North America, Europe · 12 Days · 48 Moments · July 2017

Max Joy in Ireland and Italy


23 July 2017

Yesterday we literally laid at the pool all day. It was lovely. For dinner we went to our B&B owner's restaurant. It has been in her family for six generations. This week was Settimana Della tinca Al forno. Which is kind of like a restaurant week where all restaurants serve tench (a fish from lake Iseo) and polenta. We didn't partake, but we had some delicious pasta dishes with fish straight out of the lake. And of course some house wine. Later there was a small festival and Jim of course had to throw some balls to knock stuff over. He won me a stuffed heart that says "ti amo". We're sad to be leaving this quiet little Italian town ๐Ÿ˜ฅ. Back to the real world soon.

22 July 2017

Cara and Marco's wedding was amazing yesterday. So. Much. Food. So. Much. Wine.

21 July 2017

Biking around Monte Isola, swimming in lake Iseo, and then a wine tour and tasting at Berlucchi for Cara and Marco's wedding welcome party. Franciacorta is famous for their sparkling white and rose wines. They ferment in the bottles so once they make and bottle the base wine, they add yeast to the bottle, cap it off and then let it sit for 1.5 -3 years in the caves under the house. Once it is ready, they remove the yeast, switch out the bottle cap for a cork and then it's ready to enjoy. The wine caves under Berlucchi hold 12 million bottles! The wine was delicious and even our French friend said it was okay.

20 July 2017

Altre foto da Venezia
Day trip to Venicia was a success. Completed every item on our list: wandered through the city, got lost a few times, ate ๐Ÿ•, pushed through tourists on the Rialto bridge ~4 times, toured St. Mark's Basilica, went on a gondola ride, ate pasta supper, drank our fair share of house wine along a quiet canal, and most importantly, didn't get lost on our way back to the train stazione. Venice is lovely but we're excited to get back to the peace and quiet of Lake Iseo.

19 July 2017

We had a great first day in Iseo. There was a slight issue with getting a taxi (there's only one driver in town) and we wish we would have worked a little harder on our Duolingo (not many English speakers; il italiano di Jim รจ il ottimo) but we're having fun figuring it all out. Our B&B owner is friends with Marco the taxi driver so she hooked us up this morning to get us to and from the train station for our day trip to Venicia.
We made it to Italia! Locando e molto buono!

18 July 2017

Relaxing day in Galway. Bought some cheese and ate it along the canal. Took the train back to Dublin. Early to bed tonight because we are heading to Italia first thing tomorrow!

17 July 2017

Perfect day in Galway. Breakfast, run, pubs, cheese for lunch, chocolates and cappacino for dessert, craft beers and trad music at the pub. All my favorite things.

16 July 2017

Lots of driving today, but we lucked out and got a sunny day at the Cliffs of Moher. Now time to relax in Galway for a bit.

15 July 2017

One more walk around town to look at the boats and get ready for Murphy's ice cream. Everything here is Murphy's. They make it with all milk from Kerry cows (which are rarer than pandas they say) and salt they harvest from the bay. Once again, delicious. We ended the night with some more traditional Irish music at a pub.
How cute is this town? We walked around and shopped a bit and then got supper at Anchor Down. We both got Hake, scallops, and prawns, fresh caught out of the bay. Also some delicious new potatoes. Yum yum. We also got to try one of the beers from the West Kerry Brewery which we missed on our drive because we were busy looking for star wars stuff. It was great and we may try to run back there tomorrow.
Next up was our tour of Dingle brewery. Their signature beer is named after Tom Creann who was an Irish explorer who went on several expeditions to Antarctica in the early 1900s. They had a nice self guided tour of the brewery and a mini museum on Tom. On one journey he was responsible for raising all of those puppies. What a lucky guy. Beer was delicious.
One last hike starting at this little beach, going through the sheep pasture, and ending up with more great views. The mountain behind Jim is where they filmed parts of the next Star Wars, Ceann Sibeal. The set is gone now, but it was on the side of that cliff just a few months ago.
Took a short hike up this trail and found the most beautiful lookout. Rocky ocean views all around. Reminds me a lot of Maui except for the weather ๐Ÿ˜
Snack time. Stopped by this cute little restaurant for some toasties, soup and a brownie. Jim just can't pass up a gluten free brownie. Clouds started to lift while we sat there and we got our first view of the blasket islands.
Beehive huts. I forget how old these were but they're very old. One family would live in each hut. They were built just by stacking rocks, no filler in between. I think it would be a bit cold and damp living in there.
Next up was Dun Beag Fort. Originally dates back to 500 bc. Unfortunately it is right on the edge of the cliff and slowly eroding away into Dingle Bay.
Today started out with yet another hearty Irish breakfast and then headed out on Slea Head drive, part of the wild Atlantic way. Started out a little cloudy but cleared up in the afternoon.
Walking back to Murphy's B&B for the night. There was a bit of confusion at check in, we tried to check in at Murphy's pub and B&B and they didn't have us on the list. She said to try at the Murphy's B&B next door and sure enough, that's where our reservation was. Hmmm ๐Ÿ˜•

