Sunday, May 29, 2016

May 29

This is the view that greeted us this morning. Beauty!

Daniel wanted to be sure to document that there were, in fact, sheep grazing outside our breakfast room. 

After a delicious breakfast, we headed back toward Dublin via a slightly different route than originally mapped, but one that had us mostly on the 4-lane motorway to give John an easier ride. We still had to navigate about 20k of narrow country roads and a stretch where the Google directions were not as specific as they have been, making us wonder if we were on the right track. We were, but we were still happy to merge back on to the well-marked, wide, straight motorway!

Our destination was Powerscourt Waterfall, the tallest in Ireland, just south of Dublin in the Wicklow mountains. Interestingly, this was my original plan, but our B&B hostess was so enthusiastic about nearby Kilkenny that I offered the boys a choice: do you want a "town day" or a "nature day." Without hesitation they both replied, "Nature."

So we ended up here:

A spectacular sight and a simply perfect sunny, 65-degree Sunday afternoon. Lots of Irish agreed with our assessment of the best way to spend this beautiful day. So many people were there, but it never felt crowded or chaotic. 

The boys climbed around for hours. Daniel was the ring-leader for his more-cautious-by-nature older brother, and it was great for him to have the chance to take charge. 

When the Geraghtys traveled to Ireland in 1990, 5-year-old Bridget leaped a little too far and then could not make her way back, leading to me hopping the rocks to pick her up and carry her back under my arm. (I know there is photo evidence in the family archive. Perhaps it will be resurrected and scanned…)

 This "rest" lasted about 22 seconds.

Edward was mad Daniel was encroaching on the "cave" he discovered. This was also toward the end of our day, and at the end of a week of togetherness. They have gotten along very well, but will welcome some separation when we get home. (As will we all!)

One last selfie before we left. (Love those gap teeth!)

Back in Dublin we navigated to our hotel, which had been chosen based on its proximity to the airport and one key amenity: indoor pool. I figured an evening in the pool would be a great capper for our week, and I was right. Even after all afternoon at the waterfall, the boys swam for an hour and a half before we dragged them out for dinner. (It's possible Daniel was naked and demanding his swimsuit before the door had completely shut behind us upon entering the room!)

A few errant steps at the waterfall resulted in some wet shoes. We hung them to dry on the grate outside our open hotel window. 

At dinner we all shared our favorite parts of the trip:
Edward--Bunratty Castle
Daniel--Blarney Castle, waterfall, shopping (he was the king of the gift shop!)
John--Blarney, the day walking around Dublin (before the boys and I got here)
Mary--waterfall, Kilmainaim Gaol tour

And what we're looking forward to at home:
Edward--summer camps (especially Chemistry, the last two weeks of June)
Daniel--being out of school (I don't buy it though; he'll be pining for it in a week or two)
John--caffeine-free Diet Pepsi (an odd craving since he hardly ever drinks it anymore; must just be a yearning for the familiar.)
Mary--cooking/eating our own food

I also suggested John would be looking forward to driving on the right side of the road again, and he whole-heartedly agreed!

Final pack up tonight and out to the airport by 7a.m. tomorrow.