Ireland Trip part 1

Ireland Trip part 1

Hello! I can't believe it's been over a month since we were in Ireland. Time flies when RESPONSIBILITIES ARE WEIGHING YOU DOWN, AMIRIGHT?! We had such a blast while we were there, I thought it would be fun to recap our trip!

Joel and I had never been to Ireland before so when our friends Matt & Liz decided to having their wedding there...WE KNEW WE NEEDED TO FORCE THEM TO INVITE US. JK. But when their GORG invite came in the mail we were so excited! Witnessing our friends get married PLUS PLUS visiting a country we've never been to before...count us in! We left on a Tuesday afternoon and came back on Sunday. Not too shabby. And shout out to my amazing mom (and dad, and niece and sister) who watched our kids while we were gone. In case you didn't catch the drift from my last post, it's no easy task so we are eternally grateful for their willingness to do it! 

TUESDAY- Before we left we quickly ran up to Felicity's school for her Kindergarten graduation. Nothing says I've Achieved Something like finishing the Kinder year. Graduation was so cute! And I kept singing to Felicity Vitamin C's classic AS WE GOOOOO ONNNNNN, WE REMEMBERRRRR (my 8th grade graduation song) which she HATED. I swear it was making her teary eyed (that's the drunk part). But I'm glad we were able to be there for it.

 Do these flowers make me look LIKE A FIRST GRADER???

Do these flowers make me look LIKE A FIRST GRADER???

Afterwards, we jumped in the car and off to Dulles airport we went! We checked in at the JetBlue desk and after much clicking and mumbling the airport guy was like, "Uhhhh yeahhhh your flight to Boston was canceled because of construction. We don't have any other flights leaving today." And to make matters worse he's like "BUT THERE IS a flight from Reagan to Boston that leaves in a hour and half." Reagan is about 35 mins from Dulles. So I'm like

And Joel's like

So the next thing I know I'm pulling a Home Alone in the airport down to the taxi area, where we find a VERY WILLING taxi driver to take us to Reagan National Airport. I won't tell you how fast he was going on the Dulles Toll Road because my mom reads this, and I am with child, but I will tell you he was channeling his inner Keanu Reeves in Speed. We got there in one piece (bless up), only to find that THAT flight was also delayed (bless down. But this actually worked for us). Basically the Boston airport was NOT living it's best life and tons of flights were delayed that day. Blah. The point is we DID get to Boston (which was to connect us to Shannon, Ireland) but it wasn't pretty. Not just because of the delays, but also because I am a GAH AWFUL flyer. 

The fear is real. The fear is not getting much better. Even as I write this post I feel icky in my sticky talking about flying. Is it because I am a control freak? Probably. Is it because I don't like the idea of traveling through the sky in a can at a high rate of speed? Yes. Every pilot I meet I talk to about flying and reminds me that the probability of dying in a plane crash is like NEGATIVE, but alas...it doesn't seem to help. So Reagan to Boston was the first leg and I was all

And Joel's was all

Just incredibly unhelpful. Doesn't make him nervous to fly in the SLIGHTEST. WHATEVER. (If you are a fellow fearful flyer I'll tell you this: I was reading an article written by a pilot about what it's like in the cockpit when there's bad turbulence and he said that they're not worried AT ALL up there. They're like "oh shoot I spilled my coffee. Hand me a napkin." Which for some reason made me feel better. Not helpful? OKCOOLBYE.)

Once we got to Boston I eased up a little because of, let's face it,

wine. And also because at our gate THIS was happening...

These musicians were on our flight. And do Irish bands that are playing at the gate REALLY die in plane crashes? (We will ignore the Titanic band analogy). THE POINT IS, I took it as a good sign that all was going to be well on our 6 hour flight to Ireland.

And it was! It helped that Joel and I had the row of seats just before First Class (so close yet so far!) and no seat mate! Huzzah!! Plus lots of movies and food. Liz and Matt were SO CREATIVE and created a Fly to Ireland cocktail kit that I talked about HERE so we busted out the cups and sleep masks they provided for us and we were happy campers!

WEDNESDAY We arrived in Ireland at 6 am and hit the ground running! We decided to rent a car so we could do some sightseeing before and after the wedding. 

We got to our hotel really early and understandably the room wasn't ready yet. So we had breakfast and sat in the lobby and people watched. OK, so ONE of us people watched. The other one was doing this:

We get it, Joel, we get it. You're in Ireland 15 minutes and you already letting the European intellectual vibes take over. He's reading A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS, by the FIRE, I MEAN HONESTLY............

Eventually we checked in our room where we were greeted with this BOMBASTIC welcome basket:

After a quick nap we decided to drive to Limmerick, which was about 25 mins away from where we were staying. (Shout out to Joel who drove stick, on the opposite side of the car, on the opposite side of the road LIKE A CHAMP. It was a #mancrush moment FO SHO.)

