Ireland: 50 Shades of Green

I was going to split our week in Ireland into two shorter posts, but I changed my mind, so prepare yourself for one long post. On our plane ride to Dublin, we slept so well. I’m pretty sure there is no such thing as catching up on sleep at this point, but it still felt good. I woke up just in time to see all the green fields below us before we landed. Everything is so green!! I wasn’t surprised because I’ve heard that tons of times, but it was so cool to see it for myself!

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When we landed in Dublin, we met Aunt Kim in the airport. The rental van we got this time was black (aka Black Beauty) and this time Dad had to drive on the left side of the road. He’s driving like a champ, but it really is entertaining sometimes. We drove into the city and met up with Kat and Walker, who flew in from Germany. Yes, we keep meeting up with people as we go. We had a very full car for a few days, but thats the way we like it 🙂 I should also note that I have not seen my sister in what feels like forever, so I have been looking forward to seeing her in Ireland for months now and it did not disappoint!

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These were the 8 kids for the weekend 🙂

Funny story. When we were trying to park in downtown Dublin for the first time, there was a 2 meter height limit on the parking garage. Our van is taller than two meters, but the guy standing outside insisted that we would fit. When we drove in, and every time we drove under a cement beam that was about 6 inches lower than the rest of the ceiling, we would hear the roof scrape against it. We could not hold it together in the backseat. It was so funny!! We drove all the way up to the first floor and turned around the first chance we got. At that point we had already heard the top hit at least 10 times. To get out of the garage we still had to take a ticket and pay three Euros… We were finally about to get out of the garage and we stalled under the barrier gate. Rookie mistake with the manual car. For a second, we were sure that is was going to come down on the car and we were going to have a smashed hood… Luckily it didn’t and we made it out of the garage with minimal damage and found a parking spot on the street!

We walked all over Dublin that day. We went to a pub and our waiter there was so nice and funny. We all ordered waters and he said “Thats the best thing you can drink… besides whiskey!” and the food was so good! We saw Trinity College, tons of pubs, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It started raining 13 times during the day and it was kind of cool, but also a little annoying… I get why Ireland is green now…

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Here’s a picture of Hannah and me from about a mile away. Our faces weren’t exactly presentable.

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Just taking cover from one of the 13 rain showers that day.

The 11 of us squeezed into the 9 passenger van and we drove to the cottage that we were staying at for the week. It is so cute and quaint. There were a few spiders that needed killing and I will admit that I was not brave enough to kill any of them.

We got up early the next morning and went to the Cliffs of Moher! Mom has been begging to got there for a long time, so today was an exciting day for her. It didn’t disappoint. The sun was shining for most of the time that we were there, but it was so windy. We ate a picnic lunch there, stopped to see the ocean, and then we drove back to the cottage because we wanted to watch the Germany vs. Italy soccer game. Germany won in penalty kicks, so we had a great day in every way.

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Just a little bit windy…

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Hannah and I goofed around all over this little town.

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Example 1…

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Love this quote and love this picture.

On our second full day, we got up early again and drove to Killarney. We took a carriage ride through the town, through the national park, and to the lake and castle! The Gaelic championship was going on that day, so the streets were crowded and festive. We googled the rules to Gaelic and it is basically a combination of every sport. It’s complicated to explain, but I would recommend googling it. Kat and Walker had to go back to Germany that afternoon, so we dropped them off at the airport before coming back to the cottage.

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The next day, we went to Bunratty Castle, which was really close to our cottage. It was was really beautiful and interesting and afterwards we ate at Durty Nelly’s. We had the sweetest waitress and the food was so good. We went and walked around Limerick and saw the river, the castle, and several churches. I wish I could give you a better description of what we saw, but Jeff was our tour guide for the afternoon and he showed us around talking in an Irish accent and gave us 100% false and made up information about the entire city. It was not a very educational tour, but it was very entertaining, so I’ll give him credit for that.

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We went to Blarney Castle and kissed the Blarney Stone!!! Just like the other castle we went to, Blarney Castle was beautiful. It had gardens everywhere! To kiss the Blarney Stone, you have to lay down and bend over backwards. It was really cool and I feel like I should mention that it is the must unhygienic tourist attraction in the world… And we all put our mouths on it… That afternoon we drove to Dingle. It’s a cute Irish town that is on the water. We ate at Dingle Pub and listened to Irish music. Jeff was a little unimpressed with Dingle because he claimed it was just like every other town in Ireland and he kept asking when we could leave. Dad said “Why do you have a date or something?” and Jeff said “Yeah with my pillow… I’m sleeping with it tonight… How bout that for a first date?”… so that was the dinner table quote of the night…

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On Wednesday, we just had a day to relax. It was so nice after a lot of early mornings, hours of riding in the car, and being tourists. The only thing I did all day was go for a run and I was perfectly okay with that.

Thursday morning we got up early and left our cottage. We had to take Aunt Kim to the airport before going to Dublin to meet Dad’s cousin Shannon. She is from Texas, but happened to be there at the same time as us. We got to meet her son for the first time and he is the cutest kid I have ever seen in my life. We had a picnic in the park with them and walked around the city for a little while before heading to our hotel. We opted to get to our hotel early because we had to be up at 3:30am for our flight the next morning…

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We will miss you Ballymorris Cottage 🙁

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How cute is this boy chasing the birds around in his little sweater??

I was not looking forward to that early wakeup, or leaving the beautiful green hills and lovely people of Ireland. Hopefully we are leaving with a little bit of Irish luck (as if we aren’t already lucky enough)… We will be back one day Ireland. I am sure of it.

-Sarah