…). Lots of luggage lifting. Thank goodness some of these stations had escalators. The longest train ride was probably about an hour and a half. So all of these little stops were kind of annoying. But we got to drive through part of Belgium. So that was cool, I guess.

ANYWAYS….the reason we are in Lille is because tomorrow, we will be catching a ferry from a close by town called Calais, to London. We’re all pretty excited to get there.

When we pulled into Lille, we checked into this little not-too-great, not-too-shabby hotel, and went out to this restaurant called “Hippopotamus,” which is probably the equivalent to a French Applebees (but with super high prices). After that, walked around town a bit. There is so much neat architecture here. (But then again, that’s pretty typical of a lot of places in Europe. One of the many things that I will definitely miss about this continent).

Goodnight world. See you tomorrow in LONDON!

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Posted by on June 1, 2011 in Uncategorized