Limmerick was pretty nice. We got the sense it was more of a "working class" city. We were just happy to be exploring so we liked walking around. We learned later on that the Irish refer to it as "stab city" (WOOPSIES!) because I guess it's not considered very safe?? Either way they have some very cute stores and cafes!

 I was a Japanese tween in another life because I LOVE ALL THIS KIND OF STUFF

I was a Japanese tween in another life because I LOVE ALL THIS KIND OF STUFF

After walking around we went back to the hotel to change, and then headed 15 min in the opposite direction to Ennis. We LOVED Ennis. We ended up staying there the last night of our trip because we enjoyed it that much. We found a great restaurant called Knox's Bar & Storehouse where we dined on fish & chips by candlelight, and even found an Irish step dancer giving an impromptu performance in the bar. It was awesome.

Why is nothing as cool in the states as it is in other countries??? RIDDLE ME THAT. 

THURSDAY we were free in the day and had the wedding welcome reception in the evening. So we totally spoiled ourselves by going to the spa and playing golf at the castle. (You can guess who did what...) Yes, that's right. THE CASTLE. Liz and Matt's wedding reception was at the BEAUTIFUL Dromoland Castle which was a 2 min drive from our hotel or a 15 min walk. Describing it doesn't even do it justice, it was just gorgeous! 

Joel went off to golf and I headed over to the spa. I got a prenatal massage and a facial and it was delightful. 

The TRUTH OF THE MATTER is I don't go to spas often. I don't feel like I'm cool enough or quiet enough to frequent spas on a regular basis. BUT I'M GOING TO START (I'm sure Joel will love to hear that), because they are fantastic. It was soooo nice and afterwards I sat in their relaxation room with a cup of tea and my book and a recliner and just LIVED MY LIFE TO THE FULLEST! (ps the title of my book is a little jarring but it's quite funny and interesting! I highly recommend it!) 

After the spa I didn't think Joel would be done with golf, so I decided to head back to the hotel. I had the eucalyptus PUMPING through my veins and not a care in the world, so I opted to WALK back to the hotel instead of taking the shuttle. (I know my friends reading this are LOLing at the thought of me actively choosing to walk somewhere.) I WAS BEING ADVENTUROUS, YOU FOOLS. Except for two issues, 1. I didn't ask for directions (see: post spa crackhead brain) 2. the weather. Irish weather is v v unpredictable. I snapped this pic of the castle as I embarked on my walk...

Brooding, yes. But I wasn't worried about rain. Which was stupid. Because about 7 mins into my walk it starts POURING RAIN. And not just rain but also WIND. LOTS OF WIND. And I have NO CLUE where I'm going. PATHS FOR DAYZ. And I am straight WIND. BLOWN. The bag with my recent spa purchase (a lavendar face toner, duh) was flapping in the breeze and I was like oh shizzzz. But the problem is I wasn't willing to CONCEDE, you see. I DID NOT WANT TO ADMIT I WAS LOST. SO I was all

 BRING IT, MOTHER NATURE.

BRING IT, MOTHER NATURE.

I just kept going down different paths and was like IT HAS TO BE RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER (as I step in horse poop). IT'S JUST AROUND THE RIVERBEND HERE!!! (As another gust of wind almost knocks me over). It was bad. And what does one do in a situation like this? Well they silently curse their husband, of course. BECAUSE WHY NOT. IF HE HAD BEEN DONE WITH GOLF BY NOW I WOULDN'T BE WALKING BY MYSELF!!!! (Super good reasoning.)

Eventually after about 30 minutes I gave up and walked back to the castle, the proverbial tail between my legs. I entered the door and the Mr. Carson of the castle was STRAIGHT TERRIFIED of the wet dog he was laying his pale blue Irish eyes on. A woman came up to me clearly alarmed and was basically like WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO YOU and I told her. She showed me on a map (AHHH YES. The map.) Where I had gone wrong (step 1). In the same moment Joel texted me he was done playing golf with this pic:

 "Made some new friends!!"

"Made some new friends!!"

OH LOOK AT YOU JOEL, JUST MAKING SO MANY IRISH FRIENDS ON THE GOLF COURSE. WHILE I'M DYING ON AN IRISH WALKING PATH. IT'S FINE.

In the end Joel picked me and my bruised ego up at the castle doors and back to our hotel we went. 

Next on the agenda was high tea late that afternoon at the castle with our friend Katie. Now THAT was more my speed. Tea, cute outfits and finger sammys-- YES PLEASE! 

 Notice the SUN streaming in. MOTHER NATURE IS A FICKLE BEAST.

Notice the SUN streaming in. MOTHER NATURE IS A FICKLE BEAST.

 A rose among two thorns

A rose among two thorns

We had SUCH a nice time and everything was so delicious. Tea in a castle is part of the Experience Tour, you know what I mean? Like if it's offered-- do it! Awesome memories! 

After tea we went back to the hotel to change before the big WELCOME DINNER! Which I'll SAVE FOR MY PART 2 post later this week. Huzzah!! 


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Ireland Trip part 2

Ireland Trip part 2

The Dog Days of Summer

The Dog Days of Summer