Matthew Mania – Adventures By Disney tour of the British Isles

Matthew Maschler:
Welcome to the Matthew Mania Podcast. I am Matthew Maschler, and it’s just me in the studio. Today, I wanted to talk to you about, uh, the vacation that I just took with my wife, Wendy, and my daughter Lindsey. Um, you know, there’s different ways to vacation and different ways to travel. Um, and, uh, lately we’ve been doing a, a tour company called Adventures by Disney. It’s owned by Disney, but you know, you don’t see Mickey Mouse. You go on a on a tour. They have tours all over the world. The first one we went to was Costa Rica. Uh, we’ve been to Australia, um, with Adventures by Disney. Last year we went to Italy with Adventures by Disney. And then this year, uh, we went to, um, Ireland and Scotland and England, um, and more on that later. So, um, yeah, so we, I went on this tour and it was actually a really good vacation for me because, uh, since the time difference was five hours ahead, um, if I woke up at seven, got ready for the day and had breakfast at eight, and left the hotel at nine, um, five hour time difference, that was like 2, 3, 4 in the morning, uh, on the east coast of the us So my phone wasn’t blowing up.
If I’m on the west coast of the US Yeah, of the us If I’m in California or Las Vegas, if I wake up at seven, well, it’s, you know, 10 o’clock, it’s the middle of the workday. And I, I wake up to a million texts and calls and emails and stuff. So it was really, really nice to just have a few hours of the day to just like, be present and enjoy my vacation. Um, you know, it wasn’t till like two in the afternoon when, when the phone calls would would start. So, um, it was nice to, to, to be present in the vacation. I, I didn’t post anything on Facebook or anything like that. Uh, ALS partially because of, um, just not a lot of time. And I was enjoying the vacation and trying to stay off my phone and enjoying what I was doing, um, on other adventures by Disney Vacations.
I would do like a daily summary in, in one of the Facebook groups, like talk about my day. Uh, so I never got to do that. And so now I’m back from the trip and I wanted to either blog or Facebook. I just figured why not go to the podcast studio and talk about my vacation for an hour. Uh, so if you wanna hear about my vacation tune in, and if you wanna hear more about wrestling, uh, you know, go to the next episode, I guess. So, um, they named the Trip, British Isles Adventures by Disney trips to the British Isles. So I thought that was weird at, at the beginning, because when you think of the British Isles, you think of Great Britain, obviously, right? England, Wales and Scotland aren’t Great Britain, but you, you, you’re not thinking about if, if if someone told you they’re gonna the British Isles, you’re not thinking they went to London or Scotland.
You’re thinking they went to like the Channel Islands or the Island of Jersey, or Gurney or something like that. So, but it was, uh, it was an interesting title ’cause right, if, if you don’t like the title, like, all right, what do you call it? Right? We went to Dublin in the Republic of Ireland. We went to Belfast in Northern Ireland. Uh, we, we went through Glasgow, uh, in Scotland. We stayed in Edinburgh, Scotland, and then we ended in London. So, you know, you can’t call it the United Kingdom, which is Northern Ireland, which is Ireland, Scotland, and England, because we went to the Republic of Ireland, right? If we went to Northern Ireland, only you can call it the United Kingdom, you know, you can’t call it Great Britain ’cause then it doesn’t include the Ireland part. You can’t call it England and Ireland. ’cause then you’re leaving out the Scotland part.
So it’s a cutesy name for the trip, and it worked. Uh, but if I was telling people where I went, I would tell, just tell people I went to Ireland and England, or, you know, I can, you know, Ireland and UK or just uk. Uh, obviously if I was in the Adventure Bay Disney groups or talking to people knowledgeable about the tour, I would have to use the tour’s name of British Isles. Um, so, so that’s cool. Um, and, uh, you know, a lot of teachable moments. I, I, I rented some movies before we went. I went, I, I rented Rob Roy, uh, if you haven’t seen that, it’s a young Liam Neeson, uh, playing the Irish Revolutionary, uh, IRA Soldier, Rob Roy, who, um, basically the Iron Ireland was always a part of the United Kingdom, uh, until they get, got their independence from, uh, England, or Great Britain or United Kingdom, whatever you wanna call it.
Uh, in 1922. So a little bit after, uh, US got their independence from, uh, from England. Uh, so 1922 Ireland got their independence. And Rob Roy was one of the leaders of, uh, the, the revolution, uh, that really started in 1916. I mean, it was going on for five, for hundreds of years, but really 1916 to 1922. Uh, and I’m not giving away the ending of Rob Roy, because if you remember your high school, um, social studies classes, uh, there’s the Republic of Ireland, but then Northern Ireland, uh, six counties in the north, uh, remained part of the United Kingdom, right? So it’s the United, United Kingdom of Ireland, Scotland, and England. That’s what the United Kingdom means. Wales, it’s already been absorbed by England. So they’re not, uh, named by name in the United Kingdom. United Kingdom of Ireland, Scotland, and England. Um, and, uh, I’ve been to a lot of these places before.
So I’ve been to London before, um, Dublin before. Um, but I’ve never been to Northern Ireland. I’ve been to Edinburgh before. I’ve been to London before. So really, um, the, the one day in Glasgow and then the trip to Northern Ireland, that was the only thing that was new to me. But, um, we picked the itinerary because, uh, you know, Lindsay graduated high school and we were looking for something, uh, interesting. Uh, last year we went to Italy and it felt very rushed and discombobulated, and I didn’t really get a sense of place. And we just saw a lot of churches and museums and, uh, wanted to, didn’t really wanna do, go through again. Um, we really liked this trip. It was well spaced out. Uh, you know, we had three nights in Dublin and two nights in 2, 3, 2 in Northern Ireland, then in Edinburgh, then London.
