Tag Archives: Ireland Trip

Ireland: The End


Sorry to have left everyone hanging. I had intended on writing the last blog post in the airport, but there was an incident with a lost passport and a long, very stressful, wait in the preadmittance/customs area and then a mad dash to a plane that had been held just for us. So…no last day post.

But not to worry! I have woken up at the ridiculous hour of 3a, and can now conclude our adventures.

The day before we headed out, we headed back to Howth and the King Sitric. Since the family had travel problems on the way out, we wanted to be closer. And besides that, Kyle and I had loved it there.

Unfortunately, it looked like this:


Which, really, doesn’t look all that different. But it was! So cold. And rainy. 

After a lovely lunch at Cafe East, Kyle took Mom, Larry and Grandma into Dublin on the train so they could see a bit of the city. I don’t think it was their favorite part of the trip, but they were good sports like always. Unfortunately, I stayed behind to get some things done, so I don’t have any pictures of those adventures.




Kyle with his Guinness (and new Irish wool sweater!) at Cafe East. 



Cafe East. Isn’t it darling?

When they came back we had a lovely dinner at the Abbey Tavern, because apparently we really like our vacations to come around full circle.

And then we came home. Which was eventful, but turned out well. All safe and sound, ready to enjoy the Memorial Day weekend.


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Ireland: Day 8


Bunratty castle.

Yesterday was perhaps our most touristy day, but still a lot of fun. We headed over to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. The castle’s construction was begun in the 1400, abandoned in the 1700 and restored and opened for tourists in 1960. It was pretty great, though the tight winding stone stairways were a bit much for me. Still, worth the view perhaps?


I was particularly smitten with the folk park, which was a collection of cottages and buildings, usually brought in from nearby in the county. There were also a lot of animals and a very few people dressed up in “period” peasant garb.


Kyle fell in love with these beasts.


And I fell in love with this charming coral cottage, fitted in the regency period. If I ever get my little farm, this is going on it…

In the evening, after short naps at home, we headed back to Bunratty for their Traditional Irish Night, which was very, very touristy, but still nice. There was lots of food and drink, singing and dancing and even a little but of Yeats reads. I think this was probably Larry’s favorite day of the lot.


Dinner in the corn barn.


Today we head back to Howth, so we’re closer to the airport on Saturday and so that Mom, Grandma and Larry can explore Dublin a bit. This little trip is quickly coming to an end.

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Ireland: Day 7

How has it been a week already?

Yesterday we went to The Burren. A rocky, desolate place with some of the most interesting landscape I’ve ever seen. It also had the narrowest road we’ve been on yet!



A rainbow in the Burren.

After a quick stop at the visitor center to get an overview on how the Burren came to be and the complexity of its plantlife, we were off to the Allawee caves and birds of prey refuge.

While Grandma and Larry explored the cave, Kyle and I took a hawk walk. It. Was. Amazing. It was just the two of us, with a guide (who was funny and knowledgable), and two Harris Hawks– the only bird of prey who are social, living and hunting in packs.


Kyle and Al.

After the caves and birds, we headed back toward home, making a quick stop at the hole of sorrows, a 5000 year old tomb. Which, I apparently didn’t take a picture of with my phone, but here’s another of the Burren! The tomb is just out of frame behind Kyle. 🙂


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Ireland: Day 5



Day 5 of our Ireland trip has come and gone. In the morning we drove out to the Cliffs of Moher, which were amazing. It was a bit overcast and a bit chilly, but I thought it was perfect. If we could have, I would have stayed all day. Well, except for the bus loads of other tourists which were a bit much. But we stayed for a good long while, enjoying the seaside winds and the sounds of screeching gulls.

In the afternoon, we came back to home base and celebrated Mutti’s birthday with a delicious caramel and fudge cake. We then headed back out, into Ennis for a late dinner of pub food, beer and traditional Irish music. It was a lot of fun and we stayed out far longer than the pumpkins farmers amongst us normally do.

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Ireland: Day 3

Not much to share about day 3. It was mostly spent driving from Derry in Northern Ireland to our cottage in County Clare.

Before we left, we did get to see the wall around the city, which was cool.


An entrance to the walled city section of Derry.

And the Irish countryside was beautiful, full of lambs (and their mums) and cattle.

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Ireland: Day 2

So… A bit late, but day 2!


Pictures of flowers in the sunrise in Howth.

The rest off the group made it safely to Dublin this morning, only 26 hours and one million headaches later. While I must admit that our experience so far has been good, I will avoid flying US Airways at all costs in the future, just based only how badly they treated my family.

BUT, they’re here now and all is well. 

We began the day with a walk down the east pier to watch the sun rise, figuring we should take advantage of our only morning on the east coast. Along the way we saw beautiful flowers, a wee little lighthouse and, rather unexpectedly, a seal swimming in the sea.

We then had the most fantabulous breakfast. Seriously, I would have eaten 12 pieces if toast if given the option, the jams were so good. If you ever need a place to stay near Dublin: King Sitric’s.

Then we were off to rescue the fam from the evil airport and we began the day’s real adventures: a visit to Bru na Boinne and a drive through the country side.

Bru na Boinne is an ancient burial ground a bit outside of Dublin, even older than the pyramids. There are over 40 mounds in the area, though this one is the largest and most are quite small. Most interestingly (to me) they’re where the ideas of fairy mounds came from.



A replica of the entrance stone.


The entrance.


Kyle taking pictures of carvings in stone.

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