Happy 4th of July, Y'all! It was so fun to see all the fun posts on Instagram and Facebook of everyone's festivities. We gathered with fellow American friends and had a picnic in the forest, rode bikes through "Narnia," ate ice cream, jumped on the trampoline with sprinklers, and just had a grand old time. So much fun, in fact, I didn't take a single picture!
Most of June was pretty cool weather in the Netherlands. It was getting a bit frustrating, because I was ready to bust out the shorts and flip flops and kick summer into high gear. Well, summer arrived in the form mid-90s temperatures. When air conditioning isn't a thing here, and the houses get hot, and there's just no relief--I decided I'm ready for summer to be over. I'll take the school break, just not the heat. This week is the last week of school for the kiddos. It's been so weird to have them in school so far into the summer months. They take more weeks off during the year, and have a shortened summer holiday--only 6 weeks. I'm still deciding whether I like that or not. I mean, I love all the breaks during the year, don't get me wrong. It just feels really weird to still be in school.
Anywho, I'm completely behind on this blog. I did a Spring Break part 1, and now I'm finally doing part 2--Ireland! We flew into Dublin on a Saturday afternoon, with the intention of picking up the two rental cars and heading straight to the west coast, since that's where we were staying all week. We had rented two small cars because we had Trevor's parents with us. No sooner had we left the parking lot of the rental agency, one of the cars had the clutch burn out. Several hours and a tow truck later, we decided to just stay the night in Dublin. Sunday, we were able to attend church in Dublin, had great pub grub and explored the city a little bit. Then we headed west. We stayed in a tiny town called Tulla, in a beautifully renovated farmhouse. Actually, we stayed in what used to be the stables of the farmhouse. We had plenty of space for the 8 of us, and it was just really nice.
|exterior of stables|
|Living Room and Dining Room|
Since we were staying in one place the whole week, and Ireland is very prone to rainy weather, we didn't plan too much in advance what we were going to do. We tried to look at where the weather was going to be the best on any given day, and then that's where we headed. It worked out pretty well! We had sunny portions of almost every day.
Monday, we visited the Cliffs of Moher, aka the Cliffs of Insanity (from the Princess Bride). They were spectacular.
|O'Brien's Tower (overlooks the cliffs)|
After the cliffs, we explored the Burren and watched a sheepdog demonstration.
|Poulnabrone Portal Tomb|
And of course, visited a castle.
And we ended the day in Galway. We ate dinner at a delicious savory pie shop.
|See what I mean?|
|Gallarus Oratory--1300 years old--one of Ireland's best-preserved early-Christian churches|
|We loved Dingle!|
Thursday, we drove to Killarney National Park. Muckross House is a beautiful Victorian estate that sits in the park.
|built in 1843|
|This is the view from one of the bedrooms in the house|
After we toured the house, we took a horse-drawn carriage to Torc Waterfall.
|the forest path leading up to the waterfall was so beautiful|
|He didn't ride backwards, I promise.|
|Lots of rain, means lots of beautiful rainbows!|
We loved Ireland!