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odie1 Jun 14th, 2006 08:41 PM

what a trip
We just returned (June 10) from our nine day trip to to the SC of Ireland. Thanks to everyone who gave me input on our trip. It was truly a magnificent time.

BOW, I wrote pretty specific reviews of inns on Trip Advisor.

Let me start by saying that we had 9 nine days of 75-80 degree sunny weather (OK I had to rub it in a little bit). Everyone kept telling us that we could choose any ten days, every year, five times a year, from now until we die and we would never, never experience that weather again. Whether this is true or not, I don't know, but none-the-less it was absolutely amazing and probably added to the unbelievable time we had. Now most of you are probably like how unbelievable? how unfair? but, so you can have a bit of empathy for me, let me just say, I only packed one pair of shorts...

This was my husband's and my 10 year wedding anniversary celebration. We had two vouchers from A for a previous trip (where we were bumped) and miles to use. So for three tickets to Ireland (our three year old daughter accompanied us) our total cost there was $185! A pretty good deal for three! So with that said, we thought we could splurge a bit on accommodations, etc.

June 1-We arrived Boston airport and checked in. Two hours until take off and a thunder and lightning storm came rolling in. I thought that was the precursor to how our trip was going to go. Lots of flights were getting delayed but for some reason ours didn't. However, just as we were at the top of the runway with the engines revving the pilots pulled back and informed us we had a problem. Back to the gate we went where I was thinking this was definitely an omen... until the pilot came on and told us there was a problem with the hydraulics and better that it get found out and fixed now then half way over the Atlantic! OD I think, this must be a good omen otherwise we might have been seeing how well a 767 floats! A mere 45 minute delay and we were off. Our daughter slept the whole way. I got about 1 1/2 hours sleep, dear husband got the brunt of daughter's restless feet so according to him, he didn't fair so well.

Coming into Ireland was a mix of fog and clearing skies. I couldn't get over the beauty I was seeing and swear that we came in right along the coast next to the Cliffs of Mover. I do not honestly know what else I could have seen. We arrived Shannon, got our bags and went right through customs (I think it was customs but no one even asked us a question or looked us over. We felt more scrutinized coming back into the States then we did entering Ireland). We headed straight to our car rental, Irish Car Rentals where there was only one person in front of us. Getting our car was a breeze, everything was as planned. We used MC Platinum so we waived the insurance. I told them we would return the car full (not empty as they had expected) but no problem and off we went. It was a decent size car, not too big, not too small, perfectly clean and ready to go. My husband, or as our friend's call him "The Gadget Guru", brought his GPS which GAShad loaGashedth maps of Ireland. And let me be the first to say that thank God he did because that "gadget" could certainly "think" faster than I could, especially at a few of those roundabouts where by the time I was reading the map and saying go half away around, we were already heading down the right road!

We headed to Kinsale, which by all accountsKin saleene had said woaccounts Kin salinest 4 hours to get to. Now, I don't know if it is because my husband is ambidextrous and the whole driving on the opposite side did not phase him but we shot out of the airport like a bat out of hell. No hesitating at the roundabouts, no problems with the speed or which side to drive on, or even how to pass. We were in Kinsale in two hours, including stopping for snacks and a bathroom break!

During our ride down to Kinsale my daughter asked, "Where are all the sheep? You told me I was going to see lots and lots of sheep but I've only seen cows." I told her she had to be patient and that we would find some sheep...boy did we ever.

I have to say that up until we pulled into Kinsale I was not as enchanted with Ireland as I had expected I was going to be. Maybe that was a bit of jet lag or maybe that was me concentrating on making sure I pulled my left arm in fast enough before it was removed by the ever present wall-like hedge, but all of that changed when we entered Kinsale. What a neat town. A bit touristy but it has that feel of a quaint seaside town. I had, thankfully, printed the directions to our inn off their website and was able to direct my hubby there with "little" problem. Our first stop was The Old Presbytery. We loved the fact they had a parking lot so we did not have to worry about trying to find parking as the town was packed (beginning of bank holiday weekend). The Old Presbytery was very nice. Our room was very comfortable but just a bit small. We would have felt cramped if we would have been staying there for more than a few days but remember there were three of us. We headed to town to find some lunch. We went to Fishy Fishy Cafe (as it was the closest place to our inn) but figured our three year old would probably not find much to satiate her hunger so we moved on to the Blue Haven Hotel and had lunch in their pub. The food was good. The beers were even better. After that we walked around town a bit then headed for a short, only one hour, nap to try and get us through the day yet not revive us so much that we would not sleep that night. (Silly us, as the latter was absolutely no problem). We went to dinner at Crackpots, which was literally steps from the hotel. The food was wonderful so was the service (except from the lady who appeared to be in charge as she immediately informed us the table was to be turned over and we needed to order right away, and she would not leave until I gave her my dinner order) That was a bit of a disappointment but we made the best of it, enjoyed our dinner, got a bottle of wine to go and headed back to the hotel. Breakfast was great. My first taste of Irish brown bread, which I loved as well as farm fresh eggs. We pretty much packed up and headed out knowing that we had a bit of a drive in front of us.

