Ireland Day 2 – Blarney!

What a difference a night’s worth of sleep can make – after only getting 7 hours in nearly three days, we all slept off the long Saturday and got rested up for our big day.

We started out day heading south east to Killaloe and checked out a farmer’s market, where we picked up some cheese, bread and I couldn’t resist stocking up from an olive merchant.



Killaloe has a beautiful old arching bridge over River Shannon. We drove over it to make our way down to Blarney, home of Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone.


We climbed up to the top of the castle, up a very narrow staircase, to reach the Blarney Stone.



To kiss the stone, you need to lay on your back, then grab two bars as the attendant lowers you faced-down onto the stone.  You don’t want to look down and see the clear image of the ground below.


It has been said that those who kiss the stone are blessed with the “Gift of Gab”, or eloquence.  You’ll have to let me know if you see a difference!

Later on I’ll post my pictures of us going through the castle, stopping by a few rooms on our way down.  We then toured the grounds of the castle, including the Poison Garden:


It was crazy seeing some of the plans in there, some of which had cages around them to keep people out:


We built up an appetite walking the grounds and stopped for a snack at a place called The Lemon Tree.  We then made our way to the Blarney Woolen Mills to do some shopping. Bethany and I didn’t end up buying anything, but I was definitely tempted…


We then drove up to Limerick and had dinner at Dolan’s Pub, and of course had our daily fix of Guinness.  The GPS took us on a very narrow road home, where most of it was pretty much one lane.  We made it back safely and had a nice evening playing Phase 10.

Day 2 is in the books! We are heading out the door to go start Day 3!

Ireland Day 1 Pictures

Not very many pictures from the first day, but I wanted to share with you the views of where we’re staying:


This was view from the street in Ennis – pretty much all of the roads in these towns are this narrow.


Our cottage in a golf village by Bodyke. There are two bed rooms inside, two bathrooms and two levels.


The outside of our cottage, I love the rolling hills.


Of course you can’t let a day in Ireland go by without enjoying some Guinness!


Day 2 pictures will be on their way later!

In Ireland!

We have arrived in Ireland!  After leaving Colorado on a 7:45am flight, we finally arrived in Shannon, Ireland at 7am the next morning! We took three flights to get here: Denver to Chicago Midway, Chicago to Newark and finally the international overnight flight to Shannon.  Our second leg of our journey was pretty stressful, as everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. We originally had a 3.5 hour layover between the 2nd & 3rd flights, but that soon dwindled down to barely enough time to get on the third flight. First they delayed out flight to Newark by 50 minutes, we then spent an extensive amount of time taxi-ing before we took off. While we were in the air, the flight went well. The flight itself featured WiFi, which was pretty fun to use at 35,000 feet. However, when we landed the jetway that was supposed to let us off our plane apparently broke, and we had to be towed over to another gate.  Throughout this time Bethany and I were sweating bullets, watching the clock tick and knowing we still had to get off this flight, retrieve our bags and then turn around and check-in on our flight to Shannon.  Luckily with a little running, we made it in time.  Our flight to Shannon was very enjoyable, as Bethany and I had a row to ourselves and got to spread out.  The flight itself was almost 7 hours, but then you add on 5 hours of time-change which made it 7am when we arrived.

Most of our Saturday was spent lying low and getting settled.  We got into our cottage with no problem.  We’re staying at a Golf Village near the town of Bodyke.  We then drove out to Ennis where we got some phone service for our international phones and enjoyed a cup of coffee and peach ice tea at a coffee shop out here. I am blown away at the kindness and generosity of the people here. When we parked in Ennis we were in a “pay & display” lot, and some departing people offered us their parking ticket so we could park free for an hour!  We also bought some groceries for breakfast  &lunches for the next few days, and then stopped at a farmers market in Scarriff before we headed back home.

The roads here are something else. Like England, people in Ireland drive on the left side of the road.  Also I’m not sure how England is, but the roads here in Ireland are very narrow.  When come from the town of Bodyke over to our cottage, the road is one-laned.  However, the shrubbery is so grown that there really aren’t any pull-offs when you see another car driving. The road curves so much that it’s made for a few close calls as we drive down that road.

We went to this pub called Pepper’s Bar and ended up riding over in a shuttle with an Australian couple that has been traveling around the world for 6 weeks.  We ended up sitting with them for dinner and enjoying some good conversation and of course some Guinness as well.  By the time we headed back to our cottage at 8:30pm we figured that it would be late enough where we could fall asleep without ruining our jet-lag.  We ended up sleeping nearly 13 hours.

We’re out the door for Day 2, so a recap & more pictures will come later!

Help (and luck) of the Irish Needed


I would love some help from my well-traveled friends! In less than two weeks Bethany and I will be boarding a plane to fly across the pond and journey to Ireland for 12 days.  I am so excited in many different ways, particularly because this is the first time I’ve been out of the country longer than a day. 

We have been planning this trip for nearly two years in terms of budgeting and logistics, and while we’ve tried to do our due-diligence with research I’m we’re still afraid that we might miss something that we’ll regret not seeing.

This is where I need help from my well-traveled or Irish friends: What should we do in Ireland? We want to make sure when we come back and tell people about our trip, people can’t say “I can’t believe you went to Ireland and didn’t go there or see that!”

We’re going to be flying into Shannon and staying slightly north west of there.  We do plan on going to Dublin for a few days, but will be mainly based along the western side of the country.

I would love for you to share me any advice you may have, either in the comments here or on Facebook. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me!