June 26, 2010 at 8:45 am 4 comments

Back to the real world and slowly getting sucked back into the technology in my life after an I-hope-it’s-not-but-very-well-may-be-a-once-in-a-lifetime trip to Ireland. I was on a 10-day hiking tour from Bray to Dingle (REI Adventures’ “Ireland Coast to Coast,”) and got to share every experience (and, once again, a room) with my original playmate, my sister.

Hard to put all that we did and saw into a readably short blog post. To start, a look at our typical day. 

7:00:  Alarm goes off.

 7:30:  Big ol’ breakfast at the B&B. Although I never attempted “The Full Irish” (which includes fruit, cereal, eggs, potato, toast, bacon, ham, and sausage), we ate well.

 8:00:  On the road.

 9:00-5:00:  Hiking and/or sightseeing.

Toughest day:  10 miles in Glendalough, which means Glen of Two Lakes. Photo 1:  Lake #2 and a view of the mountain we were about to climb. Photo 2: Taken from the middle of the hike, looking back down at the same lake from about 1600 feet up. 

Photo 1: Beginning of Glendalough hike.

Easiest day:  Tour of Cahir Castle (Photo 3) and a 4-mile stroll from the castle to a restored cottage on the grounds (Photo 4).
Photo 3: Cahir Castle, Tipperary
Photo 4: Ornamental cottage near Cahir Castle. (Where the rich folks used to go, to “play peasant” for the day.)


7:00:  Dinner then pub. Live music and a pint of Guinness, Smithwick’s, or (my favorite new beverage discovery) Bulmer’s Irish Cider.

Note:  Cheers in Irish is “Slainte!” (slawn’ chə). Our guide told us to think “lawnchair” to help us remember the pronunciation.

For two weeks, I didn’t use a phone or a computer. I didn’t check email. I didn’t make a peep on facebook. For two weeks, I got away from It All to wander in countryside so beautiful that even a 360-degree camera wouldn’t have done it justice (but I snapped off 537 photos without realizing until I got home and sat astounded during the downloading) and so deeply peaceful that even quaint little Ennis (our last stop near the Shannon airport) was physically and emotionally jarring in comparison. 

Home again and (mostly) readjusted to work, time zone, noise, and, now, all of my technological connections, it is at moments of rush and routine difficult to grasp that I was actually there but grin-inducing to know that I have, indeed, checked A Dream off the list. (And, despite nearly a lifetime of anticipation and the bold, Fate-flaunting risk of daring to allow expectations to rise higher than mountain peaks, it did not disappoint.)

Fair warning:  As I sort through the memories, there may be more blog posts to come of this.

Where would you like to go, for the first time or back again?

Entry filed under: Life Preservers. Tags: , , , .

Say Cheese Yardwork Tips

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ken Jordan  |  June 28, 2010 at 12:39 am

    Ha ha, you know I left my heart in the Florida Keys. However, dinner then Pub is always on my travel itinerary. I would love to have a pint (or several) in a real Irish pub. P.s. love the pics.


  • 2. WritingbyEar  |  June 29, 2010 at 12:36 am

    A W E S O M E ! What an adventure. How much did you have to train for all that walking?


    • 3. boatdrinkbaby  |  June 29, 2010 at 1:03 am

      Let’s just say . . . more training that I did, haha


  • 4. Ruth  |  July 7, 2010 at 3:56 am

    You so make me want to go back and experience Ireland the way that you did. Missing the Mike’s cousins and aunts who are still there….so Mike and I decided that for our 50th B-days that we are gong back.

    Gorgeous photos–keep them coming!

    OK–another place that stole my heart: Albuquerque, NM



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