Our next two nights were to be spent in Kenmare. We had planned on going the coast route (R600). We headed out of town and only 4 miles into it took an unexpected detour down R604 to Old Head (this was the first of many "much longer than anticipated stops" we had on our "planned" trip) but oh my gosh what a site. It was breathtaking and if you are a golfer, Old Head should be at the top of the "Must Golf List". The wildflowers were amazing, but again you must remember it was a perfectly sunny day (If the weather were to be foggy this detour would not have been worth it). We have also come to find out that you can enter into the golf course via the large gates by just driving up and talking to the guard. We did not and the drive was still breathtaking!

From there we continued on R600. Somewhere along the way we made another unexpected detour where we crossed, literally drove through, an inlet of water out to a point that was separated from the beach by a large set of sand dunes. After that we continued on to Clonakilty where we stopped at the Model Railway Village which was very interesting for us, not to mention our three year old but this was definitely a longer stop than I had expected so we ended up forgoing some other stops. From there we continued on N71 until Ross Carbery where we turned off to R597 to see the Drombeg Stone Circle. This was another interesting stop with amazing views of the farmlands and ocean. From there we continued on to Glandore where we stopped for lunch at Haye's Bar. This was a great spot. You come into town and all of a sudden there are tables and the pubs on your right with more tables on your left and you drive right between them. The view is amazing and the food was great. Haye's also had the coolest bathrooms on our trip. I know it sounds strange but if you have been or you go you'll know what I mean.

After that stop we drove on through not stopping anywhere else really until the other side of the Caha Pass (and by that time I suggested it as my hubby seemed like his fingers would need to be peeled off the steering wheel). The Caha Pass is not for the faint of heart. It's not that it is sheer cliffs on any side but it is so twisty and narrow (especially when you meet up with another car inside one of the tunnels), and chock full of car-eating pot holes. We stopped just on the other side of the top at a really neat place (forget the name but it is the only place around). I found some nice locally made pottery and some delicious Jameson's chocolate bars. It was a good break to regroup before pulling into Kenmare.
We made our way to our next stop, the Shelburne Lodge. I had printed directions off from their website which were, again, invaluable.

So, up to this point so far so good. We still have both side mirrors and all our hubcaps. We have seen amazing scenery and my daughter finally gets to see the sheep, although she couldn't understand why Irish sheep have such colorful bums.

**That's all for now, I will continue my trip report tomorrow**

ilovetotravel29 Jun 14th, 2006 08:57 PM

I loved your trip report!!!

One request---are you going to post any pictures of your trip? especially of the shores of Ireland?

I am enthralled with the coastline...

LoveItaly Jun 14th, 2006 09:05 PM

Lovely report odie. Although I have never been to beautiful Ireland I so enjoyed your descriptions. Your husband sounds like my late husband. Gadgets galore and he loved to drive all over Italy! And your daughter sounds charming! I look forward to the balance of your Ireland trip.

lucielou Jun 15th, 2006 05:34 AM

Great report Odie

Re: The great weather, its been fab here we are all thrilled with it,but as you mentioned, it might not happen again for a while;)

SiobhanP Jun 15th, 2006 06:37 AM

It seems to happen once every ten years. I remember when I moved to Dublin 10 years ago it was lovely like this. Lucky you to get it on your holidays!

