Thursday, August 07, 2008

good-bye to the green isle...

As I sit on the plane, looking out over miles and miles of white fluffy clouds, with the last remnants of Ireland below, I realize that our adventures in the Green Isle have come to an end and that we are that much closer to the completion of our three and a half year hiatus (from ‘real’ life). America and reality loom in the very near future! We arrived in Shannon Tuesday night around 11:00pm. We went through Customs—with no complications—picked up the rental car, and headed to the hotel in Limerick. We arrived at the hotel about 25 minutes later and were ALL finally in bed at 12:30am.
Have you ever been at the top of a rainbow?
If you look beyond the rain drops on my lens, you can see the top a rainbow.
Wednesday, we woke up and got ready for our day. The weather was gray and drizzly, but we could not let that hinder our search for an activity. We really had no set plans for this trip—just doing whatever looked like fun. We went down for great American pancakes at Eddie Rocket’s Diner{Johnny’s brother?} and then headed towards the Dingle Peninsula.
We drove the Ring of Dingle (or the Ringle Dingle as Emma called it). We stopped at beaches, climbed a mountain. Talked to a donkey and her baby and ate at Murphy’s Pub—authentic Irish Stew, YUM !!! YUM!!! Of course, we bought our Irish wool sweaters—the entire reason for the trip. After a long day of sightseeing, we headed back to the hotel and arrived at 12:00am—beds called and no one fought it! Because we had the girls in the car driving for hours yesterday, Steve and I decided to take them on a DOLPHINWATCH boat trip today. We drove about 90 minutes to Carriageholt, a small ‘village’ on one of the islands peninsulas. While we waited for the start of the excursion, we walked around the ruins of a castle stronghold built to protect against a French invasion. At the castle wall we watched what we thought were seals, but later found out they were depth markers—aren’t we clever!!!! The boat arrived and we headed out to the mouth of the Shannon. While we were out, the clouds thinned and bright blue skies appeared…along with the dolphins. It was such an awesome sight to see them out in their natural habitat; chasing a school of fish. They are FAST, so the pictures are not the greatest. It was a great day. The girls loved it—even the fridgid, salty water that splashed us was not minded! Pilot just came on: We are cruising at 31,000 feet. Touch down at half past 9. 16.5 degrees Celsius with light rain showers. Welcome home!

After the 2 hour boat trip, we loaded back into the car and headed to the Shannon Airport…and now we are currently known as Row 14, Seats C, D, E, F!

I see the lights of England below us and the descent is approaching soon, so the computer must be stowed.

Ireland has been one of the family’s favorite places to visit and is definitely on the list of places we will visit again!! We still want to explore the Aran Islands and the Giant’s Causeway.