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Old 06-16-2008, 08:42 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Homestead, FL
Posts: 1,338

Smile Part Five Final Chapter of Our Trip to the Emerald Isle

Arriving at Dromoland Castle
Luckily for us, the sun was shining upon our arrival at Dromoland Castle. We rolled through the gates and on to the property surrounded by greenery, massive trees, the golf course and then, the castle! As we approached the building entrance, you could see several members of the castle staff waiting to greet our bus. Each one of us received a personal greeting as we exited the bus - right off the bat they made us feel welcome and special. After a group photo op, we were ushered into a special lobby, offered a cold drink and were told a little bit about the castle history. After a brief tour of the castle and location of amenities (pool, spa, etc.), we were given our room keys. While the boys headed off to the rooms, BFF and I made a beeline for the spa, hoping we could get a treatment that afternoon before heading over to Bunratty Castle for dinner that evening. What luck - we each got an appointment for a massage/mud treatment! With an hour to spare, we went to check out our rooms. All I could say was WOW! Our room was HUGE, a king bed, (with two robes and slippers lying on the bed - you get to keep the slippers!) two night tables, two wing back chairs, a couch & coffee table (all placed in front of a bay window), a desk and chair, a massive armoire with double closets and TV. The bathroom was a separate tub and shower (with water pressure that knocked me up against the wall!), toilet and double sink vanity area. It was definitely luxurious!

BFF and I then decided to head down to the hydro pool for a steamy soak before our spa treatments while the boys went over to the indoor pool. The spa was wonderful and very relaxing - if you get the chance give yourself a treat!

By 6:15pm. it was back on the bus for dinner and Irish night at Bunratty castle, about a 10 minute drive from Dromoland. Think Medieval Times but with an Irish flavor. Our group enjoyed a traditional Irish dinner with live entertainment, singing, dancing and live music. It was a lot of fun.

Our last full day in Ireland ! After an exquisite breakfast in the castle (meals served on Wedgewood china, and Waterford crystal ) it was on the bus to the Cliffs of Moher. We were blessed with another beautiful day and scenic drive. Upon arrival to the Cliffs, it was quite windy so we bundled up; hats, gloves and scarf. It wasn't a biting cold wind (thank goodness!) but I was glad to have bundled up all the same. We were given a little over an hour to explore the Cliffs. They have a nice gift shop as well so shoppers make sure you save some time in the end for a visit.

After the Cliffs, it was back on the bus for a drive through the Burren, stopping in Clare for lunch at a seaside pub, Monks. The seafood sandwiches were very tasty along with the desserts. We all went for a short walk along the pier that was across the street from Monks, before boarding the bus for our trip over to Rathbaun Farm. Rathbaun farm is a working farm and very picturesque. White wash building, thatch roofs, a homey peat fire in the front room - it was everything you have ever seen in an old movie or pictures about Ireland. Our first chore of the afternoon - making scones while donned in lunch room lady attire - some great photo ops, haha. Once the scones were made (and while they were cooking), it was time to see the farm and it's sheep. We saw various types of sheep, their babies, watched a border collie do his job herding the sheep and witnessed a shearing. The junior adventures got to bottle feed some of the lambs as well. By this time the scones are ready! Time to wash up and sit down to sample our wares with a good cup of tea before heading back to the castle.

While we had our magical farewell dinner later that evening, I will end my trip report here. There are so few surprises in life anymore, let this be one to savor and discover on your own! I want to personally thank all of our guides Courtney, Francesc, Adam and Sarah for making our trip a most memorable one. Our whole group was wonderful and I miss the many new friends I have made. If you decide to do this Adventure - you WILL have an awesome time.....

Just Some FYIs:
All hotel rooms had an in room safe, Molton Brown toiletries, blowdryer, ironing board and iron
Voltage is 220 although in Dromoland castle we also had a 110 outlet over by the desk

My Opinions (for what its worth!)

Best Bed - The Westin (that is if you like them soft!)
Best Hotel Room View - Killarney Plaza (our room overlooked Killarney National Park)
Best Restaurant in Dublin - Fire (expensive but awesome...found it by watching Tasty Travels w/Rachael Ray on the Travel Channel)
Best Restaurant in Killarney - Bricin
Best Breakfast - Dromoland Castle
Best Service - Dromoland Castle
Best Drive - To the Cliffs of Moher and Rathbaun Farm
Best Drink - A"true" Irish Coffee (try one, you'll see what I mean)
Favorite part of the trip - Killarney Park and the Cliffs of Moher
Next Trip: February 2015 SSR & AKL
2014: Kidani MLK Wknd, SSR Princess Wknd, GFV-OKW-Eastern on Fantasy, Paradise Pier @ DL, Food & Wine AOA-SSR
2013: POR-OKW & DVC Member Cruise, SSR with Dad, BWV Scrap Expo, Barcelona ABD Escape & Med Cruise, OKW Mickey Jingle 5k, Christmas at SSR
2012: AKL-Dream to Bahamas-BLT, BWV, OKW, VBR, OKW, VBR, Dine/Dash @ SSR, Turkey Day at Vero Beach
2011: BCV-Wonder Panama Repo, SSR x 2, AKL, CSR 2010: Wonder Double Dip, CSR-Birthday Trip, YC, AKL, BC, SSR 2009: Magic to Tortola, VWL, POR, POLY, BW, 2008: Magic Eastern Caribbean, ABD Emerald Isle, WL, SSR 2007: Joined DVC 06/07, POR, DWNTWN DIS, GF, SSR 2006: Moved to FL -Yippee! POP, Westgate, POR, Christmas at AKL 2005: Magic Western Caribbean, 2004: Wonder to Bahamas, 2003: DWNTWN DIS 2002: CBR, 2001: Honeymoon @ WL 1977-1998: HS Trips, Solo and Girlie Vacations August 4, 1976: 1st of many trips to WDW!
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