I was always a home bird, I remember as a little girl I never used to like staying away for sleepovers because I hated staying away from my parents and waking up to unfamiliar surroundings. It got easier as I got older because my sister would stay with me if ever we had to stay at our cousins or great aunts house. She is my older sister therefore she was my protector. Obviously, I outgrew this fear of staying away which you should all know if you’ve been following my blogs- I think I’ve mentioned Australia about a million times by now. Anyway, back to what I was saying- although I’m living in the UK now I still really love going home. Anytime I get a chance I book flights home to see the family. This is great for me, but I do feel bad for making Gavin use all his holiday time from work going to Ireland, even though he insists he enjoys it just as much as I do. So, for this trip we decided to treat it like a real holiday and planned some extra day trips/ overnight stays around Ireland. Here’s a little snippet from the trip.
We were up and on the road for 5am headed to Bristol airport. Our bag was overweight because someone decided to pack their entire wardrobe – ahem (all I’ll say is it wasn’t me). A standard argument and stressful five minutes later, we had re-jigged the suitcases and checked in. I think it was a smooth flight, although I can’t be sure because both of us were asleep before take-off. We arrived in Dublin and had another misunderstanding over who had the rental car email. I thought he had it and vice versa- turns out neither of us did but it was all sorted quickly, and we were on the road. In a typical fashion as Gavin and I do whist travelling- we took the wrong exit and ended up taking the Galway route, it worked out better for us though as there was less traffic and we got down faster than expected. Tip- sometimes the sat nav isn’t always correct. Well that’s what we think anyway. Maybe were just wrong all the time, that’s quite possible too.
Shortly after we arrived at my parents’ house, my mother had whipped the place into shape and there was the makings of a great party ahead for the evening. The sun sort of came out -it is Ireland after all and I only put on/off my cardigan about 7 times. Dad fired up the barbeque and burnt all before him, but my mother been the woman she is had back up ready to go. (Dad in case you read this, I really liked the sausages, they actually tasted good under the crispy bit.) We all sat around the table chatting, catching up and watching the kids playing. I love times like this, when all the family is together. I love to sit back and just watch. Watch my sister telling stories and bits of news, to see my brothers looking at some sort of gadget or watching videos on their phone. To see my mam pottering around making sure everyone is fed and has a drink, to see the kids running around and playing in the garden and to see my dad- doing exactly what I was doing and watching all the family.
A few days later we took to the road again to do the ring of Kerry. Initially we had intended on doing the full ring in 1 day but changed our minds after we realised the whole trip would probably have taken 10/11 hours. So instead we decided to do part of the route from Killarney to Kenmare and it was a good thing we did, it had been misty all day and visibility wasn’t the best so 10 hours of seeing nothing would have been quite annoying. We decided to make the trip old school and used a road map to navigate around the countryside and much to our own amazement we didn’t get lost- hurray. (it’s a first for us). We stopped off in Killarney for some breakfast and a standard trip to Primark where Gavin decided to buy 30 euros worth of socks, as you do. While we were shopping the heavens opened, and the rain was hammering it down. Oh, how I regretted wearing white jeans in that moment.
Along the journey we met wild goats, what we think was an Irish version of the Sons of Anarchy and I did an Irish jig in the middle of the road once we crossed over into Cork (it’s my favourite part of Ireland). Not bad for a Wednesday morning eh? After we arrived at our B&B in Skibbereen we ventured into one of the 3 pubs in the village. It was a typical country Irish bar, still set back in the early 1940’s would be my guess. It was dark and smoky but had great character. Not something a city boy would have been used to, which makes me realise there are still so many old places I need to show him around my hometown.
The next day we headed for Blarney castle, I had been there once before (I climbed to the top in high heeled boots- I’m quite proud of that) but I never kissed the blarney stone and so I figured why not try it out with Gavin. Unfortunately, 2 coaches full of tourists had the same idea and there was a queue way longer than my patience, so we skipped the castle and enjoyed a walk around the grounds instead. I was disappointed we didn’t get to kiss the blarney stone so instead I had a great idea to kiss the wall of the castle and hope for the best. Yes, we looked like absolute weirdos and yes, we kissed a building that wasn’t actually part of the main castle, but we had great craic doing it. What’s a little holiday adventure without making a complete fool of yourself, right?
There’s still so much more I have to tell you, but I don’t want to cram it all in so make sure to watch this space.
Chilling at the BBQ
Trump International hotel, Doonbeg
View from our B&B
Pucker Up Blarney
Pucker Up Blarney
Outside Blarney House