Galway, Ireland

Cong & Galway, Ireland. August 2014.

We spent the last few days visiting & exploring County Galway and County Mayo. One of the best meals we had during our stay in Ireland was definitely at Kai Cafe & Restaurant which is located in Galway’s West End. The food, scene, location, artisan beers and owners David and Jessica are wonderful.

Today we are driving back to Dublin for one night and then will make our return for Boston.

Our summer getaway is coming to an end.

Adare, Ireland. August 2014.

After leaving Kenmare, we drove to Adare for the weekend. It’s a beautiful place with a mix of thatch roofed cottages, gardens, excellent food and numerous historic sites.

Today we are headed further north along the west coast.

Farran, Ireland

Farran, Ireland. August 2014.

Lauren still has cousins living in Farran, a small village about 20km from Cork. A lot has changed since our last visit to see them. The town has more shops, new restaurants and many new homes have been built.

But you can feel the economic downturn which hit this country substantially. It is on everyone’s mind everywhere. We hear the value of land in their village has gone down over 5x from the peak a few years back.

And yet some things haven’t changed around here at their home. Taking care of their cows every day, brown bread every morning, tea every afternoon, music, dancing, and laughter around the kitchen table. And of course, the swearing. Oh man the swearing. “for fucks sake” has become as common as breathing :)

Today we are leaving Cork and heading to further west to Kenmare, which is a small town in the south of country Kerry.

Blarney, Ireland. August 2014. 

In so many ways this was not the type of spot we are drawn to. The Blarney Castle couldn’t get more touristy. Between the tour buses and the swarms of tourists it’s easy to brush this one off.

But then you make your way to the top, climbing along a fun narrow, windy, stone staircase, with the wind howling through the various stone hallways and watch your kids faces light up they lean back to kiss the Blarney Stone at the top. At that moment you realize this 600 year old castle has more to offer than the tshirt in the gift shop.