Our countdown to St. Patrick’s Day 2012 continues today with additional excerpts from Being Amanda In Europe. Highlights of days three and four of Amanda’s Ireland trip include exploring the beautiful Killarney National Park and biking the Gap of Dunloe.
Day 3 of Amanda’s Ireland Trip; August 22, 2007
I am sorry the house is so quiet now! William will probably not like all that attention, but I am chuckling to think that would upset him! Yesterday was pretty relaxed. Our bus trip from Dublin to Killarney was six hours! It was pretty
tiring and boring ’cause I forgot my Ipod! It ended up being a great conversation time with everyone. The directions to our hostel stunk, but we eventually found
it. We then went to a grocery store, bought dinner, walked in this amazing park, and had a picnic. We then walked through the park to a castle. Yeah, that’s right, I said castle in a park! It was amazing. It was right on a lake and we were fortunate enough to be there at sunset. It was just so beautiful! I took a bunch of pictures that I can’t wait to show you! Then, we came back out of the park and decided to
try and find a local bar with traditional Irish music. We got the first bar wrong.It was like 90s music; good, but not Irish. Then we found the traditional bar. It was sweet; it was really laid-back and we just chilled out. It was exactly what I had imagined.
I had a Bulmer’s Cider—it was way good. Then I tried a Jameson whiskey on the
rocks—really good (both are made in Ireland)! Today might be the day I have
been looking forward to the most! We are off to church. We then plan on making
breakfast in our hostel and going on our own biking trip around the park. We
might go fishing and boating! I cannot wait. I wish you could see it here; it truly
is out of a story book. I will keep taking lots of photos!
Thanks for the Irish blessings; I love them!
Dad’s reply to Amanda:
With the three of you kids gone during the day, the cats have seemed to come out of hiding. Little Stella is hanging out a lot in my office now. She stops by two to three times a day and gives me this sweet little “Meow.” I think it means, “Hey, fat man, pick me up!” So I do. She snuggles and purrs for a couple of minutes then she is on her way. It reminds me a lot of when you were young (two to three years old). You’d get in trouble for this or that, and when I (finally) got done explaining why you shouldn’t do that, you would stomp your feet and yell, “Hold me!” I think you meant, “Hold me, damn it,” but you didn’t actually say “damn it” until a few years later.
IRISH BLESSING OF THE DAY:
A Wish for a Friend
Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!
Day 4 of Amanda’s Ireland Trip; August 23, 2007
Oh jeez, Dad! I am pretty sure I was not thinking “Damn it.” I probably just
thought I deserved it and that I’m your only girl! Today was amazing, Mom and Dad. I don’t think I will be coming back to the States. I am just going to move to Ireland in December and live in Killarney!
We went to Mass today at a Franciscan Friary. After the service, the priest came up
and offered to give us a tour of the Friary and the gardens! It was great, and such a
blessing! Then, the boys made us breakfast. Later, we went and rented our bikes.
Dad, oh my gosh, the Killarney National Park is amazing! I can’t even put into
words how beautiful it is. We went to Muckross House. It was huge, and the
gardens there were fantastic. I think Ireland only produces magnificent gardens! Then,
we went to Torc Waterfall and climbed the waterfall. I totally fell in, big time. I mean I was
purposefully getting my shoes wet, but I then accidentally fell in up to my chest. It was typical me!
We then biked down the highway, or what I like to call the “Death Highway.” It was this two-lane major highway that seemed like it was only built for one car and there was no room
for another car (let alone several bikes). We were so crammed on the side! I didn’t want to do it, but everyone else insisted. The reason we went on it was because we were on our way to bike the Gap of Dunloe—which was probably the toughest bike ride I have ever done! We biked up these huge mountains all the way up to the top of the gap. Dad, it was horrible—even you would have walked your bike (Editor’s note: This is where Amanda is just plain wrong. Before my back surgeries and having to terminate my beloved bike riding, I would have made it up the mountain). It was so tiring…but the scenery was beautiful! Then, biking down was great! I felt so victorious! The view was even more spectacular on the way down!
The whole time, I kept wishing you all were here! I feel so unworthy of being here
without you guys. I really wish you could see everything, I did take videos—I
hope that helps. In the end, we biked over 30 miles uphill. Go look at a map of Killarney National Park and you can see our route. Start with Killarney and then trace to Muckross
and then over to the Gap. Yeah, we biked all of that!
Ok, I gotta go. We are off to Galway tommorow!
Dad’s reply to Amanda:
Don’t feel guilty being there without your (mostly) Irish Pop and before I get to see the homeland of our relatives. Your notes are so fun to read. We can live vicariously through you. Mom and I will get there someday and you are giving us some great tips to think about. I may be the trained journalist and have worked in the tourism industry for nearly 20 years, but I’m not sure I’m the best travel writer in the family. Despite your technology-age grammar and spelling, you really have a nice ability to bring a place to life. I’ll bet your brother, the English major, would be awesome at it as well. Keep it up—we are really enjoying your colorful descriptions. We can’t wait to hear about Galway.
IRISH BLESSING OF THE DAY:
May the Irish hills caress you.
May Her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.
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