Sunday, March 16, 2014

Day 1: Dublin and other Sites

When I told people that we were going to be going to Ireland, more often than not, I got, "Why Ireland?" Truth is, Scott has always been drawn to it, I love to travel and see new things, so it was a perfect decision. So, back in November, we decided to go for it. The next question I got once we booked our trip was, "So, are you going to go and see your parents while you are there?" Most of  you already know the answer. We didn't see them. Love you Mom and Dad! 
Five days before we were supposed to leave, I had this nagging feeling to pull out our passports. I figured I was having this feeling so I wouldn't forget to pack them. Boy was I wrong. I opened up my passport and found it was in my maiden name. I was sick! I spent all that morning and into the afternoon making phone calls, making sure that I could still get to Ireland. After talking to many people on Facebook, Customs and TSA, I was given the "go ahead" to just bring my Marriage certificate too. Sweet relief. I am pretty certain now, the reason I was getting those nagging feelings, was to know to bring my marriage certificate with me. Without that, there would have been major issues. 
We left early Saturday Morning for the San Fran airport. Scott's parents were very kind to watch the girls for the week. The flight was long and the first leg, Scott and I didn't get to sit by each other. Lame Priceline. Just book through the actual company and not Priceline. We got into Dublin around 8:00AM. Sad to say, I didn't sleep at all on the plane, so I was pretty exhausted once we got there. Sleep deprivation never slowed us down though. We hit the ground running. We rented a car and Scott was a rockstar driving on the left  side of the road. He had no issue driving. We headed for Dublin and spent a few hours there. It's funny. We feel like we went to Ireland and had a big road trip. We drove all over the place!
 Dublin had a lot of narrow streets. Actually, all of Ireland is pretty much narrow streets.

 These guys were crazy. I had to really look if they were statues or people. I realized they were people when one of them waved to me. 
 A big shopping area of Dublin. We didn't really do any shopping. We walked around looking at the different buildings (and people).
 My favorite thing about Ireland is all of the old buildings (or castles and ruins). We would be driving through a village, then out of no where, you see a castle ruin. It is amazing. 
 I love all of the colors in Ireland. 

 Trying really hard not to look like a tourist

We had a travel Bible that mentioned a cafe called, "Queen of Tarts." After reading the reviews I decided that I wanted to go there as soon as we got to Dublin. That was probably our favorite thing we did Sunday. Sounds silly, but the cafe was adorable and the food was really tasty. We split a sandwich and shared a scone and a delicious chocolate tart. Mind you. During this time, I was having crazy dizzy spells. I felt like I was still on the plane and was so tired. I was fighting through, though.
 I think I can see some dark circles under Scott's eyes. Poor guy worked crazy hours a couple of weeks before we left, and with the long flight, her was going on very little sleep.
 After already taking a bite, I realized I didn't take a picture of the scrumptious tart. We scarfed this Mamma down pretty quickly. 
 I believe this was Saint Patrick's Cathedral. I thought that I was going to remember everything that we saw, but doing this post is proving me wrong. 

 We couldn't really spend a ton of time in one spot because we always had a place to go to. My parents have a timeshare in Ireland and we had to drive over two hours to get there. We wanted to make some stops at some hot spots on the way there so we had to get going. The first stop was the Rock of Cashel.
( From Wikipedia: Cashel is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century). 
The surrounding area was beautiful. So green and there was some sort of Abbey ruin just down the road from Cashel that you could see from the castle. Now something we learned early into our trip was a lot of tours were closed until April. Since we went in low peak times, a lot of things were closed. So, we didn't get a tour of the castle. Sigh...that's okay. It was still beautiful and I liked being the only two up on the hill. It was very peaceful and quiet. 
 Our walk up to Cashel. Isn't that rock wall awesome? I loved all of the rock walls.
 The ruin at the bottom of the hill

 Our next stop was Cahir which was another recommended castle to see. You can see in this picture the light fading in my eyes. We were both eating sunflower seeds in the car to stay awake. We were getting pretty tired. We didn't get to tour the inside of this castle (I am not sure if they do tours), but it was still beautiful to see. This is the largest castle in Ireland.
 "Climbing" the rock wall
 The river along the castle. I love all of the old bridges.
It was getting dark and we new we had to get to our cottage soon. My biggest fear came true. We had to drive (well, Scott had to drive) the narrow roads, in the rain, at night. Now, it's not that the roads are just narrow, but narrow with rock walls along both sides. There is no shoulder. The Irish drive fast too. They have no fear of the sharp turns and curvy roads. I was pretty sure that we would crash into the wall. By the time we reached Tulla (the village we stayed in), we were beyond exhausted and starving. We found the only open restaurant in the village and it happened to be Malaysian. Yes, Malaysian. Ordering Malaysian food in Ireland is like ordering Mexican food in Russia. You just don't do it. The food was so disgusting. The chicken was under cooked and the rice was crunchy. And the crazy thing is, the owner WAS Malaysian. After dinner we drove to the middle of nowhere and found our cottage (which was perfect). We brought our stuff in, got ready for bed and were asleep within minutes. We meant to get up at 7:30, but turned our alarm off and fell asleep for two more hours. 
Day two will be posted soon!


Cynthia Lovell said...

That was GREAT!!! I LOVE your Travel Logs!!! Makes me feel like I've been there. Can't wait to see Day 2!!!

Lovell Family said...

you got some great pictures!! Love hearing about your travels!

Emily Foley said...

I am so glad you got your passport worked out! These pictures are so amazing. And interestingly, I think the first place we'll ever go in Europe is Ireland. Dave is dying to go, and these pictures are not helping! you must have a nice camera (and be good at taking pictures) because they are so clear and beautiful! I love your coat and boots, you are the best looking couple ever.