Hello Hello Hello!
I am back stateside and actually back in Philadelphia. Mom and I arrived Sunday afternoon in Boston after an uneventful flight back from Ireland. The jet lag has hit me harder going this way...I'm still falling asleep around 8pm every (which would be 1am Ireland) and up at 5am. I then hit a wall around 4pm...thankfully, I made land speed records driving back today and wall hitting time is occuring while being onhold with Comcast when my modem didn't work.
I'm trying to push through without a nap and reset my internal clock before returning to work tomorrow.
So after Kerry, we spent a day on the Dingle (maybe the DINGLE ate your baby!) Peninsula. I would say this was the high point of the Ireland trip for me. Dingle is unspoiled, quiet, gorgeous, green...the Ireland I expected. We discovered a secluded lakeside where we watched sheep graze on a hill side. We took countless photos of the sea crashing up against the now uninhabited Blasket Islands. We held on for dear life as we drove through the Conor Pass, a one lane road affording amazing views of the mountains, the sea and the gree pastures below. It was just breathtaking.
From Dingle, we headed to the Shannon Breeze Ferry that took us across the River Shannon to County Clare. We got lost, again, trying to find our lovely B and B, the Newpark House. But all was forgotten when we pulled in and were greeted by their lovely Irish Setter, Rua (Gaelic for "red") who was waiting as I opened the car door.
Friday we ventured to the Cliffs of Moher. The new visitors center, built into a hillside, had just opened a few months prior. The Cliffs are quite an amazing site. There are birds every where. You are kept fairly far from the edge, which does spoil the views. We decided to take in a "Cliffs of Moher" cruise from Doolin. Seeing the Cliffs from the water is truly an amazing experience. And, I saw an actual PUFFIN!!!! I felt very very small in the shadow of those cliffs.
We spent the afternoon napping (finally!) back at our in. We ventured into Ennis for dinner and found the most amazing Chinese food since Lakeside Chinese Deli. YUMMY! Mom and I hit the Off license for a large bottle of Bulmers Cider and retired to sit by the fire, drinking and knitting.
Saturday we were greeted with an ugly, rainy day...we decided to take a drive up through the Burren. This is a bizarre area of County Clare...I can't really describe it. But we saw more castles, abbey ruins and portal tombs to shake a stick at. We spent the afternoon touring the Ennis Friary and doing some last minute shopping around town. We had dinner at a wonderful restaurant called "The Town Hall." Let me say, the Irish do some wonderful things with cheese...mostly fried brie and on this night, fried goat cheese and sundried tomato salad. YUMMMMMMMM
So, now I'm home...broke and tired...but strangely refreshed and excited by the new parts of the world I've seen.
Here are some final numbers
Miles driven= around 1600
Driver= 1, me.
Castles= I lost count but maybe 14?
Sheep Sheared by Christina =1
Photos uploaded to Snapfish= almost 2000 (!)
Vacation with Mom and Ali= Priceless