We started our day off with a full Irish breakfast at Adare Manor and then we were on our way to the Dingle Peninsula. It was a fairly long car ride, but the countryside views were amazing. We had to stop along the way for some great photo ops.
Upon our arrival in Dingle we were on the hunt for the best fish and chips and the best seafood chowder in town. Winnie’s friends were recently in Ireland and they assured us that Reel Dingle Fish was the best fish and chips in town and the Half Door Restaurant had the best seafood chowder in town. Rob, Tom and Winnie all enjoyed their fish and chips, but I took a pass on this meal because I was looking forward to the seafood chowder. The owner of Reel Dingle Fish gave us a wonderful tip about a walking trail along the peninsula with some breathtaking views. We thanked him for the tip and then we headed to the Half Door Restaurant so I could try the best chowder in town. Delish!
Rob, Winnie & I set off on our hike while Tom hung back to do some shopping in town. At the very beginning of the trail we spotted a seal toying with a fish. A bystander assured me it was an otter, but I knew it was a seal. Anyway, the trail was beautiful and we were all just soaking in the scenery. The hike was taking a bit more time than we anticipated so we decided to turn around before reaching the spot suggested by the local. We had agreed to meet Tom at a specific time back at the car so we didn’t want to keep him waiting if we pushed on through the rest of the way.
The whole group was complete once again and we popped into a pub for some Irish coffees and Bailey’s coffees. Winnie had never had a Bailey’s coffee before, but as you can see she is quite happy with it!
Our fearless navigator (McRobert) found a way to drive us to the place we had to end our hike earlier that afternoon, so we were able to park there and then finish the last ¼ of the trail. This was a super idea because Tom got to do his shopping earlier in the day and still take part in the last leg of the hike which had the best views anyway. The landscapes and scenery were just amazing. I definitely took more pictures in Dingle than anywhere else during the trip. Here are just a few of them.
After the hike (and photo sessions) were complete we hopped in the car and headed back to Adare, stopping somewhere along the way for a light dinner. It was shocking when I realized what time it was when we got home. We arrived at the villa at about 10:30 p.m. and the sun had just gone down about 30 minutes prior. Apparently, the days are extremely long in Ireland in July.
Our journey to Ireland began with a red-eye flight from Dulles to Dublin and I have to admit I was more than excited about our nonstop flight! To ensure that I would be able to sleep on the plane (and hopefully minimize jet lag) I prescribed the following: 1 rum & coke followed by 2 Benadryl. Worked like a charm! I was pretty much out for the entire flight and didn’t wake up until they began serving our morning snack. I definitely slept more than my travel companions (more on this later).
Upon our arrival, we were all more than delighted about the weather conditions in Ireland. It was a cool 65 degrees and it felt absolutely amazing to be out of the heat wave back home (up to 110 degrees!). We picked up our rental car from Dan Dooley. After some lengthy modifications to vehicle size and insurance coverage, we were on the road! Prior to our trip, all of our friends and colleagues tried to convince us to upgrade to an automatic transmission. They assured us that paying extra for the automatic was essential to navigating successfully around the island. Not only do you have to deal with driving on the left (a.k.a. “wrong”) side of the road, but you also have to drive with the steering wheel on the right side of the car, which means you have to change gears with your left hand. We ignored all of their warnings and went rogue with a manual transmission! Rob proved to be a masterful driver and we were happy to save some cash on our rental that could later be applied to Guinness.
The drive from Dublin to Adare is about 2 ½ hours, so we stopped along the way for lunch. We stopped in a cute little town called Kildare and everyone took the opportunity to withdraw some euros from the ATM and then we had a really nice lunch at Harte’s Pub. After a short delay trying to figure out how to put the car in reverse, we were on our way again!
We arrived in Adare in good time and then we checked-in to Villa 35. Our accommodations were superb and everyone seemed quite pleased with the arrangement. The best part was that each of the 3 bedrooms had its own adjoining bathroom.
The villa had a full kitchen so we decided to go to the grocery store in town to pick up a few essentials (a.k.a. booze) and some food to cook for dinner since we were all way too exhausted to go out. After the shopping was complete, Rob, Winnie & Tom couldn’t fight the good fight any longer (they did not adhere to my prescription above) and all took naps. I was forcing myself to stay awake so that I would be able to sleep through the night and hopefully feel refreshed in the morning. Luckily, our villa had wi-fi so I was able to occupy myself on Netflix in order to stay awake while everyone else was sleeping.
We had a relaxing, low key evening and everyone was ready to get some rest and start touring around the country the following day.