Sunday, July 13, 2014

My Trip to Ireland 2014

I recently returned from a trip to Ireland. I'm not much of a traveler -- just never have the time or money -- so this was really a once-in-a-lifetime event. It was also the longest time I've ever been away from my husband and boys.

My mom, who is 76, has always wanted to see Ireland. Since losing my Dad several years ago, she has had a hard time and struggled with loneliness. One day she just up and decided that she wanted to go to Ireland and there was really nothing stopping her. So, she told us we were going and that was that.

Planning the trip and the anticipation of traveling helped to occupy my mom and gave her something to look forward to. My daughter, Shelby, graduated from high school this year. She also celebrated her 18th birthday in Ireland. This trip was my mom's gift to celebrate these milestone occasions. Along with my daughter and mother, my older sister also went along.

Ireland was amazing! Seriously, it was like every single place you looked could be a postcard. We went with a small tour group and although I was unsure about that at first, it turned out to be a great experience. We had a total of 25 people in our group - folks from all over and all ages. The group was just small enough that it was easy to get to know everyone. Our tour guide, was an older Irish gentleman named Michael. He was simply stellar! His knowledge of Irish history and geography was impressive and he told the best stories - some of which were truly historical and others that were purely mythical folklore. Nevertheless, he was very entertaining and had us laughing all the time. His storytelling was one of the best parts of the trip.

I'm somewhat of an anxious traveler but everything went very smoothly with the exception of our last night. We were in Dublin being dropped off at our hotel. As we exited the bus to cross the street, my mom fell. She banged up her leg and knee pretty badly and was a little shaken up. I could tell that she was probably going to need stitches in her knee and the hotel manager agreed. He sent us via ambulance to a Dublin hospital, complete with a police escort. It was quite the spectacle! Other than a lot of discomfort and a little embarrassment, my mom was okay.

Here are some photos from my trip. I have LOTS so I'll be sharing more over the next several days.

Me and Shelby 

Me, my mom, sister, and daughter

Rolling fields

Ireland street

Cliffs of Moher - this was stunning!

Cliffs of Moher

Beautiful building

Old Irish cemetary, there were markers from many who died during the great famine in 1840s-1850s

Beautiful beach - the water was so blue!


Achille Island

One of the lovely hotels where we stayed

Another of our hotels

Ireland street scenery

The town of Kilkenny

Street scenery


Trinity College

Shelby's 18th birthday (18 is legal drinking age in Ireland)

Kilbeggan Distillery - the world's oldest distllery where we sampled authentic Irish whiskey

View from our tour bus - some of the roads were so narrow and winding and right on the edge of huge cliffs and of course, they drive on the opposite side of the road than I'm used to. That big tour bus handled it like a boss!

Country roads

I don't want to be one of those people who bores everyone with all of my vacation photos, LOL! So, if you're still here, thanks for looking. I will be posting more photos over the next few days. 


Justin Knight said...

I am so happy for you, Kari! What an incredible experience! Life is so short and your mom had the right idea to just go! Glad your mom wasn't more seriously hurt from her fall.

The Rebel Chick said...

Everything looks SO beautiful!!! I am so happy for you to have been able to take that trip! :)

Pink and Green Mom said...

Looks like an amazing time! The Cliffs are stunning!