Ireland · 29 Days · 130 Moments · June 2016

Holly Helmke

RHS's Odyssey to Ireland

19 July 2016

Filling out customs form to get ready for our flights! Kids are sad to leave but ready to get home.
Checking in with Emily!

18 July 2016

Entranced listening to Gerry serenade us with beautiful Irish songs
This chair is the perfect size for a pair of Leprechauns!
More Japanese Garden pics from the National Stud Farm
Getting a booty scratch from Mrs. Prescott and some of the kids. And the peaceful Japanese Gardens at the Stud Farm.
More from the National Stud Farm
Even more stud farm!
Stud farm!
The National Stud Farm
Break for a snackie
Celebrating Savanna's 16th birthday. Happy birthday Savanna!
Raider is reading up on Cashel Rock before we get there

17 July 2016

Dancing with some local Irish folks at our hotel. The girls just jumped right in. They're the youngest ones in the room by far! So cute! This trip is amazing! Thank you for sharing your kids with us.
Furiously signing the "thank you" cards for Alan, our tour director, and Gerry, our bus driver. We have been impressed by day 1 with these two gentlemen. Amazing job! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป
The finale of the ghost tour! Wow! So much fun!
Best day :)
Ending the tour in Alan's favorite public house. Sodas all around!
Touring the gorgeous Cork--Alan's hometown. The sun even came out for our ghostie tour. ๐Ÿ˜Ž The kids LOVED IT!
Where's Raider? He's hiding from the ghostie tour!!
Beautiful day in Cork :)
The goobers found an outdoor "leisure center" at the Port of Cove ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿฝ
Where's Raider? Can you spot him?
Ready to kiss the stone!
More Blarney Castle and the beautiful grounds.
Lots of germs at the Blarney Stone but well worth it!
Blarney Castle
Blarney Castle and kissing the stone to get the gift of gab. Some of us don't need any help ๐Ÿ˜

16 July 2016

Where's Raider?
Killarney National Forest Hike
Today was fun :)
Hike up to Torc waterfall in the Killarney National Forest. Way to go troopers! Those were some serious climbs.
Hiking up to the waterfall in Killarney National Forest.
Lakes of Killarney along the Ring of Kerry
Sheep dog and sheep shearing presentation
Sheep dog and shearing presentation
Maybe the top 5 of our trip! Sheep dog presentation with Flash!
Dreaming of my rescue. Save me!
The lime kiln and Japanese red-tailed deer in Killarney National Forest.
More hiking (and falling)
Hiking in Cool Macoiste. So fun! A few even made it to the top and gave Alan quite a scare. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ
Raider says he is done with all of this paddywhackery. He's gazing off across the Atlantic, longing for home.
Part 2
Announce we're having good craic...โœ”๏ธSing Molly Malone โœ”๏ธ...Perform Irish jig โœ”๏ธ. Raider returned safely โœ”๏ธ.
Dreaming of my rescue
Jaunting cars and all the sites on the way through Killarney National Forest. We loved our driver who gave Mrs. Prescott a hard time.
Jaunting cars through Killarney National Forest.
Jarvy cars in the morning with the whole gang. Our white horse is named Nancy after Nancy Reagan.
Jaunting cars
Sporting the Irish colors today!
Today was fabulous. Driving through the country side, experiencing the misty winds of the Cliffs of Moher, goofing off with some "paddywhackery," and ending the day with a great show really packed this day full of magic. We can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

