Friday, September 18, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Richard's folks finally made it over to see us. We wanted to get them out to see some castles and fun stuff outside of Dublin, so the day after they arrived, we headed to Kinsale. Kinsale is Ireland's foodie town. It has some of the best seafood restaurants in Ireland. We were late planners so we couldn't get reservations at Fishy Fishy whish is supposed to be phenomenol. So instead we ate at Jim Edwards. Everyone loved their meal. Very delicious, fresh seafood. I think we saw more than the required number of castles for one visit to Ireland. We went to Rock of Cashel, Cahir Castle, and Blarney Castle. We kissed the darn Blarney Stone, again! And then headed back to Dublin. And would you believe it rained the entire time. I'm not joking, there was not one single hour without rain.


When we got back to Dublin there was one glorious day without rain. We spent that day exploring the parks and sights of Dublin. For the last night of their visit, we went out to celebrate Richard's birthday. And then before we knew it, it was time for our visit to end.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Getting out of Dublin

We rented a car and got out of Dublin for Chelsea's last couple of days in Ireland. The first day Chelsea helped me navigate the Dublin streets, then we grabbed the pups and headed to County Wicklow to Glendalough and Sally Gap and bog jumping!

First up was the 5000 year old passage tomb of Newgrange. This monument which dates even before the pyramids was built by the sun-worshipping people that inhabited Ireland in ancient times. It was built to light up only one day a year, on the winter soltice. It's quite amazing.

We then jumped 4000 or so years forward in time and visited Trim Castle, the largest of the Anglo-Norman castles in Ireland. It was quite impressive.

And across from Trim Castle is St. Patrick's Church, a beautiful church whose altar has been decorated in a motif reminicent of the Book of Kells. It was the most beautiful church I've seen in Ireland.

And all that was great. But the real excitement of the day was ending Chelsea's trip at our modern-day monument, IKEA! A great day, but also sad since it was Chelsea's last.

Berg and Beyond

In a total coincidence, our good friend and adopted Windlinger-sister, Amanda Berg was in Ireland at the same time as Chelsea. Amanda was here visiting friends of hers that lived about 5 minutes from our house. So we ended up doing a lot of the "Dublin" things all together. Chelsea even had gelato that has inspired new desires to visit Italy. Great gelato in Ireland? you say. It's strange, almost unbelievable, and I do have to admit it was really good. But I mostly attribute this praise and glory for the little Temple Bar gelato cafe to the process of taste-bud reawakening Chelsea is experiencing after rejecting vegetarianism.

We hit, among others, Trinity, Grafton Street, Dublin Zoo and one new item for me, Kilmainham Gaol. I've been wanting to get see the large Victorian era jail that saw the execution of the 1916 Easter Rising leaders for awhile, so I was glad to finally do the tour.

We also got to see Christ Church Cathedral, one of the "highlights" of any Dublin trip.

And what trip to Dublin would be complete without a visit to Ireland's number one attraction...Guinness!