Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Our Irish Holiday: Part II

Hello! I hope everyone is having a wonderful Tuesday! Today was my first day of work at my new job! I really think it's going to be a great school year and I can't wait to meet the students tomorrow, especially my little guy!! 

Alright, so where did we leave off? Oh, that's right... my birthday! 

Day 3: Day 3 in Ireland happened to also be my 25th birthday! And what a great way to celebrate a quarter century of life! Not only did I get to explore another beautiful part of the country with my husband, but I also got 29 hours of birthday due to the five hour time difference from Ireland to the States! Score! 

Ryan and I woke up bright and early on the 26th at our bed and breakfast in Cork. When I got out of the shower, a birthday present and card magically appeared on our bed. I opened my presents (two new yoga tops and a beautiful garnet and diamond necklace) and we headed downstairs to a home cooked breakfast, made by our hostess, Catherine. 

Shortly after, we checked out of our bed and breakfast and began our drive to Glenbeigh, where we were going to be staying at Ryan's customer's cottage for the next three nights. On the way to Glenbeigh, we stopped at the Blarney Castle and house for a little tour.

We walked around the property for a little while before beginning our climb up 120 very narrow spiral stairs to the top of the castle only to lay down, hang our bodies off the side upside down, and kiss the Blarney stone! The stone is actually further down on the side than I expected and I totally thought I was going to slide right down the side of the castle!

Do you see those people on the ground below us- I told you we could have slid right down!! 

Afterwards, we planned on touring the Blarney House that was built later on in the 1800's, but the tours were guided only and left every thirty minutes since the house was actually lived in by the man who owns the entire property (castle included- talk about deep pockets). Since we didn't feel like waiting for the next tour, we just admired the mansion from the outside before heading out to continue our journey towards Glenbeigh.

We got hungry on our way to the cottage and decided to stop in Killarney for lunch and another little break from driving on those crazy small Irish streets! The town on Killarney was absolutely adorable and definitely one of my favorite towns that we were able to visit! We decided to eat lunch at Murphy's Pub and I'm so glad we did because they had cottage pie, which I had been dying to order since our arrival! After lunch, we scoured the town for a local bakery to pick up a couple pieces of birthday cake for later! We walked into three different places before finally grabbing a slice of black forest cake and triple chocolate cake to go. With cake in hand, we set off for the final leg of our journey up to the cottage! 

We followed the directions given to us by Ryan's customer to get to the correct cottage, but struggled a little bit finding the correct house. We ended up opening up the gate to a home we thought might be ours, walking up to the front door and searching for a key under the rug, all the while praying that if this wasn't our place, the residents would at least be friendly! Fortunately, we were in the right spot! The cottage had a gorgeous view and two donkeys on the property! 
Sorry Ryan- I had to! My three favorite asses! 
The view from our back door! 
After getting unpacked, we hopped back into the car to head into Glenbeigh's city center for dinner. The city center wasn't too far away from our cottage and we weren't quite hungry yet, so we took a little detour to explore Rossbeigh Point, a nearby peninsula looking out into the Dingle Peninsula. We spent a little time driving up and down a little mountain and taking in the views on the beach, before heading back in for dinner. 

The town of Glenbeigh had roughly TWO restaurants for us to choose from, but we ultimately decided to dine at the Towers Hotel Restaurant and Bar, where we split a couple of the house specials and took advantage of the free wifi to call our family back home. 

After dinner, we went back to the cottage to avoid driving around a new town in the dark, enjoyed some birthday cake and watched O' Brother, Where Art Thou? on VHS since Ryan had never seen it before! 

What a memorable birthday!!

Day 4: We woke up the next morning ready to get on a ferry and explore the Skellig Islands. Unfortunately, the weather had other plans for us. Because it was so windy and rainy, the ferry cancelled it's trips to and from the islands, leaving us with nothing planned for the day. On our way out of Killarney yesterday, we passed a bunch of signs for the Gap of Dunloe, which looked beautiful and intriguing to us so we decided to head back that way for the day. On our way out, we stopped in briefly at the Kerry Bog Village and Museum, which gave us a glimpse of what life was like for villagers in Kerry in the 1700's. It was really interesting to compare this village to the Pilgrim's village at Plymouth plantation.

When we got to the Gap, we tried to drive right past the horse and trap business on the property, but were stopped and told we HAD to either take a horse and trap or walk up the gap. We parked the car and waited a little bit, trying to decide what to do. Fortunately, it began to rain and the worker that stopped us disappeared inside so we quickly snuck by him in our car and headed up the gap!

I'm really glad we were able to drive because it was pretty rainy and windy and really wouldn't have been as much fun if we were on foot! We drove all the way to the top of the gap, stopping to hang out with some local sheep, before turning around and heading back down.

Since we were already halfway there, we decided to spend the rest of the day back in Killarney. We walked around for a while, exploring the town further before stopping for dinner at the Danny Mann Pub. Ryan got the Irish Lamb Stew (so sad after hanging out with those sheep all day) and I got the Beef and Guinness Casserole. Our last stop in town for the night brought us to Charlie's Auld Candy Shop where we met and chatted with Charlie himself for a little while and purchased some delicious Irish cream chocolate truffles. We drove back to the cottage shortly after and spent the rest of the night drinking Guinnesses on the couch and playing Gin Rummy! 

I'll be back later with more of our journeys!! In the meantime, happy first day of school to all my New England teacher friends!! 

No comments :

Post a Comment