The Gang's All Here!

The Gang's All Here!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Ireland is such an incredible place, I can't wait to go back. Steve and I (in my opinion, anyway) really got to experience the best of Ireland. Here are some highlights from our trip!

We took the "red eye" from JFK and arrived in Shannon, Ireland around 9am. Neither of us could sleep on the plane, but we were running on adrenaline and bad coffee, so it wasn't too big of a deal. We rented a small, manual car. We were very glad to have a small car given the size of Irish roads (NARROW!). I am happy to report that Steve got on fabulously with driving stick on the left. Right hand turns still slightly freak me out, but at least I wasn't driving :). We had a lot of driving to do the first day, but we managed to check out Rock of Cashel and Cahir Castle, both of which were beautiful and interesting. I should also add that on our first day, the sun was blazing and temps were in the 70's - perfect weather! We spent our first night in Ardmore, Co Waterford. If you're a Nora Roberts fan, this is where her "Jewels of the Sun" trilogy took place. It was neat to pick out the different landmarks from her books and even talk to some of townspeople whom she based her characters on. Ardmore is a beautiful place, but there's not a ton to do there. So, after we took an accidental 10 mile hike after dinner (I am so not kidding on the distance and it was a gorgeous evening for a cliff walk), we passed out by 10pm.

The next morning after making an ass out of myself by ordering a full Irish breakfast (which could easily feed a small country, I managed to eat about a third of it). Also didn't realize what black pudding was... and I can promise you I won't make that mistake again. After a lovely chat with our B & B hostess, we headed on to the Old Middleton Distillery to take a tour and sample some Jamison. It's really not my cup of tea (pun intended), but the tour was great and Steve gave the whiskey two thumbs up! From there we headed to Cork City for lunch and general wandering. It was another picture perfect day and as we drove into Kinsale (after getting horribly turned around trying to get out of Cork City), the harbor just gleamed with it's beautiful boats. We spent two nights at our B & B in Kinsale and thoroughly enjoyed the couple that ran it. We had all sorts of interesting adventures in Kinsale, including a massive power outage (at breakfast time, which meant no coffee - a true life and death situation), Hen parties (the Irish term for bachelorette parties), and another accidental 10 mile hike. But, what a phenomenal place!

After our Kinsale adventures, we headed to the Dingle peninsula via the Ring of Kerry. Of course, the weather gods decided that this should be the day it rained, so we didn't see too much on our drive around the ring. But, it was a small sacrifice when met with the awe inspiring beauty of Dingle. Beautiful, beautiful Dingle. I could go on for days about how fantastic this place was. I swear there's a little bit of magic there. We went horseback riding which included galloping on the beach (that was for you, NP!), and riding up into the mountains. Other than being so sore I could barely climb in and out of the car, the horseback riding was just pure bliss for me. We drove the Slea Head Loop which is a requirement if you're ever in Dingle. We also did lots of pub hopping, hearing some truly wonderful Irish music and eating delicious food. People have the wrong idea about Irish food, it's to die for!

On the final leg of our journey, we headed to Doolin, Co Clare,  a tiny town on the edge of the Cliffs of Moher. The weather was "typical" at this point, alternating between raining and sun shining. The Cliff's were jaw-dropping in their size and beauty. We saw them by boat (with extremely rough seas, pretty sure I pulled a groin muscle holding on to the rail, trying not to get tossed overbaord) and then by foot, when we hiked up there in the evening. We also played a very soggy round of golf at Lahinch.

I took zillions of pictures that I still can't get enough of. If you're ever considering Ireland, make it a priority - it's worth every minute of your time!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bon Voyage!

It's here, it's here, finally! Steve and I depart for Ireland tomorrow afternoon and I cannot wait!!! This momma is ready for the trip of a lifetime! You might be wondering if I've packed (hilarious, I know) and you damn well know the answer is of course not! I have a plan in my head of what I'd like to pack. I'm hoping tonight I can get the majority of my stuff organized and ready to put in a suitcase. Ideally, we're going to carry on, but I'm also a realist and we'll just see how things go.

In the meantime, the fence guys are on overdrive trying to get this fence done today. I think they're going to get it done, but it will be close. The fence looks awesome - I can't wait to let the fur children out so they can run like idiots and not knock 85 things over inside.

I met with my plastic surgeon today and go to some so-so news. The good news is that my skin looks great and she's pleased with that. She gave me the go ahead for surgery. The not so great news is that it will be a very similar surgery to my first one. Not so excited about that. It means another 3 full days in the hospital and a fairly long recovery. I'm bummed, so who knows when I'll have this surgery done. I'm not ruining my summer (or the kids for the that matter), so maybe we'll look at the fall.

Okay, I'm keeping this short today because I really need to be doing something productive!! Toodles for a couple of weeks and happy summer!!