We didn’t get into the country much in Ireland. Um, we saw some of the Northern Ireland country, but in Republic, Republic of Ireland, we didn’t get into the country too much. Um, and, uh, and in Scotland, we didn’t get into the country too much. Uh, so we definitely, uh, have it back on our list, uh, to go there and explore some more. So, um, so part of this is, you know, someone saying, Hey Matt, how was your trip? And part of this is, um, you know, in the adventures by Disney, uh, groups, if someone says, Hey, I’m thinking about going on the British Isles Tour, um, what, you went on it, what do you think of it? Uh, I will, um, here to answer those questions about our trip. So if you are on the Adventures by Disney website and you see the itinerary, there’s a beautiful building on the itinerary.
And at the end of the tour, I had to say to the tour guide, what building is this? Because I didn’t see the building. I dunno, I, it’s a podcast, so there’s not that many visuals. So I can’t show you the build building, but if you go on my Facebook, I’ll show it to you. Uh, but yeah, what, um, what building is this? I had to say to the tour guides at the end of the trip. ’cause I did not recognize, I do not think we went to this building. Um, and it was no, now I don’t remember the name of the college. It was a college in Belfast. Uh, so I’m gonna get to Belfast later. We’re gonna skip that. Uh, the trip was 10 days, nine nights. We stayed at the Westin Hotel in Dublin, the Culvin Estate, uh, outside of Belfast, the Intercontinental, Edinburgh, the George.
And then, uh, in London we stayed at the Waldorf Hilton. Uh, the Waldorf Hilton, uh, is named after, uh, someone in the Waldorf Family. It is not part of the Waldorf Astoria chain. So, um, don’t expect Waldorf Astoria if you go to the Waldorf Hilton. So I’m out of order. I’d like to go in order. So, um, more about that later. Um, day one is on the tour, is always arrive in the city. And, uh, a welcome reception at the hotel. Um, we chose to come in a day early, so I call that day zero. Uh, we came in a day early. We try to keep the afternoon of day one open and free, because sometimes, uh, you know, we want to see, uh, from the Adventure Guides, um, if there’s, sometimes there’s, you know, a meet and greet with the Adventures guides, or they, they wanna tell us something at a particular time, and I can never get in advance what time that is.
So we try to leave that open. Um, when we checked into the hotel at the Westin on Day Zero, we, we told ’em, we were there for the Adventures by Disney trip, and we asked if there was any, uh, notes from the Adventure Guides, or notes from Adventures by Disney. Uh, they told us no. And throughout the day, as we, and whenever we pass the, the, the desk, I, I would check in with them and ask them, uh, if there’s any information from the Adventure Guides or from Adventures by Disney. Uh, probably in total, five times on day zero each time told, told no. Uh, so on day one in the morning when it was right in the morning when we came down for breakfast, we saw our adventure guides are there. And, uh, and they said, oh, yeah, we left these information packets yesterday at 8:00 AM So they were there the entire time, uh, when five times at the desk, um, they told us, Nope, nothing for us.
So that’s a little annoying. Um, okay, so what did we do in Dublin outside of the trip, right? We, it would be terrible to do something that they’re gonna do on the trip, and you have to repeat a tourist attraction. Uh, so I try to look at the guides and see what we’re not doing. We’ve been on, uh, seven or eight years ago, I went to Switzerland on a talk tour, and it was Geneva to Zurich. And literally day one was arrive at Geneva Airport. And we, we didn’t even go to Geneva. We went past Geneva to the hotel for the next city. And, um, the last day was Zurich Airport. So there was nothing at all in Geneva, nothing at all. In Zurich on our Switzerland tour from Geneva to Zurich. So unlike a cruise, um, I guess like a cruise, right? You get on, you get on the boat, but you don’t actually see the city started.
Um, so there’s a little bit of Dublin, but it’s really just highlights. So on our own, uh, when we arrived on Day Zero, I had booked, uh, an evening, uh, walking tour of the city, uh, with Jack. Um, we, we did that through Airbnb. Sometimes we find the greatest tour guides on Airbnb. So that was a great tour. I had, um, booked a Trinity College tour. Uh, but I did it for, um, the day we arrived. But then I also did it for a day later in the trip where we had some downtime, uh, because I didn’t know if the day we arrived, if we’d be, if looking for something to do, or a little bit tired, not looking for something to do. So I always like to have a plan a, plan B. So we booked the tour of Trinity College on our own.
We booked, um, and we booked a Jewish tour of, um, of Dublin on our own. So the day we arrived, we ended up not doing, um, the, the Trinity College tour. We did the evening activity, and then day one, because there was really nothing until the evening. We did the Jewish tour in the morning. And, and that was fascinating. Uh, so, um, and, and, and a lot of fun. We, we met a bakery called the Bretzel Bakery. Uh, but I didn’t get anything from the Bretzel Bakery. And then we left there and we didn’t end up there. So if I ever go back to Dublin, I have to stop at the Brussel Bakery and get a brussel or something, I dunno. So anyway, um, Jewish. So we did a, a nighttime tour. We did a Jewish tour. Um, and then, uh, uh, and Lindsay picks most of the restaurants that we go to when we’re on vacation.
