I R E L A N D, Part I

5.01.2012

My hope for this little vacation was that Camille could have a blessed adventure that was completely separate from the stress of nursing school. She has an unshakable work ethic and I so admire the dedication she has for her chosen profession. That being said - our prayers were answered and the trip was wonderful.

I am pretty sure we lived a thousand years in five days.

We stayed with my dear friend Claire and her sweet and perfect family up in Northern Ireland.

So, in the words of Samuel L. Jackson right before the power comes back on, "Hold on to your butts." 

I have some stories and photos to share. It's true!
Flying standby has the potential to be a nightmare. On the flip side of that 'will we get a seat?' coin, there's the: "Here's your seat. In first class."  

I serve that food all the time. I even eat that same food that we serve. One might assume that said service and food might have lost it's appeal.

That's completely false.

For the first four hours, we pretty much acted like we'd never seen food before. We sat in our big comfy seats, with our lush blankets and pillows, and we were little counterfeit queens. No one had to know that we simply didn't belong. 

We watched movies, breathed in the recycled air, and with our clothes fitting much tighter than when we boarded - we declared we would never eat again. (Take a moment to imagine how long that lasted).

On Friday morning, we landed in Dublin and had a whole day in the city ahead of us. 

The land of lambs! Tea! Gingers! Biscuits!


Camille made this face fairly often the first day. Here we are in a Starbucks. Before anyone rolls their eyes and says, "Go to Ireland and go in a Starbucks?" - please remember there is free Wifi. And chairs that I later passed out in. When I woke up, Camille said, "I was really nervous you were going to flash everyone because your dress kept riding up." So cute.

In between our Starbucks Wifi and coffee consumption, and lamenting over how weak American currency is over in Europe, we walked.

We walked in shops, through parks, and all about the city. 


When we packed for the trip, I did this weird vacation thing I where I pack clothes that I never wear on a regular basis. I also packed my Hunter boots. It seemed like a great idea. Rain boots for rain. 

Little did I know, I'd for the next five days receive strange looks from passers by and comments like, 

"Are you a pessimist?"

"It's not raining."

"Aren't your feet hot?"

And my favorite:

"What's with the wellies?"

Oh, the embarrassment.
Documented in the above photo collage we have: Camille and I being elitist hipsters in American Apparel (with the tag on my nose?), me meeting Rusty Crutchley - the Irish Jack Russell we stayed with, sitting in a chocolate shop in Dublin - and, some native wildlife we found in a park.

The next day, Claire was off work, and we went on a full-blown adventure day.

The first place was to Carrick-a-Rede. To the rope bridge that was connecting two cliffs. We crossed it.  AND WE TOOK OVER THE WORLD.

Or, we took some photos and marveled at how windy and tangled and psychotic our hair looked.

There was no rain. Only blue skies and sun peeking over the mountains and the sea.



One of these sheep was particularly close to the fence. I took the opportunity to employ my best animal voices and approached quickly with my camera. Only to step into a large hole and fall on to the barbed wire fence. One of my finest moments, certainly.








After the rope bridge, we went on to Giant's Causeway. There are boulders shaped like grandmothers, boots, and gorillas. (I decided some looked like a gorilla). 
If anyone's wondering what I'm doing with my arms, I'm curious as well.




We found the boot! Stepping out of my boot pose, I promptly stood in a nearby puddle so my wellies were not worn in vain.



"Camille, you look like a borrower" - Claire


I'm not kidding.



This was after we climbed to the top, and took a bit of a detour back to the visitor center. I can confirm that I am out of shape, but felt entirely unstoppable in an exhausted kind of way. 





We had dinner at this little restaurant. We had honeycomb ice cream (WHY DON'T WE HAVE THIS?) and visited Claire's brother, sister-in-law, and wee nephew.

Some of my other favorite moments from the first couple of days:

  • When Claire picked us up from the airport, I went to get in the wrong side of the car. I proceeded to do this for the rest of the trip until possibly the last day.

