Ten years ago today, Brian and I left for our 16-day honeymoon in Ireland. The best part of the trip was that Brian planned the whole thing and everyday was a surprise to me as to where we were going and what we were doing. Since I had graduated early from college, we spent the six months before our wedding living in two states, Maine and New York. This gave Brian time to work with Grandpa McGoldrick to plan an Irish adventure not to be forgotten. It was amazing. Highlights included:
- The Waterford Crystal Factory – I love a good tour and this one was the best one I have ever been on. I remembering it being 4 or 6 hours long and I wasn’t bored once! The history, craftsmanship and legend of Waterford were fascinating.
- The Aran Islands – For my birthday weekend, Brian took me out to the Aran Islands to stay at the Ard Einne Guesthouse. I remember them having delicious meals. We also saw a local music and dance show and rode bikes around the Black Fort.
- The Half Door – Going to Dingle was great, but the two nights we dined at this restaurant were the most memorable for me (surprise, I remember the food!). Both nights we had a bottle of wine, delicious meals and great conversations about our future. We also stayed at another great B&B called The Greenmount House that had amazing breakfast!
- Crag Cave – This was probably more exciting to me than the common traveler, as this was my first cave experience, but I remember it being super cool and interesting.
- Cork City Gaol – I’m glad I am referencing my travel journal or I would’ve totally forgotten what this place was called. This historical jail was off the beaten path and had Walkmans that gave a self-guided tour through the jail cells and told you creepy stories of past prisoners. It was awesome!
- Irish Museum of Modern Art – Although we had some problems getting there and getting back, having dropped off our rental car when we got into Dublin, this museum was totally worth the hassle. I remember giant sculptures hanging from the ceiling dripping paint onto piles of feathers and little mechanical statues. Also, this was my first European art museum experience.
And, since I always like to keep things “fair and balanced”, here are a couple of things we didn’t like:
- The Wedding Party at the Woodenbridge Hotel – The wild and drunken party taking place in the hotel continued throughout the night and contained repeated prank phone calls until Brian yanked the phone cord from the wall. In the morning Brian complained to the front desk and they said, “Well, did you call the front desk last night?” When Brian asked if someone would have been there, they said, “No.”
- Bath gone wrong – I learned the hard way not to put bubble bath gel into a jet tub at Hanora’s Cottage, but the B&B was great, super plush bedding and an amazing breakfast!
- The Street Fair in Killarney – While the fair was fun, the rides were verging on death machines. The safety requirements seemed rather loose and after our ride on the “Waltzer” when we got off with, literally, blurred vision – we gave the rest of our tickets to some kids.
In all, it was an amazing time, one I hope we get to do again. But for now, it’s fun to look back, thanks for coming along!