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January 20, 2013

We’ve been in London for nearly 2 years….long enough for me to say “nearly” instead of “almost” 2 years. And after all this time and all these travels, we had barely scratched the surface of what the UK has to offer. Prior to a few weeks ago, I had spent one weekend in Dublin, Ireland, and Sam had spent one weekend in St. Andrews, Scotland. It looked like we were going to head back to the US without much more than that. Ah, but then! RJ and Lacy flew over for a visit and we all decided Ireland was calling. Thanks to cheap flights (again!), all 6 of us took an amazing trip to Cork and ventured into SW Ireland –  one of the most beautiful places we’ve seen. Despite a FAIR bit of rain, we were absolutely taken by the beauty of this country. And who better to frequent a local Irish pub with than these two!!Image

That picture was taken at the top of our drive through Healy Pass – one of those places you gasp and marvel at…wondering how in the the world we don’t just live in a tiny abandoned church and wonder these roads every day.


Our first stop straight from the airport was to a little castle where we heard a stone was in need some kissing…

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Being off season, we had the huge advantage of no lines or waits at the Blarney Castle. This really helped in making this one of our favorite stops. The grounds were gorgeous and we definitely started out with a big challenge…hiking up to the top of the castle – hundreds of stairs, two little ones and at least 2 dudes with a fear of heights! But we all kissed the stone…legend has it we’ll now have the gift of gab. Not sure I needed help.

There was also a pretty awesome cave at the castle. I loved it. Maybe I have a future in spelunking.


We spent the afternoon of our first day hiking in the Killarney National Park…a stunning place that draws you to walk for miles…which we did! The payoff was a breathtaking waterfall and sunset views that pictures don’t do justice.

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On the hike back to the car after seeing the waterfall, Lacy, RJ, the boys and I were trekking away. Sam had run ahead to move the car a bit closer and save us about a mile. We were spent! Lacy and I were saying how amazing it would be if one of the horse and carriages we’d seen earlier would come by to save our aching feet. No sooner had the words been spoken than I saw a carriage ahead and it was SAM! He had come to our rescue on a horse and carriage!


The rest of our time was spent driving around the beautiful countryside and peninsulas that make up SW Ireland…here again is the Healy Pass on a scenic drive called the Ring of Beara…

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Sam dared RJ to stick his head in a waterfall and it took about half a second for RJ to go for it. Sam followed suit on Leo’s prompt…”Your turn, Daddy!” It was awesome.

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Sweet Lacy took the back seat with Coltan in our little car. She was amazing with him and such a trouper on those windy roads!!

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A highlight of the trip was the Dingle Peninsula. I’m left wanted to see more of this gorgeous place.

It is home to Inch Beach where Little Miss Sunshine peaked through the clouds just in time…

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It is home to the western most point of Europe. As Sam and I stood looking at this point with rain pelting us in the face (beside some prehistoric stone beehive huts nonetheless!!) we were overcome with gratitude. We have gone as far east as Thessaloniki, Greece and as far west as Dingle, Ireland. Pretty awesome.

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To finish off an unforgettable trip, we stopped at the Jameson distillery just outside cork in Midleton. And after a soggy, chilly few days and a tour through a pretty cool distillery, I now get the whole “whisky” thing. Who knew?

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This all was ohsomuch more fun because of Lacy and RJ. The boys adore them and I think they are pretty swell, too. I’m so grateful to have had this time with them both here in London and in Ireland. Here are a few fun pics from our time with them in London…

Of to the Fulham game…


Round 1 of a million in the “What’s That?” Game followed by fabulous New Year’s Eve Festivities…

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Anna permalink
    January 20, 2013 5:40 pm

    Wow! I can literally smell the rain, green grass, and bridges after seeing all these pictures! (Weird, I know). Thank you for sharing a wonderful experience! I so admire how you’ve taken advantage of your time in Europe!

  2. emily permalink
    January 20, 2013 5:45 pm

    so amazingly beautiful – love how you captured this adventure so perfectly! now i’m adding this to my ever-growing list of “must see” destinations. gorgeous!

  3. hattrick4 permalink
    January 20, 2013 10:32 pm


  4. January 21, 2013 4:17 am

    so awesome amber. i just love it. so glad you took the chance of this adventure.

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