A Travellerspoint blog

Doolin' Around

Day 8

Day 8

We were able to have breakfast in the fine dining room today and I've included a few pics of that...in case your wondering, Bennett had pancakes. Clark is obsessed with spoons right now and so we accidentally took a real silver spoon from breakfast because he had it in his hand. I guess we could have left it in our room before we left but we took it instead..oops, what's the saying about being born with a silver spoon in your mouth?. We are leaving our hotel castle this morning so we thought we would get one more activity in before we left. We went clay shooting with a very old Irish man who chuckled when we told him we had never done it and the fact that we had two kids in tow didn't help our cause. I've never held a shotgun and I'm sure that I won't be anytime soon; it hurts! I think my shoulder is bruised. I'll be honest I did hit the clay things a few times but it's only because the man was telling me when to pull the trigger...I was focused on just holding the shotgun up. Tyler on the other hand was a superstar at it. The man was pleasantly surprised at his skills while I on the other hand definitely lived up to his poor expectations.

We left the castle and yes you guessed it we went to a different castle! We went to Bunratty castle and folk park for an Easter Monday celebration. It was a castle surrounded by animals and farmhouses, a playground, and they had things like a balloon maker person, a little train, face painting and juggler. They had different things going on like magic shows but we missed it all because Bennett was content just running up and down the hill in front of the castle. It was pretty good although there was a parade and it was pretty much 2 random princesses...like a Cinderella and Belle in costumes that we would get from Walmart and a sketchy Minnie and Mickey Mouse. Minnie Mouse had eyelashes taped on with scotch tape. I could be wrong but I think they might be our last castle. We then drove on to our next home for 2 nights which is a small oceanside town, Doolin, most famous for its traditional Irish music. The live music in pubs doesn't normally start until later in the evening so it's tough to do given the kids' bedtime. They had late naps too day so we decided to push it tonight and have then go to sleep late. We went to a pub and enjoyed some more live music. The kids were up much later then they should have been so wish us luck for tomorrow morning! Tyler ordered a whisky tasting menu and didn't realize it came with 6 shots of whisky so wish him luck for tomorrow morning as well!

One of the pictures is from yesterday. It wouldn't upload but I wanted you to see a pic of Bennett with the hawk

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Posted by tanyatyler 15:47 Comments (1)

Hoppy day

Day 7

Happy Easter today everyone :). We left Killarney this morning and drove 2 hours to our next destination and one I was very excited for. We are staying over night in a castle tonight!!! We are staying at Dromoland castle and it's just right out of a fairytale. We arrived just in time for the Easter egg hunt. The Easter bunny joined all the kids in the walled garden and it was honestly so adorable. The setting couldn't have been more perfect. It was filled will big balloons, tulips, decorative fairies, pillars and fountains and of course eggs..full sized Cadbury cream eggs. Bennett found so many, there is no way he can eat them all, we might just have to accidentally lose a few of them. Afterwards they had hot chocolate for everyone. They then had a little treasure hunt and the prize was afternoon tea for four people and we came in dead last sadly. The staff are all dressed in fancy clothes and very helpful. For example we ran into a bit of a disaster doing laundry. We tried to do laundry last night at our apartment because it had a washer/dryer...it was a two in one machine which neither of us have ever used. Basically it just kept washing the clothes and not drying them. We even tried this morning before we left but still couldn't figure it out. So we threw all of the sopping wet clothes into a garbage bag and packed it in the car to figure it out later. We also stole food from the breakfast buffet this morning at the hotel to eat for lunch and cleaned out the food in our fridge into a blue recycling bin. So here we are pulling up to the fanciest place we have ever stayed and it's valet service and they want to bring all of our bags to the room for us! We also have a dirty diaper on the floor and old pizza. Tyler tried to tell them we would park and get our bags ourselves but they insisted. Sooo they hauled all of our garbage bags into the hotel. He tried to explain the wet bag of clothes to the man (picture Alfred from Batman), and he offered to bring the clothes to the staff house to dry them for us. It was very nice of him and I am laughing writing this story.