odie1 Jun 15th, 2006 07:38 AM

Shelburne Lodge is beautiful. The rooms were great as was the food. (Again see more detailed info on TA). We got in around 6 PM (it took us about 6 hours to get to Kenmare from Kinsale with all the stops mentioned, plus quite a few for photo ops) just in time to shower, change and make it to our dinner reservation at Packie's (owned by the same people who own Shelburne). Dinner was great. I highly recommend it. After dinner we walked back to the hotel and hoped our daughter would go to sleep so we could enjoy sitting downstairs by the peat fire (an unbelievable smell and unfortunatly one we did not get to enjoy again most likely due to the warm weather) but no such luck. The next morning we had a wonderful breakfast downstairs and headed out for the Beara Peninsula (not until 11 AM however-which seemed to be the case most days-but hey we were on vacation). I had read in one of my many guide books about an unmarked road off R571 that takes you to waterfalls and lakes with unbelievable views. We found it and it was spectacular. It's really not as secret as the book made it out to be. There is a sign marked park and that is the road to Glen Inchaquin Park. It is only about 3 miles back but it takes a while because of the road but it is beautiful. There are nature trails and a great picnic area. I really enjoyed this and had we been spending more time in Kenmare I would have returned to really hike all around it. As it was by the time we left it was 1:30. We continued for a bit before my daughter announced she was hungry so we had to find a stop for lunch. As we were entering into Lauragh we saw signs for "Josie's" that was described as lakeside dining so we thought we'd give it a try. We followed the road which, went on and on and on, but it passed through more rhododendron then I have ever seen in my life, all of it getting ready to explode in color, until we finally came to Josie's. Again this was a great find as the views were unbelievable overlooking Glanmore Lake. The food was very good and just so you know, it is not on the menu but they do have Guinness by the can. Off in the distance you could see the cars heading up the Healy Pass and the hills on the side of the lake were completely purple-purely majestic!

After a great lunch, we continued on stopping in Eeyries for an ice cream bar for the little one. What a neat town that is. Unfortunately because of how late it was getting in the day we turned there and skipped continuing on to Dursey. We went on to Castletownbere and went down to see the Dunboy ruins as our daughter was fascinated with all the castle ruins, yelling "Princess" everytime she saw one. Unfortunately the ruins are under construction and you can not get up close to them, although you can see them. (I was a bit confused because I know there are two ruins in that area, Dunboy and Puxley, but we only saw the one set, the first one on the right so maybe we could have gotten to the other). The area down there is quite lovely so it certainly was not a wasted trip.

Continuing on we took the Healy Pass to head back to Kenmare. What an unbelievable view from both sides. The pass was not too bad except in a few spots that I defintely was a little white knuckled. On the other side of the pass we could see Josie's where we had lunch and a view of the lake from above-spectacular. At the bottom of the road, just before entering back into Lauragh we came upon a dance going on at a pub. There were muscians playing, people traditional dancing in the streets, and a whole lot of Guinness being consumed. It looked like ot could have been a lot of fun!

Dinner that night in Kenmare was very uneventful as we stopped in one of the pubs for pub grub. We actually had had a reservation at Lime Tree but we did not want to be in a rush during the day to make it back for dinner so we cancelled it. It being the bank holiday weekend all the restaurants were full until 9 which we did not want to wait for. But that was OK because even though the food was mediocre, the Guinnesses were cold and aplenty! BTW, that was one of the nice things about staying at places that were all within walking distance to town. We never had to be concerned about having a beer or two or...and having to drive.

The next day was time to head to Dingle for two nights. This drive again took us about 6 hours. Leaving Kenmare we headed straight for Killarney National Park. We made a few stops for photo ops and then made a stop at Torc Wateralls where we got out and walked all the way to to the top of the falls. Just a side note, the view that you read about if you continue on past the waterfall is about half way up to the top not all the wy to the top. (There are actually two views, the first being just about 30 steps up from the falls, this one is a bit obstructed. If you continue on a bit the other view is better and much more open.) Once you are at the top, where the bridge crosses over the river there is no view.

After another ice cream stop we headed on to Muckross. Being the holiday itself, this place was packed. We went to the Farms first which in hindsight I would probably have skipped. I though it was going to be a bit different than it was although it was interesting and we did see the biggest pig we have ever seen. By the time we were done there we had little time to explore the house and gardens, something we would have all enjoyed much more. We never did go inside the house and we took a fairly quick stroll around only a small portion of the gardens. This was too bad as it really looked beautiful.

