Ireland Sights – Giant’s Causeway

by Jeff McNeil

Giants Causeway -  Ireland One of my favorite stops we will make in Ireland is going to be at what is known as Giant’s Causeway.  It is a coastal part of Northern Ireland that was an old volcano.  the mountain eroded away and what remains are the hardened rocks of the interior.  They are hexagonal in shape.  These six sided columns of rock crystallized and solidified into the steps.  I am so excited to see this natural phenomenon.  It is one of those places you see in the travel magazines and wonder where the heck are those?  Well I will show you where they are in Ireland with our daily updated trip.

Iceland Sights – Blue Lagoon

by Jeff McNeil
Iceland Blue Lagoon

Iceland’s Blue Lagoon natural geothermal hot springs

The Blue Lagoon geothermal hot springs in Iceland are one of the most popular hot springs in the world.  Rated by National Geographic as one of their bucket-list places to visit.  The hot springs are fed by a near by geothermal power plant which takes super heated water from 6000 ft within the earth to create steam to power the turbine.  The pools are the excess water pumped up from within the earth and are at a consistent 102°F.  Your average spa is set to 103°F.  In Iceland the summer months have mild day time temperatures to allow slowly dip into thw warm water, however in the winter the outside air temp can be hovering around 32°F… you will see just how fast can you jump into the water.

Recent films or shows shot in Iceland were Prometheus, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, James Bond: Die Another Day, Amazing Race, America’s Top Model & the Bachelorette.

Ireland + Iceland = Happy Jennifer

by Jeff McNeil

Northern Lights above IcelandWe are going to the I-lands, Ireland and Iceland!  We just booked our flight to Reykjavik this afternoon and are extremely excited about it.  I am sure you are wondering why we want to go to a frozen land during the coldest month of the year?  Two words… aurora borealis.  In the longer days of winter, in the higher latitudes you get the best conditions for the auroras.  Jenn and I are going to pack our warm clothes, grab our camera gear and hop a plane to Iceland.  When we land there will be only 4 hours of “daylight” when the sun is in the sky, the remainder of the time will be twilight or night as the earth spins away from the sun.

From Wikipedia, the universal source for all known knowledge:

An aurora (plural: aurorae or auroras) is a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere (thermosphere). The charged particles originate in the magnetosphere and solar wind and, on Earth, are directed by the Earth’s magnetic field into the atmosphere. Aurora is classified as diffuse or discrete aurora. Most aurorae occur in a band known as the auroral zone,which is typically 3° to 6° in latitudinal extent and at all local times or longitudes. The auroral zone is typically 10° to 20° from the magnetic pole defined by the axis of the Earth’s magnetic dipole. During a geomagnetic storm, the auroral zone will expand to lower latitudes. The diffuse aurora is a featureless glow in the sky which may not be visible to the naked eye even on a dark night and defines the extent of the auroral zone. The discrete aurora are sharply defined features within the diffuse aurora which vary in brightness from just barely visible to the naked eye to bright enough to read a newspaper at night. Discrete aurorae are usually observed only in the night sky because they are as bright as the sunlit sky. Aurorae occasionally occur poleward of the auroral zone as diffuse patches or arcs (polar cap arcs), which are generally invisible to the naked eye.

In northern latitudes, the effect is known as the aurora borealis (or the northern lights), named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas, by Pierre Gassendi in 1621. Auroras seen near the magnetic pole may be high overhead, but from farther away, they illuminate the northern horizon as a greenish glow or sometimes a faint red, as if the Sun were rising from an unusual direction. Discrete aurorae often display magnetic field lines or curtain-like structures, and can change within seconds or glow unchanging for hours, most often in fluorescent green.

 

United Air ticket to Ireland + bonus to Hawaii

by Jeff McNeil
United Airlines Mileage Pus Credit Card
United Airlines Mileage Pus Credit Card

Jenn and I made it official, we have booked a trip to Ireland!  We are very excited about our newly planned trip.  It will cover the whole country in a ring self guided car tour.  I feel the best part of it is that we booked it with an added bonus.  By researching flights and credit card companies, we found that United was about $90 more expensive than the cheapest flights with Aer Lingus, the national airline of Ireland.  By signing up for the United Airlines credit card & purchasing our flight we will get a $50 statement credit, 2 passes to access the United First Class Lounge at airports and after our trip 40,000 miles in each of our accounts.  During select times of the year the round trip fare to Hawaii using the United Mileage points is 40,000.  So that means for the additional $40 we spent, we get a free round trip flight to Hawaii.  Pretty sweet huh!?! Stay tuned, more travel news in the coming days.