15 July 2016

The Celtic Steps show had us all hand clapping and toe tapping. We ๐Ÿ’— Ireland! ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿป
Enjoying a little Irish dance at the Celtic Steps show. Wish Ms. Houston would hurry up and do her jig, so I can be set free!
The rhino-nappers have sent proof of life and 3 tasks for Ms. Houston to complete before his safe return. She bravely completed the first two tasks, including singing the chorus of the Irish folk song "Molly Malone" in front of the group. We're coming, Raider!
On the way to Killarney
Bunratty Castle's folk park
Bunratty Castle
10,000 year antlers and the "murder hole"! Watch out for your head! The soldiers would drop boiling water down through the hole on enemy soldiers. Yikes!
Bunratty! We learned so much!
More Cliffs
Cliffs of Moher
Absolutely beautiful. The kids had a great time trying to walk up to the Cliffs of Moher, braving the wild coastal gusts of wind. Sorry their hair is a mess!
Trekking to the Cliffs of Moher!
Our hotel...what a weird looking castle

14 July 2016

Raider Rhino has been KIDNAPPED! That's what we get for sleeping on the job!
Our hotel for tonight! The Whitecastle Hotel.
Connemara drive to our hotel in County Clare
On the way to our hotel near the Cliffs of Moher in the County Clare.
Seems like not just the students are tired on this trip...(;
Connemara photo stop
Photo stop in Connemara. How beautiful!
Our gorgeous drive through Connemara
Driving through gorgeous Connemara
Day 4
Galway...gorgeous, lively, and colorful!
Exploring the day in Galway.

13 July 2016

Riverdance as the Song and Dance finale! She was amazing!
Alan, our tour director, serenading us with some beautiful tunes on the fiddle.
Dancing at the Lansdowne Theatre to traditional Irish music. Some of us have two left feet, but we still had a blast!
More dancing.
Watching an amazing band perform Irish music at The Lansdowne Theatre.
Raider found his peep at the "Dead Zoo", Ireland's Natural History Museum
"Raider, Raider, where for art thou Raider?"
The Long Room--Trinity College's famous and extensive library
St. Patrick's Cathedral and its gorgeous grounds.
St. Patrick's Cathedral
Completing a bronze rubbing in St. Patrick's Cathedral
St. Patrick's Cathedral
Madison and Hannah are having blast in Ireland
St. Patrick's Cathedral and bus tour of Georgian homes in Dublin. It costs 4 million โ‚ฌ to own one of these homes. Any takers?
Who's ready to move here?!
Raider is entranced by Kate's introduction to the wonderful Irish culture on our bus tour today.

12 July 2016

After a six hour delay at JFK, we had an exhausting start to Day 1 of our tour. Luckily we finally landed safely in Dublin, where our tour director Alan waited for us. We had a fabulous first dinner and dessert, our hotel is very near the River Liffey and city center, and we took a walking tour through Dublin to get a feel for the town. I think all of us are ready for a good night's sleep, but we are so excited for what tomorrow in Dublin will bring!
Another picture of the ha' penny bridge
Ha'penny Bridge
Got to see a beautiful sunset
Ha'Penny Bridge and the river Liffey--our last stop of the walking tour. The sunset stuck around just for us. :)
Day 1 in Dublin
Temple Bar on our walking tour
Tuesday's walking tour in Dublin.
More walking tour
Alan--our awesome tour director
Stiletto in the ghetto
Happy birthday Taylor! So glad we get to share it with you here!
Having fun at dinner.
Eating dinner at Murrays Bar and Grill. They could barely fit in the photo!
Took a little walk pre-dinner! We are so near the River Liffey and a ton of museums and parks. Ms. Houston found Heuston station and got pretty excited. LOVE Dublin already!
View from our amazing hotel room!
Made it to Dublin and ready to start adventuring! โ˜˜
Loving this trip so far!!
We're here! It's 4 pm Dublin time!

11 July 2016

Waiting out the delay...
A few hour layover at JFK and then Dublin bound!
Hannah and Lauren about to head to the airport! Look at those smiles!

5 July 2016

Meet Raider Rhino! Raider will be traveling with us and checking out all our adventures. He's so excited to finally get to see the world. Sully has been guarding Raider for us to make sure he's ready for departure day. So excited, guys!

20 June 2016

20 days until departure! This is where you will find updates, pics, and anecdotes from our adventures. We are so excited!