The rest of the drive up to Dingle was beautiful. Inch Strand was really neat. Packed full of cars all on the sand with people everywhere. We arrived in Dingle with directions to Greenmount House, which we easily found. Our daughter was asleep in the car so I went to check in. The place was perfect, our room was just right and I was so excited for two days of pure heaven, that was until I returned to the car to find my husband standing there with this absolute look of horror on his face and telling me he has some very bad news. Of course the first thing I think is somebody back home died but realizing we didn't have cell phones with us I knew he couldn't have known that. "What?" I ask him. "What is it?" And then come the words that anyone in a foreign country doesn't want to hear, "I only have two passports." (and remember there are three of us!) Now, I am sure you can all imagine how the conversation went from there. Well, not to bore you with all the details but an hour later we did finally find it...back at Muckross House! (two hours back I remind you). So first thing in the morning, back my hubby was going.

That night dinner was at The Charthouse-it was excellent and the chef was very accommodating to fix my daughter her own child size dinner.

The drive around the Dingle Peninsula was the most scenic in my opinion. We did not make it far out of town before we made a stop at the beach for our daughter to play for a bit. This was after all, the least we could do having been dragging her around in the car for at least 6 hours everyday. It was a nice break for her as well as us to stop, suck in the ocean air and really look at the beauty around us. An hour later we were off stopping at Dunbeg Stonefort which we all enjoyed. Unbelievable views from down on the point. On with the drive, we stopped at Beenacouma where you have a great view of the Blasket Islands and the beaches below. The color of the water was like it is in the Carribean. I could not get over it.

Ready for lunch we were going to stop in Dunquin as my guide books had said it was the last meal for miles around but the town was packed so we figured we would find something somewhere so we continued on to Ballyferriter where we had a good pub lunch at Ostan Ceann Sibeal Hotel. We enjoyed the drive back to Dingle and did not make any more stops along the way. We just wanted to get back and let our daughter have a decent nap because we were going to go to one of the pubs that evening for some traditional music. Now I know what you all are thinking, you have to be 18 to go into the pubs after 9:30. Nobody said a word and we were actually encouraged to go with our daughter as long as made sure she sat right with us and we did not let her run around which of course we wouldn't.

Dinner was at Paul's, pretty basic, I would not go back, but my husband did enjoy his Shephard's Pie. The Little Bridge Pub was by far the coolest pub we went into on the trip (although we did not go into that many). We loved it and really enjoyed the music. A definite must if you go to Dingle.

The next morning was another great breakfast. We did a little shopping in Dingle and then got ready to head out to Lahinch.

We really enjoyed Dingle. I could definitely see renting a house there for a week and jsut enjoying all the beauty that area has to offer. I am sorry we did not have another night to spend there. All the advice that you get on this forum about slowing down, taking your time couldn't be more true. We took two nights in most places but it still wasn't enough to really get a good feeling for the towns. Dingle was definitely a highlight of our trip.

**The last part to come** Hope it hasn't been too boring.

ilovetotravel-I will try to post some but it might take a while.

loveitaly-although my hubby is always getting grief anout his gadgets thank goodness he had that GPS or we still might be going around those roundabouts.

chatham Jun 15th, 2006 11:10 PM

I enjoyed your report very much and it made me want to be back in Ireland. Joan

Pawleys Jun 16th, 2006 04:00 AM

Am loving your trip report so far. We're doing a similar one in Sep. Actually staying in Shelburne house too. Can't wait to hear what you thought of the Lahinch area.

odie1 Jun 16th, 2006 01:36 PM

We headed out from Dingle, tossing back and forth whether to drive the Connor Pass. We had already driven two passes (Caha and Healy) and I truly think my husband had had enough of the passes but as luck had it we missed the turn for it and decided not to go back just to take it. We knew we had a pretty good trek ahead of us to get to Lahinch so we decided just to go the quicker was as we also wanted to get there with some daytime left to enjoy our inn. The drive along the N86 was very nice and there were some nice views of the beaches along Tralee Bay. As it was it took us a good two, two and a half hours to get to the Tarbert Ferry. We made no stops up to that point. Crossing over was fine and we headed up toward Lahinch. We stopped in Quilty at the Quilty Tavern for lunch. They had some picnic tables outside and seeing as it was another beautiful day we thought that was a perfect place. It had a nice view of the ocean across the street, cold Guinnesses and a good fresh fish platter served with a nice fresh salad. I noticed while we were eating lunch some signs stating "We want our sewer system that was promised to us in 1999." I did not think much of it until we were readying to leave and I looked over the wall to the ocean below and just about returned my fish lunch back to where it came from due to the putrid smell and ghastly sight of raw sewage. That was a bit of a bummer, to say the least!

