Friday, June 22, 2018

Breakfast @ 8:00 – it was sausage, eggs, fried bread, toast, juice, coffee & tea.   No menu to choose from like in Adare.   Again, this B&B didn’t measure up to the last one!  

We were on the road by 9, headed for Bru Na Boinne Visitor Center  to get tickets to the Neolithic passage grave and ancient monument of the World Heritage Sites of Knowth & Newgrange (10 Euros each), near Drogheda where our next B&B is located.    This large mound is estimated to date from 5,000 B.C., even older than Stonehenge!   Google this – it’s way too complicated to even begin to explain!   It was fascinating!   Our tours through the two monuments were about an hour each, but we had to wait until 1:15 for the first one.   About 800 people a day tour these sites!  The next 4 pictures were taken at one of the 2 grave sites.

 

We got to the Orley House B&B about 5:30, and we were impressed!  This B&B is quite nice! When we walked into the front door, there was a sweet fragrance in the air coming from a fresh lily bouquet sitting just inside the entry!  (Picture below)  That made a very nice first impression, and they were fragrant for our two-night stay there!

We let the others pick out which rooms they wanted and Terry & I took the other one that was upstairs.   It was quite small, with twin beds that couldn’t be moved together, but nice never the less!!   The breakfast area is beautiful, and the flowers in the garden area surrounding it added to the beauty!!!

We walked to a restaurant nearby called the Black Bull Inn (picture below) and shared a chicken pasta dish, risotto, dinner salad, and a warm brownie dessert.

We got back to the B&B and visited for awhile and called it a day!

 

Advertisements

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

We got up and ate our last breakfast at the Adare Country House and left about 8:45, headed for Newcastle!    Fortunately, most of the way, the roads were mostly normal except for the last hour or so when we knew we were still in Ireland!!!

We arrived and checked into the Amble Inn early afternoon, and it wasn’t nearly as impressive as the Adare Country House!   There were two rooms upstairs, and another one in the back of the house that Carla & AJ ended up with.   And that one was a big disappointment!   In my mind, it looked like what I thought a hostel might be like – twin beds and a toilette in a very small room, with a shared shower with another ‘room’ or two.  

The Amble In and our ‘coach’ (not Terry!).

We all walked to Royal County Down to check into the possibility of the guys playing golf there.  NO CHANCE!   So, we ate a very nice lunch there.   I had a fish special, and Terry had Irish Stew, then we walked the main street of Newcastle.  Not much there!   

Donut peaches – something we hadn’t seen or had before!  They were good and resembled a peach flavor. Streets of Newcastle, Ireland.   It was windy!

We had dinner & wine here!

Stopped at the visitor center and got a recommendation at an Italian Restaurant for dinner – Villa Vinci.   Later, when we were walking the streets checking out the restaurant possibilities, we could smell what we thought was steak cooking, and we found out it was the Villa Vinci, so we DID eat there!  We shared a caprese salad and spaghetti, then had tiramisu and another dessert.  It was a terrific meal!

Went back to the Amble In, and the guys wanted to play pitch.   The gals weren’t interested in playing, so Terry sweet-talked me into playing  and Terry & I won the 2 games we played!    To bed about 10:30!

Interesting fact, Northern Ireland’s currency is the English Pound, but the other areas of Ireland’s currency is the Euro.   We did NOT know that!!!   We were all trying to get rid of our pounds in Scotland because we knew Ireland used Euros!   The portable WiFi that we rented also did not work in Northern Ireland, which they told us when we rented it!   Fortunately, the Amble In DID have WiFi.   Northern Ireland’s relationship with Ireland is kind of like Israel’s relationship to Palestine – IT’S COMPLICATED!  

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The guys had a tee time @ 10:30 at Old Head today, and it’s a 2 hour drive, plus they planned to drop us gals off in Kinsale, about 10 miles from Old Head, so we needed to allow time for that!  We had a Continental breakfast at 6:30 so we could be on the road by 7.   Roads were as they have been – some relaxing, some stressful!   The route Waze took us through Cork was full of turns and narrow, narrow streets!   We took a different route back to Adare at the end of the day!   We also saw a car on its side in the heavy foliage on the wrong side of the road that had just been in an accident!   Quite certain that driver wasn’t having a good day!   Hopefully, they had their seat belt on.   With these narrow roads, I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t wear them!


Hot chocolate and a scone in Kindle!

Pretty streets in Kinsale

Time for a break, after the walking tour of Kinsale.

We arrived at the Tourist Office around 9:00, just in time for a very interesting, guided walking tour of the little town, and off the guys went for their day on the Links!  Kinsale is among Ireland’s most historic and attractive places and has been a center of population, commerce, trade and fishing for centuries.  Earliest records show the area founded in the 12th Century by the Anglo-Normans.   In 1666 it was described as one of the most significant harbors in Europe, and became the first port of call for shipping from America and from the continent.  

After our walking tour ended, we stopped at a little bakery and I had a dark hot chocolate (yum!) and a raspberry scone!   Nourished after the drive and the walk, we took a taxi to Charles Fort, perhaps the best known attraction in the area.  Much of the construction which was begun in 1678 still remains, and was in use up to 1922.  It was huge, and very interesting.

