This last leg of the trip was super special because it was my 28th birthday! Being in Ireland was already cool enough, but it was extra fun to be on our mini-vacation checking out all these new places and spaces.
Like Kenmare, which was completely quaint and charming the way all Irish towns are in my mind. It had shops to browse in, art galleries to peruse, historic old buildings to admire and a huge selection of cafés and restaurants. Plus it’s right along the water. And that just doesn’t get old.
After lunch we drove off to Cork, a bigger city and home of the Blarney Castle since of course I needed to kiss the famous Blarney Stone on my birthday! You climb up these narrow and winding stone stairs to the top floor of an old castle, sit on the edge of the floor and lean backwards (holding onto some bars they installed for the purpose) and then you have to stretch yourself way down to kiss the very bottom stone upside down. A worker is there guiding you / holding onto you to squash fears of falling. Plus there are bars across the opening too. Safety first!
After the smooch we are supposedly filled with the gift of eloquence. Can’t you tell? That part was a little commercialized (buy a photo of yourself kissing the stone – just 10 euros!) but still fun and worth it. The view from the top wasn’t too shabby either. We even witnessed a bride and groom’s photo shoot.
The rest of the castle grounds were pretty interesting too. Especially the poison garden planted with only poisonous plants (although the marijuana plants were missing and a posted note explained that some licensing issues were being sorted out) as well as the low caves you could explore if you were willing to crouch down low and waddle your way through. A great workout for the quads! There were a few installed lights in the caves but it was overall rather dark. Too bad we left our headlamps in the car or Isaiah may have avoided stepping in a big puddle and mudding up his freshly polished shoes!
But a little mud on the Red Wings didn’t stop him from scaling the stone tower to watch diligently over the grounds in protection. When duty calls…
Around dinnertime (yes, it seems I mark my day by meals) we headed on to Cobh (pronounced Cove), which was the last town in which the Titanic docked before its dreadful end. Did you know it’s been nearly 100 years since that big boat sank? It’s only appropriate for us all to go watch a little Kate and Leo in remembrance.
Cobh is a great harbor town where we enjoyed a leisurely and delicious multiple course seafood dinner right along the water. Fried brie with raspberry relish, smoked salmon, salmon with a creamy dill sauce, potatoes and steamed veggies, crème brûlée, and even a birthday candle in the scrumptious slice of cheesecake. It was the perfect way to wrap up our little getaway and a great way to begin my next year of living life.