Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ireland: Saturday

Don't worry. This is the last day.  All we did on Sunday was sit on airplanes and in airports.  But before we spend great quality time with the airport, we go to have one more day of Irish amazingness!

We went to Blarney on this day.  It was beautiful!  The grounds and gardens were beautiful.

Secret garden door :)
We're funny.
But of course we had to go kiss the Blarney Stone!  I thought the Blarney Stone would be some rock in the middle of a field.  Nope!  It's actually built into the castle.  By kissing it, you get the gift of gab, or eloquence in speaking.  I can't say it's really helped me, but at least I can now say that I've kissed something that thousands before me have kissed. :)  The stairs leading up to the stone were so steep and winding.  It was pretty crazy cool.
The guy running the stone is hilarious.  You can tell he's been doing this for a long time.  You have to lean back over a ledge to kiss the stone, so he holds onto you and helps you up and down.
Kyle and Kristen got a good video of Marie and I going.
Hand sanitizer spread on our lips when we were done...not very tasty, but maybe it kept us from getting some disease :)
We then headed to the Rock of Cashel.  It was so windy and cold there, but the castle, cemetery, and cathedral were beautiful!
 St. Patrick's Cross.  They have a replica outside, but they brought the real one inside because it was falling apart.
We went into the town of Cashel to shop around for a bit.  They had a Wonka store!
 We ended our last night back at Aunty Lena's for more bangers and mash.  So good!
 Oh, back to the car.  Here was the damage.  Oops. :)  It could have been worse!
Ireland was incredible.  I'd highly recommend it to anyone.  I wouldn't be opposed to going back someday, but there are lots of other places in the world I'd love to go.  I have a big list.  I just need to marry a rich man who will take me to these places. :)

Thanks, Ireland!

Ireland: Friday

This day may have been the most eventful.  Keep reading down to hear about the great car incident.  It was pretty awesome (now it is...not at the time, though)

Ever since I was little, I would look up my name in the dictionary, only to have it tell me that it's a river and city in Ireland.  Well good news, everybody.  I went to Shannon!  It was just a quick drive-through to get a picture, but it was awesome!

We took a little ferry over to Inisheer, one of the Aran Islands.  The island is tiny and kept reminding me of my hometown in Drummond.  Everybody knows everybody.  There are about 300 people that live on the island.
We hired a guy and his little horse and wagon to take us around the island.  It was so fun.

The island was beautiful.  It's all split into pieces of land by rock walls.  I can't imagine building those walls!

There was an old ship that washed onto the island in the 1960s

Jumping pictures in front of castle ruins are always fun :)
 I loved a lot of signs in Ireland, but this was my favorite...

Then we went over to the Cliffs of Moher.  We could see them from Inisheer, so I was excited to make it to the top of the cliffs.  I was especially excited to go because they filmed part of Harry Potter here.  It really was only maybe a 10 second clip, but still! :)  The cliffs were incredible!
See the sign?  They aren't kidding.  We were up really high!!!
We're rebels.  We (along with everyone else there) ignored the signs and climbed over the wall with the danger signs
Cheerleading picture :)
Now the story you've all been waiting for.  So we were going to go to The Burren.  We stopped at a visitors center in a little town, but it was already closed.  So we were going to head out to find things on our own.  Have you ever seen The Office episode where Michael and Dwight drive into a lake because the GPS tells them to?  That kind of happened to us.  The GPS told us to drive down this tiny lane, and well...our car didn't fit.  We saw that we weren't going to make it between two rock walls, so Kristen got out and tried to direct us.  She then saw that we were about to roll off a little 2-3 foot drop-off.  We didn't see how we were going to get out, so we realized we'd just have to scrape up the side of the car.  So we went for it.  And well...we didn't fit.
This might be my favorite picture of the trip. :)
We had no clue what to do, so Kristen and Marie walked down the lane and just happen to find a car repair shop that was open!  Everything closes at 5 there, and this was at about 5:30, so it was miraculous!  The guy was so nice.  He came over and checked it out.  Then he went to get some buddies to help us out.
They used a board and a jack to shift the car a couple inches to the right.  While the guys worked on that, Kristen, Marie, and I chatted with one of the guy's wife.  She was hilarious!  I wish we would have gotten a picture with her.  She was my favorite.  Here's a great video of them moving the car over as we talked to the lady about the time she had to hide from the police after she had been drinking.
Thanks for your help, guys! (The guy on the far right was the mechanic.  The other two guys were just happy to help.  The balding man next to Kristen was my favorite.  He was so smiley and happy.  I'm sure they were just making fun of us!)
Kyle was thrilled after it was done.
Needless to say, we decided not to worry about going to The Burren after this.  We had an appointment for a Medievil Banquet at Bunratty Castle.  
It was really fun!  They didn't let us use utensils.  Chicken and ribs with your fingers?  Way fun.  Our servers were in character all night and provided music.
 It was a fun ending to a pretty wild and fun day!