7: Kinsale to Mizer point

On our last day in Ireland we started in Kinsale (at a reeeeally nice B&B), and made our way down the coast to Mizer point. It was beautiful but all of the little picturesque villages were closed as it was Sunday, so that was a little disappointing. We found “Dec’s diner” in Skibbereen. The train museum in Skibbereen was open, but not as cool as it sounded. We saw a random sign for an “open farm” so we followed it off the main road, on a crazy little dirt road to a cute little farm. They charged us a small fee and we got to see all their animals including a brand spanking new baby lamb, adorable goats, ducklings being raised by a chicken who hatched them and we even sampled “goat ice cream”, which was much better than any other goat product I have sampled. We drove out to Mizer point to see the view and then almost ran out of gas as we headed back for the airport to fly on out.
Ireland-74 Ireland-75 Ireland-76 Ireland-79 Ireland-81 Ireland-83Overall we LOVED Ireland. The people were incredibly nice (the first B&B we stayed at, the lady gave Jonah a birthday card with 10 Euro in it because we had said he was almost 4! Crazy!), the country was beautiful. If we could do it again I would drive less (stay in one area, like just the Connemara or Kerry or Kinsale area) and try to interact with more locals.

6: Kissing the Blarney & the Rock of Cashel

I am sure most of you have heard of the grand tourist attraction: the Blarney castle, and it’s famous stone that everyone must kiss in order to gain the gift of gab. What I didn’t realize about the blarney stone though is that it is really high up. For some reason I always thought it was at the base of the castle, close to the ground. BUt it’s a ways up there and you have to hang your body out there to kiss it. Granted, it’s pretty safe these days with all the iron bars and the grumpy old man that holds on to you.






The Rock of Cashel was Nick’s favorite stop on our trip. The oldest part of the castle isa tower built in 1100, un-mortared stones placed perfectly together like a puzzle. This castle is on a hill that can see far and wide in all directions and was easy to defend.




5: Galway, Ireland and sugary lamb fries

We made our way to our furthest north destination, Galway. (If I could do it again I would not have driven this far, south west Ireland could take up weeks and still be lovely). Our trip in Ireland included a lot of driving, and thus a lot of time in the car to talk, sing, cry, scream, laugh and watch sheep go by in the window. We had several discussions about all the cute little baby lambs dotting the countryside. Nick would say “yum” and I would get mad. Jonah at first was on my side, but on the drive to Galway he swithced sides. He said that if we made fries out of them it wouldn’t be sad to eat them. Especially if we put sugar on them, “then it would be nice Mom!” Sugary lamb fries. He might be on to something. Also on the way to Galway Jonah figured out how to whistle, thank goodness not very loudly.

Galway was a lovely small city, but we didn’t have much time there before having to turn back around and head south so we could make our way back.

Ireland-59 Ireland-57 Ireland-58Just outside of Galway we stopped in a little craft village called Skibbereen where Jonah had a total melt down and yelled at a complete stranger. He was laying on the ground throwing a fit about something and a lady walked up and said “are you tired?” to which he responded “NO I”M NOT TIRED! SHE THINKS I”M TIRED!” I really should start a blog of “toddler travel melt downs” because we have had our fair share.

4: The Burren and some birds

Near the cliffs of Moher is this area called “the Burren”. For a long time it was thought to be a wasteland where nothing could grow. But they have now discovered that it actually has some of the most varied plant life in the world. There are flowers and insects from all over the world that flourish in this barren looking land. There are some interesting old rock burials around there that you can stop and see too.
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In the Burren they had a Falconry that you could visit. Nick and Jonah went in while Declan and I took a walk. Jonah got to hold one of the birds, I can’t believe how brave he was! That things talons are longer than his fingers!

4: The Cliffs of Moher

Ah, the beautiful cliffs of Moher. The subject of my nightmares ever since I booked tickets to Ireland. So many people have died at the cliffs, falling or jumping off. I had nightmares of Jonah running right off. When we arrived at the cliffs you better believe Jonah was not EVER at ANY moment without a hand wrapped tightly around his wrist. There is a visitor center and a nice big wall along the main part of the cliffs, but I was still very vigilant to keep a hand on him. So much so that his little hand was turning white and almost purple at times, lol. Did I mention how much the cliffs terrify me??? It is always really windy at the cliffs (which is sometimes how people fall off), but they day we were there they had just had gail storm winds the night before, so it was really really windy.  But they were beautiful!