Uh, she finds them on TikTok, and they’re all wonderful. We went to a nice little pizzeria on day one after that tour. And, uh, we saw our tour guide from the night before. So that was funny. And then, um, one of the nights in Dublin, Lindsay found a, um, a speakeasy. It was a, like a, a casual Mexican restaurant, uh, and you needed reservations, and you go find the secret door. And then upstairs there was a little speakeasy, fantastic Mexican restaurant, right in the city of Dublin. It was called Lcio. And they don’t have a phone number or an address or anything. You have to find them on Instagram or TikTok. Um, they try to keep it a secret. El Lencia. Uh, so if you’re in Dublin looking for Mexican food, highly recommended. Um, so the Jewish tour, the nighttime tour, um, it took the walking tour, took us to a, um, a, uh, a monument called, I forget what the spire, it was this huge tall, like antenna, like it looked like it touched the sky.
Um, didn’t really see a lot of Dublin with the adventures by Disney tour. Um, the first day we had the welcome dinner, the second day we went to, um, the Irish Museum of Immigration, right? Irish Ireland’s number one export is its people. People have been leaving Ireland, uh, for as long as <laugh> as, uh, for hundreds of years, right? It’s a great place to leave and go out in the rest of the world and, uh, stake your claim. Uh, then we went to a whiskey distillery, a keeling whiskey distillery. I never heard of them. Um, and then we went to a, uh, a pub called Kennedy’s, and it was right by Trinity College, uh, which I loved. I thought it was a great pub. They had a local music, people playing Irish music in the pub. So I’m hesitant to recommend Kennedy’s to people because these were musicians that were hired by the Adventures by Disney people.
So if we go back to Kennedy’s, there won’t be music. Uh, but it was a lot of fun. The, it wasn’t a bagpipe ’cause it, it was, it was similar to a bagpipe that one guy was playing, but it, but he didn’t fill the bag with air from his mouth. He was using his hand to pump up the bag. So it was a smaller pipe, uh, that he was playing. And then they were playing some flute music. So it was a lot of, a lot of fun, uh, Irish music. And then we had the afternoon on our own. So that’s when we did our Trinity College tour, and then went to El Silencio, um, for dinner on our own. Uh, so that was day two, the Irish Museum, the, the whiskey distillery. So, so what I’m saying is we, you didn’t see a lot of Dublin.
So if you go to Dublin, uh, Trinity College tour, Dublin Castle, we didn’t see Dublin Castle. Um, which I thought would’ve been a highlight of a tour of Dublin. Um, I’ll tell you later, I think that we should have done Dublin Castle instead of the Whiskey tour. There’s a spot later in the tour that I think would be better for, for whiskey tasting, especially since we were gonna Scotland. Um, but, uh, there’s a statue in Dublin Castle that I’m a fan of. I I was in Dublin once for the weekend in 1996. So, um, there’s this Dublin Castle is, um, it’s like the courthouse government officials. And there’s a famous, um, statue of, uh, lady Justice, um, at Dublin Castle. And if, and if you know Lady Justice, she’s got a blindfold sword in one hand, scales in the other. Um, this lady Justice at Dublin Castle, what’s special about it is it’s facing the castle.
So it’s, there’s the gates to get in, and then the statute’s facing the castle. Usually the statute’s facing the people, right? But if it’s England oppressors in Ireland for hundreds of years, a lady Justice has her back to the people facing the courthouse. Um, so that’s, I mean, all right, that’s subtle. That’s, you can read into that whatever you want, but not so subtle. Uh, she doesn’t have her blindfold on, she’s holding her blindfold in her hand. So they say justice is blind. But again, when you’re, uh, being oppressed by the English, uh, and living in Ireland, and you go to the courthouse and Justice has her back to you and her blindfold off, it could be a little disconcerting. And then the sword in her hand is usually down. Um, this lady, justice, the sword is up in the air as if she’s about to pass sentence.
Uh, the same hand that’s holding the sword is the hand that’s holding the blindfold. So what does that say? Right back to you? Blindfold off, sort up. She’s made her decision, and you’re not gonna have a, uh, a fair hearing, uh, at that, um, statue of Lady Justice. So I ended up, uh, taking an Uber to go see it with Wendy and Lindsey, but Castle was closed, so we only saw a little part of it. Uh, I heard that the scale was a little bit imbalanced. I wasn’t able to tell from our angle. Um, that’s just another thing to add to the, the myth of Dublin Castle. So anyway, if you go to Dublin and you’re on the Adventures by Disney, you wanna see Dublin Castle, Trinity College, um, and the Guinness Brewery. That’s what you wanna do on your own. Um, and, and the, um, and the Spire, um, monument.
So that, that would be good. And then on day three, we left the hotel early, uh, in the morning, a lot of early, early. It’s not vacations by Disney, it’s adventures by Disney. So there’s a lot of early morning, uh, departures. So we left Dublin on day three. And, uh, for those, uh, w w e fans out there, um, there was a house show in Dublin that night. So I, I joked about, um, forgetting something in the hotel and having to come back to Dublin, I should say. Also, I met my friend Peter, uh, one night in Dublin, uh, Peter from, uh, from the Jericho Cruise. Uh, so we, it was nice to meet with him and chat with him at a pub over, over, uh, over a beer, uh, reminisce about the Jericho Cruise and my vacation, uh, to, uh, to Ireland. All right, so day three, we leave Dublin, we head up to Belfast.
