A few weeks ago we claimed a year and a half old present from Cody's parents and we went to Ireland. The country...in Europe. It was one of those trips that was so amazing and wonderful, its too overwhelming to wade through all the pictures and experiences, and you feel like if you actually do so, you might cheapen the real experience somehow. I'll try to get over that feeling and document our trip. It WAS amazing. And wonderful. And I was a ball of crying nerves before we left the kids with Cody's capable parents. As soon as our trip started though I could feel how much we needed it. Married seven years, five of them with kids, we had one or two nights away here and there, but never any really significant amount of time to just BE together. To not only forgot schedules, but be so far removed from them that you stop feeling schedules. There was no 1:00 p.m. drop dead naptime (oh, there were plenty of naps, but they didn't have to be at 1:00 p.m.), we didn't have to be back from dinner by 7. In fact, we didn't even have to be back from a kids-free dinner at any reasonable hour in order to get up with the kids at 6:30 the next morning. Gasp. We could.....stay....out. Late. There was no one but our B&B proprietors to demand our attention in the morning. And that was just to feed us breakfast. And, in our seven years gone from Ireland (we went on our honeymoon), technology has changed so much that we skyped and FaceTimed with the kids about every other day. And guess what-- they really did not seem to miss our presence in their house. GG bought them chocolate milk. They went to Chic-fil-a, they went to the park and got special snacks. It was fun.
This post will definitely not have all of our pictures--I have to start small (in fact, reviewing the pictures I just chose, this is such a random smattering with no logical connections or coherence). But I will leave this by encouraging any young married couple, laden with small children, who think watching Jeopardy together at night counts as enough alone time throughout the week--- GO. Go and spend time with your spouse. Go somewhere where there will be no squabbling about who is making dinner and who is doing the dishes. There are no baths and stories and prayers to fit into an insanely short amount of time. Go somewhere you can't turn on the TV and somewhere you can go to church and think. Where you can eat ice cream before dinner and not worry about anyone seeing you, and buy gummy bears and eat them anytime you want without anyone begging for one. Then have a beer or two and stay out late. It is so worth it.
Probably our favorite bar in the world, which was also featured on the cover of one of our favorite books, by the same name (McCarthy's Bar). We visited on our honeymoon and came back to the very tiny town of Castletownbere this time around too.
Inside the bar-- we played scrabble while the owner fed a large dog scraps from the grocery-store part of the bar. The dog was not hers. It belonged to a frazzled looking woman who's 4 year old son Oscar ran wild in the streets outside.
There was a beautiful beach, and there were people in the water. I was wearing a coat and long sleeves. Several people told us this was their first real summer in a few years. It did not get above 70 degrees (F) while we were there.
Castletownbere at dusk. Beautiful!
On the Aran Islands.
On Dursey Island after taking a cable car built 60 years ago over the sea. More pics of that experience later.
Our hostess on the Aran Island (actually, our hostess's mother whom we ran into) took this picture of us. When we told her we have three kids (everyone was interested in their names and ages), she gasped and said "3! Oh my, I thought you were a young couple a-courtin'!" After a week alone-together in our favorite place, that's what we felt like too :).
And for good measure, I saw selkies on the Great Blasket Island.