|07-14-2008, 10:20 PM||#1|
My pontoon boat is like a floating patio!
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Upstate NY, South Beach, St Thomas USVI, BWV
Emerald Isle 6/26-7/3 -Link to pics on page 2
Emerald Isle 6/26/08-7/3/08 Myself, DH and our two daughters 11 and 9 on ABDís family tour of Ireland. This was our second ABD tour, and I wondered if I would like it as much as last yearís Costa Bella trip.
Day 1 Dublin: After an uneventful 5 and a half hour Aer Lingus flight from JFK we arrived in Dublin airport, were met by one of our guides, and transferred by van to the Westin Dublin where we met our other guide Courtney. The Westin Dublin is very nice, and in a great location fro walking around the various sights of the city. It was rainy but we ventured out anywaty. Had lunch at Gallagherís Boxty House a few blocks away in the Temple Bar section. Loved the chicken boxty! Girls split the fish and chips, said it was the best they ever had. Shopped at Carollís Irish store for the obligatory chachkes, and Blarney Woollen Mills where sweaters were reasonable, then Christina and I went back to the hotel to rest a little, but did not nap in order to get our bodies on Ireland time. Chris and Meghan went to the pub across the street called OíSullivanís. the pubs are really different in Ireland compared to the US. Kids are welcome until 9 PM. Thereís lots of good music day and night and the people are SO friendly. They just start talking to you and make you feel welcome. We then had our welcome dinner at the Westin complete with a harpist. The first of numerous Disney touches- and met our fellow adventurers. We were a group of 21 I think with 11 adults of all ages, and 10 kids ranging from 6 to 16 or 17. Dinner was buffet and very good. We went to bed early as we were quite tired from staying up all day. One neat thing about Dublin and Ireland in general is this time of year it stays light until 10:30 Pm or so. Dublin is also a very young city, lots of young people and itís vibrant.
Day 2 Dublin: After a very nice buffet breakfast the group headed out touring. As it was rainy , we had a bus. First stop was Dublinia museum where we learned some of Dublinís history, about medieval Dublin, and the Viking influence on Dublin. Next stop, Dublin castle which was so beautiful inside! Really impressive. (Although the exterior doesnít really look like a castle.) third stop was the Guinness storehouse. First was a tour and we learned how Guinness is made. After a sample, we went to the 5th floor for lunch, with views of the city. Lunch was very good- save room for the desserts! Back on the bus to the Westin, thankfully by now the rain had stopped.
At the Westin we had the option of a tour to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells, which was very, very impressive. Particularly when you consider there was no printing press at the time, not even pen and ink as we know it. You were on your own to spend as much or little time as you like there. On the way out you exit through the very large Harry Potter type library, pretty cool. There is also a gift shop there. I noticed signs regarding pickpockets, and to watch your bag, so be mindful of that.
I then met up with the rest of my family, who had already begun the Watt family pub tour at OíSulllivanís. We then went to the Auld Dubliner (good music here!) and 2 others. Again, the people are so nice here. Apparently a woman with children should not stand, so folks will give you their seat if they see you standing. By then it was time for dinner. I had originally researched and picked a pub for dinner- the Stagís head- only to find when we arrived they only serve lunch. Didnít research well enough obviously. We ended up at a place called OíNeillís that a few of the locals recommended because ďItís just like me mum used to cookĒ. OíNeills was very busy, actually bustling on a Friday night. It was very reasonable too, probably because you order your food at a counter and carry it back to your table. The food was indeed very good and we enjoyed the place.
Dublin is really a fun city.
Day 3 Dublin to Killarney: After breakfast we headed out on the bus. I really enjoyed the bus rides throughout the trip. It is very comfortable, and the pastoral scenery is just gorgeous as you drive by. I knew Ireland is green, obviously, but you donít know how green until you see it. It almost glows or something. Very relaxing. Saw cows laying down, which we learned means itís gong to rain. Now thatís a surprise! Passing the quaint, immaculate towns and farmhouses itís like out of a movie. After about an hour or maybe a little more, we stopped for a bathroom brake at a hotel in Abbey Liex. Well this being Disney it wasnít just a restroom break, we had scones, tea and hot chocolate. Very nice touch.. And typical of an ABD tour.
About an hour later (I think), we arrived at the Rock of Cashel. Wow it is beautiful up high on a hill, and with great views of the valley below. We had a tour there, and had some great photo ops. Very, very impressive place.
Had lunch on our own in the town of Cashel. We ate at a pub the guides recommended. I donít clearly remember the name Ėthe Iveraugh mabe? It was the guides' favorite place to eat- and lunch was delicious. Basic Irish comfort food. And it was reasonable, too. Walking through town, at the bottom of the hill we saw an old antique car with a bride and her dad. The car got stuck. We watched, and watched some more, and there was no way it was going up the hill, it just died. So Chris and a few of the locals pushed it up the hill and it started running again. Made the brideís day, and a unique memory for us.
Hopped on the bus and arrived in Killarney mid afternoon. The ďtown crierĒ welcomed us there. This is a beautiful hotel as well. Lovely rooms, great service. Took the kids swimming in the indoor pool (bathing caps required-eek! Bring your own or buy one there) for some kid time with the other kids from the group. Nice pool area. Hot tub too for the adults.
Dinner was at Mentonís for the adult night while the kids had a storyteller, kid food, movie and pajama party including pillow fights. Food at Mentonís was excellent. I had the chicken. Desserts delicious as well.
It's getting late, more to come in the next few days
Last edited by awatt; 07-17-2008 at 09:06 PM.
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