Uh, we stopped at a farmhouse for lunch and had tea and baked shortbread, and had scones with jelly. And it was very, very lovely to be in this random farmhouse in Northern Ireland. Uh, the Republic of Ireland is part of the European Union, so their currency is the Euro. Uh, when I was there in 1996, they were, um, Ireland had their own currency, the Irish punt, which I think was the same word as pound, but they were saying punt. Uh, but Ireland is on the Euro Northern Ireland because it’s part of, uh, the United Kingdom is using the English pound. Um, so Northern Ireland is, uh, you know, is, is not on the Euro ’cause of, uh, Brexit. Uh, so I was curious what would happen when we passed from Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland. Um, there was a little sign, there was no, uh, people were worried that with Brexit, that there’d be, that they’d put a border in, uh, between, um, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
But no, it was fine. We just drove right through. Uh, we had lunch at the farmhouse. We had a bus tour of Belfast, um, which was, I mean, okay, but a lot of the sites that the tour guide was pointing out, you really couldn’t see out the window. You need a, a glass, see-through roof on the bus, uh, hey, see that building over there? It’s won this award. I’m like, no, I cannot see that building because that building is more than 10 feet high and I can only see straight out my window. Um, and we passed a college, and the reason we knew it was a college was because it was graduation day. So we saw all the people in caps and gowns, and, and it was very cute. And that my friends was the building on the cover of the brochure of this trip.
The, the college in Belfast that we didn’t really stop, uh, stop at. And if it wasn’t for a red light, we wouldn’t have even seen. Uh, but it was cute to see all the, the moms taking pictures of their kids in the caps and gowns. And, um, on the college in, in Belfast, uh, we did stop once in Belfast, uh, to use the bathrooms. A lot of people chose to stay on the bus. But I did get off. We went into city hall and it was gorgeous, and I was really glad I chose to, uh, use that bathroom. Um, because I got to see the, the beautiful city hall and memorial, the memorial to the, uh, victims of the Titanic, uh, because Belfast is where the Titanic was built. And then we went to the Titanic experience, a huge, um, museum dedicated to the Titanic.
And it had a lot of relics, uh, of that’s from, that recovered from the Titanics. A lot of records, a lot of exhibits. If you are a Titanic fan, it is a must see. You saw the place where the, it was basically the old, the factory where, where, where the Titanic was built. And you saw where, um, where it was then launched to see, you could see the, the area where it was launched into the river, uh, after it was built to, to set sail to, uh, to London to pick up passengers, um, for its maiden voyage. Uh, so it was really nice experience. Even had a little ride kind of thing that looked like a ride outta Disney World, um, that took you through a, a, a mockup, uh, not virtual reality, but like the way it looked like with all the metal and the banging of the hammers and whatnot.
So that was a titanic experience. I can honestly say I don’t know anything about the Titanic. Um, I didn’t see the movie. I never read any of the books. Uh, I did ask someone if that reason, if the, they were gonna add, put in a, a room about the sub that just, um, the sub that just went down, if they <laugh>, if they were gonna add that, that exhibit. Um, you know, the Titanic is, you know, killing, uh, you know, killing people in 2023. It’s still going on. It’s kind of crazy. Uh, you know, were they, are they gonna add those names to the memorial? Probably not. Probably kind of stupid. Uh, and then we checked in at the hotel. It was the Colo Estate and Spa, gorgeous, gorgeous hotel, about seven miles from Belfast. So it was not easy to go back to Belfast to have dinner or anything like that.
Um, so, um, and dinner was included. So we all, um, everyone on the, on the tour, um, had dinner together, uh, at the pub, at the hotel, gorgeous hotel. Um, the next night we had free time, well, I’ll talk about the next night. The next night was a trip to the Giants Causeway. So we got up early in the morning and, you know, by my calculations, where we were going was about an hour away. It was eight 30. They said, well get there at 1130. And I thought that the lady made a mistake. I raised my hand. And let me tell you something, when I raised my hand, I’ve gotten in trouble with tour guides before. And, uh, I have, I always start the tour. I ask the tour guides if there’s anything in my file, and that’s that, you know, warnings or, you know, a after my California tour, I wasn’t even sure if I’d be invited back on it just by Disney.
Uh, Lindsay helps me, she gives me a little code word if I’m being an inappropriate. So thank you, Lindsay. Um, so I thought I raised my hand and I thought she misspoke when she said we got there, 1130, ’cause we’re going about an hour away. But we went and took the scenic route, which was very nice, but most of the people on the bus were sleeping. Um, we went to see the Giants Causeway, which is this amazing rock formation. Um, so now we’re in Northern Ireland, and lemme go back to Belfast for a second. One of the, either before or after the Titanic exhibit, we, we stopped at, um, the Peace Wall in Belfast. Um, so you have the, the Christians and the Protestant and the Christ, the Catholics and the Protestants that have been fighting that 1916 revolution that ended in 1922. Well, for a hundred years, these guys were still fighting.
Um, and we pulled up to the Peace Wall. They basically had to put a 25 foot wall down this one neighborhood, uh, because the people on this street were loyalists to the Crown. And the people on this street, uh, wanted, wanted freedom. It’s not so much Catholics versus Protestants, it’s, you know, free Ireland versus being part of the UK loyalists versus Republics, Republicans. Different different definition of the word Republicans. Um, so those peace balls were put up because people were throwing rocks at each other and fighting each other. And, and when I saw them, I had total flashbacks to watching the news growing up in the eighties, and, and people throwing Molotov cocktails at each other. And, uh, and I totally remember them from the eighties. And these graffiti stained walls have been dividing Belfast for 50 years or so. Um, it’s kind, kind of amazing.
