The Emerald Isle

Ireland is even better than I dreamed it would be. The weather has been perfect, with sunny skies and warm temperatures, for the most part. Our first stay In Ireland turned out to be the worst we've had so far on this adventure. Moldy bedrooms/bathrooms, bugs, and nightly barking dogs made me wonder what we'd gotten ourselves into. The area was our safe haven with cute, rustic towns to explore and idyllic streets to walk for hours.

Even though I was beyond ready to leave that house, I started thinking each of these apartments/houses we had rented would have their own unique type of nightmare to tolerate for the duration of our stay. These thoughts lead me to my first meltdown of the trip; possibly the only one to do so in the family (debatable). Thankfully, I was wrong, and everything was great, small but great, in the Kinsale apartment. The kitchen was about half the size of my mud room at home, and when you had five adult-sized bodies in there making lunch, it wasn't pretty. The town of Kinsale was amazing; excellent food, adorable shop/restaurant fronts, and loads of things to keep us busy. We enjoyed some Irish music, too; Shane and Friends, which we named Shane and His Sweaters, and my favorite, Kodaline, not live, but they play them on the radio often. Kodaline is my new favorite, and wouldn't you know it, they're touring the US this fall/spring. I do not have the luck of the Irish.

Our third stop in Ireland has been unbelievably nice! We are in Camp, which is about 45 minutes north of Dingle. Everything has worked out at this place; nice, big house; warm, sunny weather, and interesting things to see and do. It has been perfect, and we're all dreading the day we leave (Saturday). Some of our memorable experiences have been hiking 11 miles on the Kerry Camino from Camp to Annascaul, picking blackberries, and playing on the beach.

During our stay in Ireland, we've met "blow in's", as they call them; people that have transplanted here, and I can understand why. They hang signs in pub windows, "live music tonight, bring your instrument", friendly people, prolific fuschia, and, of course, the guinness.