WOW AM I BEHIND! It's halfway through July and I haven't posted anything about June. Here it goes:
On June 9th I flew to Maryland primarily to get some wedding things done. Planning a wedding long distance can be a nightmare-- thanks to my Mom it hasn't been too bad. I also have some of the most relaxed and wonderful bridesmaids, which makes things easier too. Anyways... I finally got to visit my wedding reception venue in person (we had booked it based on photos and my mom's opinion), and I was not disappointed. The staff prepared a special tasting for me and my mom. I was happily surprised with how delicious all the food was! It really got me excited :) My mom and I went over all the details of the ring ceremony and reception with our wonderful wedding planner-- it felt so good to feel organized. I was also very excited to spend time with my Dad and Liz. Unfortunately I didn't seem to take any pictures in Maryland this time around... that's probably because I was gearing up for our trip it Ireland as well!
On June 16th my Mom, Liz and I began our journey to Ireland! Many people have asked, why Ireland? Well, the first reason is that Liz is currently on a Study Abroad through BYU. Though her program is in London, her group began their trip in Ireland on the 22nd of June. When I went on my study abroad to Italy, mom and Liz came to visit me. My mom said that since Liz is on a study abroad, we get to visit her. We decided to go to Ireland with Liz the week before her program started. I especially wanted to go to Ireland instead of London because we are mostly Irish! After seeing Italy and Ireland I've seen where most of my heritage is from :)
We rented a car in Ireland. We drove a full sized Ford Focus. Well, Mom drove and I navigated, while Liz sat apprehensively in the back seat. Ireland had larger cars than Italy, but not as large as the U.S. of course. The roads were almost half the size of American roads! It was hard to adjust to the steering wheel on the right side, and driving on the left side. But we did it!
We rented the car because we planned a road trip. We wanted to travel through the southern half of the island. On the first day we drove to the cliffs of Moher, north of the Shannon airport. We LOVED it! The cliffs are about 700 feet up-- the tallest in Europe. One of the caves in the cliffs was used to film the cave in Harry Potter when Harry and Dumbledore go to look for the Horcrux, with all the dead people in the water. The grass was green, the ocean was beautiful.
We then made our way to the burren, where limestone has been eroded by water. There was beautiful gray stone everywhere. There were man-made stone fences built along the road to keep in the bountiful sheep and cows. Very picturesque, idealistic Ireland-- to me anyway.
We continued to Limerick to stay the night. I got some delicious Irish Stew for dinner:
The next day we drove the Ring of Kerry. It is famous for scenic views of Ireland, and we were not disappointed.
We then proceeded to make our way to Dublin. We saw trinity college:
Had the best fish'n'chips I've ever had in my life:
Visited St. Patrick's Cathedral:
And Dublin Castle:
We then left Dublin and traveled to the Hill of Tara. It was of mythical importance to Kings of Ireland since 3,000 B.C., and it's gorgeous.
We then drove through County Mayo and County Cavan -- where my mom's family is from. We then went to the Bunratty Castle near Shannon airport.
It was an awesome trip! I had a great time with my Mom and Liz exploring the Irish country side :)