Thursday, September 1, 2011

Whats the dealio...

Im sure you are all just on the edges of your least until Jillian blogged last night. So heres my version of "our missing days".

Saturday morning we woke up to pack up our stuff, have our final breakfast in Quilty and bide Angela a heart-felt thank you! Angela is a sweetheart and I truly enjoyed staying on her farm. We headed to Ennistymon to attend (finally) a farmers market. We parked (by some miracle) and headed in. The sun broke through the stormy gray (or grey) clouds and the rain let up as we came across the market. My sister stood for a full 10 minutes looking at all the cheeses. I think there was even a point where i had to wipe the drool off her chin. She rattled off to me what all she wanted to try. The lady was very kind and patient with my sister. She pulled off portions of all different kinds of cheeses and i tried them as well. To me, cheese is cheese. Just like to my sister, one seal pretty much looks the same as another. But my sis couldnt decide which cheese- I reminded her that we left out of Dublin on Tues. She chose her 3 and left happy. In Ballyvaughn, there was no overflowing cheese table, but plenty of goods and people. I enjoyed the sights and sounds of the market and of course the tea and giant cookie.  We still had a few hrs before more torture in the saddle so we headed to Lisdoonvarna to pass time and catch up on postcards. Jillian had to catch up on postcards- I read my book.
 So we then headed to Mountain View for a 2 hr trail ride. I have no idea how I let my sister talk me into these things. There 6 of us in the group, me once again on Guinness and Jillian on Parick (?). The 2 of us brought up the rear. The 2 hrs was defnitely worth it. The views again of Galway Bay, the Cliffs and the landscape that is just simply Ireland was worth the sore body. Guinness threw a few curve balls at me when he kicked at Rosie. Not once but 3 times. Seriously. Kathleen (who was ahead of me) said I reacted well... I told her Im used to animals trying to buck me off. My girls in CA can attest to this. Although not one as large as a horse. Theres a first time for everything I guess. I havent felt that sore since 2009 just for the record.
 After deciding on Kinvarra for the evening's events, Jillian and I secured a place to stay and then decided we needed to eat something if we were to partake in a few pints. We then headed to the Pier House and met up with Peter, Francis, Amy and Anna. Let me tell you something, in Ireland its the rounds thatll kill you. After drinking a few ciders (my drink of choice as I dont particularly care for beer) we headed to O'Connells down the street and continued to get "pissed". We were well within walking distance to the B and B.
Sunday was relatively uneventful as we were both recovering from a night that neither one of us will repeat for awhile. After being treated to a full Irish breakfast we didnt do much but sit. We decided to stay nearby and drive to Dublin the next day as neither one of us (Jillian in particular) was not up for a drive across the country.
Monday morning, we decided to get an early start and begin our drive. The drive was uneventful and before we know it we were back in Dublin. We finally found the hotel and checked in and set out to shop and see (somewhat) the sights of the city. Jillian was not very happy with being in the city after spending so much time out west. I guess she felt a little cloistered. Which kinda surprises me as she enjoys New York City. Dublin is no New York. There are many differences. The architecture just humors me. There are some buildings that are built out of bricks, some that date back to medieval times (Dublin Castle) and then nearby there are buildings built out of steel and glass. A fascinating combination of old world and the 21st century. Its a city but a clean city. Even the alleys are clean and least most are. There are statues and tributes to people and events all over. Bridges over the river Liffey, which seems to split the city. There are so many, named so many different things. The Half Penny bridge is so named because it used to cost a half penny to cross it. I like Dublin. Someday Ill explore it alittle more as Dublin isnt going anywhere anytime soon. We spent our last evening at our hotel, eating dinner, listening to a live band and watching traditional Irish Dancing. Perfect end.
Tuesday we made it back to the airport, turned in the Micra checked in and then began the painful process of going through customs. We were warned by our dad and others that getting back into the US is harder than getting out. So true. I had no problem as I filled out the entire form (Jill). She ended up claiming the cheese and getting her boots disinfected. Crazy. After 8 hrs (almost) we were both happy (so to speak) to be back in Philly. Jill spent most of the time between flights texting, answering emails and making phone calls. I spent most of it reading, listening to music and walking up and down the terminals as my tailbone was sore from sitting. But we landed safely and our luggage made it too. Our parents picked us up and after separating our clothes and souvenirs, I drove my sis back to Massillion. Upon getting in the car, Jillian kindly reminded me that we drive on the right side in the states. Hopefully she didnt forget that the next day...that would be funny.
     Slainte Kaitie

the missing days...

