Thursday, September 24, 2009


We left for Jacksonville Int’l airport on Monday evening. Our spirits were high and we were beyond excited. Once we got in line to board our airplane to Atlanta, we were hit with bad news. Atlanta had horrible storms with rain and severe flooding the last several days. The flights to Atlanta were backed up and it looked as if our flight would be delayed at least 7 hours. Many people were being rescheduled for the next day and I began to get very nervous. We waited in line to speak with the people at Delta to see what our options were. Our layover in Atlanta was only supposed to be for three hours before catching our plane to Dublin.

After standing in line for some time and speaking to everyone around us (including a Delta staff member) it looked as though we were not going to make it to Atlanta that evening as we were the fourth flight in que to leave (once flights were again permitted to travel to Atlanta).

I was, to say the least very panicked. I had waited so long for this day and it really looked as though our trip was going to be delayed. Once we reached the service desk we explained our situation. The woman at the ticket counter told us there were a couple of seats left on the first flight in que to Atlanta and she would put us on that plane instead.

She has no guarantee when we would leave and if we would catch our connecting flight, but it was our best chance.

Luckily it only took about 45 more minutes and we then boarded the plane to Atlanta.

I was still very stressed wondering if the bad weather would be too dangerous to fly in or if it would keep our plane headed to Dubling from leaving.

Once we took off I looked out the window and noticed the double rainbow. I knew at that very moment that everything was going to be OK… and I would make it to Ireland safely and on time.

The rest of the flight went smooth and we left for Dublin, from Atlanta, right on schedule.

We did not sleep well on the overnight flight as it was horribly uncomfortable. When we got close to Ireland I momentarily forgot my fatigue as I could not contain my excitement.

We flew over Ireland and circled around off the east coast to land in Dublin. My first sight of Ireland was Lambay Island just off the coast.

I then saw Ireland and my first thought was “WOW, it really IS very green!!”. It was such a beautiful sight, pictures can't do it justice.

We landed at 9:45 am (Ireland time) and our plan was to hang around Dublin for awhile before heading to Kilkenny. We were due to check in to the bed and breakfast at 4pm… so we had plenty of time.

By the time we got our rental car, picked up our luggage and withdrew our Euros, our lack of sleep hit us like a ton of bricks. We tried finding our way around Dublin… then decided to just get OUT of Dublin and head to Kilkenny.

Ty was having a hard time acclimating to driving in the right side of the car on the left side of the road. We also had a manual which he has to shift left handed.

Dublin street signs were very confusing and there are “roundabouts” every other corner. It was very stressful and we just wanted to get out of the big city.

SIDE NOTE----We did see this store which was very amusing… only in Ireland

Needless to say we took the wrong road out of Dublin and ended up very lost. No sleep combined with being in an unfamiliar country made for a very tense situation. Ty and I had always said if we were in another country, we would not eat at American food places. We are all about experiencing the culture… however, being so lost – we came across a beautiful sight. There, like a beacon in the night, was MCDONALDS!!!!

We went inside and were instantly comforted by the familiarity (though it really looked like a McDonalds of the 80’s). OH, and BTW… the big and tasty had some weird sauce on it and was not so tasty. ANYWAY, we asked for the manager who was soooooo friendly and drew us a map with directions to Kilkenny.

So, we arrived at the B & B an hour before our check in time. Tom and Val (the owners) were very sweet and let us go ahead and check in. We were so wiped out that we decided to nap and shower before anything else.

Our nap was a life saver and we woke up a couple of hours later refreshed and ready to actually ENJOY being in Ireland.

Our B & B is comfy and charming and our host and hostess are amazing.

Our room:

upstairs hallway:

B&B sign:

front entrance:
side of B&B (love the red ivy, it is everywhere here):
Back garden (note the clothes line. they dry linens here)

With suggestions from Val, we headed out by foot to have dinner in the town of Kilkenny. We were walking along the path and it finally struck me that I was HERE in Ireland. I found myself getting a bit weepy and my heart swelled. I was doing that laughing-crying-at-the-same time thing...

As promised, Ty took a picture of me with my first real reaction to being in Ireland. Our dear friend, Josh, requested this picture. Though not too flattering, here is said pictures in all their/my emotional glory:

The walk into Kilkenny town is amazing, with a nice view of some ruins, the river and Kilkenny castle
This is like a post card. A picture you see and say, “Oh I wish I was there”. We could not believe we actually WERE standing there

The grass is so unbelievably green, pictures do not do it justice

A side street of houses, just before the center of town:

As we neared the restaurant, we passed this beautiful church and cemetery sitting on the corner:

Our first Irish restaurant, Langton’s, where the food was amazing. Ty ate Braised Lamb and I had an Irish Lamb Stew. They had live Irish music and I drank my first Guinness. I normally detest Guinness, but had heard it was different in Ireland and I was determined to at least have one. It really was a lot smoother and enjoyable.

We then walked back to the B & B and retired for the night, surrounded by the smell of lavender in our room.


1 comment:

  1. Okay, so you know which picture Raymond enjoyed best. Haha. I personally LOVE the pictures of you realizing that your dream has come true. It actually put me into tears (and I don't cry) so I'm guessing its partly pregnancy hormones leaving my system still? At 6 weeks post partum? HAHA. Anyways, thank you for posting this. It seriously makes me feel like I'm there thanks to how descriptive you are. And I can just imagine how hilarious it is to try and drive on the opposite side of the road, the opposite side of the car AND have to shift with the opposite hand... however, I guess it wouldn't be so funny when you are sleep deprived and lost.