Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wednesday, April 7

Our pictures of kissing the Blarney stone - Dustin above and me below. I know there were bars below us, but there is an open gap where the stone is that gave me a heart attack to do this! (and they have a person there to make sure that someone doesn't slide off and through - so it seems to me that there is danger factor there).

The only rainbow we saw while in Ireland - picture from the backseat of the car. It rained every day we were in Ireland - guess we couldn't continue to have nice weather for every one of our travels...

Flowers in bloom :-)
Our best family picture from Blarney - sorry Brenna is a little covered up!
Brenna took the next picture - didn't she do a good job here???
Brenna taking a picture of Dustin while he was taking one of us

Inside Blarney castle - looking up to where the Blarney stone is
The stairs at Blarney castle - these gave me a heart attack with Brenna going up and down them and with the high heeled shoes I had on...(I would like to believe that I am not clumsy, but reality is that I have a habit of finding ways to injury myself...)
Brenna's picture (her view)
Brenna's picture of the gift shop - they thought Brenna was too cute with the camera
Brenna's picture her view
Brenna and I going up the wishing steps - my greatest wish came true on that day as all I could wish for was not to fall down or have Brenna fall down :-)

Hello All!!

Hope all is well out there! Things are good here (although already missing Dustin - he left for England this morning, but at least he comes home tomorrow). Brenna is home with me for the rest of the week as Kindergarten is closed - hopefully we will be more productive tomorrow than today...Today, we had German class this morning, played with Brenna's soccer ball at the park, took the dog for a short walk, and played at the playground here in town. After Justice's evening walk, Brenna and I walked up to the ice cream shop and made friends with one of the cats in the neighborhood (we didn't feed it - it just wanted love - it even sat on my lap!) Brenna wanted to bring the cat home - she liked that it was black and white, just like the cat in the Princess Diaries (wonder how long I can keep her and I talked out of having a cat - I'm not missing a litter box at the moment). I was impressed that when we got up and left the cat stayed put and didn't try to follow us home, thank goodness there as I'm sure that our landlord would not be interested in a cat here (o.k. - and I'm not either)...

So, I think I'm going to need to break up our trip pictures and "tales" into a couple of posts - here is our first day - traveling to the Blarney Stone :-) We had to leave our house very early on Friday morning for our flight (5 am), but all went well with the flight and drive to the airport. The flight from Frankfurt (not the main airport, but Frankfurt Hahn), was short - only 2 hours and Brenna did well at both the airport and on the plane. We arrived on time to the Dublin airport and when going through customs, the people there apologized for the poor weather (and they weren't kidding - it rained every day that we were there). Brenna was very friendly with everyone this trip and waved goodbye to the men at customs :-) I was surprised by the size of the airport we flew into - I thought we would fly into another small airport, but we flew into Dublin airport and it was much bigger than I expected (it was weird at baggage claim to see that there were flights directly from the US there at the same airport - just not used to seeing that with our flights on Ryan Air). We ate lunch at the airport as the customs agents warned us that not much was open with it being Good Friday (and really, a lot was closed all weekend for Easter, but we still enjoyed the scenery which is what we traveled to Ireland for...). Brenna had snacked on the plane, so Dustin ended up with her sandwich, and then we hopped on the bus to pick up the rental car. It was raining, so we quickly got in the rental vehicle and drove out of Dublin heading for Cork and the Blarney stone. Brenna fell asleep pretty quickly heading out of Dublin and napped for about an hour in the car. We drove straight to Blarney castle (with only one stop for the restroom - by the way - all bathrooms that we found in Ireland were at gas stations - they don't seem to have any kind of road side rest system - most of the bathrooms are outside (and not the cleanest) - so be sure to have antibacterial wipes and lotion/gel when traveling there). It was sprinkling slightly when we got to Blarney Castle, but we were happy to get out of the car and stretch our legs (we had been sitting for a lot of the day already - it was a 2.5 hour drive to the airport, then the 2 hour flight, and a 3 hour drive to Blarney...). Luckily, Brenna and I both have rain coats, so we stayed dry for trip :-) We all climbed up to the top of Blarney castle - I hadn't realized where you had to go to kiss the Blarney stone and how you have to kiss the stone. I am glad we had not discussed kissing the stone with Brenna as there was no way that I would have let her try when I saw how you do it. After Dustin and I kissed the stone, we all went back down to ground level (did I kiss the ground since I was so happy to see it - no, but it came close - I was glad to be back down at ground level). It was good timing as the rain started up again once we were down at the bottom, so we headed toward the exit already. Brenna said she was hungry, so Dustin and her stopped for ice cream while I browsed in the gift shop. While there, I realized we hadn't yet done the wishing steps at Blarney, so we headed back over to go up and down those steps. (the legend of the wishing steps there is if you can walk up and down the steps with your eyes closed, the witch there will grant your wish - with the wet weather and Brenna, none of us went with our eyes closed, but we still had Brenna make a wish :-) (my only wish at that point was not to fall or have Brenna fall - so I guess my wish came true on the steps :-)
After that, we headed back to the car and our first bed and breakfast in Kilarney. Our first bed and breakfast turned out to be our favorite one (we liked all of them - so if anyone is looking to travel to Ireland, I would highly recommend using the following website: (and this also is the direct link for Crystal Springs there - our favorite Bed and Breakfast in Kilarney). When we pulled into the drive at the bed and breakfast, we were greated by their golden retriever - Brenna was so happy to see a "Justice" dog :-) The bed and breakfast was right on the river - such a beautiful setting - maybe someday we will go back and stay longer? We were so tired, we all went in and pretty much straight to bed. We had a delicious breakfast in the morning of pancakes (for Brenna), porridge (mine), and Dustin had the Irish breakfast. I was amazed to find out how tightly the sheets and blankets are tucked in the beds in Ireland - the very first night as I was trying to pull the blanket up, my hand slipped and I nearly gave myself a black eye (I did hit my eye and it was sore, but luckily I didn't hit it hard enough to bruise) - how silly am I?? (of course, that did wake me up in the middle of the night - that seemed to happen sometime around midnight, lol).
Well, I think that covers our first day fairly well. Take Care
Oh wait - Alexis, I didn't forget you - Happy Birthday!!! Hope you have a great day!


heathmamagam said...

What a good decision to keep Brenna from slipping on the blarney stone. So glad you got to Ireland and the history there. (Hope Dustin did not get too wet, either)

mikaysmom said...

Okay, I think I would have freaked about the Blarney stone too. Love, love all your pictures. Serious about wanting some of these when you return to the states, they would be awesome in my living room.... can't wait to hear more about your trip!