Sunday, November 18, 2012

Éirinn go Brách!

A few years ago, David and I wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise.  We sent out emails to friends to see if anyone would want to go with us.  At the time, Brenda said that she and Dewey wanted to take us all on a trip for their 40th wedding anniversary, so she asked if we would wait until 2012 to take the cruise.  Never in our wildest dreams would we have thought that we would be living abroad in 2012!

I was pumped at the prospect of a Mediterranean cruise instead, but then in early 2012 before we started making our plans, the Costa Concordia cruise liner sank off the coast of Italy.  After that, I knew there was no way we were going to get Brenda on a cruise!

Luckily for us, there are so many beautiful and amazing countries right around the corner, just waiting for the Ingham Family to explore!  David did his usual research, and we all decided on Ireland!  Éirinn go Brách!

Sunday, June 24, 2012
    Happy Anniversary!  
Brenda and Dewey:  40 years!!
After an early morning wakeup call, a bouncy bus ride, a quick trip up and down in Aer Lingus, a car rental debacle, an hour car ride, and a quick grocery run...we were finally at the house!  The Cliffhouse in Doolin, Ireland.  It was gorgeous and it was a wonderful way to spend the week on the island.  After getting settled, we drove back into town to have a pub dinner.  The first place was way too busy; it was so much fun to see firsthand all the fun, energetic (rowdy?) Irish men and women, drinking their Guinness and having a ball.  Just another Sunday night in good ol' Ireland!   When we walked into the pub where we ended up eating, there were musicians playing traditional music.  It was awesome!  We had a yummy dinner while we watched some football (soccer) and then headed home to get settled into the house.

Remember when I saved Maxwell's life on the bobsled in Prague?  Well, apparently that is now a theme during our travels.  Let me back track a bit...

On  Monday morning we all left the house and took a scenic drive to the Cliffs of Moher.  We all hiked up the hill to see the amazing view of the cliffs and the Atlantic Ocean.  If only my eyes were strong enough to see thousands of miles across the sea, we could have waved to Terri and Randy in Rhode Island!!  :o)
Atop the cliffs, there is a tower called O'Brien's Tower.  The tower is more than 175 years old, and from the top you can  look out and see the Aran Islands (where we traveled to on Tuesday).
After the initial hike up and then back down, Dewey went to rest and the rest of us hiked up even farther on the other side of the cliffs.  We came to this sign...
...but we are rebels and we kept going.  (Hey, everyone else was doing it, too!)  We walked quite far up the clifs, and there was no fence or gate between us and the side.  Scary!  When we got to a point where we thought we had seen enough of the view, we all stopped and were about to turn around.  Nicole was carrying a sleeping Darian in the ergo, and her newly potty trained little body couldn't wake up to tell us she had to pee.  Poor Nicole! Poor, wet, pee stained Nicole!!!  Maxwell told me he had to pee, too, so rather than have three wet pee stained bodies on our hands, I grabbed his hand and went to take him behind some rocks to pee.  Unfortunately, there was also an electric fence between the rocks and the green space!  Maxwell grabbed the fence to steady himself, and we both received a bolt!!  He cried (rightly so), and I was totally scared!  It felt like someone had punched me in the chest; as if my heart had stopped for a second and then threw itself inside me to start back up again.  My whole body felt tingly, especially my hand where I had been holding onto Maxwell's.  And it was hard to breathe for a few minutes.  CRAZY!!!  I can't even imagine what his little body felt, knowing what I experienced just from holding his hand.  He seemed fine, and I convinced myself that the jolt went through him and I got the most of it.  Let me believe that, okay?  The alternative sucks!

Originally Dave, Steve, Nicole and I were going to take an hour long surfing lesson.  But the weather was gloomy and cold, so S, N and I ganged up on David and convinced him it wasn't a good idea. :o)  Instead, we went to the beach and had lunch and played on the nearby playground with the kids.

We had an early start on Tuesday, in order to get to the port where we would take a short boat ride (over choppy waters, I might add) to the Aran Islands.  Once we arrived in Inishmore, the largest of the three Aran Islands, Brenda and Dewey set themselves up with a bus tour of the island, and the rest of us went to rent bikes.  I figured that I get enough of toting the kids around in the trailer on a regular basis, so this time David got the pleasure of hauling that load!  It was a misty, cloudy, cool day, but the view was spectacular. Limestone rock fences, grazing horses and cattle, and the  North Atlantic, stretching out as far as the eye could see.  It was a hilly climb, and occasionally we had to stop and rest and/or walk our bikes up the path, but it was well worth it to travel that way.  

Nicole had since moved away from
the potential spit bombs
We reached our destination, Dun Aengus, and parked our bikes to hike up to the fort.  After all the cycling, those steps were not my favorite part of the day!  The prehistoric site is one of the most famous forts, with a breathtaking view.  I parked the kids well away from the edge of the cliffs while the rest of us took in the sights.  It was incredibly windy, and quite scary on the edge!!  Steven, Nicole, and David decided to lie down on their bellies to look over the edge, and David tested the wind by spitting over the edge, only to have "it" come back up and nearly hit Nicole in the face!
About as close as I wanted to get!

The bike ride back to the boat was SO MUCH FUN!!!  As hard as it had been to cycle up the hills to get us to Dun Aengus, the hills going down made it totally worth it!  The kid in me came alive as I let go of the handle bars, put my arms out, and screamed a mighty, "Woooo hooooo!" as we glided down to the bottom of the hill.

To see the full album of pictures from this part of our trip, go here.

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