And, and we were talking about the, the, it’s, it’s called The Troubles, right? And it’s generational. It’s hundreds of years that these people have been fighting. One of, I didn’t realize it, you know, after watching Rob Roy as a kid, or when it came out and be visiting Dublin in 96. And you know, the way that, like, as an American, we revolted against England. And you know, the Scottish, if you watch Braveheart or, or Outlaw King, um, the Scottish, the Welsh, the Northern Irish Ireland still wants their, uh, independence from, from, from England. Um, but in Northern Ireland, there’s still, uh, proud British people that they’re people that, that, that believe themselves to be British. They’re part of the uk. Um, and they’re living among other people that are still want freedom. So it was amazing. So some towns we drove through, you’d see UK flags, right?
The Union Jack, I think it’s only called the Union Jack if it’s on a ship. But, uh, you’d see the, the UK flag, but in then other towns, you’d see the Irish flag or the Oldster flag, or the I r a flag. Um, so, so, so some of these towns were, um, were split. And that’s one of the reasons why Northern Ireland, I guess, stays in the UK because you had the, these loyalists that were there. Um, so the Peace Wall was, was, was pretty amazing to see in Belfast. Okay, now, that’s the next day. We’re on the, on the, uh, on the, uh, giants Causeway had a wonderful tour guide. His family has been touring the coast, being a tour guide for generations. Like his father was a tour guide, his grandfather was a tour guide, and he’s talking about other industry that was there from fishing and before fishing, uh, from, uh, salt collecting.
And, and he talked about industry there for like the last 500 years. And he’s, his family’s been there the entire time. So after the tour was over and we were just walking around a little bit, I asked him a question about, you know, I, I’m kind of political, and I asked him, uh, you know, let me ask, you know, all the argument between, you know, Republic versus versus Union. Um, does anybody ever get past that and get to like, the other political issues? Or is it just everything broken down on these sides? Is everything so entrenched on these sides? So he says to me, look, it’s not Catholic versus Protestant, and this is what’s been explained to me before, right? It’s not Catholic versus Protestant, it’s, it’s, it’s, you know, I a free Ireland versus being part of the uk. It’s, um, it’s just that, you know, the Catholics were, were, were, were not the English, right? The Catholics were there, the English were Church of England, right? He goes, but, so I thought he was going there. I thought he was going, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s being part of the union versus being part of Republic. But, but that’s where I thought he was going. But then he says, no, it’s about, do you want to be the subject of a king or do you wanna be a free man?
And I’m, and, and he, and he said it like, so, like, sounded like William Wallace and Braveheart, right? It sounded like William Neeson and Rob Roy. And I’m like, oh, this guy is so Ira, like, he must have killed people. He’s been fighting, he’s been fighting this war. His, his family’s been fighting the, the English for hundreds of years up here on this coast. Um, you know, a subject of the king or a free man. It’s, uh, it’s pretty entrenched. I mean, this is, uh, this is not an issue that’s going to be solved, uh, anytime soon. Um, but, uh, but yeah, it’s, it’s kinda, it’s kinda crazy. I think my personal opinion is since September 11th, there haven’t been a lot of I r a bombings. Like, like the growing up in the eighties, you, you’d hear about them. Um, but I think they realized after September 11th that civilians are off limits, right?
If, if the I r A blows up a train station in England today and kills women and children, like no one’s gonna stand for that anymore. Um, so I think that a lot of the violence is going to have to die down, but I don’t think that the issue is gonna settle anytime soon. Um, we then had lunch after the Giants Crossway. We had lunch at up Bush Mills in. So the itinerary says after lunch that you would have the afternoon on your own to explore the village of Bushmills. So, going into the trip, I had reached out to Bushmills Distillery to see if Bush, they did tours. ’cause not that I drink a lot of whiskey or even fan of Bushmills, but I’ve heard of it, right? If you had to name an Irish whiskey, it’s Bushmills or Jameson. Um, so on the first day of the trip, I, I asked the tour guides.
I said, Hey, um, when, when we are, when we have time on our own in Bushmills Village, do you think we have enough time to go to the Bushmills Distillery? And the tour guides say, oh no. After lunch, we’re getting right back on the bus and going back to the hotel. They didn’t even know that free time in Bushmills was part of the itinerary. So I showed ’em the itinerary. It’s clearly there, but lemme tell you something, by day four, it wasn’t on the internet anymore. And I’ve never seen adventures by Disney make it change like that. So maybe my paperwork was old, maybe like when I booked it, maybe I printed out the itinerary when I booked the trip, but maybe in response to what I said, they took it off the itinerary. I don’t know. Um, so we get back to the hotel and I’m like, you know, that was a really long day.
And there was one bathroom break on the way to the Giants Causeway, and it was a cute little, um, place where they had filmed a, a scene in Game of Thrones. So it was fun to look around, but it was really just a bathroom break. You know, if someone was in Ireland, either in Dublin or Belfast and booked a trip to the Giants Causeway, there’s other stops to be made other on that scenic road. There’s castles to explore and other places to go. So I think that day needed to be changed because we went for three hours on a scenic bus ride, and everybody basically slept through it. Like, it was nice. It was cool to see, but I’d rather do, do anything else. Um, and I think if they would’ve, they could have justified the scenic, the scenic route, had they, they stopped at one of these castles or whatnot.
Um, and then I think after the lunch, they should have done the bushmills, um, whiskey visit ’cause it’s much more famous, um, brand. And then they could have freed up that time in Dublin. Remember I told you on, on day one, on day two in Dublin, they went to this random, uh, whiskey distillery, which it was a nice tour. It was, I really enjoyed the tour, and it was a really nice place, but free up time in Dublin to do something else, Dublin e and then in the village of Bush Mills go to a very famous distillery. I think it would’ve been a better use of our time, because otherwise day four was literally just the Giants Cosby and back on a long day. And it shouldn’t have been that long. ’cause we went, we drove three hours for no good reason. Um, so I think, I think day four could have been adjusted, uh, a little bit better to, to, to have been a better tour, um, with one or two castle stops and that distillery stop.
