Day 4 (April 23, 2011)
It is a beautiful day in Ireland today and the locals are going crazy for this weather. The sun is out, the sky is clear, the grass is green, the flowers are colorful; we really could not ask for anything else. I think the high today got up to 60 as well.
Breakfast at our bed & breakfast had quite a variety of food and it was all very good. Sitting out were cereals, fruits, biscuits (crackers) and the like. Then we got a hot breakfast from the owner including scrambled eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, and hashbrowns. There was also tea and bread. I don’t think we could have asked for anything else.
Mark’s brother, Alan, arrived at the Shannon airport around 9am, so we picked him up and took him to the nearby Bunratty Castle. We didn’t need to go inside, but we did walk around the grounds of the castle and the hotel catching up and enjoying the sun. Mark’s parents arrived a little after 11am, and then we were off to start our adventure.
Our first stop was about 30 minutes down the road in Limerick for lunch. Limerick is one of the larger towns in the area and it took a little while to drive through the streets packed with pedestrians to find a parking garage. The little sandwich shop we found made all 5 of us happy with our choices of food for lunch. Mark and I really enjoyed our sweet chilled chicken wrap.
Then, the driving began. We drove about 2 hours to our cottage near Castlemaine in County Kerry through some beautiful Ireland countryside. I wish we had time to stop and take photos, but we’ll have plenty of time in the next week. Hopefully the weather will hold out. The cottage is very nice. The owner met us in town and led us in his car to the cottage. We have a nice lawn with an outdoor table, a creek nearby, 4 bedrooms and plenty of space. I took a walk down the little road holding our house and found sheep, cows, and tall hills in the background. The street has lots of cute houses on it with the creek running alongside.
We spent the afternoon getting aquainted with our cottage and catching up with each other. For dinner and a grocery run we headed to the town of Tralee. The shops and restaurants seem to be closed for Easter weekend, so once again we found an Italian restaurant with very good food. Most of us had an appetizer of vegetable soup which was almost a pumpkin or squash soup and incredibly delicious. The various pasta dishes we had were also good and I think we were all happy with the choice.
Tomorrow we are headed to the Cork Mallow Racing festival. There should be various fair events and racing. We are looking forward to it.
(Due to slow connection, no pictures this week, sorry)