I left you on Friday. SO I'll attempt to fill in the gaps of Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Saturday: This was our last morning with Angela at the Seacrest B&B in Quilty, Clare. We didn't change up our routine of 9am breakfast of eggs and real bacon. Not to mention the tea. Oh how miss the tea. I really need to get some tea makings. Soon. Anyways, Kaitie ate her brown bread while I claimed anything that wasn't brown. Seriously, Brown bread and I aren't friends. Like at all. One bite took me like ten minutes to eat. We set out with goals in markets. First stop, Ennistimon. We passed it on the first go round...very small town so its easy to do. I flipped the car around and zoomed into a parking spot. Got out...walked in and HEAVEN. Seriously, just the local product availability and fresh cheeses alone would make me move to Ireland in a heartbeat. A heartbeat. Next time, I want to stay where there is a kitchen. Gas stove. I will cook to my hearts content. Anyways, cheese. There was a table full of cheese. Cheese must be the key to my heart because let me tell you my knees were weak. The kind lady running the table let me try anything and everything I wanted then informed me that I would be allowed to take some cheese into the country. OMG. JMJ. Music to my ears. So I bought Irish Bree, Cashel Sheep's Blue, and a Goat's Gouda. I am so excited to eat these. Kaitie was finally able to pull me away from the table. I left unwillingly but happy and glowing enough. Next one... but first a stop at a beach. We drove through Lahinch and stopped at the beach. Kaitlin wanted pictures and sand. There were so many surfers and the waves weren't that large like at all. I've boogey boarded larger ones. and it was raining and cold. Everyone in the water I deemed crazy... super crazy. Not the everyday crazy that everyone is. Cause you know everyone is crazy just to different degrees. Like I believe someone called me an 8, recently. lol. Ballyvaughn next stop. Produce, produce, produce...envy,envy,envy. More cheese but what got me here was the poultry you could pick out and it was alive. If i bought one do they kill it or do I? either way I was game. Next time with that kitchen, I will find out. There was some fresh pesto made with goat cheese that set my mouth watering. Seriously, would move in a heartbeat just gotta finish my education degree. We enjoyed some tea and a very large cookie while i stared in utter bliss as recipes started flowing in my head. If I only had a kitchen to cook in, the things I wanted to try.

We went into Lisdoonvarna to kill time before horseback riding again. Lisdoonvarna was preparing for the matchmaking festival held annually in September, with an actual matchmaker. Yes the whole "matchmaker matchmaker make me a match catch me a catch find me a find" popped in my head and I was singing Fiddler for a few minutes in my head. I sat down to write some postcards and just relax. mainly prepare for my ass hurting during two hours of horseback riding that I insisted on doing again. Why? Why not? When was ever going to have the opportunity to go through the Burren on horseback while looking out to Galway Bay or the Cliffs of Moher. So bruises on my bum. worth it.

And it was. Worth it. Kaitlin rode Guinness again and I was on Parick. A gentle horse. and he was. I was at the end of the line this time around so I was given more guidance. much needed help. I believe Peter told me I was leaning to the left at one point and I was like "umm ok." Shrugged and attempted to right myself. I did better? I doubt it. But I was more relaxed and it was the highlight of my trip. I really loved it. I need to familiarize myself with horses more. They are beautiful animals. God's creation for sure. Maybe next time I'll take a longer trek. Maybe I'll actually get the hang of trotting. Baby steps. I'd like to brush a horse too. Its a safe bet to say that when I go, and I will sooner rather than later, I'll get that kitchen in a cottage near this area so I can go horseback riding again.

After the trek, we headed to Kinvarra to find a place to stay and grab some dinner before our session. We started the night at Pier Head and then made our way to O'Connell's. Met a few friends along the way and enjoyed the local craic. Ended the night in Kinvarra feeling good.

Sunday morning was filled with a hangover. We lounged about and enjoyed a full Irish breakfast, yes blood pudding. Around six that evening we got around to moving. lol. Rounds system is great but not for me who rarely drinks more than two. Pizza was on the menu for the night followed by some wine and the best full nights rest in my life. The drive to Dublin was uneventful and pretty. Followed with us driving around going crap i forgot to figure out where our hotel is. lol. We found it, checked in, and went shopping. SHOES... OMG Shoes. I really wanted some but refrained. Had an amzing dinner while watching Irish band and dancing. Slept then woke unhappy because we were leaving. I was tempted too much to stay. Just get up and walk away from the airport and figure out where to go later. Holiday was over and I had a long Tuesday filled with airports. First thing I heard from when turning on my phone: work. Reality sets in. I'm home.

Until next year Ireland, Cheers. ~Jillian