Um, but I didn’t really say anything or cause pain in myself because I didn’t wanna get myself in trouble with the tour guides. And plus they’re not gonna listen to me anyway. And who am I? Right? Just, I’m just along for the ride. Dinner was on our own, but I did not want to go into Belfast, um, and come back just to have dinner. So we had dinner at the pub, at the hotel, uh, especially since the, the next day. I think we left at like six in the morning. So I was not, uh, keen on, uh, staying up late. Why we had to wake up so early because we were leaving Belfast to go to Scotland. Uh, so we left early and our bus went, drove right onto the ferry, uh, the ferry to take us across the English Channel from Ireland to Scotland.
Uh, it was a really cool ferry. I had, um, booked on the side. I booked a couple of the, um, premium lounges. Uh, so we all got on to the ferry. Uh, we all had breakfast. We went straight to the breakfast room because we knew it would, I knew it would be crowded. And so I, and, and eventually by Disney gave us, um, certificates for breakfast. So I, I, can I tell you how much I love English breakfast? I mean, we were in Ireland the whole time, so Irish breakfast, but the baked beans and the eggs and the, and the bacon and, oh, I, I don’t like the tomatoes, mushrooms or blood pudding, but I had some good breakfasts, <laugh> in Ireland, and then in, in the rest of the trips. So, um, they had some potatoes, scones, uh, good breakfast on the ferry. Ferry was a lot of fun.
And then, uh, we get off the ferry. All right. So you see, I, I don’t like to be a complainer, but, you know, we drove for a little while and, and then we had a bathroom break. So we had a bathroom break at the Robert Burns Memorial. Um, Robert Burns is a very famous poet. Uh, he wrote old Lang Z that we sing on New Year’s Eve for some reason. Um, but we didn’t go into the memorial, like there’s a museum. We didn’t go into the museum, we just used it as a bathroom break. Uh, there was a playground, playground outside, and then there was a monument, um, for his birthplace, but it was like 300 yards away, and we didn’t have enough time to go there. So I think they could have added 15 minutes to that rest stop. And because Eventually’s by Disney, one of the things that’s good, good about it is that there’s two guides, uh, talk family and other competitors only have one guide.
So when there’s two guides, they could have like one take the kids on a junior adventures trip and one take the adults. And that would’ve been a good opportunity to spend 15 minutes, take the kids to that playground, and then take the adults over to the memorial. Everybody could take a little picture, but we just used it as a bathroom break and continued on to Glasgow. When we got to Glasgow, we went to the National Piping Center, and it was really cool, if you like bagpipe music, there was a woman outside playing the bagpipes, and she was amazing. Then we go inside and we saw the history of bagpipes. We all got to play the bagpipes. I have to tell you, I I have a video you could ask Lindsay. Uh, and I don’t think we put it on TikTok. I should put it on my TikTok.
I have a video. I killed it. You know, I’ve always heard Roddy Piper talk about, you know, picking up the bagpipes at six years old, teaching himself and winning awards, uh, by age nine, I, I’m pretty sure I could have done the same thing. I picked that thing up and I played the shit out of it. I’m pretty sure I was probably of the 30 of us, I probably, it was at least the second or third best. But the, the people that wore better than me, uh, did play, uh, uh, instruments. I, I don’t play an instrument, so I was just a natural bagpiper, and it was really, really, really fun. And then I tried to talk to the lady, the lady was a bagpipe, uh, teacher. Um, she was really, really good. And I talked to her about Roddy Piper, but she did not know who Rowdy Roddy Piper was.
So I try to mansplain routed Piper to the teacher at the National Bagpipe Center in Glasgow. And I’m so glad Lindsey wasn’t around to see, see or hear me do that. And I’m so glad she does not listen to the podcast to hear me talk about that now. And then we had a very nice lunch at a restaurant called Piper’s Trist in Glasgow. But, um, Piper’s, ’cause Tris was closed. I think we went somewhere else. So that was Glasgow with the Piping Center and lunch. And then we drove to Edinburgh. We had a nice dinner in Edinburgh. Um, the next morning we went to, uh, visit the Royal Yacht Britannia, that we had amazing breakfast at the hotel, the Intercontinental Edinburgh at George. It’s on George Street. Uh, we went to the Royal Yacht Britannia, which is, uh, queen Elizabeth’s yacht. Um, I had not, uh, been there, um, when I was in Edinburgh in 1996.
It was still her yacht. They had not turned it into a museum. Um, and if anybody watched The Crown, it was an amazing episode about the yacht. Uh, so I’m glad I watched The Crown. So I knew about the yacht. Um, but what was most amazing about going through it, uh, was, um, all the pictures, family pictures, um, and there were pictures of Charles and Diana and the kids. Uh, so loved going through the yacht, seeing the pictures. We had tea and spoons on the yacht. Uh, we were not able to go to Hollywood House, um, because King Charles was there. Um, so he was using his official residence. So we were not able to go through. Uh, so we just, uh, we did a walking tour of Edinburgh. Then we went into this, uh, the, the Gray Fires Cemetery, which is famous for, um, JK Rowling.
