Ireland · 15 Days · 101 Moments · September 2014

16 September 2014

Helllllooooo Minnesota! Can't wait to get back on home soil :-) Think we'll stay the night in Minneapolis as we are EXHAUSTED and head north in the afternoon tomorrow. Back to reality we go.....
Said goodbye to our trusty Renault, made it through customs and we're off! It's been UNREAL Ireland; we'll definitely be back :-) DUB-ORD-MSP here we go!

15 September 2014

We had one of the best nights ever for our last night in Ireland and it's all thanks the our lovely friend Michele! Wonderful company, fantastic wine and probably the best meal yet! The fun continued later with a surly old Irishman named John who offered up some not-so-inspirational marriage advice ;) We are absolutely EXHAUSTED and as difficult as it is to say goodbye; we can't WAIT to get home
Trying to get a tiny bit of rest before we head out on the town :) barely any energy left!
This course has hosted four Irish Open tournaments so Carl was INCREDIBLY excited to hang out there ;) we stayed for lunch and had some Crab Claws and Seafood Chowder. The mansion the club house is in is about 400 years old and was absolutely beautiful; really classic old style to it. Now we're off for Dublin where this trip will come full circle!
The kind man at Druids Glen let us take a cart and drive around for a bit as Carl was unable to play it. He was SO happy to be able to even just hang out here :)
Well the day at the spa didn't pan out and Carl was sweet to offer to leave but we compromised and I caddied instead :) My back has really been bothering me so I needed a long walk; worked out for both of us! Plus my love for photography was a good motivator as well because the course was BEAUTIFUL
Well this is officially our last Irish Breakfast of this trip and we are leaving tomorrow morning :( Got packed up and we're on the road for Golfing and Spa treatments in Druid's Glen!

14 September 2014

Got checked in and took a little walk down by the river before we headed to dinner ;) Happily surprised with both the beauty of the property and the quality of this food! Great find and TOTALLY random
Passed through the Gap of Wicklow on our way to Glendalough today. Unfortunately it's a gloomy day but we can't complain because this is the first one in almost two weeks!
Bye, bye Cork City... Glendalough here we come! Excited to see the Wicklow Mountains and hoping the weather improves by the time we get there :)
Before hitting the road we were on a mission to get coffee and to find Chinese food... SUCCESS! Here's to feelin better :-)
Began by looking up places you MUST try while in Cork City and we ended up at a place called Coqbull; had a wonderful meal and enjoyed some craft beers :) Stuffed then, we ventured out and met up with an old friend Kevin. He showed us a PROPER night out in cork City! Hit some of the coolest little spots we'd probably never have found on our own; think he missed his calling as a tour guide. Thanks Kevin! We'll spend our day driving to Co Wicklow trying not to hurl in the car ;)

13 September 2014

Made it to Cork City and got a fantastic room on the river :-) Out we go after a quick freshening up!
Stopped for a bit at the Derrynane Hotel as it looked like a great spot to stare at the ocean for a while :) It was! Back on the road and headed for Cork City boy!
Did some beach walking, rock skipping and shopping in Waterville before we hopped back on the road :)
Our drive today has been stunning! Stopped at a couple of great viewing points and then the first town we pulled off in was Waterville.
After a late night in Killarney with the Buckley/Sheehans, we were struggling to get going this morning :( Driving the Ring of Kerry today so we started by stopping ASAP for lunch... and we're off!
We were very fortunate to get the spend the night with some old Chicago friends who now live back in Ireland. What a hoot! They took us out for a LOVELY dinner and showed us a great time at their favorite local :) The two of them are such fun; thanks Paul and Lisa!!!

