Thursday, July 31, 2014

Our last day in County Clare

Up bright and early, we got on the road to travel from Milltown to County Clare, and we decided to take the ferry across the River Shannon.

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I don’t think it ever got old seeing all the separate farms in different shades of green, covered in livestock!

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After getting off the ferry, we drove up north to see the Cliffs of Moher. It was a beautiful drive up the western coastline…

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This drive was no different than any other… It was filled with fields of cows, old castle ruins & even a few old thatched roof cottages along the way!

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The Cliffs of Moher were as beautiful in person as they were in the pictures!

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After seeing the cliffs, we headed south to Bunratty Castle Folk park, which was a fun afternoon… We were definitely missing the kids after making this stop!

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I took this picture for my dad… check out this golf course! I can’t even putt when the land is flat, so I give these golfers a lot of credit!

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Bunratty Castle was built in 1425, and we were able to cross the drawbridge and explore inside the castle! Bunratty Folk Park is a living reconstruction of the homes and environment of Ireland over a century ago. There were furnished rural farmhouses, a village street complete with the doctor’s house, pawnbroker, pub, grocery store, hardware store, post office, hotel & school house. It was such a neat place to walk around and experience, but we wish we’d had the kids with us! Next time…

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The Earl’s Bedroom:

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The Earls pantry, also used as a servant’s quarters and kitchen:

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The stairways weren’t MUCH better than the ones we navigated in the castle ruins!

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The North Solar: private apartment of the Earl and his family:

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South Solar: The guest apartments could be found here:

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The old schoolhouse:

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Brian pretended to be “The-boy-who-lived-under-the-stairs”!

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The doctor’s house": This parlor was used for both dispensing medication & surgery… glad I live in today’s time!

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The town pub:

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The family grocer:

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The Bunratty house built in 1804: The only original house on this whole property aside from the castle:

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This church was moved stone by stone from another county to the folk park:

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This home was for both a family AND their cows… in ONE room. Again, I’m so glad I live in today’s time!

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After touring the castle and folk park, we made our last stop of the trip at the Bunratty Castle Hotel for a nice steak and seafood dinner, a wonderful dessert with an Irish coffee, and turned in early for our big travel day home in the morning… It was a great way to end the trip!

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We were able to find WiFi each day and Facetime with the kids… We all missed each other a lot by the end of the trip, but had fun keeping in touch while we were gone!

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Time to head home!

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Brian found his very own coke to enjoy before heading off on our long day of traveling!

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Our last glimpses of the Irish countryside…

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We had a wonderful time, but were happy to see the shores of the states!

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Happy 10th anniversary to my wonderful husband! I have enjoyed spending these years together, and can’t wait to see what the future brings… especially more travelling!!

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