Ireland - Six Years of Blogging Later
What a difference six years makes! I missed my five year blog anniversary so here's to six years of food and travel. On May 25, 2008 I wrote my first post for eat.repeat, all about a Bloomington restaurant called Sushi Bar. Since that first entry I've published 122 blog posts, but only one about the trip that got me blogging in the first place. I guess it's about time.
This past September one of my closest friends, Christine, got hitched and I was super honored to participate in the Bridal party. I was lucky enough to take my very first trip abroad with Christine, a tour of southern Ireland way back in the spring of 2008. It's the trip that inspired me to start this blog and to pursue photography. And gave me the international travel bug! Back then I took all of my photos with my trusty Canon point and shoot before upgrading to my first DSLR the following summer. It's been fun looking back at these pictures and it's nice to see that my photography has improved quite a bit since then.
Our week long vacation was part of a package that included the flights, a rental car, and vouchers to stay at Bed & Breakfasts around Ireland. Christine's parents traveled with us, thank goodness, Phil was in charge of driving the terrifying cliff-hugging and narrow roads. We flew into the Shannon airport in the morning and started sightseeing straight away. First stop: lunch and the Cliffs of Moher.
We had some seriously amazing food all along the west coast of Ireland, starting with a pretty epic meal at The Biddy Early Brewery on the way to the Cliffs. It was a multi-course affair and the sheer volume of food delivered to the table was a bit of a shock. Salads, soups, and two types of mash before our entrees of fish & chips, goat cheese tarts, and fried shrimp. With full tummies we went on to the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland's most popular natural attractions. We lucked out with a beautifully sunny, if chilly, day. I'm just sad we missed the puffins!
I think my favorite stop on the trip was the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry. The scenery was gorgeous, from the windswept cliffs, colorful harbor, and busy little fishing village full of really great restaurants. We stayed at the lovely Lighthouse B&B, with nice views of the water and delicious breakfasts. This is the place I would re-visit first if I ever get the chance.
Just driving around the country side of Ireland was delightful. I'm sure it wasn't as much fun for Phil who was stuck paying close attention to the winding roads. We stayed in several more seaside villages, including Kinsale and Tramore. We made time to visit Blarney Castle, and kiss the stone, of course.
Our last stop was Dublin. We spent two whirlwind days in the nation's capital. There was a Temple Bar pub crawl, a visit to the Guinness Museum, and lots of walking around, seeing the sites. Dublin was great, but our time there was brief, rainy, and missing a bit of planning. I guess I'll just have to go back.