On my bucket list for a really long time was a trip to Ireland! I’m not sure if it’s my Irish and English heritage that has me loving Europe so much, but whatever the reason, I knew Ireland was a must see for me! When I was at a photography workshop a few years ago, all of the attendees were asked to write down some of their biggest goals. One of mine was traveling the world with my family. I’ve always known deep down in my soul that I wanted my children to see different parts of the world and to experience different cultures outside of America. I actually had a photo of Ireland on my vision board for about a year before I was able to take that photo off to replace it with my next big goal. Such a satisfying feeling! And man, did we make some incredible memories on that trip!
We started in Dublin and made our way around the southern perimeter of the country back to Dublin over a nine day stretch. We traveled to Kinsale, a gorgeous nautical town outside of Cork. We moved into to Cork, out to Kerry and up to Galway. There were tons of little towns in between that we adored and stayed in a new Bed and Breakfast or hotel about every 1-2 days. It was a ton of driving (on the opposite side of the road which was a little scary at first) but we loved every second of it. Our time in the car consisted of long talks and a lot of Queen songs (my kids LOVE Freddy Mercury)!
Some notable things we saw were Temple Bar, The Ring of Kerry, The Blarney Castle, The Cliffs of Mohr, and The Guinness Factory, just to name a few. One of our favorite places to stay was Ballyseede Castle where I did a little photo shoot with Aubrielle (my only willing participant). Little did we know when booking our stay there, it’s one of the most haunted hotels in the world! We didn’t start inquiring about its history until Carlyn came to me the morning after our first stay saying that she had a horrible time sleeping and heard footsteps going up and down the stairs all night long! Holy moly! I will have to say, even with the ghostly encounters, it was by far our favorite hotel!
Some other things that we loved were the Blarney Castle and walking the busy city streets. The castle was almost a no-go for me. I’m not a fan of tight spaces and climbing the stairs to the top is pretty terrifying. But, I did it and I was more than happy to give that Blarney Stone a big smooch once I got to the top to celebrate my victory! Afterwards, we found a large open park area just outside of the castle grounds where the kids played for hours. That was definitely one our favorite parts of the trip!
Ireland was definitely a trip of a lifetime. I’m not sure our family has ever bonded like that. It was the most incredible experience and I can’t wait to start planning our next adventure!