12 September 2014

Took a TON if pics at the friary so here's a few more ;)
Happened upon an old friary on our way out of the park and stopped in for a peak. It was really interesting to explore :)
Stopped for a little charcuterie lunch on Muckross Lake and took in the mountains for a bit. Very peaceful and the meats and cheeses were fantastic!
Took the stairway to heaven up to see the Torc Waterfall. The stairway seemed never ending as did the uphill hike after the stairs finally ended. Stopped for a breather and met a new furry friend Muttly :) Continued on back down looking for the perfect lunch spot
Made it to Muckross Castle after a nice bit of hiking and rock skipping. O.M.G.
After a quick bite this morning we headed to the grocery store to grab some food and drink to bring for our big day in Killarney National Park. Been looking forward to this for the whole trip! We got in the park around noon and were off for the big adventure :-) Here's a few pics from the beginning of our day

11 September 2014

Well we were pretty lame tonight :-) After finishing up some laundry and being tired from 9 days traveling, we weren't feeling up for a big night. Decided to go for Chinese (Carls FAV) and head home for movie night Tomorrow is a big day so hopefully we sleep well!
The honeymooners got upgraded to the cutest little townhouse! Yeah :-) Unfortunately had to spend the afternoon doing laundry at the strangest and SMALLEST little laundromat ever! Now we'll head back home for a shower in a bit and be ready to hit Killarney to dinner
Made it to Killarney early so stopped for a pint before we can check in at our hotel. Finding the hotel actually turned out to be quite the feat :-0
Got going this morning and decided to take a friends recommendation to take a route called the Conor Pass from Dingle to Tralee. We were a little nervous as many people we've talked to recently had said it was pretty scary with its narrow and sometimes only one lane road! Considering one side is the edge of the mountain and the other is a brick wall, it did feel a little bit risky but ultimately ended up being more beautiful than anything :-) Glad we did it!

10 September 2014

Per EVERYONES recommendation we went to Out of the Blue for dinner tonight. Their motto: "no chips and nothing ever frozen" We had the Mussels, Warm, Smoked Haddock with Creamed Spinach and Grilled Tuna with pestos and black olive tapenade. Also, the best brown bread we've had so far! These two service industry natives were VERY impressed :-)
Spent the early evening checking out some of the locals favorite pubs....Dick Macks and Foxy John's to name a couple. Foxys is actually a hardware store as well which was pretty funny; a guy was buying screws when we first arrived so we had to wait for the bartender to finish the sale across the way before he could come back and tend to the bar patrons :) Found myself stuck in a snug for a short while!
Well Dingle has been wonderful today and we are still enjoying absolutely PERFECT weather. Carl is on his way back from Golf so I decided to head back towards the hotel to have my first proper Irish coffee and wait for my man :)
Did some shopping and got a manicure; feeling relaxed :-) Grabbing a bite at Danno's per the recommendation of a local fella
Good morning Dingle! Carl got up early to go golfing so guess who got to sleep in....Excited to explore and hit the shops while he's away :) Believe it's our first time apart since the wedding!

9 September 2014

Got to explore this little Dingle bay town a bit last night. Started out walking into a place that seemed a bit odd at first but ended up being a good time :) met a couple locals who told us the bar is actually kind of famous in the Irish Football world; very cool :) Had dinner at The Marina and got to hear some great music. The local caught smoked fish trio and Duck L'Orange were delicious! Ended the night with a comedy/music session of sorts where we had to get up and try our hand at Irish Dancing, thus making complete asses of ourselves...all because I had to shout out it was our honeymoon ;-)
It seems Ireland NEVER will cease to amaze; each time we travel to the next stop we are absolutely taken aback by the beauty of the scenery! Co Kerry is mountainous and lush and just gorgeous. Had to pull over and take it in for a bit :-) Loving this drive
Caught the 4:00 ferry across the river Shannon and we are now in Co Kerry! Will continue out drive to Dingle and hope to get settled in soon enough :)
Stopped for lunch at Kelly's in Kilrush on our way to the Shannon Ferry. Seafood chowder again was DELICIOUS but it sure varies from place to place. This one was our favorite thus far :-)
Driving the Wild Atlantic Way today from Doolin to Killimer where we'll take the ferry (with the car) across the River Shannon to get ourselves to Dingle where we'll set up camp for the next couple of nights :) We are feeling VERY lucky for the beautiful weather we've had for most of this trip! The sun is out and the skies are blue; makes driving around the country so enjoyable!
After the Cliffs of Moher we decided to see one more of Doolins' pride and joys; Doolin Cave. The Stalactite we got to see was 500,000 years old and weighs about 10 tons! Poor Carl was crooked during most of the tour as the entrances and tunnels were very short. Thank goodness we had helmets on; knocked our heads more than once!
For up early for breakfast and got checked our before we headed to the Cliffs of Moher. Wanted to see what it looked like from land. We think the pictures barely begin to do it justice. Just WOW :-0

