Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Irish Adventures with the Palacios!

It is quite comical that this was written for this post for almost two years, "Coming soon! Pictures and stories of our adventures with Mingo and Fallon!"  So "soon", probably wasn't the right phrasing, more like "Eventually coming!"  or "When I have two weeks off from work..."  Ok so there is no excuse!  I repent!  One of the most worthy of all posts got unpublished, agh, until now that is!

Our wonderful friends, came all the way to Ireland and we had the trip of a lifetime!  The pictures say it all!  I will try my best to capture the week of adventure to keep you as entertained as we were.  Fallon and I didn't know what we were in for as our husbands lived life together, reminiscing of their classic stories, making rap songs with the T-pain app, frolicking through fields and obsessing over baby lambs (oh wait that might have been me and Fal!)  Well you get the point!  So here goes nothing...

Our first day at St. Patrick's Cathedral
Ross and Mingo philosophizing

Trinity College
Best buddies :)

A book always smells better when you're in good company!
Beautiful couple enjoying the rays in People's Park

Unashamedly getting the burn

There are no words...

Heading out of Dublin and marking out our journey to come!

Fallon and I are the luckiest!

As you do in a cemetery
Galway City

Drawing Room at Dromoland Castle

Cards, tea, and friends at Dromoland Castle... It doesn't get any better!
Frolicking on the grounds of Dromoland Castle

A little healthy go-cart competition

Cliffs of Moher

Apparently a music video was being filmed on our ferry ride to Dingle! If only we had known we could have come prepared :)

Lookout point on the drive to Dingle City
Love this girl!

Not to shabby of a view from our room!

Mingo throwing out the vib!

Stopped for a lamb crossing... only in Ireland!

Baby lambies!!!  We're obsessed!

Making our way to Slea Head
Slea Head at Sunset

We made it just in time for a beautiful sunset!

Dingle Bay

We don't want to leave!

Killarney Town

It is only right to have ended the trip at a tea house... These boys look way too comfortable!

Blood Orange Yumminess!

Seduced big time!  Who couldn't resist this face!
Leaping for joy!  We love Ireland and green pastures!  Ross has been stunned by Fallon's extreme enthusiasm :)

Precious friends, priceless memories!  Thanks Mingo and Fallon for sacrificing so much to come and visit us in Ireland!  This is a trip we'll be talking about when we're 80! Love you guys!

Newgrange with the Sturms

Saint Patrick's Day is CRAZY in Dublin! All the locals leave town as the tourists flood in! Since we had experienced the parade and excitement of Patty's day last year, we decided to take the day to explore outside of the city. We went with our friends Katie and Aaron to one of oldest historical sights in the world, Newgrange. It is a prehistoric burial mound dating to 3,000 BC, predating some of the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge! It has artistic concentric circles and spirals carved into the stones, but the most fascinating thing about Newgrange was the architectural precision! Those who built this tomb were brilliant astronomers. There is a narrow square opening above the tomb entrance way. Every year in December during the winter solstice when the sun is rising, the rays of light shine through that small opening, extend to the back walls of the inner chamber, and illuminate the inside of the tomb! These engineers were smart!

When Newgrange was discovered the grey rock face seen in this picture had fallen, so they reconstructed the face of the tomb using the same rocks from the original

Get the shot Katie!

Weekend trip to Southern Ireland in County Tipperary

In late February we had a long weekend to do a speedy trip down to one of the southern counties of Ireland called Tipperary. We borrowed Sarah and Adam's car and made a big loop hitting a few different cities along the way. Our first stop was in Kilkenny, a town I fell in love with. Why, you might ask? Because there is an amazing castle of course! The grounds extend as far as the eye can see and are covered with lush, green lawns and tulips. It was sunny and beautiful, so we decided to have a picnic overlooking the castle. To our shock, clouds swoop in and HUGE hail stones pelt us as we crammed food in our mouths and jetted to the car! It was painful!
Kilkenny Castle

Cathedral in Kilkenny
Next stop, Rock of Cashel! This huge stone structure dominates the skyline as you drive up to it. The green hills around it were stunning in the sun light. Although there was some serious construction going on, it was still a very worthwhile stop.
Entrance to Rock of Cashel

Rock of Cashel

A view of the surrounding green hills from the Rock of Cashel

We have a slight obsession with Celtic crosses

On this trip, going against my normal vacationing style, we decided to be adventurous and not plan B&B arrangements ahead of time. Well to our surprise, many B&B's close when it is not tourist season! As night was setting in, we stopped at 6 B&B's that were all closed for business. We soon were second guessing our carefree approach! Luckily, our 7th B&B we stumbled upon in the tiny town of Cahir was open and ended up being a charming little place. We learned our lesson and will call next time!

The next morning we visited Cahir Castle, a very well preserved fort. The tour was fantastic! And we discovered that a scene from Braveheart had been filmed there!

Cahir Castle