We started our last day in Ireland packing up and saying farewell to the Loch Lein House (the bed and breakfast we stayed at in Killarney). We started each day there with a yummy breakfast.
This is the traditional full Irish breakfast I ordered one morning: an egg, sausage, bacon (though their bacon is almost more like ham), tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, toast, and pudding (black and white).
There was porridge for Davis, though we couldn't get him to eat much! See the pitchers on the table to the right? I loved them, and asked about them, and it turned out they were made by a famous Irish potter named Nicholas Mosse. I ended up finding some of his stuff for sale while shopping later in the day and was able to buy a cute little bowl to bring home!
View from the breakfast room towards the lake.
Standing at the entrance to the house, with Loch Lein (one of the lakes of Killarney) in the background. At night, you could see an old castle across the lake when the sun hit it just right.
We loved our stay at the Loch Lein. Paul and Annette were so friendly and helpful, and our room was awesome. After saying our goodbyes, we packed up and headed out.
Our first stop was at the Rock of Cashel. This is the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century and was the traditional seat of the kings of Munster for several hundred years before the Norman invasion. In 1101, the King of Munster donated his fortress to the church.
The building was so beautiful and striking up on the hill surrounded by the green countryside.
The majority of the buildings on the site date from the 12th and 13th centuries. The oldest building is the round tower, dating from around c. 1100.
Inside the cathedral.
View from within the walls and looking down onto the remains of the abbey.
View of the abbey through an arrow slit in the fortress wall.
Checking out the graveyard.
View on our way out of town.
After touring the Rock, we headed to the city of Kilkenny to grab lunch and do a little shopping before heading back to Dublin. We ate lunch at the highly recommended Cafe Mocha (now called Mocha's Vintage Tea Rooms). It was really good and was a fun atmosphere. They even had a gluten free brownie for Sean!
Kilkenny's streets were some of my very favorite.
Loved all of the cute little shops.
When I saw these plates in the window, I knew I had to have them (specifically, the one second to the left that says, 'Other planets cannot be as beautiful as ours'). I was hoping to find something on our trip to put in our home and this was it! I love it. And seeing as this was a trip to celebrate our 10-year-anniversay, I thought it fit perfectly.
I also found this in the same store (honestly, I could have bought everything in there). I bought it as a reminder of my new love of Ireland and celebrating our anniversary there.
My Nicholas Mosse bowl!
We finished the day walking around Kilkenny castle and taking a short tour inside.
This castle was built in 1195 and had people living in it all the way until 1935, which seems crazy to me!
King of the castle :)
After the castle, we headed back to Dublin and spent the night near the airport so we could catch our flight in the morning. Our flights home went smoothly and Davis was a champ. The flight attendants and people sitting nearby couldn't believe how well behaved Davis was. What a relief!
It was good to get home after a long day of travel and so good to see Jackson and Bode. I feel like we had the trip of a lifetime and I am SO glad we went. Ireland lived up to and exceeded my expectations. It is a beautiful place, full of beautiful people, and rich in history and culture. We left with some amazing memories. I hope someday we will get the chance to return.
A HUGE thanks to my mom for taking a week out of her life to come to our house and take care of the boys. And another huge thanks to my sister for helping also. Without them, our trip would not have been possible!