Wednesday, June 05, 2013


Here we are again... over a year since I last posted. The fact that I haven't completely given up has to count for something though, right? I've been daydreaming about all of the fantastic places we visited when we lived in Italy, so thought I'd recap our trip to Ireland, if only for my own posterity.

The trip was booked after I discovered that one of my favorite singers, David Gray, would be performing. Sign me up! We visited in early June, and were pretty surprised that it was still fairly cold there. The trip was a bit of a whirlwind - we spent one night in Dublin, rented a car and drove to Cork (I say "we" very loosely. Token was the one who had to navigate driving on the opposite side of the road in a manual vehicle. Good man, he is!), and then drove back to Dublin for another couple nights. I'm less than stellar at reading maps, and didn't realize Cork was so dang far from Dublin, which added quite a few hours in the car that we didn't plan for.

The first night, we stayed near to the O2, where the concert was held. I can't seem to recall the hotel name, but it worked for one night.

View from the nameless hotel. (so helpful, I know. I aim to please!)

The next day, we hit the road for Cork.  Looking at a map of Ireland, I figured it would take us a couple hours to go from Dublin to Cork. Um. Wrong. Dang that mile to kilometer conversion! Tricky! It took closer to five hours. Whoops. But, all of our friends said Cork was a must, and while I'm glad we did the road trip, I'm not sure I'd do it again. Cork was a cool city, but nothing really all that spectacular that stood out.

I found a Bed & Breakfast online that I would NOT recommend. The owner was very odd. We got back from wandering around town one day to find that the B&B didn't have any power. The owner wouldn't let us go up to our room, and then borrowed a euro from Token to make a phone call. Very, very strange. So, if you're headed to Cork, Ireland, avoided Audley House B&B.

In Cork, we found an Irish pub and had to have a beer, or in my case, cider. Yum!

 Cork also has a really nice market, so we wandered around there for awhile.

 After checking out of the shady B&B, we made our way to the Cliffs of Moher. If you go to Ireland, this is highly recommended! It was amazing. Do it.

We made the long trip back to Dublin, and checked into our third hotel, the Fitzwilliam. Oh my gosh is all I can say. This hotel was AMAZING. It was in a fantastic location, so plush and fancy. You know, the perfect hotel for a family traveling with a 1.5-year old. ;) They booked us in a room waaaaay at the end of a hallway, I think to keep us separated from their guests who actually wanted to sleep. Ha! Another bonus was the Pack N Play in the room.

 Since this hotel was in such a fantastic location, we wasted no time getting out and exploring. We saw the Temple Bar...

 ... went to the Trinity College Library...

 ... and visited the Guinness factory.

 The hotel is right across the street from a park, so we spent some time walking off 1.5-year old energy. Much needed!

 Ireland with a kiddo was fairly easy. We didn't bring a stroller with us, but Amelia was happy to walk and/or ride on Token's shoulders, so it worked. As with most of Europe, kids are widely accepted and encouraged to be out and about, and that's what we did! Lots of walking and spending time as a family. Can't beat it!

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