Our drive from there to Lahnich was a snap. Our destination was the Moy House. We were just getting ready to figure out the directions there when we saw the signs that guided us right up the long driveway to a majestic looking manor home sitting up on the hill overlooking the bay and the very tail end of the Cliffs of Moher off in the distance. Wow. What a sight! Upon arriving our room was not ready but that was no problem. It was 4 PM and we briefly (and I mean briefly) contemplated going to the Cliffs to avoid all the crowds the following day but decided the spot we were already at was far too lovely to leave so the staff kindly filled our cooler with ice to chill a few beers we had with us and we headed down to the beach.

The top of the beach was very rocky, providing lots of places to sit however the tide was receeding and in its departure was revealing a perfectly sandy beach. Our daughter had a blast running along the sand and splashing in the shallow water. It was very relaxing not having to worry about a wave coming up and bowling her over or her stepping off into some abyss. There were only a few other people on the beach and they were way down the other end. What a treat to have this little slice of pure Heaven all to ourselves.

An hour or so later we returned to the house to find our room ready. We were absolutely stunned by our room. It was beautifully decorated, with a very large bathroom and had the most amazing view of the ocean. We had made advanced reservations to have dinner there and so glad we did. The food was fantastic! The presentation was unbelievable. It was a four course meal with a good selection from each course. The chef even made a special plate for our daughter. The service was also excellent. As it worked out our daughter was able to go back to our room, which was just two doors down from the dining room and relax with a movie while we took our time having dinner and enjoying a nice bottle of wine. After dinner we enjoyed an after dinner drink while witnessing an amazing sunset on the front lawn overlooking the ocean-truly remarkable!

The next morning we had a scrumptious breakfast and let our daughter enjoy another hour or so of beach time, although she was not the only one who enjoyed it! We hated to pack up and leave. I honestly can say that I would not hesitate to take the 5 1/2 hour flight from Boston to Shannon and drive the hour to Moy House just for a long weekend. I found it that fantastic!

**Two more nights to go**

odie1 Jun 19th, 2006 10:01 AM

It was all of a fifteen minute drive to the Cliffs and when we arrived it was already packed. The Cliffs are undergoing some major construction. There is a new visitor center being built and something else up by O'Brien's tower. I have to say that I was pretty disappointed that O'Brien's tower was closed. The view was pretty limited, although what we could see was beautiful so I could only imagine what it must be when you have the ability to see the full view. I was, however lucky enough to see them out of the airplane on our way in! From there we were heading to Ailwee Cave. The drive, once again, was amazing. The views of the Burren are remarkable. There were not too many people at the cave so we had no wait. About 40 feet after entering my daughter decided that was far enough and she wanted to go back but after a few words of encouragement then (and a few moe times deeper into the cave) she was able to make it. The tour was a little longer (about 40 minutes)than I had expected but there were some interesting sights inside (bear bones, waterfalls, and all the geological formations one would expect to see inside a cave formed by water). The only thing I would say is that if you have been into caves before it might not be as interesting as it would be to someone who has never experienced one before.

After leaving the cave we headed down towards our final destination for our trip, Newmarket-on-Fergus and Dromoland Castle. There were lots of interesting sights along the drive down. Many of them were packed with tour buses and we didn't feel like battling with all the people to see them. There were lots of Castle ruins, many though can't be accessed.

