I've literally waited days...weeks.... trying to figure out how I would write about Ireland. I would begin to type away and then delete it all. I just feel like everything I start to write, it just can't even begin to describe all that Ireland held. It's vast beauty, it's deep history, it's unbreakable roots of family and pride in their homeland. It left me constantly speechless and in awe of every little detail it held. So as I begin to blog, I have to keep in mind, that I can't possibly write about every single thing that I experienced. My friends, it would take days to write and days for you to read. With this being said, I will write what I can and pray that you can get just a taste and then go book your flight for your future visit. If this has been on your bucket list, I BEG OF YOU, don't wait! Do it! Do it NOW!
Our first place of what we would call "home sweet home" for the first few days was The Slieve Donard located at the foot of the Mountains of Mourne in Northern Ireland. The locals kept saying that we must have brought the weather with us because we experienced nothing but blue skies, light breezes, and the locals running to the beach to get the rare sunshine that's usually not offered from their weather. We enjoyed breakfast every morning while watching the ocean waves roll in and out and the sea gulls fight over the little crabs running on the beach shore. Nothing but green mountains and lush land surrounded our views. We enjoyed walking down the local streets where we joined locals at their favorite Gelato parlors and sipped true Guinness at pubs (Hands down THE. BEST. BEER. I have EVER had, and I really do not enjoy beer. So this says something.) and of course, ate real Irish cod fish and chips (HOLY CRUD! DELICIOUS! I will never eat Fish and Chips in CA ever again.). We had joined a few tours to which one went to Belfast where we were able to see the exact spot the Titanic was built and how it was structured. We were told to go to visit and have a drink in Belfasts' oldest pub, Whites Tavern. Whites Tavern has been open since 1630! Ryan got himself a Guinness while I decided to sip on Jameson Whiskey. It only felt appropriate to do so, yea know?! We were able to visit and tour the Queens official residence in Northern Ireland and walk around and enjoy her beautiful gardens and have afternoon tea in her home while devouring the yummy pastries, scones, and tea sandwiches. On our last night within Northern Ireland, we were invited to a legit old castle where we would have a Game Of Thrones themed dinner. Come to find out (I've never watched GOT..I'm sorry...I know...I suck) this is an actual castle where they have shot episodes for the show! I got to put my butt in the actual throne used in the show! The set up was so cool! Our tables were inside a large tent, and as we walked in, long tables were decorated with bowls of fruit and loaves of bread with real Irish butter. Jugs of wine and beer flowed as Irish music played in the background with laughter adding to the atmosphere. We were required to eat with our hands and served what they would have eaten in those days (Utensils were provided for the wimps. I'm no wimp people! LOL!). The smell of camp fire and food filled my nose as we sat and soaked it all in. I just kept filling like I needed to be pinched. So much to take in within just the first few days we were there. It just didn't feel real....
The next place we were going to call "home sweet home" was the GORGEOUS Powerscourt located in Wicklow Southern Ireland (make sure you read the history about Northern and Southern Ireland before you go! VERY Important to know!). Nothing but green and rolling hills surrounded every square inch of scenery. Nothing but lush land, endless hills, and green. It just wasn't this flat green either. I mean, I'm talking every hue of green you can even begin to imagine! Water falls, streams, lakes.... I'm telling you... my words can not even describe. Images just flash in my brain and I just get emotional thinking about what I took in. We went into the city of Dublin where we found the most coolest pubs! The first was what reminded me of a "speak easy". It had a facade of a library and you almost had to second guess yourself when first walking in. This darling pub was called Number Twenty Two and served the most delicious and creative cocktails! We enjoyed another Guinness at The Duke where this "watering hole" has been serving locals since 1822! A place to definitely enjoy a drink while absorbing the history. We had the pleasure of being invited on a small private tour to escape city life and "go behind the scenes" so to speak. While being blessed to pull off the side roads, walk the mountain trails, and winding roads. We viewed where the Guinness family estate was, stood right next to a water fall, walked old castle grounds, viewed old cemeteries, and drove through the bogs (did you know they found a 400 year old fully preserved body in the bogs?!). One cemetery, their is a large stone cross. Locals say that if you place your back and your loved ones back against it and hold hands and close your eyes, then you will be together forever, even after death. Of course Ryan and I did it. That dude will be with me forever whether he likes it or not. (You'll see that in every picture Ryan has to do a pose -insert eye roll here-). The locals are the most generous, kind, beautiful people I have ever met. So quick to help when they saw you were possibly lost. So quick to give their favorite eats and pubs and share history. Don't be afraid to ask a local. They may even invite you over for a home cooked meal. Lol!
Needless to say, it was hard to leave with feeling like their was so much more to see and experience. So much so, Ryan and I plan on trying our very best to take a trip once a year. Their really just wasn't enough time. Although we were excited to get back to our babies we just couldn't get our fill of Ireland. I can't wait to go back. My heart actually yearns for it. Maybe that's why I was so hesitant to blog about it? Knowing that I would have to have flash backs of the most beautiful place I've ever been and knowing I'll have to wait to return back to it? I get teary thinking of this experience. It's happy tears though. I just still can't believe I was there.
As you view my memories captured, I just kept telling Ryan that I feel like they are all missing something, and I really pray you don't feel the same way. It really bugs me. Like really! Then Ryan can say the most profound things, "It's missing the feeling you got when we were standing there, because although your images are beautiful, it's a feeling you get when your physically standing there in the moment.". Yep. Yep that's it. I pray that you find the pictures beautiful, but I pray more that you get to go and breathe it all in yourself one day. That's my prayer for you. That you get to see the wonder God created there.
I'm sure that this blog seems almost "rushed". I'm more then sure I left something out here and there. It's bound to happen. Their is just so much to talk about that I could be here for days. So now, I'll have to close out, and just allow you to look and view. This type of photography really took me out of my shell. I'm used to shooting people. So to shoot tons of detail and scenery in all hours of the day, really had me trying to reach for something different each time. Especially within editing the images. I didn't want to edit towards "my style" because it didn't feel right to alter what I was actually seeing in front of me. I wanted you all to see the different colors, the sky and how it changed dramatically, the city life, and details within the stone work. Just real. Just as I saw.
I pray you enjoy. Thank you for allowing me to express and share something so meaningful that occurred in my life.