S: Jamie & Brandy Go To Ireland
BC: Ireland October 2011
FC: Jamie & Brandy Go To Ireland | JFK to DUB | O c t o b e r 2 0 1 1
1: We made it to Ireland!!! | Driving was stress for Brandy & she kept telling herself, "I'm driving on the left. I'm driving on the left. I'm turning right then driving on the left." | The roads were so narrow with no shoulders! The first time you had to turn you bumped the curve. Remember that town with the bicyclists? You got so close I could've smacked them on the ass! I could've given them a 'high five' as we drove by! | Jamie Tussey | Brandy Schmidt | Vernon, CT 06066 | 412 Main Street | St. Francisville, IL 62460 | October 2011 | Thank goodness for the GPS! | Royal Blue Fiat Panda | 26 Union St Apt 311
2: Powerscourt Wicklow, Ireland | Day 1
3: This was our first stop! You were still learning how to drive in Ireland so I made sure to use the restroom before we left so I wouldn't pee my pants LOL!
5: As you can see the countryside is beautiful. There were sheep everywhere! I really liked that we rented a car & drove so we could really "see" Ireland. Unfortunately, Brandy was so nervous with driving I don't think she really got to see much the first few days. | Glendalough Abbey | & Monastery
6: Downtown Kilkenny | Kilkenny | Brandy leading the way... | We flew into Dublin & made a couple of stops along the way while driving to Kilkenny. The roads are so narrow & Brandy has been "learning how to drive." So far, most of Ireland has felt surreal; like we are on a movie set. We stayed at Newpark Hotel. We ate as soon as we got there & went to bed. We were jet lagged & physically exhausted. They had the best breakfast! We met this older couple who recommended we go see Dunmore Caves. It was very interesting. We had to climb 700 stairs to get to it. We also went to Kilkenny Castle, St. Canice's Cathedral & Round Tower, St. Mary's Cathedral, & walked all around Kilkenny. Ate at a cute pub in the downtown area that evening.
7: Right Outside Kilkenny Castle | Dear Friends & Family, We love it here in Ireland! We've been to so many beautiful places. Driving has been a challenge but Brandy is getting the hang of it! It's been a great adventure! | The Church of Ireland St. Canice's Cathedral | Cute downtown area | Day 2
8: Kilkenney Castle
10: Lakes of Killarney | Even in the rain & cold, Brandy is always pretty :) | We wanted to drive the full circle of the 'Ring of Kerry' but the roads were too winding. We were stressed to the max because the roads were super narrow & car sick from all the curves. But the places we did get to were beautiful!
11: Ladies View | derives its name from the pleasure expressed by Queen Victoria's Ladies-in-Waiting on their visit here in 1861. The Ladies View is located on the Ring of Kerry and in the heart of Killarney National Park. It is one of Ireland's best known panoramas.
12: Ross Castle
13: On our way from Kilkenny to Killarney, we drove through Cork & stopped in Blarney to 'Kiss the Blarney Stone.' But it was closed by time we got there. So we ate at a pub inside of the Blarney Hotel & had some very yummy food (see pretty Brandy to the right in the pub waiting for our food). The next day we went to Ross Castle. We didn't take a tour but the grounds were beautiful.
14: Day 3 | Muckross \ | House
15: Killarney | St. Mary's Church of Ireland | After the Muckross House, we walked around Killarney. We stopped at the house to the left that looks like a gingerbread house for ice cream. Killarney was a beautiful town. We stayed at Scott Hotel. We've decided that we love roundabouts! They're perfect for people who don't know where they are going...they give you a multiple chances to make a decision! | St. Mary's Cathedral
16: St. Mary's Cathedral | Killarney, Ireland
17: Day 4 | Drove from Killarney to Galway. Found an old abandoned church & cemetery along the way. We also stopped in Limerick and saw another 'St. Mary's Cathedral', King John's Castle, & the Shannon River. We then continued onto Galway & stopped in Clare at Bunratty Castle. We ate at the Townhouse Bar & Restaurant that night in Galway & stayed at the Clayton Hotel. | Knappogue Castle | Abandoned Church
18: St. Mary's Cathedral Limerick, Ireland | window at St.Mary's | Limerick
19: St. John's Castle Museum | St. John's Castle Museum | St. John's Castle & Museum | next to the Shannon River | As you can see this was a cold & rainy day. It wasn't too bad. We had one good down pour & then drizzles.
20: Bunratty Castle | We took a complete tour of Bunratty Castle. We got to climb up all the towers which were very narrow & steep. On the grounds, there was also a medieval town called Folk Park. We bought matching rings at a shop there & even bought one for Sissy! As you can see, it was pouring rain so we found a place called the Tea Room & had hot chocolate & muffins.
21: Bunratty Castle
22: Cliffs of Moher | Don't get too close to the cliff! | Day 5 | I grabbed this rock wall several times on our way up. We had to hold on for dear life! We tried to wait it out in the gift shop but eventually left before getting to walk the entire park. | We couldn't figure out how to pump the gas at this station so we had to have the attendant do it for us.