Uh, she lives for a long time in Edinburgh. And, uh, she got a lot of names from the cemetery that she used for characters in the books like Mrs. McGonigle and Tom Riddle. Uh, the line for pictures at Tom Riddle’s grave was very long feel bad for the real Tom Riddle, <laugh> TAUs trampling over his grave all day and night. Um, then we had lunch on our own in Edinburgh. Uh, Lindsay picked a fantastic restaurant. Uh, we toured Edinburgh Castle, which was fascinating to me. Uh, we had dinner on our own. I think that was the night we met up with my friend Gav. Shout out to Gav. He came in for, from about an hour outside of Edinburgh to have, uh, dinner with me. And Wendy and Lindsay. Um, uh, Gav has been on the Real Estate Funder podcast. Uh, I don’t remember what episode.
I’m gonna go look it up. Uh, he was, he, he, he did the, he did the podcast. He was, we were talking about, uh, cryptocurrencies. Uh, I met Gav, um, survivor series in Brooklyn. And, uh, and we’ve stayed in touch ever since. Um, so, uh, yeah. So that was, that was, that was nice in day in Edinburgh. So the second day in Edinburgh, we left Edinburgh to go to Flores Castle, which was the home of the Duke of Roxborough. I have no idea. I don’t know what a Duke was. I don’t know what the Duke of Roxbury was, and didn’t know what Floris Castle was, but it was really, really nice. We started in the gardens, um, and this was the 12th Duke of Roxbury. He, his father just passed away the 11th Duke of Roxbury, uh, just, just passed away. So, um, so, uh, so he was the 12th Duke of Roxbury.
And, um, basically owned, basically it’s a hedge fund. He owns apartments and farms, and he’s just making money off of his dukedom, which is like 6,000 acres. Um, and he has a bunch of rental apartments and farms that he owns and rents out. And, uh, yeah. So, um, so that was the, uh, and we spent the whole day there. It was a really nice castle. They say castle. It’s really a, it’s bigger than a house. It’s probably a palace. It’s not technically a castle, but it’s a nice museum. Uh, very interesting, right? If you think about estate taxes, um, you know, and, and the US and like England, it’s like 50%, right? Like half your state. Uh, so you have to do things to, you know, like, well, how do you inherit, like, this guy just inherited this whole castle. How do you inherit this thing?
Then you have to pay a lot of taxes. Well, if part of the estate is open to the public and you have tours, then it’s not count counted in your estate because it’s like a public amenity. You know, Lindsay asked me like, why does this guy let us in his house? But yeah, that’s why, because <laugh>, it’s not counted in his estate for estate tax purposes, but it was a fun day. We, um, we met with his, we had tea with his butler. We met with his chef and made cookies. My cookies had way too much cinnamon in them. I don’t think I could ever eat cinnamon again. Um, and, and the chef really helped me a lot. And they were still, uh, terrible. And then, uh, then met to Scotland our last day in Scotland. Um, and then on day eight, we took the train to London.
Uh, that was fun. It was a long train ride. Uh, but it was nice to look out at the windows and stuff. It was more enjoyable than the bus tour. Had a nice breakfast on the train. Uh, I will say, say the day we got to Edinburgh, um, WWE was having money in the bank in London, so I was in Edinburgh, but while money in the bank was in London, so that kind of sucked. Uh, so we took the train to London, we got to the hotel. We had afternoon tea. We went on a high speed boat ride on the tha And, uh, that was fantastic. I really enjoyed it. Uh, and then, um, Wendy and I and Lindsay went to see the Broadway musical six. Uh, i, I call six the English version of Hamilton. Um, it’s the Six Wives of Henry viii. And it’s basically, they’re doing a concert.
They’re kinda like the Spice Girls, I guess. And they each sing, uh, and plead their case, right? Why, why they had it the worst <laugh>. But it’s like, but it feels like a modern concert. And it’s really, really a great show. And it was only like an hour and 20 minutes, and I slept through an hour and 19 minutes of it. But it was a fantastic show. I highly recommend it. I’ve never seen a Broadway show that short. Um, I do wanna see it again because kind of slept through it. But it was enjoyable. And, uh, it was nice to see it. And it got Lindsay interested in history. Uh, and, you know, of the few, few nights in London that we had, I wanted to do that one first because the next morning we went to the Tower of London, where some of the characters from six were imprisoned or beheaded.
So I think it was very interesting for Lindsay, um, to, um, to hear the stories of, and Boy Lynn, after seeing a musical about Catherine of Aragon. So that was a lot of fun. I’m glad we did that. Um, what was am what’s amazing about Adventures by Disney is, I mean, we got the Tower of London, like before it opened, we had a private tour. We had a private tour with Crown Jewels. It was amazing if we had to see it like with crowds. ’cause by the time we left, it was crowded. Um, it was, um, not the same. And, you know, we, we, we, we talked to this one beef eater, he showed us around. And it was just really amazing to go through the tar of London and to go through the Crown rules, uh, unhurried and Uncrowded. Really not something you could do on your own.
Uh, it was probably my fourth time at the Tower of London. It’s the first time it made sense to me, especially after the Edinburgh castle, um, with what it was and, and how it was, why, why it existed. And basically, in a nutshell, if I have to met Matt Sain, the Tower of London, uh, in 10 66, William the Conqueror started England. Um, right, that’s the 10 60. Uh, London was a Roman town, so it predated William the Conqueror in 10 66. But William the Conqueror built the Tower of London and established himself as King of England in 10 66. And the Tower of London was his castle. Um, to me, I get caught up on names, the Tower of London. Is it a tower? Like Lean Tower of Peace is a tower. The Tower of London’s, the name of the entire complex. It’s the name of the entire castle.