8 September 2014

Went for dinner at Mc Ganns tonight as referred to us by the lady at the B & B. Had Braised Lamb Shank and a Pappardelle Pasta and both were super good :) The food in Ireland has been wonderful! Stayed and made friends with the bartenders and a couple locals Kieran and Michael. Met a couple from Boston and even met a guy from Ireland who lives in Chicago and knows some of the same people we do! Small world :) The music in the pub was excellent; we especially enjoyed the banjo player Thought it was cool as well that there was a little Minnesota representation in the pub!
We left the island on a ferry that took us to see the Cliffs of Moher from the water. Unreal!
It's tough to share just a few pics from Inis Oírr because it was SUCH a neat place! On our cycle around the island we found some farm animals (made friends with the donkeys), a shipwreck, a holy well, and old castle, beautiful views of Ireland and lots of nice people :) Oh and a couple pints of course! They even gave us one to take on the boat with us!
Meeting a lot of four legged friends in Ireland (of course!), but it's quite different here for dogs. We've noticed most dogs seem to kind of roam free and maybe even live outside. Ollie is looking quite spoiled these days!
Well the Innis Oírr was nothing short of amazing. We rented bikes when we arrived and ventured off for hours of cycling around the island :-) OMG it was exhausting! There were SO many hills to climb; will be very sore tomorrow
We arrived at the pier and got to meet Cliff the dog while we were waiting for our boat ;) Apparently his owner is one of the Captains so he stays on the pier during the day and greets customers. The tide was out and the water level low so a small boat had to take us out to the larger boat that we would take to the islands. The journey got a bit chilly but it was full of absolutely beautiful views the whole way
Good morning Doolin! Checked ourselves early last night as this almost week long journey has started to take a toll on us (mostly a cranky wife to blame). Nonetheless we got a much needed, long nights rest and were up early, showered and had breakfast and are already on our way to the pier to catch a boat out to the Aran Islands. It's a clear, sunny day and very little wind so we hope for a calm trip out :)

7 September 2014

Chatted with the locals on the walk home :)
Dinner tonight was yummy! A never ending bowl of local mussels and some Smoked Haddock Fish Cakes. We were keeping an eye on football back home while we ate tonight :)
Walked over to Fitzpatricks and settled in for the Hurling final tonight. Everyone here is GLUED to the tv :)
All checked in at The Lodge for the night :) having some tea to reenergize. Today Ireland has their equivalent to the Super Bowl so we have to walk to the local pub and find a TV ASAP!
Alas we made it! We immediately drove down to Doolin Pier and checked out the ocean :) that's the Cliffs of Moher behind us!!! Can't wait for our boat trip to the Aran Islands tomorrow
Oh dear GOD the driving was insane to get to Doolin! Saw signs we've never seen before... We took something called the Corkscrew pass up and over the mountain and down in to town. Our Garmin had us on a tiny side road, pretty much only one lane for a good three miles. We thought for sure we would be lost!
Good morning Ireland! A petite Irish breakfast and we're off to Doolin! We thought of our friend Jimmy Mannix when we plugged our route in the Garmin this am :) The drive is spectacular (as expected) but again, the winding and narrow roads make for an interesting journey! Eek!
What a fun night in Salthill Co Galway with our friend Joe Greene :) we started our night in the local brewery and had dinner (delicious) Then Joe took us around the town to his favorite haunts, we spent a good amount of time on Quay Street (pronounced Key Street) and ended our night with fish and chips near our B & B. Hoping to get a good nights rest for our journey to Doolin tomorrow Good night all!!

