I love to travel, but I also love to be at home cuddled up with my husband. One of my favorite vacation destinations was to Ireland. I have never shared so much detail of my trip before! I am excited to give you my favorite parts of the trip.
Ireland is a beautiful country! Anthony and I have decided that we will be going back some day.
This trip we traveled with Anthony's parents - Bill and Janell, his older sister and her husband- Sarah and Michael, and his younger sister- Jill. I will try be specific what groups did which activities together!
After everyone landed in Dublin, we found each other in the airport to get through customs together. We made it out of the airport to the car rental center. At first we were going to try all fit in a 7 passenger van, but with all of our luggage there was no way we were going to fit everything in there. We had to upgrade to a 9 passenger van!
Bill did a great job driving a manual, on the "wrong" side of the road around the country while we were there! We drove from Dublin, across the country to Galway. It was a beautiful drive (from what I saw, I may have slept a little).
We checked into our cute Air B&B when we arrived to Galway and picked out bedrooms. By the time we got to Galway we were very hungry. So we went for fish and chips at a local pub, and then found a good bar for an Irish beer.
After our first Irish beverage us ladies decided to go out and go shopping! I found my souvenir ring. I always get a ring from every place that I travel, and then we bought groceries!
The second day in Galway led us ladies to Ard Bio for brunch in the morning. It was one of the cutest little eateries that I have ever been to. They had extremely delicious food!
My favorite part of the whole trip was the 90 minute walking tour we did of Galway. It was so fun to hear all about the history, while taking in the beautiful views of the city. I learned so many interesting tad-bits that I never would have known otherwise! If you go to Galway- I highly recommend it!
We found from asking locals that "Quay Street" is what we would call the "main drag" of Galway. We found a pub to have some drinks at before supper. After awhile the ladies again left the boys to drink, and we went shopping and touring. During our own little town we walked across the bridge in Galway to the Claddagh side and to the beaches.
For supper that night Sarah had made us reservations to a world renowned place called Moran's Oyster Cottage. They are known for their fresh sea-food! Boy did it live up to it's hype! We ended up staying there eating and drinking for over three hours before driving back to the Air B&B.
This day was our adventure day. We headed from Galway to Doolin, with our end goal to end up at the Aran Islands for a tour.
The roads to Doolin were extremely windy and narrow. Two cars could barely fit on the road at one time because they were so narrow.
Once in Doolin we boarded the ferry to the Aran Islands. We ended up touring the largest of the Aran Islands. The ferry ride was an hour and a half long. I really loved the "American Bar" place we ate lunch at, and found the tour of the island extremely educational!
We hiked up a long trail to get to look over the side of the island. Anthony kept making me nervous with how close he was getting to the edge.
We also toured the Cliffs of Moher this day! It had such beautiful views!! I highly recommend going here, looking at the museum and doing a little bit of hiking around the cliffs.
This day we headed from Galway to Kenmare in the south part of Ireland.
We stopped for lunch at a castle called Dromoland. Dromoland is currently a five star hotel where people stay! The staff put together a picnic lunch for us and drove us to the rose garden. It was absolutely beautiful.
After dinner (the noon meal) we went and explored the grounds and got some gorgeous pictures.
We just stuck around the Air B&B (which was gorgeous btw) in the morning. My sister-in-law, Sarah finds the best places to stay!!
For lunch we went to a restaurant called P.F.'s. It was extremely delicious food, like everywhere else we had eaten. ;)
The boys decided to pub crawl and us ladies hit the cute little shops along the main drag. We picked one of the pubs for supper and listened to a man play guitar and sing. After awhile another man joined in the playing with his harmonica, and two others came to join in on the singing. There were people dancing as well! It was quite a lively bunch. We stayed until the bar closed and headed home for the night.
This day Anthony and I decided to have our own adventure around Kenmare. His parents, Sarah and Michael and Jill all drove about an hour to the Killearny National Park and the Muckross House. They ended up hiking and watching some sheep herding.
Anthony and I went to a pub called the Atlantic for dinner and had a couple beers. At the Atlantic there were hardly any tourists besides us, so it was fun to listen to the locals all talk to each other.
After dinner we did a self-guided walking tour of Kenmare. We went to "Our Lady's Well" dedicated to Queen Mary, and we also went to Cromwell's bridge. Then we went through a forrest and walked to the pier. It was quite a ways so that took most of the afternoon.
By the time we got back to Kenmare we were ready for a couple more drinks! We went pub crawling until the rest of the family met us at a restaurant for supper.
We headed to this pub called "Crawly's" after supper. About 9:30pm a husband and wife duo started playing guitar and singing. It was very good music and in a very, VERY small space.
We headed to Dublin this day! On our way there we stopped at a tourist spot called "Cashell". It had been given to the Catholic Church in the 1700's and had been a kind of seminary for priests for awhile. All that survived during one of the wars was the dormitory they had turned into a museum. There were also portions of other buildings including: a round tower, a cathedral, and a still-working graveyard.
Upon return to Dublin we returned the rental car and checked into our hotel. The pub we found to eat in a few blocks from our hotel was four stories high, but very narrow.
This was an early night for everyone.
On this day in Ireland, we went on a 2.5 walking tour of Dublin. This was my second favorite part of the trip. There is so much history in Dublin, it's so cool to learn all about it!
I didn't even notice that it went so long because I was having so much fun. I didn't want it to end!
For supper went to a very fancy wine bar and ate in the cellar. It was very cool and quite delicious food!
After supper Janell, Sarah, Michael, Anthony and I went to a pub that was five stories high. We went up on the rooftop bar when it opened. It must have been 70's night because there were people dressed like the 70's and 70's music was playing. We didn't quite fit in.
We found this pub that had live music and the guitarist, fiddler, and drummer were in this tiny basement. It was like a mosh-pit down there! They were extremely good musicians.
This was our last day in Ireland before we made the trek home. We all had brunch together and then went our separate ways. Anthony, Bill, Janell and I went to the Guinness brewery.
We could have spent all day there! There were so many cool things to read about and see. We even learned how to pour the perfect glass of Guinness!
The end of the tour of the factory ended with everyone able to drink a Guinness on the overlook of the city of Dublin. It was gorgeous up there. The whole room was just windows, with a bar in the middle of the room.
We headed back to the U.S.! Everyone was sad to leave Ireland, but ready to get home to our own beds.
We had such a great time tour an awesome, friendly country! We never met one mean person.
Tell me about your favorite vacation out of country or stateside! I would love to hear about it!