Monday, September 28, 2009


This morning was our final breakfast at Dunromin B&B. We shared our table with a nice couple from Connecticut. Their daughter had just come to Ireland to finish school in Belfast and they decided to see Ireland while visiting her.

After breakfast we packed our bags and went down to say goodbye to Val and Tom. It was kind of sad leaving as they were so wonderful. Ty and I felt they set the bar really high and we hoped the other B&B’s didn’t pale in comparison.

Here is a farewell pic of us with Val and Tom:

My dear friend Kristin loaned us her suitcase for our trip and as promised here is a picture of her suitcase in Ireland:

Shout-out to Kristin G.

We decided to take a couple of detours on our way to Kilarney. We stopped by The Rock of Cashel in county Tipperary which was breathtaking!! We took so many pictures… too many to post, but here are some of our favorites.

Statue of Irish Dancers in the parking area

Information plaque on the Rock of Cashel

The Rock of Cashel as we were walking up to it

MATTHEW THIS PIC IS FOR YOU – it is a carving of St. Matthew

Inside the visitors center

What remains of St. Patrick’s Cross

The cathedral was so amazing!!

Same view with Ty and I in the Archway

The chapel

Taking a rest

View around back of cathedral

The tombstones in Irish cemeteries fascinate me. They list so many different family members on each one. I have yet to figure out if they act as a multiple memorial for the one family member buried there… or if every member on the tombstone is buried in that single spot.

View of the town of Cashel from the Rock

Ty and I at the Rock of Cashel (pic by Ty)

After leaving Cashel we decided to head down to the Jameson’s Old Middleton distillery in county Cork. We were en route to Cork when we saw there was a castle just a few miles south of Cashel. Ty’s driving is much better, seems like he is getting the hang of it. My navigating is getting better too as I am actually able to figure out the maps and road signs.

Cahir castle just inside the small town of Cahir was pretty impressive and well preserved. Once again we took a ton of pictures, here are some of my favorites:

View of Cahir Castle as we were walking up to it

Inside the castle walls

One of the towers, which had several rooms inside that we were able to see

Nice view from the court yard

View of the River Suir from one tower

Model of the siege upon the Castle

We ate lunch at a cute little place across the street from the castle. Ty and I were talking about what a nice day we were having and I got very emotional. I knew I needed this trip to Ireland, but I didn’t realize how much I needed this vacation until right that very second. I can’t go into all of it, for reasons that are very personal and reasons I don’t think I could even put into words.

I can say this: That even during times one needs to get away from it all… they still carry all that they love with them. Not a moment has gone by since being on this trip that I have not thought about all of those that I love. Being here has touched something very deep inside of me. I am so unbelievably blessed.

ANYWAY… we left Cahir for County Cork (shout out to my friend Josh O’Brien as his people came from Cork. BTW, their county colors are red and white, and every time I turned around I saw some business with the name O’Brien in it!)

Ty had wanted to go to the Jameson’s distillery… it was his one request for this trip. I figured it would be boring, but it actually was a very interesting tour. Our tour guide, Fiona, was a riot which made the tour even more pleasant.

We started the tour with a movie that explained the history of Jameson’s whiskey. I love the captivating music in the background of these films which makes one feel even more passionate about the journey of a man and his whiskey-making-dreams. Then Fiona took us on the tour explaining the process of whiskey making then and now. We walked through the old distillery as she explained the process.

They had these guys everywhere working in the old distillery… this guy is making barrels to age the whisky in:

Generations of Master distillers have lived in this 25 room “cottage” on the premises. The master distiller that lives here today was born in this house as was his father (Yay for home birth!!)

The watermill still in working order

Storage building for all of the barley

We got to the end of the tour and Fiona explained what parts of the process made Irish whisky different from Scottish and American whisky.

She asked for 8 volunteers to participate in a whisky tasting test. Ty never volunteers for anything, and I really knew he wanted to do it… so I politely volunteered him. OK, OK – I pushed him into the volunteer line while shouting “He’ll do it!”

Ty waiting in the volunteer line

Here is Fiona giving the whisky tasters their instructions

Happy Ty was having a great time. (BTW, he agreed that the Irish, or Jameson’s whisky, was the smoothest)

Fiona gave each of the 8 volunteers official whisky tasting expert certificates and we all enjoyed a complimentary glass of Jameson’s whisky. I do not care for whisky, but it wasn’t bad mixed with cranberry juice and a bunch of ice (just an FYI).

Then we were off to Killarney which was another two hours away. By the time we got there it was 9pm. The directions the travel agent gave me were old as was the B&B’s phone number, so we got lost AGAIN. The important thing is we made it safely. I really think, other than getting lost, that this was our best day in Ireland yet.

I close this blog entry with more pictures of signs that I found amusing.

Cute Irish Blessing they had hanging at the Jameson’s distillery

Tyres = Tires (that’s just the way they spell it)

Every exit in Ireland has this stick figure running toward a door. They crack me up

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad that your visit to Ginger and Maureen went so well, and even more thrilled to finally see pictures of her and Maureen in their element!! Enjoy the rest of your trip!