6 September 2014

Well we found our way back to Galway and found a cute little B & B in Salthill. Took a stroll on The Promenade and now are asking around for some dinner suggestions :-)
A stop at The Boat Inn for some Seafood Chowder. OMG amazing!! We were told to Seafood Chowder in Ireland and haven't until today; have a feeling this won't be the last :) Saw Murphy's pub and OF COURSE wanted to go there but unfortunately it was closed down :( Also, Carl has been moderately obsessed with these houses that have a thatched roof so we had to take a picture
Popped in to a beautiful little park in a town called Oughterard, still making our way to Galway City :)
Stopped for a tea on the way to Galway in a town called Recess. Got to touch the hand of the Connemara giant (apparently this means good luck) and listened to some of the local men in the pub who were incredibly entertaining :)
Woke up after a WONDERFUL nights sleep in the castle, (made ourselves go to bed early!) There was such a fun crowd in the pub after dinner so it was hard to pull away. We were glad we did though, up early, full Irish breakfast and a stroll around the grounds and we're off! Back to Galway City for a night in Salthill with our ole buddy Joe :)
We made a turn out of the castle the took us to Sky Road... Oh my!! That was one of the coolest drives ever! Mountainous farm land, constant, breathtaking views and about a million photo stops. We even saw another old castle!

5 September 2014

After a champagne reception and a little talk on the history of the castle, we moved upstairs for dinner. We had fried Camembert cheese, Cod and Linguine for dinner and it was all delicious :-) We made friends with a sweet, old lady named Joy. Sure wish we could have spent more time talking with her!
OMG! This place is so cool. Super quirky old castle on the hill over looking Clifden and the mountains. We are feeling fancy :-)
Ok so the drive from Galway to Clifden led us down a SUPER narrow and winding road with no shoulder. I've never used the "oh shit" handle more in my life; my hand was getting sore!
Well we made it to Galway for lunch! We were happy to meet up with our old friend Joe for a bit :) We will head back for more of Galway after our night in Clifden at the Abbyglen Castle (which we are super excited about!)
Well the drive to Galway was tough, although Carl is getting used to driving on the other side of the road, those roundabouts are still tricky! We were also feelin a bit rough after two days in Dublin so driving for three hours wasn't much fun to say the least :(
Hopped in our little rental and we are headed west! Looking forward to lunch in Galway and soaking up the countryside along the way. :)
As you can imagine, getting up and packed this morning has been a little trying ;-) Enjoying a good Irish Breakfast before we hit the road for Galway and then on to Connemara! We are SO eager to see the countryside

4 September 2014

Well the journaling took a nose dive last night and honestly we went to so many places it became a bit if a blur ;-) At any rate, it was a SUPER fun night, wonderful dinner, we met lots of interesting people and feel as if we got a good taste for Dublin.
Made it to The Long Hall. Saw it on PBS years ago; was on my list of pubs to get to. Did not disappoint :-)
Yet another Dublin pub crawl... This one began at the famous Stags Head. We made friends (duh) with our bartender Rory; he is persistent we end up at his buddies pub in Galway. We will head there for lunch tomorrow :)
Our friend Michele from Dublin recommended The Trocadero, "an institution in Dublin." We tried the Filet and the Lobster Thermidor; they were DELICIOUS!! A complimentary Sambuca to cap off the experience :)
Gettin ready for a "fancy" night on the town :) Came back to a clean suite and our bed turned down with chocolates!
We found Taytos today... OMG delicious! Best. Chips. Ever
Enjoying a pit stop at the Ireland's oldest pub The Brazen Head. Carl is WAY too tall for this country :-) Mind your head!
So Curry Chips was a thing on almost every Irish Pub menu in Chicago so we were happy to get to try them here! They did NOT disappoint :-)
We finally got to the Guinness Brewery and it has been fantastic :-) So interesting! We also got to try the Guinness and Beef stew with Irish brown bread while smelling the wafting, roasting barley and taking in the view of Dublin from above.
Making our way through the city to the Guinness Brewery at St James Gate. Stopped for a nice lunch at The River Bar on the way :)
It's as if they knew who was staying here and out two dogs on the patio to make us feel at home :) And although Carl knew they were out there already, when he walked out on the patio this am it scared the crap out of him! Too funny
Wow did we sleep in! It's been a weeks since we had that much sleep :-) Now for a couple shots of espresso before we hit the streets of Dublin once again; very excited to get to the Guinness brewery today!!

