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Europe Trip Part 1 – Dublin – Cashel – Cork

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“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine

Traveling is something that I think I’ve grown to love a little later in life than I would have liked. But that’s not keeping me from making sure I see the world and all the pages of joy it has to offer me.  It always amazes me how inspired I am when I come back from a travel adventure. Being able to see the world is one of my favorite creative outlets. And this trip was no different. When my friend Rhiannon asked me to join her and her friend Sherazade to Ireland and England in May, my first thoughts were…where am I going to get the money?! How can I afford to take 2 weeks away from work (remember, no paid time off for the self-employed!) right when my busy season will be starting?! But then I thought, what if I never get this opportunity again? This is my chance to see parts of the world I have always dreamed of seeing. So with that, I said YES!

I started my trip by meeting Rhiannon & Shera at the Dublin airport.  We picked up our rental car and headed towards our first B&B – The Abrae Court Guest House.  Let me say that first ride on the left side of the road was an interesting one! We may or may not have did an extra loop around our first turn about. And we may or may not have clipped a traffic cone within the first 5 minutes of driving. Oops. And driving on the tight, narrow streets was sure nerve-wracking!  Haha. But we eventually made it to our B&B!

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My first Irish meal was at The Rathgar and my love for “chips” was sent in full throttle! How can you NOT love chips with garlic mayo and cheese?! Sooooo good! 🙂

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After grabbing some grub, we decided to head into town and hit up Grafton Street for some amazing people watching!

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(Just some random graffiti that I thought was a hoot!)

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Tin whistle + Sun Flare + Beautiful Music = Happy Tami!

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There were some interesting characters too amongst the streets of Dublin…like Mario playing a keyboard…and grown men dressed as bunnies (I’m assuming it was a Stag night!)

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Somehow, while we had arrived in Ireland, the dinner option for our first night in town ended up being Italian from Carluccio’s…but let me tell you, it was damn good Italian food! 🙂

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We also made sure that we stopped over to Saint Stephens Park. Oh the beautiful flowers, fountains, pond and arches!

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After a day in Dublin, it was time for us to head south to Cork. (Don’t worry, we headed back to Dublin at the end of our week in Ireland to experience more!) Thankfully, driving along the highways (freeways, thruways, whatever you call it from your parts!) was a little less nerve-wracking then the narrow, traffic filled streets of the city.  As we were driving along I saw a sign for the rock of Cashel and I immediately made Rhiannon get off at the exit to check it out! And an absolute beauty is what we found! While we came across our first bit of what would turn out to be a repeat appearance of scaffolding amongst the historic sites attached to this landmark, it was still breath-taking! The 3 of us gals decided to skip the tour of the grounds and ended up meandering around the outside of it on the rocky edges amongst the sheep, cows, and LOTS OF DUNG! Haha. But some pretty views we did get!

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You will come to find that we LOVED taking “Jumping” shots at all the locations we traveled to! 😉

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We had a middle age couple that was kind enough to take this group photo of us.  We couldn’t help but laugh when the wife of this pair said a resounding, “No way!” when we asked if she’d be climbing around the Rock, we later found this to be the trend with Irish women…very strong willed and stubborn.  I love it! Haha.

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After Cashel, we headed into the town of Cork. Though it took us a few loops around town to find our accommodations for the next few nights at the Killarney Guest House. How come no one has street addresses in Cork?! This makes Tom Tom very very confused! Haha. It was definitely lovely accommodations once we made it there! 😉 We did a bit of walking around Cork City Centre and ended up at SoHo where I experienced my first steak on a stone! So good, but we kind of smoked the place out a bit with our meat sizzling. Haha

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Rhiannon decided to call it an early night, but Shera and I wanted to experience a night out on the town in Cork. We made a quick stop at the Hi-B (what an interesting suggestion, Ronan! Lol) and ultimately ended up at Crane Lane (a MUCH better option, thanks!) Such a fun night of dancing and drinking Guinness! We ended up making friends with Muiris that night and ended up treating us to a home-cooked Irish meal  the next evening with his flatmate.  Ummm…can I say I love the Irish hospitality?!! We continued the late night with some dancing in the streets. Exactly how I expected of an evening out in Ireland!  Shera and I finally took our tired feeties back home at 3am, but not without another kind gent offering to walk us along, so we didn’t have to walk back by ourselves.  These Cork men are the best! 😉

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On day 3 of our trip with a visit to Blarney Castle! I was hesitant at first on if I wanted to actually kiss the stone because I kept hearing rumors about locals pissing on it. But I guess “when in Ireland…” so a kiss was planted on the grey wall of Blarney Castle by little ol’ me. 😉 The Blarney Castle grounds took me by surprise with how gorgeous they were! So much amaziness!

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I was OBSESSED with these trees!!

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So much green! Exactly what I expected of Ireland!

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One of my favorite photos of myself from my trip! 🙂

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Why are our eyes closed in this next photo? This was the Blarney Witch’s Wishing Steps. Legend is if you can walk up and back on these steps with your eyes closed and thinking of nothing but your wish, it will be granted within a year. I made a great wish…we shall see if it gets granted. 😉

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Here I am getting all goofy at the sacrificial altar and the fairy glades! Haha

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You know…just sitting amongst the white wild flowers. Haha

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We picked some pretty pink flowers to put in our hair…shhh…don’t tell! 😉 Also, there was this wall to climb and a tire swing on the grounds…Didn’t quite get that, but we had fun with it!

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So with that, I think I will stop and leave some more of my tales from my trip for another day. 🙂 If you have any questions about the sites and locations I visited, let me know!

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Kimberly Ludwig : 01:56 June 14, 2013 Reply
Love! So glad you had a wonderful time, your photography is beautiful as always.
Julie Preston : 02:57 June 14, 2013 Reply
What fabulous memories! Your photos are stunning! I felt like I experienced it right along with you!

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