We arrived at Dromoland Castle and parked the car knowing we would not get in it again until we were headed to the airport in two days. I think all three of us were ready for a day off. My daughter was so excited she wanted to get to the room and change immediately into a dress so she could be a princess! Our room was great. After checking in we took a short walk around to see the castle. Our dinner that night, in The Earl of Thomond dining room was perfect. It was our ten year wedding anniversary and it was a lovely location to be spending that special day. Our food was very good, but not the best we had on our trip. The location was magical and the service impeccable. After a very long dinner (about 3 hours but not because of anything the restaurant did) we went into the bar to listen to the guitarist for a little bit, which was very nice. The next day we took a long walk around the grounds and through the walled gardens, which are fantastic. Just a note, my husband went off the path to see if he could get a better glance at the trout stream that runs through the property. He ended up having all sorts of strange sensations in his legs. He thought he was being bitten by hundreds of bugs and described it as a burning tingling sensation which lasted the duration of the day. We had lunch at the Fig Tree restaurant which was good and what was really enjoyable is that my husband was able to enjoy a few cold Guinnesses with me since he did not have to drive. We also had dinner that night at the Fig Tree which was a bit of a disappointment with both the food and especially the service. I will mention that I think the salad greens were especially fresh as evidenced by the slug that arrived with them! Good thing we both have a good sense of humor and could actually laugh about it and it's probably even a better thing that the slug was found on my husband's plate and not mine!
We enjoyed staying at the castle very much but it was not the highlight of our trip, not to say that it was a disappointment because it was not. I would say it was wonderful to do it as a one time thing. I feel like I have been there, done that and would have no desire to make a point of staying there again, unlike all the other places we stayed during our trip. That being said it was very nice to enjoy a cocktail while walking the grounds and watching our daughter chase all the ducks around. We also enjoyed relaxing at some of the different couches and tables spread around the dining room and bar areas.

The drive to the airport was a snap (only 20 minutes)as was returning the car. We had actually lost a hubcap coming down through the Burren but luckily we heard it come off and were able to retrieve it. So since we had it there was no problem. It was a bit of a pain to have to take the paperwork back to the rental desk at the airport to turn it in and make sure we got credited back for a full tank of gas. This would be especially challenging for someone who was running late because you may get held up by people just arriving to get a car as you have to wait in the same line. Besides that, and the fact that the check in for flights and the rental desk are on complete opoosite sides of the terminal, there were no problems. We had no problems upon checking in for our flight but be prepared for the formal and lengthy security questions they ask. We were a bit taken back them. It was very interesting that you clear US Customs in Shannon but great in that it makes entry back home quicker. The flight home was uneventful until about half way across the Atlantic when my husband gasps and tells me he left the GPS and charger in the car!

Upon getting to the States we want to call Irish Car Rentals and tell them but when we get to our car at Logan airport my husband's cell phone is dead and the charger, well it's back in our rental car in Ireland. So we had to wait until we got back home (about 2 1/2 hours later). When we called we were told by the lady at the rental desk that the lot was closed and we had to call back on Mon (this was Sat), which did not make much sense seing as she was at the desk waiting for passengers to arrive. We were also told that the cars usually have a two day turn around time. I decided to call first thing the following morning and was told that they did not know anything about it but they would call us back. No call back by Mon morning so I called again and was told that the car had gone out at 10 AM on Sat, we returned it at 8:45, so much for the two day turn around the first lady told me about. I was told they would check and see if it had been located and call me back. I did receive a call back saying it had not been found but they would check when the car was returned on the 23rd, so we will wait and see...

Just a few side notes:

We had no problems with people charging us in US Dollars when we asked to be charged in Euros.
As far as double charging our credit card, our statement has not come in yet but we did save all our credit card slips, I think!

I saw a previous post about washcloths-we had plenty of them at every stay. So I think it depends on where you are staying.

I think everyone on these boards (yes I double posted on that other board) could not be more right when they say slow down and take your time I would have been so happy to have two weeks in Ireland. Not to add on any more destinations but to spend more quality time in the areas we were and really exploring. We passed by a lot, and yes maybe it was due to to us getting a later start (@ 11 AM) each morning but you will regret blowing through each place.

The posted speed limits are ludicrous in most situations. There are literally places that say 100 km/h when I swear if you were going 50 km/h your car would leave the road!

If you like a "squishy" pillow you might want to consider bringing your own as I found all the pillows very hard. Thank goodness I had brought my own.

Everyone we encountered couldn't have been nicer:

The lady at Muckross House had offered to meet my husband half way with my passport, he declined, and she declined a "reward" my husband offered her.

When we were headed to Drombeg Stone Circle there were two cars and a boat blocking the road. The boat trailer had come detached from the car and the people were trying to get it back on. My husband offered to give them a hand and the man was so apologetic for holding us up. Imagine that his boat comes undone and he is apologizing to us for holding us up. Funny thing was when my husband sympathized with him and told him he too had had a similar experience once the man's friends all starting laughing and said, "Yah, ONCE."