When we arrived back at our B&B for the night, our hostess (who we had gotten off to a bad start with, by forgetting to mention CHILDREN in our reservation, ooops) warmed up a bit and told us a story about the cliffs…and her son, when he was about 10…FALLING OFF THE CLIFFS!!!!!!! He was one of very few people who have survived a fall. He landed on a ledge a ways down and they were able to rescue him by helicopter. She said when she first saw his body she just thought he was going to be brain dead. But he woke up and said something intelligible to her and then went into a coma for several months. But because he had woken up and spoken to her, she knew he would be alright. Crazy! I think I would have moved somewhere far away from those dang cliffs.

Ireland day 3: Adare, Bunratty castle, Doolin

Working our way North we stopped in Adare to see the cute little thatch roof houses, and then at Bunratty castle to see the little tourist trap village and castle (total tourist trap, do not really recommend it, Jonah enjoyed the animals though). Dinner was my favorite part of each day, loved the food in Ireland. And I hear tell that the bars have some great entertainment at night as well, but we never stayed up late enough with the kiddos to find out. Ireland-23 Ireland-25 Ireland-26   Ireland-28 Ireland-27Ireland-29

Ireland days 1 & 2

Declan took his very first airplane…to Ireland! Very appropriate. We arrived to a rainy day in Ireland. We went to pick up our rental car only to find that Ireland insurance is a bit complicated and we would have to pay more than expected. We got on the road and spent the first little while freaking out about being on the “wrong” side of the road. We made our way to Muckross house for a quick tour. The tour guide was so sweet to Jonah, towards the end of the tour she asked me if I was Irish. I told her yes and she said “I thought so. We know our own”. She then proceeded to tell Jonah to look after his Irish lass (me), and kept commenting how it was very obvious that Jonah was Irish as well, since he is so “spirited”. Darn this Irish blood for giving me spirited children! We then checked in to our first lovely B&B in Killarney.


The next day we drove the beautiful “ring of Kerry”. We stopped and ate fish and chips on the beach, enjoyed chocolate samplings at Skelligs chocolate, admired lot’s of views and ended with a picnic on Inch beach outside of Dingle.

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Easter in Assisi

For Easter we decided to make a quick trip to Assisi to see the “Easter procession” that goes on there. Assisi is the hometown of good old Saint Francis. (Some of you may not know this, but new popes get to take on the name of a saint. The brand new pope just became the first ever to take on the name of Francis, which is kind of a big deal. Francis was a bit of a rebel in his day. He believed in taking all that money that the catholic church had and giving it to the poor rather than building extravagant churches. The church did not recognize him or his followers at first. So anyways, I have high hopes that this new pope will be awesome.) The Easter procession was…interesting. They turned out all the city lights and lit these big candles. A procession of men carrying crosses, creeping drumming and people singing walked slowly through the town from one church to another. Assisi is beautiful and we enjoyed our stay, until we woke up in the morning and Nick could barely talk through his swollen tonsils…so we rushed home so that Nick could go to the hospital and have it drained (gross).
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4 Months!

Also on the 28th of March, my cute little man turned 4 months! He weighs in now at 16 lbs. We are loving every moment! He loves to talk and squeals with delight constantly. He loves Jonah and will watch him with great fascination. He is very wary of strangers, especially when Mommy is not in the room. He is still not sleeping through the night and has yet to roll over. He chews on anything he can get his hands on. Still cannot keep a pacifier in to save his life (because he chews rather than sucks).






28 on the 28th

For my 28th birthday on the 28th, Nick pulled off an awesome surprise party for me. I don’t think anyone has ever thrown me a surprise party before…it was fun! He even managed to plan the whole thing without me suspecting until right beforehand. Thank you to my sweet hubby for planning the whole thing and everyone who came and made me feel so special.