  • I had my euro and sterling mixed together in my wallet, and accidentally handed the cashier in Dublin pounds to pay for my lunch. He said, "Oh, we don't want the queen's money." 
  • There are tea rooms everywhere. The people are kind, and all of the animals speak with a really delightful Irish accent.
There's so much more to share. COME BACK TO ME!


Photobucket

40 comments:

  1. Hello Fran, my name is Hermine! I'm a new reader, but I immediately felt like home here :) your writing + me = best pals already.

    Ahhh, Ireland! Sounds like you had such a great time! Can't wait for the second part. I hope it involves some more Irish-accent speaking animals. The native wildlife just isn't enough.

    Great post ;)
    Hermine xxx

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    1. Well hellooooo! I am so happy you found me!
      And your name is completely wonderful.
      I actually have to restrain myself when I am on vacation to not only take pictures of animals.
      That being said - there are more great Irish animals to come :)

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    2. I'm so happy I found you too! This blog is a real gem!
      Well thank youuu! We've had this name in my family for years, it's kind of our mother-to-daughter legacy... imagine the bureaucracy, haha!
      Animals are awesome, I seriously can never get enough of them! Six cats and a dog. Nuff' said :D
      Can't wait for more Irish animals!!!

      Have a great weekend!
      Hermine xxx

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  2. Ah I would love to go to Ireland! It looks beautiful :) We just got back Sunday from Germany and after flying 8 hours in economy, I can only imagine how amazing first class was!! Oh and don't feel bad, we went to Starbucks too. It's hard to pass up the wifi :S

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    1. Oooh, Germany! Can't say I've been there yet. I can't even say I'd know where I'd like to go in Germany, actually. Which part did you visit?
      My sister and I actually expressed concern for ever having to fly coach internationally since first class has probably ruined us forever. But I'm sure I could brave it ;)
      I wish everyone could do it at least once.

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  3. Looks amazing!! Can't wait to see the rest of the recap!

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    1. It's so hard to narrow down the photos when I took a million. I'm working diligently! haha

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  4. Love myself a little Ireland. I was born there! Going this summer with my family, and really want to do the tourist thing after seeing this!

    Laura

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    1. What! That's so cool. Did you grow up there? I'm a bit jealous, it's a wonderful place.

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  5. I WANT TO GO TO THERE. Ugh so gorgeous. I'm glad you guys had a good time! And um honeycomb ice cream... Ben & Jerry's, you need to get on this, stat.

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    1. FOR REAL! I am already researching how to make it. Apparently it's easy to make. I don't know about that, but it's only like three ingredients and it's completely delicious.

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  6. Honeycomb ice cream sounds like the most delicious thing in the whole entire world! Glad you had a fun trip, can't wait to hear more!

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    1. It is. What makes it even better is that it was called "Pooh Bear" ice cream. Completely adorable and delicious.

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  7. Beautiful photographs. I love Ireland. It's so green and Irish people are some of the best around. The rope bridge looks scary though - I recently walked one in Scotland over a river (it was actually one piece of rope though, I'm not AS pathetic as I sound) and I couldn't walk back over it. I had to walk through the river and fell over multiple times - ha ha!

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    1. One piece of rope would stress me out too, girl. It stressed a bunch of people out, but it was pretty secure. Like, you'd have to leap over the side to actually fall off. I was fine, but it was windy and I still felt it was a good idea to hold on to the railing rope just to be sure ;) NO SHAME.

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  8. This looks wonderful. Reading your blog makes me want to travel to so many places!

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    1. Right now all I want to do is be home :) I miss Bryan!

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  9. OH my GOSH! I absolutely LOVE all the photos - so breathtaking!

    And lucky you two getting to ride first class! That's awesome!

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    1. It really was that beautiful - such a cool experience.

      And first class. Shoooot, I am ruined! It's so good.

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  10. the pics are all perfect. i wish i was in your suitcase (with your wellies). my two favorite parts: are you a pessimist? and the hole + barb-wire fence to get close to the lambies. you're precious!

