Now, to leave the country for 9 days, in this place in our lives is complicated. We saved up. We enlisted family to watch all the kids, friends to feed the dog. Finn's school has this weird October week off every year so that was perfect. The week before we left, I was swimming in anxiety. I was very nervous to leave Serin at only 18 months old. I hadn't even left her for a whole night yet, and I was about to leave for over a week! But I knew she and all the kids would be in good hands. They were with my sister and her husband, Nate's parents and my parents, 3 nights each. The kids had their own adventure, as did all the adults watching them I'm sure. :-)
Now, back to Ireland. It was awesome! Just what the doctor ordered - alone time together. Ireland is just as beautiful as I remembered.
This time we got to see so much more of it. We did it road-trip style. We rented a car and tried to see as much as we could, taking the smallest roads possible, as to see the cutest little towns and scenery.
|What do the Irish do when they need to pull over? I don't know which seat was scarier, the driver's seat with oncoming cars, or the passenger with the road-side hills threatening to smack into your face.|
I loved seeing all the old structures, many of them thousands of years old.
|The Rock of Cashel|
|The Cliffs of Moher are huge and amazing to look at, if you can get past the new huge visitor's center, the parking fee and the the crowds of people. Very different than 11 years ago :-(|
|The view at the top|
|The honor bar.|
|Cozy game of chess by the fire.|
|When we rolled into Glencolumbkille the first thing we saw was that tiny tower at the top of the cliffs. That's where Nate proposed 11 years ago!|
|The only place to stay in town, the Dewey Hostel, ,built right on the side of a cliff.|
|The same lovely Mary was running the place!|
Back in 2001 Nate and I looked out the window from the hostel and saw this view and decided to hike up to it early in the morning. So naturally we decided to do the same this time.....but we are older and wiser and lazier now, so we cheated and drove as far as we could.
Here's the exact spot where it all went down in 2001!
It was so surreal to be there. It seems so untouched. I doubt that anyone ever goes up there, even the locals. I just wanted to soak all of it up, like it would all disappear when we left, like Brigadoon.
After our blast from the past, we made our sad goodbye Glencolumbkilleand made our way across the country to Dublin for the last couple days.
I love all the old architecture in Dublin, the cathedrals and the castles...it's so amazing.
|The cobblestone streets of Temple Bar.|
|This spire built only a few years ago (for no reason) is affectionately called the "stiletto in the ghetto" and some other names that I shouldn't write here. :-)|
|An Irish rainbow! Now we just need to find that leprechaun and the pot of gold!|
Well Ireland, maybe we'll see you in a another ten or twenty years. Take care.
(We couldn't get back to our kids fast enough! I don't want to leave them again for a long long time. The smile on Serin's face the morning she woke up to find us home.....it was priceless.)