Thursday, March 24, 2011

Killarney, Ring of Kerry, and McDonald Castle

Our last day in the area was a busy one! Not only were we going to tour some sights on the Ring of Kerry, but we were traveling about an hour the opposite direction to pick up our nanny at the train station in Killarney! I never thought we would be one of those families that traveled with a nanny, but let me tell you, it was worth the money. We basically worked out a deal to pay for travel expenses, lodging and most meals, and in return we got free babysitting when needed! She got a mini-vacation and got to see Europe and we had an extra set of hands so we could experience pub life and an adult dinner every now and then!

So meet Linda.

(Photo taken at Point du Hoc, Normandy)

She started out with us back in 2007 when Lauren was born. I was struggling with having 2 kids, a husband that traveled a ton, and a little bit of postpartum. We found her and she was a God send. She came over on weekends and evenings to help out with the baby or play with Sarah while I tended to Lauren. She even would stay over 1 night a week to help with feedings so I could get some rest. (Mind you this was a few months after Lauren was born and she was not yet sleeping at night on a regular pattern.) In fact it hasn't been till recently she has become a decent sleeper and at that she wakes up crying at least once most nights. But I digress... Anyway, just a little background about Linda and why she was chosen to come help us out. The girls had known her for years, I knew she was reliable and responsible, and it was great to have her on the trip!

So we started our day traveling out to the Ring of Kerry. Basically this peninsula that is full of beautiful coastlines, awesome views, old castles, etc... We first stopped at some old ruins of an ancient fort. It was Cahergal Stone Fort. Dating back to about the 8th or 9th century. It was pretty awesome to walk around it. It was amazing to think how they built something like that so long ago and that it is still standing. My girls loved running around and playing. Go HERE to see a video of the fort. I do not know who made the video, I just found it on a google search. If you are the person that made it, I would love to give you credit. The first 2 minutes are of Cahergal Fort.

The last minute or so of the video is of BallyCarberry Castle, also known in our family as McDonald Castle. It doesn't really have anything to do with our family, we have just enjoyed it so much (Charlie's parents have been many times to see it) that we have sort of claimed it. As you can see, my girls loved it too! It is mentioned in the movie Leap Year with Amy Adams, however, the castle shown is not the right one. It is also known as the 10th wonder of Ireland.

We then continued on the road to find a spot for a picnic. Charlie's parents had a place in mind on Valentia Island that was beautiful, however it was perched on the edge of a cliff and it was quite cold and breezy that day. Not my idea of fun with 2 small children. So we ate our food in the car as we traveled back towards Killareny to get Linda. I would love to go back one day and finish the journey around the Ring. We just did not have time this trip.

Picnic spot on Valentia Island

Killarney was also a nice little town. Well, it was actually a much bigger town than I expected. It has a great city center with lots of shops (high end ones too) and restaurants. I would definitely go back and spend a day or 2 in and around Killareny. It looks to be a very wealthy town and lots of pretty areas to explore. It will be on the to do list the next time we go back.

That night we had dinner at a great little place called Nick's. It was located in the nearby town of Killorglin. It was a very nice seafood restaurant and had live piano music. I will never forget the piano man played the song "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen. I have been crazy about this song since K.D. Lang mesmerized the world with it during the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. The food was great here. Linda and I split the scampi and monk fish plate and the sole with lemon. There was even some chicken tenders for the kids! Very nice evening.

The next day we left the Kilburn House, kissed Baily good-bye and headed toward Blarney castle.

Me and my sweet Bailey dog!

1 comment:

Alina said...

Absolutely indited written content, Really enjoyed reading through.
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