Last month, my husband and I went on a trip to Ireland and I haven’t had the opportunity to write about it until now. I’m going to reach deep into the depths of my memory to try and recall the best moments of the trip for a brief retelling of the adventure that was, right here on my lifestyle blog.
The flight was long. Seven hours long. Seven hours cramped. Seven hours anxious. We left at 5:00PM our time and arrived on the shores of the emerald isle at 10:30AM (the next day) their time. We then proceeded to stay awake until 8:00PM their time (which, by the way, would have been equivalent to 3:00PM our time). We were exhausted, to say the least. But, just as someone had informed us prior to our trip, staying awake until the first night helped us to avoid the dreaded jet lag. Hurray!
We spent our first day exploring the city of Dublin, making stops at a little pub we stumbled upon, called Girl and Goose, where we ate our first Irish meal (he had bangerz and mash while I cozied up with a shepherd’s pie) and a couple of brews; the Trinity College where we feasted our eyes on the famed Book of Kells, a centuries old library, and the college gift shop; and finally, a little pub called O’Donoghue’s as was recommended to us by a friend. My favorite part of the day (besides finally going to sleep for a solid 10 hours) was walking around the city with my husband (each of us with a DSLR in tote) and snapping photos of absolutely everything.
On the second day, the tour finally began. In the morning, we had time to go to the Guinness store house before making our first official stop with the tour at the Dublin Castle, which honestly, I was less than impressed with (my expectations were geared toward a little something different, so that may be why). After touring the castle, we made our way back to the hotel for a drink with the tour group and guide, and I had the most amazing cider I have ever had in my life. It was called Orchard Thieves, and sadly, it does not exist in the United States. Following our Hotel Drink, we went to eat at a very touristy restaurant called the Merry Ploughboy, where we ate delicious food, drank Irish Coffees and watched traditional Irish performances in song and dance. It was glorious.
The next day we got an early start to begin our bus trip to the next location, the Blarney Castle, where yes, we kissed the Blarney Stone (also known as the kissing stone). This was one of our favorite locations. It was absolutely gorgeous. Green grass, beautiful trees, random caves, an ancient castle and an experience that we will never forget.
After about 3 hours of roaming the castle and the grounds, we ate lunch at a restaurant across the street, and then made our way to our next hotel. I don’t quite remember what we did this night. I think we went to a pub called the Shire, which is meant to be a Lord of the Rings themed pub, but it was mostly disappointing. After that, we had dinner at the hotel and mingled with some of our tour buddies, and then made our way out for some beers at the pubs.
On the fourth day, again we got up early for a ride on the bus through the Ring of Kerry. This was a drive that brought us to several viewing points for sightseeing, photo taking, and learning. We also stopped at a sheep farm where we saw a demonstration of how the sheep dog’s herd the animals. This was Earle’s favorite part of the trip.
That night, Earle and I found an excellent Italian restaurant where we ate amazing pasta dishes, and then we turned in early. I think.
On our last full day, we did plenty more sightseeing, making visits to the Cliff of Moher which was an incredible place – probably our most favorite location of all; a look out point where we could view the Island where the latest Star Wars movie ending was filmed (9 miles off the coast of Ireland); and a few other sightseeing locations.
That night we ate dinner in a real castle that was centuries old (with the necessary renovations to keep us and other guests comfortable of course). It was amazing. Probably my favorite experience in the whole trip. We ate a medieval style feast in a banquet hall, enjoyed quality entertainment (including a surprise part played by my own husband), and experienced what it might have been like to be alive in during that time period. It was just the coolest thing ever. Following the banquet, we went to a bar that was, at one point in time, a brothel, and enjoyed a night of drinking, talking, singing and exchanging information with our new friends.
The next morning, we got up extremely early to begin our long journey back to the US. We were sad to say goodbye to our Irish adventure, but we were glad to be headed home.