Ireland

Sheep’s Head Peninsula
Oh Ireland, you are so, so lovely.  I had been dreaming about you for the last few years – and literally couldn’t wait to meet you.  The first night, minus getting oh so incredibly lost, was pretty nice.  I was treated to an extremely fancy dinner – a rarity for me, and got to experience my first 5 star hotel.  The next morning we had plans of sipping delicious Guinness while touring the Storehouse – which was “right down the road you can’t miss it”…but gave that thought up after driving around in circles for over an hour.  The next few days included visiting quant villages along the southwestern route, eating delicious food, drinking a handful of beers, and enjoying the lovely man that accompanied me.  I got to see beautiful countryside, ancient castles and ruins, gorgeous farmhouses, dazzling coastlines and all the sheep in the entire world.   Oh the sheep.  I suppose I should have figured since I can’t wear wool – I might have mild allergy.  I, however, hadn’t anticipated the full-blown, 100+ sneezes a day, snotty, eye scratching, head pounding sheep allergy I apparently have.  Sheep.  Who knew?  Even though this allergy attack was pretty exasperating, it was really nice to just be in Ireland.  My fondest memories are nothing extravagant: merely strolling the towns, listening to the guy on the street sing “The Port of Amsterdam” and indulging in each mornings breakfast and delicious Irish tea.  Standing on the edge of the Sheep’s Head peninsula, looking out into the vast, clear blue ocean was pretty neat.  We wrapped up our journey at The Cliffs of Moher…this is the type of spot that mentally forces you to regain perspective, realize life is but mist, and give God glory for His absolutely breathtaking creation. 
From left to right:  Muckross House, Cliffs of Moher, Kilkenny Castle, Me & Guinness, Sheep, Coast on the Slea Head Drive, Lamb Stew, from a Market in Bantry, Killarney National Forest

Thought I’d throw in a few traveling tips:

  • If you’re going to travel with someone – make it someone you can tolerate for hours on end.   For those who don’t live with their travel partner – this can be a whole new experience – and can be delightful, or dreadful.  I was very fortunate to have wonderful, wonderful company.
  • American curling irons do NOT convert, even with the nicest converters.  Trust me.
  • Don’t be so frantic about not bringing a lot.  On my first Europe trip I was really frugal with my packing – and honestly, really didn’t like how I looked in any of the pictures. This time, I gave myself a little slack, and brought some fun attire – and am very glad I did.
  • Take a moment, or five, to just be.  Take a deep breath, make a big smile, and enjoy your every moment.  Enjoy!
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