Ok, first, I obviously was full of crapola last time when I said I would be faster. I have no idea why I'm having such a hard time with this. This usually comes so naturally to me. Anyhoo...
So, we finish off the Ring of Kerry and then have a rather difficult time finding our next B&B, Weston's Lot in Dundrum, County Tipperary. So, after passing it several times, we finally found a local that knew what we were talking about and gave us much better directions, and we found it right away. This was a really nice B&B. Really big and it felt like it was in the middle of nowhere. The next day we go a town over in Cashel, and check out the Rock of Cashel. It was a gorgeous day with a great breeze, at least while we were up on the Rock. Very serene, I thought. Afterwards we grabbed a good sandwich around the corner before we headed off to Waterford.
Yes, that Waterford. And of course, one cannot visit the city of Waterford without touring the Waterford Crystal Factory. I will admit to being in a foul, grumpy mood this day. This was probably my worst day as far as moods go, I think. You might need to ask Mike on that. My knee was just excruciatingly painful by this point and I since we never had a bathtub in our rooms (just showers), I never got to soak it or anything to help it not hurt as much. Anyway, I have no problem admitting I was not a pleasure to be around. However, I did enjoy the Waterford Tour a lot. I never realized that every single piece of crystal that comes out of there is hand made. I thought that was just absolutely mind blowing. It also allowed me to understand their pricing a bit more too. Another thing I was thoroughly impressed with was how little they waste. I think the tour guide said their waste percentage per year is like 2%. Every extra bit of crystal, like a messed up piece, is recycled back into crystal to be used later. On the blades that they cut with, water is sprayed on them to keep it cool, and from there the dust that is made, is sucked back into the system and sent back to be reused also. So incredibly efficient I thought. Waste not, want not, and all that. So, back to my grumpy mood. After the tour we ended up in the store, mais bien sur, and Mike was ready to let me loose and buy whatever I wanted. I could have bought an entire set of crystal that cost a ton, and would have probably been ok with it. So, what do I do, I buy absolutely nothing. Not even a christmas ornament. I was just in one of those moods where I would not have been able to actually pick something I wanted. So, yes, it did suck that I did not buy anything, however, it was probably for the best as I most likely would have purchased something that I wasn't really into. And really, when you think about it, Mike doesn't know how lucky he really was that I was in such a foul non-shopping mood. I would probably have spent a small fortune. See? You can truly find the positive in anything if you try. :D
Our next B&B was in Ashord, County Wicklow - Mount Usher View. The garden/yard area of this B&B was really beautiful and taken care of impeccably. Besides sleeping & having a meal, we didn't stay too long here.
The next day we were headed back to Dublin as our flight was at 5pm. On our way we stopped in Glendalough, which means Glen of Two Lakes. Near the Lower Lake is a monastery that originated in the 6th century by St. Kevin. There are some seriously old ruins here, and they were surrounded by some of the most beautiful mountains & trees. I could definitely understand why a hermit priest would settle here. We then drove up to the Upper Lake which actually cost us something ridiculous like â‚¬5 and we couldn't stay for too too long. But, I guess if it helps them take care of the area, it's all good. We parked, went to the lake which is only feet away from the parking area, took some pictures and ooohed and aaahed over the insane view. You only see these types of things in pictures. Just breathtaking. Mike wanted to do some hiking and I really couldn't because of my knee, so he went off for a bit, and I sat in the car and read/slept. He came back running. I guess we were on a time table that I wasn't really paying too much attention to. So, we left quickly and zoomed fast fast towards Dublin. We dropped off the car, talked to some other folks who did our same B&B deal, and got on the plane without having to wait too too long.
So, my summary of the trip. I adore Ireland. As most people are already aware I plan on opening my own B&B in Doolin and my mom can open a restaurant that goes along side it or next door or something. Seriously, one day. Our trip was a helluva lot more hectic than I wanted. We were constantly on the go and I wish I could have relaxed more. Especially when my knee always felt like it wanted to explode. A couples notes for anyone thinking of going -- be aware that every bed in Ireland appears to be slightly more comfortable than a slab of rock and take all the clothing you'll need. There's not one laundromat in the entire country. Having to wash your unmentionables in a sink is just something I could have lived my whole life never having to do. So, besides the uncomfy beds and the hectic pace, this was an amazing trip. AND! I only wigged out from panic/anxiety once! It helped that the Irish are some of the most friendly people.
Now, off to New York...