We absolutely loved Ireland. It was a wonderful vacation. Would we ever go back? Absolutely. Did we think that maybe it had been a bit much to "drag" our three year old along with us? Only briefly and certainly not once we returned home and people would ask our daughter what she saw in Ireland and she would give answers along the lines of, "I saw cows, sheep and... a few horses." "I saw villages and I went in a cave that had bear bones and waterfalls." To get to experience the trip through a three year old's eyes makes it all that more special. Will she remember it? Probably not all of it or even a majority of it but will we remember her look of awe when she saw the Cliffs of Moher, or listened to the traditional Irish flute at the pub one evening and the bagpiper at Dromoland Castle, or even her first taste of real farm fresh eggs, you better believe we will remember it forever!

odie1 Jun 23rd, 2006 08:28 AM

I just spoke to Irish Car Rentals and they have our GPS and will ship it back to us.

Also, I would be happy to post pictures if anybody can tell me what the most common way is.

Melissa5 Jun 24th, 2006 01:40 AM

odie1, I sure enjoyed skimming through your trip report! I hope to go back over it more slowly this weekend and savor it. We're going in July! Really looking forward to Dingle, the Cliffs of Moher, and just experiencing Ireland. We do have 3 night stays in Dingle, County Clare (Ballyvaughan), and County Mayo.

Any advice about what you wish you had done differently? (Besides spending more nights in each place?) Something you wish you had brought? Something you wish you had left at home?

Did you get really specific driving directions before you left? I have the Complete Road Atlas of Ireland which includes place names in Gaelic. I'm wondering if we can just figure out routes when we get there, and get directions from our b&b hosts...if it we need to do more pre-planning as far as the driving goes?

Padhraicin Jun 24th, 2006 02:59 AM

There is a good route planner on It is at bottom right of homepage. It has options for route planning in Ireland, UK and Europe.

odie1 Jun 24th, 2006 07:14 AM

Melissa 5-

Good for you for planning three nights at each stop. Trust me, you will not regret it!

As far as what I wish I had/hadn't brought, I wish I hadn't brought our rain gear (sorry, I couldn't resist!)

I was glad I brought my squishy pillow and Benadryl because for some reason I woke up 5 of the 7 mornings that I was there with hives (which I have never had before in my life). There was nothing else we wished we had brought, except, of course, a second pair of shorts.

As far as detailed driving directions go, I only got them from the websites of the B and B's we were staying in but they were invaluable, especially in Kinsale.

I hope to have some photos up this weekend.

teacher33 Jun 24th, 2006 10:51 AM

Dear Odie1,

I really enjoyed your trip report. FYI, the stinging, burning your husband experienced when stepping off the path was probably nettles. they look harmless, but can really do a job. (Imagine backing into some with your skirt up while taking a break behind some bushes when out hiking and nature andnature called

teacher33 Jun 24th, 2006 10:53 AM

Dear Odie1,

I really enjoyed your trip report. FYI, the stinging, burning your husband experienced when stepping off the path was probably nettles. they look harmless, but can really do a job. (Imagine backing into some with your skirt up while taking a break behind some bushes when out hiking and nature and nature called.)

odie1 Jun 24th, 2006 11:59 AM

teacher 33-

Ouch! I can only imagine that you were relating a personal experience. I told my husband that that was probably what it was but someone at the hotel said he would have blisters from them, which he did not.

Melissa5 Jun 24th, 2006 12:33 PM

Padhraicin, thanks for the suggestion of the route planner on aa roadwatch.

Odie1, it's good to know one can do okay driving with only printed directions from those b&b web-sites!

Too bad about your hives. Maybe an allergy to some kind of Irish laundry soap? Who knows?

Glad you enjoyed the trip!

SandyBrit Jun 24th, 2006 01:09 PM

odie1 - Enjoyed your trip report.

I know you said your reviews of your B&B's are posted on but I was wondering if you'd share the websites.

I also think your husband was in a nettle patch. As a child we learned very quickly to look for some dock leaves that usually were growing nearby. You rub the dock leaves onto where you were stung and get some relief. For fun and facts look at


Melissa5 Jun 24th, 2006 01:50 PM

Sandy, thanks for the link to nettles info. I forward it to my hubby the biologist...we will be in Ireland in July (next month!) He loves links with info like this.

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