The next three days marked our last final group trip away from Tully Cross before we would be going back home. We weren’t entirely sure what we would be doing or where we would be going, but it was exciting nonetheless. We stayed at a hotel the first night (not a hostel!! Yay!) and were treated to an amazing five course meal. The mushroom soup (surprisingly) was the best soup I have ever had. It was a crowd favorite, for sure.
While there was a lot of time on the bus, we made some pretty incredible stops. One of my favorite stops was Cahir Castle (they had some pretty awesome defense mechanisms throughout the castle). Our next stops were Dingle Peninsula (good fish n’ chips and dolphin themes EVERYWHERE), Kilmalkader church, and the Gallarus oratory. It was a lot of getting off the bus to look at something briefly and then getting back on the bus (felt like the scene from Family Vacation when they arrive at the Grand Canyon).
We then went to a different hotel (Abbey Hotel), and were again treated with some delicious food. (I of course, went straight for the soup and sandwich combo). Then, we went to see Muckross House (a Victorian style mansion in the middle of Killarney National Park). The gardens were my absolute favorite, as well as we went on a jaunting cart ride through the national park! It was an unexpected treat from Dan and Kate, and we got to see much more of the park than we would have on our own.
We made a dinner stop (again, soup and a sandwich) and made our way back to Tully Cross. While some of us wished we could have stayed in the places longer, we were so grateful at the chance to see a different part of Ireland. Southern Ireland is stunning, I would highly recommend it for anybody visiting.
Everyone has left for the start of their spring break trips! People are going all over – Amsterdam, Italy, France…..but I am staying in Ireland with my family! To start off the day, we went to a pub called The Brazen Head, which is one of the oldest pubs in Ireland and was established in 1129. (seriously, 1129). I convinced my family to all order full Irish breakfasts (you’re welcome) and we didn’t tell Jared what black pudding was until after he ate it (in case you were wondering, it’s oats mixed with the drained blood of a cow.). There was a lovely peat fire beside us and we had several pots of tea as well. We were anxious to get on the road because we had a long drive to County Clare, but we were meeting up with Aunt Martha and her friend Linda before we headed out. Two hours later than expected, Martha and Linda finally arrive at the pub. We were seriously considering leaving a sticky note at the bar saying we had left (because how else would we contact her?), but all was fine now! We all separated in rental cars (Jared and I with Martha and Linda) and made our way to County Clare, where we would be staying in a house on a golf course resort! The house we stayed in was really spacious and nice. There was wifi (what! Wifi in the house??), a washer AND a dryer AND a dishwasher. After Tully Cross, this was luxury. My sweaters could finally be a normal size again after having to line dry them for the past two months.
The whole week was filled with various day trips – we went to Cliffs of Moher (it was windy, but thank goodness it was sunny!), St. John’s castle, Bunratty castle, and Rock of Cashel. We also befriended the owner of the pub on the golf course, who invited us frequently to his other pub in Scariff. The craic was mighty there, and we even got to sit in on a live music session! It was absolutely wonderful getting to be with my family for a whole week.
One of the most memorable experiences of my trip was being able to share with my family the wonderful town of Tully Cross. It has been difficult trying to explain how incredible this place is, so for my family to be able to see it in person was very special to me. We toured the cottages, went to each pub and met Patrick Sammon and Colin Coyne, went to mass, at a full Irish breakfast at Sammons, took a picture in front of the famous Tully Cross sign, and went to my favorite place in the world: Glassilaun beach. We went to Kylemore Abbey as well and I ran out of room on my phone because I was taking so many pictures. I was so lucky to have my whole family experience my home away from home. And I think they fell in love with it too.