This afternoon we had an activity planned on the castle estate. We met up with the guide for some Falconry. We met Sanchez the hawk and with a little bit of instruction walked through the forest with the hawk flying around and then returning to land on our arms. It was really cool and shockingly even Bennett participated. He actually let the hawk land on him. The hawk was fed little bits of a dead baby chick...and we had to put the pieces in our hands to get the hawk to come back to us. At one point the instructor waved the dead chick to try to get the hawks attention...I had to look away. We then got to also hold a small little owl named Pickles. Bennett and Tyler then fished formanbjt in the lake but didn't catch any fish. They pulled up seaweed once and Tyler told Bennett that they caught dinner so Bennett of course took it literally and ate the seaweed off the hook. We would have loved to have had dinner in the fine dining room but didn't think the kids would do well. They are pretty good at restaurants but this would be a bit much so we opted for a dinner in a informal bistro and went to a little movie night they had playing in a room for kids. Bennett didn't really watch but wanted to stay for the popcorn and we bailed on the movie as soon as the popcorn and candy were dished out. I'd love to come back again one day to get to do some of the fancier stuff like afternoon tea!

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Posted by tanyatyler 15:03 Comments (2)

Feeling sheepy today

Day 6

Today was our last day in Killarney. We went back in the Killarney National park and visited the Muckross House which is a large estate owned at one time by important people that I don't know and once had Queen Victoria sleep over at. We walked around the gardens and the rock garden to try to find some leprechauns and fairies. We didn't find them but I did find a whole skittles pack unopened....sooo possibly a leprechaun left it? We then took a little hike to a waterfall through the national park. The walk through the mountains was lovely but we have so many waterfalls in Hamilton that we are a bit spoiled and the waterfall was just sort of average in comparison really. Bennett enjoyed throwing rocks into it and climbing the green moss covered trees. We then went to a traditional farm sort of like a pioneer village type thing where they had old farmhouses that showed how people lived without water and electricity. Of course we saw lots of animals including pigs. Tyler was able to hold a piglet that was born only 3 days ago. It was so cute. We thought that would be the best moment of Bennett's life but there was also a bouncy castle there...so bouncy castle trumps pigs. Tyler was also able to catch a chicken which was fun to watch. We then had to drag Bennett away from the bouncy castles to drive further into the National Park which has windy narrows roads and cliffs that made me hold on for dear life a few times. We stopped at the Kissane Sheep farm which has over 3000 sheep that are scattered all over the mountainside farm. Bennett fed some sheep out of his hand and held some of the lamb. The best part was we watched a sheep herding demonstration. It was actually pretty incredible to watch the sheep dog herd the sheep so quickly from the mountainside. I bet Penny would be a great sheepdog. The farmer expects to have 1500 lamb born over the next few weeks and stays up all night to shoot and kill the red fox that is preying on his herd. I know it's sounds kind of lame but it might have been the highlight of the day. I mentioned to Tyler that I felt so bad for eating lamb because they are so cute. Clearly my guilt didn't last long since I had lamb for dinner..oops. We had dinner in a traditional Irish pub and finally found some live music!! The boys loved it and so did we! They were a bit cranky before dinner because they were tired and hungry but the music perked everyone up :).

As a side note, Bennett's bad pirate experience has worked in our favor. Lately he has been pushing Clark for no reason so we told him that if he does it ever again the pirate will come back to see him. So far it has worked!

