Thursday, June 2, 2011

Woah....I'm Back!

I know I know...I took a very long hiatus from the blog for a while, but I am back now and ready to start blogging and updating you on everything that has been going on! Moving in a timeline fashion, let's get started!

Ireland was AMAZING! I never had any expectation in my life to go to Ireland but when the chance cam for "M" and I to go together with his group of friends and coworkers, how could I resist?! Believe me, it wasn't too hard to not be at work for a week, that may have been one of the better selling points! Anyway, on April 3rd we were off to Shannon Airport, we had a great flight that was not too full, so we could all stretch out (which I did with my special Ireland socks!)

Once we arrived (at 5 AM Ireland time) it was off to the town of Adare and the Adare Manor where we would be staying. We were staying in private villas on the property and not in the Manor itself, but that worked out well as we all got our own rooms and had a kitchen to make breakfast and tea each morning. We had some breakfast in the clubhouse and headed off to explore the area. It was really a day for people to get some rest, contact home, and unpack once we got to our villas. That night we headed into the quaint town of Adare and I had my first taste of Irish food and drink, Shepard's Pie and Guinness!

I will tell you that Guinness may not be my drink of choice, but when in Ireland....I drank one or two (and look at the shamrock that they made in the foam!!). I did find a cider only brewed and sold in Ireland that had pear in it, that became my go to drink. As for the Shepard's Pie, I have never had anything like that before, but it was really good! As were the fish and chips and other pub food we ate throughout the week!

Our first full day in Ireland (after getting a good night's sleep) was a trip to the Blarney Castle. It was a little misty and rainy, but nothing we were not prepared for! I put on my boots and rain jacket and was ready to climb to the top and kiss the Barney Stone! Walking through the gardens towards the Castle is really a great experience. It is so beautiful and even though I loved to talk about all of the "old thing" we would see on the trip, it was just so impressive to be walking up to a building that has been standing for six hundred years! We climbed up to the very top and got in line to kiss the Blarney Stone (which legend says gives you the gift of gab....don't know if I need much help in the department...). I didn't realize how high up we were until I got to the front of the line and saw what you had to do to kiss the stone. You lie down on the your back and lean back over the edge of the castle to kiss the stone barrier in front of your upside down head. Now, I am not good with heights and I was so scared! But I did it! I didn't reach my head all the way down to the bottom, but I kissed it and that's good enough for me. "M" took a picture which I did it, and I did the same for him. Then we made our way out of the castle and into the poison garden, fern garden and the rock close before meeting up with the rest of the group to head to Cork for lunch. We walked around the town of Cork for a bit (I even found a Huguenot Cemetery from the 1500's off some side street). This is also the town where I went to Boots to find some throat lozenges, which was the beginning of being sick for me, but we'll get to that later. After getting back to Adare and going back to what would become our regular pub for some drinks, it was time for bed.

The next day we headed to the Cliffs of Moore which I really have no words for! It was just amazing to be standing on the top of this immense piece of land looking out over the Atlantic Ocean (hey, if you just jump in an swim you could get to my house!). I will let the picture speak for itself really...I mean, even that doesn't do it justice. It was gorgeous! After a walk up and around teh Cliffs, we headed to lunch and for some ice cream by the water! It was still a somewhat cool day, but who can resist a little bit of ice cream? We then headed back to town and I was really sick by the point. I only told "M" I hadn't been feeling well because I didn't want to be annoying and ruin anyone's vacation. But at this point we both knew something was really wrong. After getting back to the villa, "M" went into efficient mode, calling the front desk to find out about doctors and pharmacies. Nothing seemed to be open till the next morning so I just took a nap till dinner. But when dinner rolled around, I was even worse, "M" called again and found out about a 24 hour clinic where he took me after we dropped everyone off at the Bunratty Castle for dinner. "M" held my hand the whole time in the waiting room and even came in with me to make sure everything was all right. The doctor was super nice and said I had a throat infection and gave me some perscpritions to be filled the next day in town (I even ran into her on the way to the pharmacy and she asked how I was feeling!). I was really still feeling bad the next day so I stayed at the villa which gave some of the people on the trip a perfect excuse to go to the spa, while other went for more sightseeing. I wanted to take the day to rest because the next morning we were heading to Dublin!

Feeling a bit better in the morning a small group of us headed off to Dublin, where "M" had found us a great hotel called the Trinity Capital Hotel it was in a great location and was really very funky. We checked in and headed right back out to catch one of the double decker bus tours to see the sights! It was actually a gorgeous day in Dublin so we sat on the top and enjoyed the view until we hopped off and checked out the Guinness factory. This may have been "M"'s favorite stop of the whole trip! I don't think he could have been much happier then to get to walk around seeing Guinness being made and have a complementary pint at the top of the exhibit. After that where else would we head but the Jameson Distillery! After my pint of Guinness I knew I would not be drinking on this leg of the tour, with all the medicine I was taking I didn't want to chance it (plus we were going out for dinner later!). But everyone else enjoyed a tasting of different whiskeys. After that it was back to the hotel to change for dinner. "M" and I decided that we would have a date night while everyone else went out to the Temple Bar district. All I can about dinner is...WOW. "M" picked a great place in Fire everything was delicious and we were just so happy to have a little bit of time for just the two of us. We walked a bit around the city until we got back to the hotel. The next day the two of us got up early to try to see a bit more of Dublin and get some parting souvenirs as our Irish adventure was just about over. We had a great time just walking around the city, taking the hop on hop off bus to all sorts of different places and then met up with the rest of the group to head back.

Once we got back to Adare (which, by the cute is that little cottage in town?) we started to get ourselves together because we were leaving Ireland the next day. Once everyone was packed, we headed back to our local pub for one more pint (or one more pear cider for me). We woke up and headed to the airport the next day leaving behind one of the most gorgeous countries I have ever seen, who knew green could be so green?! But I have lots of memories I took with me (not to mention my Irish made fascinator). And having the chance to see it with "M" and see how we were when we traveled together made it so much better and more special. I would have loved not to have gotten sick, but these things happen. I'll never forget this trip!!

Okay, I think I am blogged out for today, I am so out of practice! But there is so much more to update...and update I will! Thanks for still reading!


Dee Stephens said...

So glad you had fun! Can't wait to hear more about you and M!

flip flops on lex said...

Missed you! So glad you are back and very, very jealous of your trip to Ireland! I need to get there one of these days.

Cinderita said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE! Totally missed you and love that I came by today and you wrote today. Ireland is my next trip of choice so thanks for the tips. the Cliffs of Mohar are on my list! can't wait! sounds like you had an amazing time and I am so happy to hear things are going well fo ryou and M. YAY!

MCW said...

Welcome back!!! Have been dying to know how the move in is going!

Maalai said...

Hi all World historical events,Android apps tamil news,World news on android Breaking news for iphone