14 July 2017

Heard some great traditional Irish music at O'Sullivan's pub tonight. Trying out some newer stouts, taking a break from the Guinness.
Dingle town is the best. We've discussed it and decided. We're going to move here. I'm going to buy a ๐Ÿ‘ farm and make yarn and knit hats. Jim is going to drive dolphin boat tours during the day and play guitar in the pub at night. Life goals.
On the drive to Dingle. Views are breathtaking!
Stopped by Inch beach on our way to Dingle. It was a little chilly for us north carolinians but the Irish surfers seemed to be enjoying this July weather.
Just a tired man sitting on a stump catching pokies.
Hiked to the Torc waterfall. A bit strenuous on the way out but it was stunning. Totally worth it.
Jim's a professional driving on the left side of the road. Right turns are hard!
We found a beautiful lake near the Abbey. Twas a wee bit windy.
First stop, Muckross Abbey. It wouldn't be a European vacation with Cassie Reed if we didn't get up close and personal with some cows.
We forgot to take photos on the train, but we made the trek from Dublin to Killarney this morning. The countryside was very rural and very beautiful. Lots of ๐Ÿ„, ๐Ÿ‘, ๐Ÿ‡. We grabbed a quick lunch at O'Donoghue's in Killarney and picked up our rental car. Now off to Killarney National Park!

13 July 2017

Jim Reed loves pubs! And beshoffs fish and chips. Heard some good Irish songs and covers at Fitzsimmons in Temple Bar.
We wanted a shirt/sign/magnet like this, "Guinness for strength" but the gift shop lady informed us they could no longer use this as a slogan because they couldn't prove that Guinness gave you strength, i.e. false advertising.
Next up was the Guinness connosoieur tour. If you're ever at Guinness, it's definitely worth the upgrade from the standard self guided tour. We were in a quiet private bar with a small group and discussed different types of Guinness and beer in different parts of the world. We got to try a couple different Guinness beers and learned how to pour a perfect Guinness draught. Our favorite was the West Indies Porter which is available in some variety packs in the states.
Tour of Teeling Distillery, Ireland's first new distillery in 125 years. Tour was great, we got to walk through their production and sample 3 of their whiskeys, all aged about 6 years. They had a bottle of 33 year aged going for about 3000 euro. Luckily Jim passed it up. Look how good we look in fresh new clothes!
Bags, glorious bags! Finally got our luggage back. We weren't ever too worried about getting them back thanks to the confident attitude from the people we talked to at Aer Lingus and our hotel. They made it feel like this was standard procedure.
Ok, one more post in our dirty clothes. Stopped by the Brazen Head (Ireland's oldest pub, here since 1198) and St. Patrick's cathedral on our way back to retrieve our bags.
Jameson tour was really well done. Great tour guide talked about the history of the distillery, the whiskey making process and a comparative tasting between Jameson, Johnny Walker Black and Jack Daniel's (to compare Irish, Scotch and American whiskey). A friendly Italian couple gave us their drink tickets along with a "salute!". Side note, this should be the last photo of Jim in that Pirates shirt, bags are en route from the airport to our hotel!!!

12 July 2017

Closing out day 1 with some drinks and music at Darkey Kelly's bar, right below our hotel. The pub seemed fairly authentic Irish until the musician played wagon wheel and country roads back to back and then it got pretty American pretty fast. Oh well, the whiskey is delicious and the music is fun.
We had dinner at the same place as the oysters (Klaw). Tiny little restaurant with only a handful of tables but delicious fresh seafood. We split lobster bisque, seafood chowder and crab toast. Yum yum. They were out of Guinness strangely so we drank Kona from literally the other side of the globe.
Oyster happy hour with oyster lesson from the chef. Far left is from Galway bay. Oysters like it here because the water is a fairly constant temperature all year and they grow there for about 3 years and get nice and big and fatty. Middle oyster is from Dooncastle. There are sugar farms nearby and the soil runs into the water and gives them a nice caramelly sweetness. Far right is from the burren (flaggy shore). There's lots of limestone here and no farming so the oysters grow very strong but not very big. All were delicious but the small and strong flaggy shore was my fave.
Quick power nap, then a walk to Dublin Castle before dinner. Still no bags...
Perfect! A pint of Guinness followed by a flight (sampling tray as the locals call it) of some other Irish brews. Love the Dublin blonde from Irishtown Brewing Co.
Crossing the Ha Penny bridge. Look at those blue skies!
Trinity college and Book of Kells. No photos allowed of the book of Kells but it was pretty awesome. Written/painted in ~800 AD by monks at a monastery in Iona.
Breakfast and a quick walk through Temple bar. Scoping out pubs for later.
We made it to Dublin, our bags did not ๐Ÿ˜ฃ time for a Guinness.

11 July 2017

First class. Poppin bottles.
Pre flight chillaxin