We are back from our wonderful trip to Ireland and what a trip it was. My mother, daughter and I had such a great time seeing all the wonderful sights and trying all the wonderful food. My daughter is now a huge fan of Sea Bass.
We arrived at the Dublin airport with no problems, other than the wait in line to go through customs. We got through it and then went on to exchange our money and then get the car. I am so glad we got an automatic, I don't know what I would have done with a manual. The only problem I ran into with the car was, trying to figure out what button I pushed that turned on the breakdown signalers. I finally had to ask someone for help, because I couldn't find the button. But he did, I felt a little foolish.
We finally started our drive towards our B&B in Swords. I didn't have any trouble driving on the wrong side of the road and the wrong side of the car, I got the hang of it right away. But I was still nervous for the first time driving. We made it to the B&B after many wrong turns and asking for directions, my GPS got us in the vicinity, but without a number for the street address, it had me at the road but I still couldn't find it. But after many attempts, we got there. the B&B was nice, but not my top pick.
I took my mother and daughter on a drive to Malahide to see the castle that first night and walked around the grounds, but because it was closing, we couldn't go inside. So we decided to head back for dinner. What a time we had finding someplace to sit and eat. We found a Pub, but had such a hard time with getting seats, that we walked upstairs and then downstairs, but still couldn't get a seat. We ended up leaving and found another place, you will not believe it, but we ended up at Eddie Rockets! Not what I expected for our first meal, but we had some food and then headed back to the B&B.
Dublin was the next day. We took a bus in and then got on the HOHO. My mother had some trouble walking, so we didn't get off as much as I would have liked. She enjoyed the sights and then we got off and found a pub to eat at. Great food and my first Smithwick's of the trip! After lunch, we walked a bit and then got back on the HOHO. The sights were blocked some due to construction in the city, so it took away from the tour for my mom and daughter. I would have loved them to see more without the obstacles.
We then set off the next day for Kilkenny with a stop at Powers Court House and Gardens. What a beautiful place! We took so many pictures. My daughter loved that she could use her new camera to get some wonderful photos. We were even able to borrow a wheelchair for my mother. Some areas were a little hard to push, so she held on to the chair and walked. After our stop, we then left for our B&B the Rosquill House in Kilkenny. Rhoda and Phil were wonderful and very accommodating. We were able to have a first floor room so no stairs for my mom. We walked around Kilkenny for awhile after we parked at the car park so everyone could do a little shopping. Then we hit Kytler's Inn. Mom loved the Trad music that was there and had a great meal. The next day we toured the castle and the national craft gallery, walked around Kilkenny and saw the Black Abbey and St Candices Church and round tower. I thought that since I had my GPS with me, I was unstoppable when it came to finding places, boy was I wrong. I wanted to take my mom and daughter to Kells Priory, but didn't have an exact location, and Phil was not much help. I think he thought I new all the roads when he was explaining, but I ended up getting us lost and we headed back. We still enjoyed getting lost, but I really did want them to see it.
We then left for Killarney and stopped by the Rock of Cashel and then Cahir Castle. They both loved them and we got some great photos. After brief stops at both, we headed to our B&B in Killarney, Larkinley Lodge, where Toni Sheehan met us at the door. I just love going there. She greets you with a warm smile and a big hug. Can't say enough about Toni and her husband Danny, just great people. After we dropped off our luggage, she had tea and snacks for us and we all sat down and talked for awhile. Later on, we went into town for dinner and to walk some. Mom ended up back at the room to rest and my daughter and I headed back out to explore the town. I know that there are other wonderful areas of Ireland but Kilkenny and Killarney are my favorites. My daughter and I did the jaunting car ride through the Gap of Dunloe and loved it. My favorite part of the trip! Later that night, I brought my mother to see the show Celtic Steps, what a fantastic show. It was her highlight of the trip. I would recommend that show to everyone.
Ennis was the next stop and along the way we did stop in Adare to walk around and see the cottages. Sorry to see that one of them burnt down. I had read about it, but wondered if they would rebuild it. They did not. too bad. After our stop, headed to Grey Gables in Ennis. Mary met us at the door and our room was just about ready. Mom went in to rest and my daughter and I headed out to town. I tried to let her see as much as we could, so she could enjoy it all. We headed to the Cliffs of Moher the following day and everyone fell in love. I just love that place.
Our whole trip was just wonderful and I know my mother and daughter fell in love with Ireland as much as I did my first time. We saw so much and took many pictures. I know that I will go back again and I hope my daughter will make more trips on her own. It was the last big trip for my Mom, but what a place to make your last big trip.
Thank you to everyone who helped with suggestions. We did see many things along the way, but it was too many to write about.
Welcome back! Glad to hear that it all went (mostly) well.
We've taken friends and family through the Gap of Dunloe three times (so far!), plus we have driven it three times, as well. The Black Valley never gets old. Love it there.
Did you and your daughter climb to the top of the Round Tower in Kilkenny? The views from there are pretty inspiring.
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