Monday, June 8, 2009

The Emerald Isle: Our Trip to IRELAND :)

We had such an amazing holiday in Ireland! We were up at 4:15 am to catch our 6:30 flight to NYC. We were having a 7 hour layover, so when we landed at JFK we got on a bus to Time Square because we had a few hours to kill, and really, how often do we get to hop over to Manhattan for lunch? :) We ate at the Hard Rock Cafe in Time Square which was fun, but we looked pretty dorky because we had to carry all of our luggage with us. After lunch we walked around Time Square and took in all of the overwhelming sights and busyness. We went to the huge Toys R Us with the Ferris Wheel in the middle. It used to be FAO Schwartz where the piano scene from BIG was filmed.
Us in front of the Ferris Wheel in Toys R Us.

We were only there for a few hours before we had to head back, but we didn't want to miss our plane, and the bus ride had been over a half an hour. Mike had never been to New York though and we were glad we went. It was a lot of fun! :)
Time Square.

NY taxies and a double decker bus.
"Watch out, the yellow ones don't stop!" from Elf :)
Nuts for Nuts, my favorite NY snack!
We bought 3 bags so we would have a snack on the airplane :)
On the way back to the airport.
On the ride back we kept seeing signs for the Van Wyck and it made me think of that Seinfeld episode where Elaine was trying to get her annoying ex-boyfriend out of her house and to the airport. "Did you take the Van Wyck??" :)
On the plane from NYC to Shannon Ireland, we met a neat 87 year old lady who grew up in Dublin. She told us some interesting stories about Ireland and told me that I had to try a Crunchie candy bar. She was right!! They are amazing! A chocolate covered honeycomb candybar. Mmmmm!
After we landed the first thing we did was go to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. It was really neat. We got to explore a medieval castle complete with drawbridge, great hall and dungeon. Along with the castle there was an entire village made up of thatched homes of commoners all the way up to what would have been homes of the town doctor and nobles. It was really fun to explore the thatched cottages and see how everyday people lived during medieval times. The cottages were so cool! Some were just one room that would have been home to a poor landless laborer, while others had a bedroom or two off the main room, maybe even a loft or small dining room. There was even one where the living area was split down the middle by a trough in the stone floor because the families cattle lived in the house with them.
Bunratty Castle front view.
The Yield sign really takes somethig from the medieval feel of it don't you think :)
Mike on the drawbridge to the castle.
Hand painted stained glass window in the Great Hall.
Us in the Great Hall where the throne would have been. There was no flash allowed :(
The roof and turrets where archers would have been posted.
Roof of the Castle.
Veiw from the roof. They built the castle here so they could channel river water for the moat, and use it for transportation and drinking water.
Beautiful Castle.
Us in front of (the back of) the castle :)
A modest 2 bedroom thatched cottage.
This cottage was really neat. It had a sweet little loft!
The sweet loft. I don't even want to know what is living in that thatched roof!!
Some of the cottage furnashings.
The house with the trough in the middle. Livestock lived on the far side and the people lived on the other side. Must have been stinky!
Do you think some of his relitaves lived inside that house with their owners?
This thatched house was actually quite large with a half upstairs, 3 bedrooms, a large dining room and a large living area.
A courting buggie of the day where the chaperone would sit in the front and drive while the couple would sit facing away from each other on the seats on either side of the buggy.
These reindeer were in a field at the castle. I am not sure why. They were pretty, but SO amazingly stinky!!
There was a beautiful walled garden. There were paths wandering around and through the flowers. The air in the garden was heavy with the scent of rose. It was lovely. There were bumble bees everywhere diligently doing their job flitting about and pollinating the flowers.
Bumble Bee in the walled garden.
Can you see the butterfly?
Oh, there he is!
Artsy flower and bee shot :)
This church was moved stone by stone from where the Shannon Airport now is. It was put here to depict what a village church might have looked like.
At the village center the post office and other shops were turned into gift shops. We visited the local pub for a snack. Mike had a Guinness and we shared a bowl of potato leek soup. It was amazing! Soo good!
Mike enjoying his Guinness and and soup. If you look closely, you can kinda see the shamrock that the waitress traced in the foam of his drink. It was pretty :)
After our snack we wandered through the grounds and back to our car in search of our hotel and a shower!! We went to a local pub for dinner and fell into bed at 8:30 pm local time which was a bad idea because we were up at 4:30 am (8:30 pm the previous day at home) alert and ready to start the day. We were just too tired to try to stay up past 8:30 though :) Jet lag and all.
Me in a European telephone booth. This was actually our first picture in Ireland. It was at a shopping center where we parked across the street from the Bunratty Castle.
And that is day one of our amazing trip to Ireland. More pictures to come! Enjoy :)


Dallas said...

Day one looked pretty amazing! That castle would have been so interesting. But I don't think that the courting buggy would have been much fun back in the day :o)

Mike and Sarah said...

Day one was amazing! And ya, I am thinking the courting buggy would have made it hard to snuggle :) It was pretty cool to look at though. Day 2 should be up in about an hour.

Anonymous said...

Sarah, so exciting that you and Mike were able to go to Ireland! I love seeing your pictures and getting to experience just a little of Ireland through your eyes! Looks like you both had a great time:) I love that you both are so passionate about travel, and make time to do it! Sarah Hodges