With Saint Patrick’s Day this last weekend, I thought it appropriate to give you an update on our Ireland Adventures.
Since leaving home in October our family has been exploring the Emerald Island of Ireland. From our arriving in Dublin and getting the rental a car, which had the steering wheel on the opposite side, and drove out, also on the wrong side of the road, our time has been great.
Our place is located on the west coast of County Mayo where it’s more open and the scenery is magical. You feel like you’ve just entered a Lord of The Rings movie and started trekking across the land with the Hobbits. I never expected to see such a diverse arrangement of plants. From tropical palm trees to thorny blackberry bushes. The currents off of the west coast come from Africa bringing with them warmth which the plants can thrive off of.
Although temperatures usually stay a steady 30 in the Winter, this year Ireland hit its coldest temperatures in half a century. Let’s just say I could have passed on that record, but the kids thrived as they threw snowballs and made snow angels in the snow. Ireland is nothing like North Dakota in that sense. Here if they get snow it’s a disaster. There is no equipment to move the snow and very hard to even find a shovel. People stay home and in this last storm went as far as burning their clothes to keep warm. Since the majority of the barns are not covered they filled in with snow and the milk cows could not be reached or milked for two days.
The snow has melted now, and Spring is in the air. The flowers are blooming, and temperatures are rising. Once again, we head out to hit the many hiking trails. The beauty when you’re standing at the edge of a cliff looking out over the water with the sun setting is absolutely tranquil and peaceful as you sit and enjoy reaching the top and admire the view.
If you like walking, then you’ll love Ireland. As I said above there are so many hiking trails. Beyond that, the castles, fortresses, ancient ruins have all been enjoyable places to explore and learn their history. Let’s not forget the sheep racing and picnics on the beach. The adventures never seem to stop. When it rains, we head inside to a museum and when it shines we stay outdoors. With the many places and sites to see we’ve never run out of Ireland Adventures.
For Saint Patrick’s Day, the country has exploded with tourist. Dublin has become a stomping ground for people wanting to see a parade or enjoy the Irish dancers. The culture is alive and rich as people celebrate wearing their traditional attire or dress in green. The music on the streets and in the pubs add to the celebrating and rich Irish tenors that echo throughout the land.
Traditionally Saint Patrick’s Day was celebrated as a religious holiday in Ireland but since our last trip here 14 years ago it has changed considerably. It has become a worldwide celebration with an expected half a million Americans coming into Dublin to celebrate the holiday.
Beyond the celebrating our time here has been worth every minute. Our wonderful neighbors have started lambing and calving so the countryside is filled once again with baby animals. We walk down the road and check on them daily as we make our way to the beach to pick some cockles. The simple pleasures, much like the ones we enjoy at home have made our stay memorable.
Although we will come home soon and are happy too, we will enjoy every minute and opportunity we have left here. The people have been welcoming, more than hospitable and truly made our Ireland Adventure the best it could be.
On that note, our entire family would like to wish you, our friends and family, a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!
Cead mile failte – Heather Earles
To see and enjoy our Ireland Adventures through video, head to YouTube and in the search box type in Heather Earles.