Charles Fort

We walked back to Kinsale from the fort along the water’s edge, and stopped at a The Spaniard Pub for a drink, then took a taxi from there to Old Head to meet the guys!   We saw them right away on the 17th hole, which was fun, then we could see them as they finished the last hole!   Old Head is an absolutely magnificent  & beautiful golf course!   Terry had played it before when we came to Ireland on a Genworth trip around 10 years ago!   The guys enjoyed it to the max!   We had a bite to eat in the restaurant there before heading back to Adare, then started the packing project!  

At Old Head – guys above – Terry & I below.

 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Breakfast this morning was @ 8:00 as we needed to get on the road a bit earlier for the nearly 2 hour ride to Dingle, where the loop around the Dingle Bay Peninsula begins.   Roads went from almost normal (If you call driving on the left side of the road normal) to extremely narrow an winding!   We had a scrumptious seafood chowder at The Boatyard Restaurant & Grill for lunch in Dingle.   Our server had curly red hair and was full of personality!   I’ve seen more red heads here than I’ve ever seen before!  Young and old!

Beautiful Ireland Countryside!   A patchwork of green!

I thought he was cute!!!

The loop around the peninsula took us about 80 minutes, including stops for pictures and waiting for the tour busses to pass by us.   OMG – it was an experience with our big vehicle, and one place we had to back up about 100 yards on the narrow, winding road!   Terry had good navigators in the back to keep him from backing into the rocks and/or stone wall!  But, we made it!!!   It was a beautiful drive!   It rained on us most of the way there, but it stopped by lunch so we were quite thankful for that!

North Atlantic Ocean

Stone walls are everywhere!

He had the right of way!!!

We needed to be back to Adare by 6:00 to pick up laundry for AJ, and we made it with 30 minutes to spare.   We went to a restaurant, Nevilles at the Cross,  that was recommended to us  that was a few miles outside  Adare.    Too far to walk!  One thing we all agreed on – the food in Ireland is outstanding!!!   Terry & I split a Feather Blade Irish Beef that was so tender it just melted in our mouth, and Debbie & I split a Sticky Toffee Pudding with ice cream.  What a great place!

Neville at the Cross Feather Blade Irish Beef

As has been the case, we were ready to call it a day when we got back after dinner!   It was a great day with lots of laughs!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Breakfast at 9:00 again today.   We get to pick the time we want to eat.  It’s always pleasant to chat with other guests who are in the dining room at the same time.  That’s one nice perk about B&B’s.  I ordered French Toast, and Terry ordered scrambled eggs & tomatoes and made an egg sandwich from the toast.   And of course, we enjoyed the amazing fresh fruit mixture.  

The guys left about 10:00 for Ballybunion Golf Course, which was about 90 minutes away.  We gals left about 10:30 and walked to the village to check out the village of Adare, claiming to be one of the prettiest villages in Ireland.   We stopped at the Adare Heritage Center first to get a map and see what we should see.   We thought we might take a tour through the Desmond Castle as one of the guests at the B&B had done that & said it was very interesting.  But – it was CLOSED, due to some filming there today!   That’s the 2nd Castle we hopped to visit this trip that has been closed!  Maybe this isn’t the trip for castles!

First stop after the restroom, was the Trinitarian Abbey, right next door to the Heritage Center.   It was built in the early 13th century for the Trinitarian order of monks.  It was damaged during the reign of King Henry VIII, but repaired and enlarged in the mid 19th Century and is called the “Holy Trinity Abbey” today, and is used as the local Roman Catholic Church.  

The reputation of one of the prettiest villages in Ireland must come from the brightly colored little shops, the thatched roofs, and the absolutely stunning flowers in the planters and yards!  They are magnificent!   I took lots of pictures!  

In 1756,  John Wesley preached to the people of Adare.  There’s a Methodist church right next to where we’re staying, but they had their services at a different location yesterday.  

There were lots of little shops to wander in & check out on the way to the River Walk along the River Maigue.  

The river walk took us away from the village, and was a flat, easy walk which took us back to the Heritage Center.  Had a light lunch there and bought a few things there for our kids & grandkids.

Across the street from the Heritage Center lies the Village Park.  What a peaceful, serene setting that was!  Not too many flowers, but it was so green and so well manicured, with a thatched wooden gazebo, and a ‘washing pool’ that was used by the women of Adare to do laundry in bygone days.  It was also used to water horses.  What a lovely setting!

The Washing Pool

The guys got back from their golfing experience at Ballybunion, a world top 20 course, just before 7:00.   They were tired & ready to eat & so were we!  I’d made reservations at Pat Collin’s again so away we went!   It was bedtime for all after that!

 

 

Father’s Day, Sunday, June 17, 2018

We met for breakfast at 9:00 in the lovely dining room.   We both ordered the full Irish breakfast, which included eggs, sausage (blood, link, and patty), bacon (more like ham), mushrooms and grilled tomatoes, and being skeptical, Terry also ordered French Toast.  I ate most of the breakfast except for some of the blood sausage, but it wasn’t what Terry had in mind!   Fortunately for him, the continental breakfast buffet had an AMAZING fresh fruit mixture, homemade breads & also pastry, so he didn’t starve!

