Alright. We're back and ready for action. Well, not so ready for action because we're exhausted. But we're at least back. I am not exaggerating when I say that of the last month + there have been only 2, count them 2, days when we weren't traveling or had visitors. And oh dear me, we had a BLAST, but it's time to breathe again.
Of course there is some SERIOUS blogging to catch up on and I will start at the beginning.
If you have spoken to me in the last month (and there's not many of you, because I have been sadly ignoring pretty much everything in my life) you know that Joe and I developed a SERIOUS love affair with Ireland. I don't know if it's the beauty (yes), the people we traveled with (definitely), the culture (awesome), or just the fact that it wasn't Morocco (probably that, too).
We hadn't been out of the country since our trip to London in December, and while we love Morocco, everyone here at post agrees that it is healthy and necessary to leave the country at least for a few days every few months. So we were overdue.
Our sweet friends Britt and Lauren gave us the opportunity of a lifetime when they decided to get married in Ireland. Britt's parents and my parents were buddies before we were even born, and so not only has Britt been one of my dearest friends throughout the years, but our families have become family. So it was a double blessing to be with everyone in Ireland for such a joyful event!
I can barely keep all my thoughts together concerning this AWESOME trip, so I'm going to go Type-A style and divide the rest of this post into categories.
|The Whole Gang- 23 in total|
|The SEP crew, with spouses.|
|This bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey earned itself a spot under "people". Throughout the week, this bottle just kept giving and giving. Swig after swig, it never let us down, kind of like the basket of bread and fish in the Bible.|
We stayed in Doolin, County Clare, Ireland (West Coast).
|This is the view from the house we rented with several other couples. Absolutely divine.|
Right across the water from the village of Doolin are the Aran Islands. We all took a ferry ride to the first of the 3 islands, Inis Oirr, and spent the day hiking, biking, exploring, and eating GREAT food. (Smoked salmon, be still my heart.) The main language spoken on the islands is still Gaelic.
|These cows, hanging out in the middle of ancient stone fence divided pastures were the biggest, fattest we had ever seen. Or maybe we're just used to seeing the tiny skinny ones in Morocco now. |
|In front of a shipwreck from the 1960s.|
|Moving along to the Cliffs of Moher. It is hard have perspective on just how tall the cliffs are, but at the top middle of the picture is a lookout tower. To the left of the tower are a couple little specks. Those are people.|
|Cliffs from the top, on a different day.|
|Phil and Bradie mid-wind gust.|
|Life in Ireland (and our trip) revolves around the local pub(s). In Doolin there are O'Connors, McDermott's, and McGann's. Doolin, being the music capital of Ireland, has nightly Irish music in each pub.|
|Next town down the road, Ennistymon. Everything is so picturesque. Spent a fun afternoon and had some great food |
(me-smoked salmon, again).
|The main, and best, event: the wedding. Held in an ancient castle tower with a peat fire burning.|
|The Groom and Me.|
|Alan and Britt pre-wedding|
|A flight of Irish whiskeys. Don't worry, these were spread between four people.|
|Baby Guiness shots. So yummy (and really cute!)|
|Even Baby Sadie got in on the pub action!|
|Storytelling. And the look on Phil's face tells me it was one of the MANY times in the weekend when the story shifted to and embarrassing moment of his, instead of the bride or groom's. Bless his heart. Also this is around 2:30 am. WHAT(?!)|
|Bradie looked pretty professional in her get-up.|
|Phil looking like he's riding "I'll Have Another". |
Can you tell that Joe, the photographer, has a bit of a man-crush on Phil?
|I have to add these two photos of Phil being helped off his horse.|
And now, my thank yous, in no particular order:
1. Mom and Dad, for keeping the boys, you made all this possible. (And I don't think they even noticed we were gone!)
2. Lauren, the bride, who worked so hard to plan an amazing trip for all of us- we will never forget it.
3. Casey- for the photos I stole off your Facebook page to put on this post. You really are pretty talented with that camera.
4. Smoked salmon, for being so delicious. I think of you almost every day.
5. EVERY single person on this trip with us- for being a ton of fun! (Even with a broken wrist!) And I know it looks like we did a lot of drinking, after all, it is Ireland, but believe it or not, no one ever went too far! (And that made it even better.)
So, cheers to Ireland (and our awesome friends, old and new)! We hope to see you soon!