23: It was a BLUSTERY day! | We did lots of driving this day. With the rain, wind, & tiny narrow roads it took us 2 hours to get to the Cliffs from Galway. It should've taken us an hour and a half & was only 53 miles. But we don't understand how anyone could drive on these roads at the "posted" speed limit! They want us to go so fast with no room on the road! Most of the roads are supposed to be "2 lanes" but there's really only enough room for one car. Once we got the the Cliffs, they were closed due to the hazardous 60mph winds! We still made our way to the travel center & to the edge because we were NOT going to miss this after 2 hours of driving! We could hardly stand, let alone walk. Sand & gravel were pelting us as we were thrown into various objects. Despite this & the cold, the Cliffs were breathtaking. I wished could've spent the entire day there. | 60 mph winds!
24: The drive to Kylemore Abbey took 4 hours from the Cliffs of Moher. The abbey was a remote location out in the country. The drive out to it was very pretty; lots of cobble stone walls & sheep. Brandy called them 'killer sheep' because they would sometimes be out in the middle of the road. The abbey does have nuns living there, although we did not see any. On the grounds there was also a mausoleum, cathedral, and the abbey itself was a school up until 3 years ago. The nuns who live there now are retired & make soaps & jellies & other items to raise money for the abbey. I think the abbey looks like something off of the movie, Lord of the Rings. After the abbey, we made our way to Galway. | Kylemore Abbey
25: The sheep were seriously everywhere we drove.
26: Downtown Galway | Restaurant in Galway | G a l w a y | Pictures from all throughout our trip | By time we got to Galway, it was in the evening. We ate supper at this cute vintage restaurant & walked the center of Galway near the Spanish Arch. | When we got back to our hotel, Brandy blew a fuse in our room & all the electricity went out. The hotel staff couldn't figure it out at first & we thought we would have to switch rooms. Which wouldn't be easy because we had stuff scattered everywhere! But, luckily, they got it fixed. I'm not sure if we were just tired or what, but the beds in this hotel were awesome! | And the fun continues...
27: While Brandy drove, Jamie was deemed"Jamie GPS" as co-pilot
28: Clonmacnoise | A monastery in Offaly County on the River Shannon. | Day 6
29: We made it to a lot of places this day. Clonmacnoise was very cool. It is a ancient monastic site near Shannonbridge County. After this we went to Mellifont Abbey & Trim Castle. We tried going to Newgrange & Slane Castle but they were closed. We also tried going to High Cross but couldn't find it. While our Ireland map on our GPS was very useful, it didn't have every site on it.
30: Trim | Castle
31: The 'Keep' of Trim Castle | The pictures really don't do this place justice. Which is how we felt for most of the places we went. But this castle was massive & right in the heart of town.
32: Mellifont Abbey
33: This was a little hidden treasure we found along the way to Dublin. This was nearing the end of our trip & Brandy was getting more comfortable driving. In this party of our trip, we had more 'interstate-like' highways instead of tiny, narrow country roads. | M
34: Dublin | Day 7
35: Once we got to Dublin we were, again, exhausted. We got to Croke Hotel & then went out for a quick bite to eat. The pub we ate at was good & the bartender was kind. He gave us 2 desserts! We then went back to the hotel for some sleep. Brandy threw a pillow at me during the night to stop my snoring. :) This hotel wasn't as centrally located as the others so we did have to drive to the downtown area the next day for some shopping on Grafton Street & to see the sights. Dublin Castle was closed because President Clinton was there giving a speech! | D o w n t o w n D u b l i n, I r e l a n d
36: Trinity College | Brandy was very excited about Trinity College. Dublin was nice to see but we both agreed we were glad it was the last part of our trip. We got to 'see' the real Ireland & the countryside by all the driving we did. While Dublin was neat, it just felt like another city to us.
37: Castletown House | Castletown was very neat & authentic. It reminded us a bit of the UK show, 'Downton Abbey.' | For supper we ate at the Hard Rock Cafe in Dublin. We then went back to the hotel to go over the loot we had bought for the day as well as the entire trip. We packed our belongings, gathered our airline info & rental car info, and went to bed to try to get some rest. The next day of traveling home was going to be a long one.
39: Overall, it was an amazing, fun, & exhausting trip. While we did a lot of stuff, I wouldn't mind going back. | Jamie in front of the Muckross House | Jamie in front of an abandoned church we found driving to another location
41: While Brandy had a nice time, I think on our next trip we will be getting an automatic car so I can share the driving duties. I think she would also prefer I walk faster & not snore while I was sleeping :) | Brandy at the Mellifont Abbey | Brandy crossing the drawbridge at Bunratty Castle
42: more pictures from all throughout our trip | Our hotel in Killarney
43: Dunmore Caves
44: more pictures from all throughout our trip
45: On our trip we stayed at the Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny, the Scotts Hotel in Killarney, the Clayton Hotel in Galway, & the Croke Hotel in Dublin. We only paid $1200 for air, hotels, rental car, taxes, fees, & a full breakfast each morning at each hotel. We only paid for gas, food for supper, & Ireland trinkets. We drove many miles all over Ireland & got to see almost everything we set out to see!