About 10:30,  the adventure on the roads to get to the Cliffs of Moher began!  It was recommended that we take a Ferry at Tarbert to cross the River Shannon, but one of the roads was closed due to construction, which took us on a “diversion” (detour) that provided some breath-taking (literally) views and excitement!   We made it, though!  This was the first car ferry that the Andrews & James had been on.

Windy on the Ferry!!!

 

Since we were driving by Trump’s International Golf Links & Hotel near Doonbeg, County Clare, Ireland, we went on the property and looked around!   And as you would expect, it was BEAUTIFUL!   Everyone was very friendly, and we even got to look at some of the different rooms in the hotel!  I doubt that it hurt that AJ had on a St. Andrews jacket, and Rick had a Master’s shirt on!  They looked like serious golfers!  

 

1st Tee on the Trump course.

Out front of the pro shop.

The weather has been cool (in the very low 60’s), cloudy, and also windy.   A very light rain and/or mist was also in the air on & off.  Rick was hoping for sunshine at the Cliffs of Moher (pictures below), but that didn’t happen!   It was dry, though, until about the time we left.  Terry & I have been to Ireland before, so we’d seen them, but they’ve added a very nice visitor center since we were there, and a great walkway up to view the cliffs.   O’Brien’s Tower is at the top, which we climbed last trip, but it was chained off today.  

O’Briens Tower

Continuing the loop, the trip back to Adare took about 90 minutes.   We decided to try a different pub, Sean Collins & Sons, which is owned by the brother of the Pat Collins bar where we ate the night before.   Pat Collins Bar got our unanimous vote as the best pub of the two!  The service was NOT Irish friendly, the food was more expensive for the same thing, and and it was NOT as good!   We won’t be eating there again!   Perhaps I should comment on Trip Advisor about that!   🙂

The guys stayed up (late) to watch Brooks Koepka win the 2018 U.S. Open and then called it a day!!!

 

Saturday, June 16, 2017 – Ireland Bound

Allen, our driver, arrived at 5:15 a.m. to take us to Edinburgh for our 8:30 flight.  Traffic was no problem at this time on a Saturday.   It’s a good thing we got to the airport early, though, as it was confusing once we got there.   Flew on Ryan Air, and it was self service checking bags.  Fortunately, Terry had pre-paid for ours, so we had no issues, but AJ had one more bag (golf clubs) that had not been pre-paid, and it took forever for him to go from one end of the airport to the other to pay for them, check them, then get through Security & be on the plane!   Andrews and us went on ahead as we didn’t want to chance missing the flight since our luggage had already been checked and we had a car rental waiting in Dublin.   AJ & Carla DID make it in time to catch the plane, and that was a miracle!   Another memorable experience with Ryan Air was the beverage service.   Guess Ryan Air is like Alegent Air at home because you have to pay for anything extra, including tea & coffee!   And the coffee was something to remember!  It came with a lid that had a filter, which I decided I’d better use when I lifted the pop up area of the lid to take a sip!   LOTS of grounds!   It didn’t actually taste bad, but since I don’t like to chew my coffee I used the filter!

Once we arrived in Dublin, we were shuttled to the Hertz car rental place, and guess what!  More lines!!!   We FINALLY got our blue, VW Caravelle, stick shift,  Van (we call it the coach) and headed to Adare.   Fortunately, we opted to add the little wifi box so we could use our phones for Waze directions and have internet access!  That was a VERY GOOD DECISION!   It took us way longer to get out of the airport and get the car than it did to fly from Edinburgh to Dublin!  And we were LOADED!!!!

First stop – Kilbeggan Chocolate & Coffee shop, right next door to the Kilbeggan Whiskey Museum & Distillery.   Got there at 1:00 so had time to grab a soup & sandwich before the 2:00 tour of the Whiskey Distillery.  It was a fun lunch, as the mom of the owner had a delightful Irish sense of welcoming humor!   The hot chocolate & candy there was artesian and a real treat!

 

The whiskey tour was interesting, although whiskey isn’t actually distilled there any longer.   We sampled three different whiskeys, NONE of which I’d drink!  Yuck!   

Whiskey Museum & Distillery

Onward to the historic village of Adare, where the Adare Country House will be our home for the next 5 nights!   We unpacked, then walked to nearby Pat Collin’s Bar for a delicious meal!!!   Terry had  seafood chowder (which he said was some of the best ever) and bread, and I had traditional Irish Stew, which was delicious!!!   Everyone loved their meals!

The Adare Country House is a very welcoming place, run by Denis & Eileen Moroney.  You can check it out at www.adarecountryhouse.com if you’d like!  

 

The guys watch some of the U.S. Open on TV in one of the two family rooms before calling it a day!   Everyone was tired from getting up so early, the airport stress, and experiencing the narrow, winding,  Ireland roads in our ‘coach’.   Thank God, Terry is a very good driver!