As anyone who either reads our blog, is friends with us on Facebook, or follows us on Instagram knows, Raenette and I visited Ireland last week. Man, what a wonderful trip it was!! A once-in-a-lifetime trip, I would have to say.
Lord was I happy to see my boy!!!
Toast to Ireland and my boy Bryce!
We walked allllll over Dublin.
Of course, the highlight of our visit was getting to see my oldest son, Bryce. He left at the end of January and will come home at the end of this month. I had not laid eyes on him in 3 months!!! Well, we did Skype some, but believe me, that doesn’t compare to actually being able to hug his neck. He was doing great, and having the time of his life. He has been able to travel to Amsterdam and England while there as well. He said “Mom, I could sooo live in Amsterdam.” Ummm, over my dead body, son. I am keeping my fingers crossed that he gets some credit hours towards his degree this semester. LOL.
Why do we look crazy??? Lol!
Photo Bombing our bus driver!
This scenery makes anyone look pretty!!
At the Cliffs of Moher. Unbelievably beautiful!
My 2nd favorite part of the trip was getting to spend time with my older sister. You see, because I live 3 hours away from Raenette and Antoinette, and they live in the same town, they get to do much more together. I hardly ever get one-on-one time with Raenette. I love my Nettes and am thankful to have been able to take this trip with one of them. I will hold the time we spent together in Ireland close to my heart.
The Giant’s Causeway. Look how blue the water is!!!
Of all the things that we did and saw, I would have to say that The Giant’s Causeway in Bushmills, Northern Ireland was the most beautiful. Did you know that Northern Ireland is a totally separate country from Ireland? Ha! Neither did I! That’s what I get for not paying attention in geography class in high school. Northern Ireland is still under British rule. Anyway, the day we went on our bus tour to Belfast and several other cities in Northern Ireland was absolutely gorgeous. We got so very lucky with the weather. Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle for a reason. That reason is they receive a crap load of rain annually. We maybe got rained on twice the entire week we were there. How great is that? The temps were good too. Just cool enough for a sweater and/or light jacket every day. Ok, so back to the Giant’s Causeway. Can you see by looking at the pictures why this place was my favorite? OMG, it was breathtaking. I mean, it is the same Atlantic Ocean that we see off the coast of North and South Caroline, but man oh man does it look different. The water is so blue and clear as can be. I could have sat and stared at it all day. Of course, I also could have sat because I am totally out of shape and boy, did we walk A LOT!!! We actually stopped several times and pretended to snap pictures just so we could catch our breath, as not to appear so obviously winded.
Just look at all that waffley goodness!!!
Yes that’s a lot of gelato! Mind your business! Lol.
All of our walking did help burn off some of the millions of calories I consumed whilst eating and drinking my way through the small country. The best thing I had to eat the entire week was this bubble waffle ice cream cone that Bryce told us about. Total heaven on earth I tell ya! They make the bubble waffle in front of you, so it is nice and warm when they fill it up with whatever flavor gelato you pick. I chose chocolate and salted caramel. What you do is tear off the bubbles and eat them as you work your way down the cone. Mmmm Mmmm good…And no, I didn’t eat all of that by myself. I just know you people were thinking it! Raenette helped me with a couple of bites. Ok, I ate most of it. I was on vacation, damn it.
Now this beer will put some hair on your chest.
This is more like it!!!
Now, when someone says they are Irish, what is one of the first things that you think? That they like a wee bit of the beer and whiskey maybe? It is a stereotype that they are actually pretty proud of. This may be one of the reasons I was not surprised to learn that I am 61% Irish/English. I do enjoy myself a proper pint on occasion. Although I love beer (and wine and quite a few liquors), I consider myself to be a simple drinker. I don’t like all those super involved craft beers that taste like everything from a Pine Tree to bacon and eggs. Nope! I am a light lager kinda girl. Call me crazy, but if I want breakfast, I’ll cook it. I don’t need it in my beer mug. With that being said, I have tried Guinness several times here in the states (only us sophisticated world travelers say “the states”) and was never a big fan. It’s too dark and bitter and heavy for my liking. But, according to every Irish native that we spoke to, it is totally different tasting there. Well, far be it from me to not find out for myself. I did just that on our Rural Pub Tour and found it to be rubbish. Pretty much the same taste I remembered. At least now I know for sure. Don’t worry though (because I know you were concerned for me) I found plenty of brews and ciders that I enjoyed. Cider is very big in the pubs and is not consumed only by women. Irish Men drink it without any fear of having their man card revoked. Our Pub Tour Guide, Shane, said it was what they would start drinking as teens. It’s their version of wine coolers and Boone’s Farm but not as sweet. Once you master the cider, then you are ready for the meat and potatoes in a glass that is Guinness.
The people of Ireland were all very kind and genuinely interested in hearing about where we were from. The funny part was, every time we mentioned being from NC, they asked us about Asheville. I thought that was very random until someone said it was because of all their craft brews. Now that my friends is what I call dedicated beer drinkers! Nice to know we have a reputation for moon shine whiskey and beer, just like Ireland. We are kindred spirits. That was a play on words right there. Lord, I’m so punny!
Our trip was great, but I am always glad to get back to the good old US of A. Home sweet home. There’s nothing like it.
So glad I could share my trip with y’all! If you ever get the chance to visit Ireland, do it!!! Raenette will be sharing her trip highlights on Friday! Hope you will stop back by.