3 September 2014

We had SUCH a fun night pub crawling in Dublin! Ended in Mulligans which is known to have the best pint of Guinness in Dublin. Met some great people, had some good craìc (as the Irish say) and barely made it home before midnight. Needless to say we are EXHAUSTED but we'll hang out on our patio overlooking the city of Dublin for a few before we hit the hay :-) Good night Ireland! We had a great first day
A little snack at Fitzsimmons this evening ;) Smoked fish platter and oxtail fritters, yummmm! We've been noticing a bunch of Penn State shirts and signs so we approached one of the people who were representing the Nittany Lions and apparently they had a game here in Dublin this week. Talked with them for a while, goos times :)
Temple Bar pub crawl continues right into the Temple Bar! Holy whiskey heaven!
We've stumbled upon Temple Bar area after a short walk through the city and over the river. Caught some live music and believe it or not we're already makin friends :-) Good times!
Our first dinner in Dublin at Flannigans; a wee portion of fish and chips and bangers and mash. It was DELICIOUS! Now where to wander next....
Nollaig this ones for you! Our first two PROPER pints of Guinness :-) Thank you!!
After a much needed few hours sleep, we helped ourselves to the espresso maker, fresh fruit and lovely bath time accommodations :) Ready to hit the town!
Ok so driving on the other side of the road proved to be quite stressful, especially in Dublins morning rush hour traffic! We finally made it to the hotel and were ASTONISHED with the accommodations our lovely friend Michele put us up in!! We are staying in the Elizabeth Taylor suite; feel like royalty :-) Check out the size of our private patio! A quick run to exchange currency and need get a bite and then it's off to bed for these two weary travelers! We are BEAT; need some recuperation time ASAP
We have landed! Have about an hour to kill until we pick up the rental car so we thought we'd have a quick pint :) My first Bulmers!

2 September 2014

Some honeymoon hookups from our flight attendant :-) Now for an in-flight movie while we wait for dinner. Never heard of Jelly Snakes before! They are delicious
Well we are here on the Aer Lingus flight STILL waiting to take off :( No upgrades for the big guy on this flight but he is relatively comfortable... for now
Back in Chi-town for a couple hours before we head out :)
En route to Chicago! One of our favorite Irish tunes to start off this leg of the trip :)
We got our first honeymoon upgrade and this is my first document as a Mrs!
This place is so great! A cheese and salumi plate with a rosè flight to kick off the day :-) my kinda brunch!
Made it through security and we are already at a wine bar in the MSP airport :-) Of course we are enjoying wine before breakfast! My energy level is through the roof I'm so psyched for this journey
Having some coffee and going through the book Cassie lent us from her travels to Ireland. There are so many places we would like to explore; we can't wait! Cousin Michael is on his way to drop us off at the airport, flight departing just after noon! Yay!!

1 September 2014

Having a nice time reminiscing about Cassie's travels to Ireland while listening to Celtic tunes and drinking Guinness and Prosecco :)
We are en route to Minneapolis and will be staying with my cousin Cassie this evening. We wanted to be close to the airport as we have to be there in the morning. On this part of our trip we are talking about all of the fun things we would like to see and try in Ireland. All the while Carl has his Pandora playing all Irish music :-) Getting so excited!
Saying goodbye to Ollie today made me cry! I wish he could understand what I was saying to him :( will miss him so much! Believe it or not this trip started off with a brush with the law! Anyone who knows Carl know he is SUCH a slow driver but I think we were just so excited to get going that he cruised onto Devil Track Road and not even three miles away from home we got pulled over for speeding! The guy that pulled us over found out it's our honeymoon and let us off with a written warning... so we gave him one of the cupcakes from our wedding :)