Um, and I really saw it as a castle of this trip, um, especially being unhurried and having this beef eater. Whereas last time I went, it was with the kids in 2012, and they were little and whatever. Um, so, so yeah, I really, I really saw the castle for what it was. Understood it. Um, there were some of those, uh, you know, the guards that are like in front of Buckingham Palace, but you get really, really close to them. I, I wish I would’ve taken a picture. ’cause the buck and Palace ones, you can’t get that close to anymore. So if you go to Tower of London, that’s the, my, my tip is, uh, take a picture with the, the guard in the, the, the big furry hat in front of the crown jewels. Crown jewels were amazing. I’m a big nerd about, uh, and especially after the Carnation that we just witnessed with King Charles.
Um, and seeing some of those crown jewels and learning about them was fantastic. Uh, then we did a tour of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Um, we had lunch in a pub, right on Trafalgar Square. It was the Admiralty or Admiral’s Pub, right on Trafalgar Square. Took a little walk, took oh, so very few people went to the Buckingham Palace photo stop. That’s what it said on itinerary, Buckingham Foot Palace photo stop. Um, but we walked to the Buckingham Palace, and Wendy and I explored on our own. And all of a sudden, this police motorcade passes us. And I take pictures, got pictures on my phone, videotaping. I slowed down, I zoom in, and we saw Prince Edward, the Duke of York. I mean, he went by us a hundred miles an hour in his motorcade. But I got a picture. So that’s, so if you ask me about the time I met Prince Edward, that’s the time I met Prince Edward.
I, I come back to the group, I’m like, I just met Prince Edward. Show him the picture. Uh, but I’m not in the picture. Uh, so that was a lot of fun. And then I googled it and I found out, like there was, um, the, the, he was meeting with some governmental organization, like the 75th anniversary of the, of the National Institute of Health and that. So I, I googled Prince Edward and figured out what, what he was doing that day and where he was going on his, uh, on his, um, on his trip. And so that was, um, the Farewell Dinner. That was our last day. That was day, uh, day nine, farewell dinner at the hotel. Uh, we stayed in London one extra day. Um, I <laugh>, I went to Hart’s. I was there from 10 to four. I was there for like six or seven hours, 15,000 steps.
I didn’t buy anything. Um, and I still felt rushed. I still felt when I left I wanted to leave. But I, I, I just, I love exploring Hart’s. It’s such an amazing place. And then we had dinner, uh, with our friends, um, Amy and Mark that we met at WrestleMania a couple years ago. They were on their honeymoon, so we had dinner. Uh, Lindsay picked a nice little place, um, and it was nice to see Amy and Mark. Um, and then we left London the next day, and we went to Disneyland, Paris. So obviously that’s the end of our adventures by Disney, uh, adventures side by Disney. They did, usually they include a, a trip to the, um, to the airport. So they did take us to the train station China side. Right now, if I wanna talk about Disneyland, Paris, or, um, end the episode here and start the new episode, uh, I think I will do that.
I think I’m gonna end the episode here. I will come back later for an episode about our trip to Disneyland Paris. Oh, one more thing. Um, I said, I mentioned that Lindsay likes to pick out the restaurants. She took us to the Department of Magic, where, um, it was like, almost like a fake Harry Potter thing place. Like, you know, they had like, it looked like Harry Potter, but it didn’t say Harry Potter, but it was a fun little tavern. And, um, everything that you ordered was spells. So we, we had two rounds of drinks at the Department of Magic. One was like shots, but they came out of a chest and they were all smoky. And the other was potions. And they, they bring you the potions and the beakers and everything. And you, you, you assemble it yourself. And they smoke. And, um, part of the potion spell, like, at one point I had to dance around the room to make the potion work.
And oh, and I danced. Um, so it, it was fun. So if you’re in Edinburgh, definitely check out the Department of Magic. After the Department of Magic, we went to Bley Balderson. So Bley Balderson is a nightclub that is like a ball pit. Imagine like the Chuck e cheese ball pit. All the ball pits, all the balls are white or clear or something. So we went to this bowl, ballers some nightclub ball pit, and had a slide from the second floor down to the main floor. We didn’t stay very long. It was super, super awkward to be at a ball pit nightclub with my wife and teenage daughter. Uh, so, um, but, but if you find yourself in Edinburgh, definitely check out Department of Magic. Definitely check out bowl ballers. And Lindsay and I found some nice bars and pubs, um, and some late nights in, in Edinburgh.
So that was a lot of fun. Uh, where, where else do we eat in London? Oh, in London. We eat at, um, Ave Mario, uh, part of the Big Mama group. That was fantastic. So thank you for joining me on the Matthew Mania podcast. If you listened to this, please let me know. And I, I will collect the names of anyone who listened to this podcast and enter you into a contest to win a Matthew Mania podcast t-shirt. But I don’t think anyone’s listening, so I challenge you. All right. Uh, Matthew Matthew Mania podcast, real estate finder podcast, Bo Ratton Championship wrestling out
Speaker 3:
The future looks bright, and the storms pass by the sky’s dog. Blue. When it’s almost that time, light shows cameras flash When I pass living in the moment, forget about the past. They saved the best for last. Matthew Mania. We about to make a splash. Life is a marathon full of sharp turns, gotta keep pace while the hands on the clock turns high stakes. Five star running. I run a show. You could tell the boss in place electricity energy. If I brake, I’m always on time. Even if I’m late life real.
Speaker 4:
You know, it’s, you know, you know it, you know it, you know it. You know what, what? You know what? You know what, what? You know what it,
Speaker 3:
You know what? It’s, you know whose time it’s, you know what time? It’s Matthew Mania. The time. You know what time it’s, you know whose time it’s, you know what time? It’s man time. Yeah. Got him shook scared. Look, we’re not afraid of a big bad wolf.