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Trip Report Splendid Summer Trip in Scotland and Ireland

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After lots of planning and researching and deliberating I am happy to say our trip was FANTASTIC!!!

We started off flying into Dublin through Munich from Miami on a red eye (points tickets, beggars cant be choosers!!!)

DUBLIN-
So when we landed in Dublin we were thrilled at the AMAZING weather. It was gorgeous and we were told that it had been awful weather just the day before! We took a cab into Dublin to our hotel - the Westbury. Our driver was a doll, he was a retired police officer and gave us the low down on all things Ireland! We arrived at the hotel and it was heavenly!!!!!

Our room was ready even though it was still early and the front desk staff was soo helpful. We had a choose of 2 rooms and she took us us to show us before we picked. We opted for the king suite with 2 roll-aways for the kids. We were thrilled to have a king size bed - and the kids were just as happy to not have to share their bed!!! We all just wanted to climb into bed at that point, but we persevered and headed out to take a walk and grab lunch.

We had lunch at Hatch and Sons
http://www.hatchandsons.co/
which was rec by the concierge at the hotel.
Adorable little place across from St Stephens Green
We enjoyed the food and our first Irish beers.

Then we went for a walk into the park and I think I feel asleep sitting up watching my kids climb trees. We had to keep moving!!!1

For dinner that night we ate at the hotel at Cafe Novo - and I have to say it was AMAZING!!! They took typical Irish dishes and modernized them!!! Sooo good!!!!
One of the best meals of our trip!!!

Day 2 - DUBLIN
We also enjoyed the breakfast buffet in the hotel (another restaraunt - dont know the name.) I could have stayed all day to just eat scones!!!!

Today we did the Sandemans free walking tour. We had taken on in Munich and though it was fantastic!!! The guides give lots of folks a walking tour for free and you "tip" them as you see fit.
http://www.newdublintours.com/
Our guide was a student at Trinity College, I think his name was Eoin/ Owen . he was great!!!! We got lots of history as well as comedy :)

After the tour - the guide gave us the option to join him for lunch at a pub - where we had our first real Guinness. I couldn't believe I was an instant fan!!!! I could drink these guys as a meal - so creamy and filling!!! I was not as bug a fan of the pub food as I was of the pub drinks!!!

After lunch we headed out to the Old Jameson tour. We hadn't bought tickets in advance - we should have bc we had to wait around over an hour for the next tour that had space to begin. We all enjoyed the tour - even my kids. Who have been dragged to vineyards and breweries throughout our travels. We were lucky enough to get picked as the special tasters!! It was all lots of fun and I started my new education of Whiskey, Whisky, and Bourbon.

After this we were all wiped and went back to enjoy a little downtime in the hotel. Unfortunately by the time we headed out to dinner - all the restaurants had pretty much stopped serving food! And it was only 9 pm!!! Very different from our other trips like in Spain where dinner starts at 10 pm! We had gelato for dinner and called it a night.

Day 3 - Kilkenny
The next day we ate our yummy scones again and took a cab to the Hertz location in the city where I had reserved a rental car. We were going to rent a mifi from Hertz and they were all out!!! Big uh -oh!!! Now if we needed directions or a phone - we were out of luck!!!

So off in search of the highway we went. This was scary stuff!!!! Once on the highway - it was way easier - we didn't have to think about being in the right lanes!!!

Once we approached the exit for Kilkenny is where the fun began!! We didnt know where we were going and had to drive through the center of town. It took us almost 2 hours to make it to the B&B after pulling over many times to ask for help. SO thankful there was no language barrier!

We stayed at the Rosquil and decided that we wouldnt getback in the car until it was time to move on to the next town!!

I had booked us a bike tour of Kilkenny which of course we were late for bc of the delay. The inn keeper, Phil, was so nice and called the bike guy to reset the time and give us a few minutes to breath!
The bike tour was super fun!!! It was just the 4 of us and the bikes were all in great condition!
http://kilkennycyclingtours.com/tours/
We really say all of Kilkenny and got a great history lesson too!!! Perfect for the kids!
We never really ate lunch so we head to Kytlers for a very early dinner and more brews!! Today I tried the Smithwicks, but hubby stuck with his Guinness!!!
I don't even remember the food, but the atmosphere was fun and we hung out to catch the live band and dancers.

Day 4 - Cashel, Cahir, Killarney
It was unusually warm and of course none of our lodging had AC...I knew this was going to get me in trouble, again!!!
But the breakfast was delish and the innkeepers were so lovely and accommodating!

Then we were off to Cashel.....
We did the guided tour - which was super and crowded. We wanted to get here earlier - but it didn't happen.
We had lunch at Ladyswell (I think.) No pub food - salads and sandwiches. Good change of pace!

Then we drove to Cahir castle which my kids really loved!!!

Then it was the long drive to Killarney. We were thankful that we had the super duper insurance on the rental car - bc as we were warned the roads are tiny...but no one mentioned the stone walls and branches!!! THE only think not covered were the tires and rims. Which was really scratched up badly when we got the car and I smartly had the rental place take dated pictures before we accepted the car.

Anyway - there is no way to drive on these roads without scratching the side of the car of these branches!! Especially when giant buses and trucks and coming at your from the other direction!! Also during the trip we were behind the truck that trims the brush that hangs into the roadways. It was funny- they drive while trimming the trees.

We made it to Killarney to the our hotel - Earls Court House. And we hit our first rain of the trip. I had mixed feelings about the hotel. There were pros and there were cons and there was no AC and it was HOT again!!!

We walked to a pub down the street for dinner and planned out our next few days.....

Day 5 - Dingle
We were torn between doing the ROK and the DIngle drive. And in the end we went with Dingle. It was the most insanely gorgeous day which was awesome!!! We stopped in Dingle first to get some coffee, have a snack, and get cash.....

We also stopped at the tourist center and got a great map of the Slea Head loop.....which marked the sites of interest.

The scenery was breathtaking!!! We made a lot of stops - to take it all in. We stopped at the fort, the beehive huts. We spent a lot of time stopped near the area where they filmed Ryans Daughter just admiring the coast line. SO prettty! We also hiked up through a meadow of sheep to see a Celtic Oghman Stone, which made my 14 year very happy.

We took our time enjoying the views and when we arrived back in Dingle - we needed fish and chips. But we needed the best fish and chips and we were sent to Reel Dingle Fish, which has 4 stools and is a hole in the wall, we were lucky and when our order was ready all 4 stools were vacant. This was really good stuff!!! Highly recommend it!!!
We took our time enjoyed these tasty treats and spoke with the guys behind the counter about the fishing and overfishing in Dingle and Ireland. Super friendly folk!!!

We drove back into Killarney and it was a Sat night - so we thought wed take in some live music at dinner. We again were directed to a pub. We sat - the server was friendly - we had our beers and then our food came - eeks!!!
The band finally came on to play and it was all fun!!! Ironically when he asked the large crowd that had amassed whose from Ireland here - expecting a big cheer - not one person answered back- we were all tourists!!!!!! Funny!!!! The locals knew better about the food!!!!

Day 6 and more tomorrow......

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