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Finishing Touches to One Month in Ireland (August)

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Background: Hubby and I are in our early and mid-50's, healthy, very active, well-seasoned travelers going to Ireland for the first time. We love history, food, wine, and nature. We are blessed to be able to spend a whole month in Ireland beginning August 10! I have spent the last several months researching all things Irish as often as I can.

We will be traveling (for the first time EVER) with only carryon luggage. I am so excited about that as it just feels liberating to be unencumbered (I usually travel with WAY to much luggage and clothing). We will also be celebrating both of our birthdays on this trip (hubby in County Clare, me in who knows where as we have left a few open days at the end of our trip) and would love any suggestions on where to celebrate the occasion(s).

I have finally come up with the following itinerary and want to run it by the Fodor's Forum for input. I am always a bit nervous about posting my itineraries because of the potential for "What were you thinking!!??" comments. However, I feel like with 2-1/2 months to go before our adventure, if I have made some really stupid travel choices then I still have time to fix them!

Besides suggestions concerning the itinerary, I am particularly interested in restaurant/pub suggestions, routing suggestions that wouldn't normally show up on GPS (i.e., "if you take this little out of the way route you are going to see some fabulous scenery" - that type stuff!). Our dining preferences run the gamut -- we love going into a supermarket and picking up picnic items and we also love fine dining with several courses and wine pairings! I think I have a handle on the "must sees" for each area (at least the "must sees" that appear in all the guide books) but am very interested in the amazing little gems that don't always make it to a guide book.

Thank you in advance for any insight, suggestions, (kind) criticisms you might have!!!

August 10: Depart US
August 11 - 13: Dublin (La Stampa Hotel)
August 14-15: COUNTY WICKLOW: Glendalough (Derrymore House) (Pick up car a.m. of the 14th)
August 16-17: COUNTY WEXFORD: Gorey (Marlfield House)
August 18: COUNTY CORK: Shanagarry (Ballymaloe House)
August 19-20: COUNTY KERRY: Kenmare (Sea Shore Farm Guesthouse)
August 21-22: COUNTY KERRY: Dingle (Pax House)
August 23: COUNTY LIMERICK: Ballingarry (Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge)
August 24 (hubby's birthday) - 25: COUNTY CLARE: Lahinch (Moy House)
August 26: ARAN ISLANDS: Inishmore (Kilmurvey House)
August 27-29: COUNTY MAYO: Cong (Ashford Castle)
August 30: COUNTY SLIGO: Ballymote (Temple House)
August 31 - September 1: COUNTY DONEGAL: Bruckless (Bruckless House)
September 2-3: COUNTY ANTRIM: Ballycastle (Whitepark House)
September 4-5: NORTHERN ISLAND: Belfast (Merchant Hotel)
September 6 (my birthday) - 7: WE HAVE LEFT THESE TWO DAYS OPEN ON PURPOSE
September 8: Return to Dublin (Carlton Hotel near airport)
September 9: Return to US

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