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Posted by tanyatyler 15:00 Comments (1)

He's a fun guy

Day 5

Today was a big driving day. The most popular thing to do in the Killarney area is the "Ring of Kerry" which is an eight hour drive around a coast. There is no way we could do that with the kids so we opted to drive around the dingle peninsula (which some people say they prefer and it is much shorter).
We drove from Killarney to Dingle which was about an hour drive. Dingle is a small town on the Atlantic coast. It, like most towns we have been in, have rows of brightly colored shops but what makes this one different is that is has a pier and harbor with a famous resident. A wild dolphin, named Fungie, has lived in the ocean near the pier for over 30 years and was discovered because it started to escort fishing boats in and out of the harbour. We took a boat out into the harbour and started searching for the dolphin. We have had pretty good weather while we have been in Ireland, haven't really had any rain. But that changed today and of course was the worst the second we got onto the boat. The wind and rain was blowing into our face but still the boys (including Tyler) were dealing with it pretty well. After about 15 minutes we spotted Fungie swimming through the water, he would do a little jump out of the water and then would disappear and the skipper would drive them boat around a little more to find him again and the same thing would happen. The trip was supposed to be about an hour, but at around 45 minutes we had seen enough of it really. It's was nice and all but getting a bit old given the weather sucked and the boys (including Tyler) were getting a bit cranky. It seemed like the skipper was going to turn around and head back to shore but instead he went along to find the dolphin again and I quote Tyler "no, no, for the love of god, no more, it looks the same every time!". The trip went on for another 45 minutes. We finally landed back to shore and it was time for some Murphys ice cream. This ice cream place uses milk from the cows in the county and even makes there own sea salt from the Dingle waters. It was yummy and well since it was all locally made, it was basically healthy for you so I gave Clark his first taste of ice cream and it's safe to say he loved it. No mothers, this does not mean you can feed him whatever you want yet. We headed on our way to do the coastal drive along the Atlantic Ocean around the peninsula and made a few stops along the way. We stopped at a beach and picked sea shells and a few times to take pictures of the sharp cliffs, islands and rolling mountains and hills that were covered in sheep and cow. I followed along with the history attached to different stone buildings, sculptures and ruins. This area has became more popular since the new Star Wars movies have been filming ever. Clark slept the entire way (which was about 2.5 hours) while Bennett joined us for every second of it. It's hard to describe and the pictures don't look as good as it did in person. We headed back to Killarney (which took another hour) and by that time everyone was ready to get out of the car. Our hotel has an awesome indoor jungle gym area so the kids used up some energy there. We went out for dinner tonight but since it's Good Friday, all the pubs were closed the the restaurants couldn't serve alcohol. In terms of food, we have tried to have all the traditional Irish meals. So far we have had lamb stew, beef and Guinness stew, bangers and mash, chicken curry pie, roast beef. Everything comes with a side of potatoes though!! We have eaten so many potatoes. Even if you order a lasagna it comes with a side of fries! I'm not really complaining but my waistline is for sure.

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Posted by tanyatyler 14:40 Comments (2)

Castles, farms and repeat

Day 4

The boys slept in again this morning! This is like a real vacation! We started our morning by heading into Killarney National Park at another castle, Ross castle. It's another lovely castle beside a lake. There are ducks and swans in the water and we spent time feeding bread to the ducks. Bennett wanted to touch one but couldn't figure out why they kept running away from him as he chased them around. We then made our way to another farm of course. It's a petting zoo for kids but many of the animals are just one the loose. For example, there are rabbits, guinea bigs,goats, sheep, calves, chickens, deer all just hanging around waiting to be pet. There were also big play areas. We saw 1 day old baby goats being bottle fed that were and tiny little bunnies and lamb and of course, the holy grail of animals...pigs. We seem to be alternating castles with farm. How lucky are we that Bennett confidentially is obsessed with farm animals right now. We ended our day back in the Gap of Dunloe. It's a narrow mountain pass that was formed by glaciers. We took a horse drawn cart, called a jaunting cart up the winding road. A lovely older Irish man was the driver and he gave us history and we were able to have many of our Ireland questions answered. For example did you know that kids learn Gaelic in school here? The view was awesome and the boys loved it as well. In case your wondering how the driving is going, Tyler is getting better. I have only had to tell Tyler we were in the wrong lane once. There are a tonne of roundabouts and we did go around and around one of them because Tyler kept missing the exit. But he's doing a lot better than I would, there's no way I could do this. IMG_1443.jpg90_IMG_1144.jpgIMG_1429.jpg

Posted by tanyatyler 14:18 Comments (1)

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