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    1. Oh, those wellies. I haven't worn them since maybe out of spite. Your baby girl needs tiny Hunters! Can you even imagine!?

      I am the clumsiest person. But I would do it all again if it meant being close to animals. What is wrong with me...

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  11. Standby tickets are awesome. I'll be going to NYC this summer with a friend whose mum works for an airline and it's such a bit relief on our budget...

    Giant's Causeway is so beautiful. Totally worth the windswept psychotic hair. I can't wait to see more of your trip.

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    1. It's true - if you're a flexible person on a budget ...flying standby is a dream come true.

      You're right! It was completely worth it. I might pull my hair back if I ever get to go again :)

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  12. I cannot tell you enough how jealous I am of your trip! I have Irish blood in me and I have been wanting to go there since I had a mind. Love the Giant's Causeway pics

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    1. We do too! Our nana is a sassy Irish firecracker. So we were excited to see where we all began.

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  13. Wow! Ireland is beautiful - looks like you had an amazing trip!
    I love that bridge, even if I would probably have been too scared to walk over it! :O
    Looking forward to seeing more photos! :)

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    1. I am not afraid of heights, but I had the tiniest bit of anxiety whilst crossing it. It was just a lot windier than I anticipated. But the crossing was worth it!

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  14. I saw the fish face up the top of the blog and I knew I had to follow along ;) Your photos are lovely....Ireland is now on the to-do list!
    toni xo

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    1. I am glad someone appreciates that - my mom haaaaaates it and my fiance isn't so crazy about it either. Win some, lose some ;)

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  15. it is about flippin time you posted about this adventure. it looked perfect. i am jealous (yes i have the right to be jealous even if i do travel a lot already)

    i also lol'ed when i saw your picture and then read the caption about the hands..HILAR.

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    1. I think I could do an entire post of awkward photos of me doing weird arm/hand things? What is wrong with me?

      WHERE IS YOUR BLOG MOVING TO? TELL ME RIGHT NOW.

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  16. I laughed out loud to the part where you feel in a whole and into the barbed wire fence. It sounds like something I do on a pretty regular basis!

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  17. I just stumbled over here from Alivia's blog, and I'm so glad I did! Gorgeous photos (which make me SO much more excited for my trip to Ireland this July), and it sounds like you had a great time!
    <3 Kiersten
    http://besohappytogether.blogspot.com

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  18. Ireland holds a special place in my heart, I lived there for a year! It's the most gorgeous (and green!) place ever. These photos take me right back. Sigh.

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  19. You had me at, "For the first four hours, we pretty much acted like we'd never seen food before."
    Today is my first visit to your blog, it's so great to "meet" you!

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  20. Hi! I just found your blog from Brunch in April! I am so excited to be following! I am so jealous of all of your travels :) Stop over and say hi sometime if you like! dailypolkadots.com

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  21. Oh that is so awesome! I consider myself Irish since I'm adopted and I am sooo jealous you got to go there!

    That's funny about you falling asleep at Starbucks. I don't know what I would do if my travel partner was sleeping and her dress actually did ride up and she flashed everyone (good thing yours didn't). LOL.

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  22. What a fantastic trip! Way jealous. I love all of the photos and the storytelling! Hope your run in with the barb wire fence didn't go too horribly!

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  23. amazing post, and really great blog :)
    What do you think, of following each other ?
    xoxo
    ⓈⓈ ⒻⒶⓈⒽⒾⓄⓃ ⓌⓄⓇⓁⒹ

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  24. Oh Yay! I'm a compulsive commenter and am browsing your archives so will be popping up all over the place no doubt.
    But-Ireland=YAY!
    I'm Irish you see and you'd think we are all on commission from the tourist board because there is nothing we like more than people visiting our Country.
    I'm from Cork myself-the opposite end to where you were but I've been to the Giant's causeway and that scary bridge and the amazing broken down castle in between and it's so beautiful.

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