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Our trip to Graigue / Dunquin
on the tip of the Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
April 11-20, 2008

The spectacular view from our cottage:



This travelogue is long and some people are not able to view the whole thing so I have broken it up into 8 pages. I left the original page intact because that is the way I prefer to view it, but here are links to the shorter pages for those who need them (they are repeated at the end of each page as well).

Page 0: Preparing for the trip.
Page 1: Graigue Cottage.
Page 2: Connor Pass / An Droichead Beag.
Page 3: Sybil Head.
Page 4: The Blasket Islands / An Droichead Beag.
Page 5: Cork.
Page 6: Inch Beach / The South Pole Inn.
Page 7: Shopping / Brandon Mt. / John Benny Moriarty’s.
Page 8: Return Home.
Original, all-on-one-page version.

Press here to return to personal picture menu.

My incredibly smart,
incredibly talented,
incredibly sweet
and incredibly sexy husband, KC,
turned 50 in March.
This was his birthday trip.


This was our second trip to Dingle in two years
and not much has changed since our first trip
so I will focus on those things which were different.
Press here for 2007 travelogue


This year we were with friends:
KC’s college buddy, Rick, and his wife, Colleen, who live in Florida.
(The pictures with the red timestamp in the lower right corner are Rick’s)

Rick and Colleen (composite of two pix taken in car):


Disclaimer

I apologize for the length of this log and for the minutia that most people will find irrelevant; but, because we use these logs to plan our future trips, I wanted to record everything that might come in handy later. Believe it or not, this is a shorter version of my original page!

We came home with 585 pictures of which 196 made it into the travelogue (the 2007 log has only 122). I will add more of Rick and Colleen’s pictures as soon as we’re able to get them off KC’s laptop. Once the page has been finalized I will break it into smaller chunks for those people who cannot see the whole thing.

I’m SURE there are grammatical and spelling errors all over the place! I will correct them as I find them. If YOU find any, please let me know!

I have received many notes from strangers who have read our logs and used them to plan their own trips. If you are one of these people, please know that we really love hearing from you and are gratified that you enjoy these as much as we do. Thank you! Please keep your comments and suggestions coming!

Background


We had been talking about taking a trip for KC’s 50th for some time but when my mother lost her ability to drive this February, and I assumed responsibility for her safety (my sister works full time and has two active children whose care falls primarily on her shoulders), it looked like we would have to postpone any travel plans as there was a good possibility that Mom would move in with us. After months of research, planning, and trial-and-error I found a solution that would allow Mom to stay in her condo, which was her preference, but not be stuck there alone all day long. She relinquished control of all her finances, so it would be very difficult for someone to take advantage of her diminished mental facilities, and I felt like I could leave her alone for short periods.

I told KC that it was now possible for us to travel. However, Mom’s condition is going to deteriorate and if/when she moves in with us our freedom will be severely restricted. We have no idea how long we will be able to maintain the status quo; so, if we wanted to take a vacation, we needed to do it sooner rather than later. I looked at him expectantly, waiting for his reaction, and was ecstatic when he said, “Let’s go back to Dingle!” He wanted to climb Brandon Mountain!

Dingle in relation to Dublin:



Close-up of Dingle Peninsula:




We decided to go in mid-April again, our favorite time of year in Ireland, so we needed to move quickly. The cottage we’d stayed in last year WAS available but, out of curiosity, I did some additional searching to see what else there was, hoping to find something a little closer to Dingle, and stumbled on what appeared to be a larger version of the place we had last year. It looked like the perfect place for a family vacation so I mentioned it to KC and he agreed that we should check it out. KC invited his college buddy, Rick, and Rick’s wife, Colleen, to come along. They were interested in joining us, and were able to travel at that time of year, so we choose the dates based on everyone’s work schedules and booked the cottage.

This year’s cottage with respect to last year’s:




There were no awards flights available for the dates we wanted to travel so we bought coach class tickets and used KC’s VIP upgrades to bump up to business class. It was cheaper to fly into Dublin than Shannon -- $300 apiece cheaper – so we rented a car and drove in from there. Because our outbound flight left early in the morning we decided to stay one extra day (the cottage is rented from Saturday to Saturday) and spend Saturday night in Dublin to facilitate the drive to the airport Sunday morning.

We couldn’t agree on a hotel. We wanted to stay in the Temple Bar area again, to be close to the music scene, but not in The Clarence which has become prohibitively expensive, so I researched several hotels in the vicinity. Colleen suggested that we stay in the Hilton, Dublin Airport and cab it into the city for the evening. KC liked the idea that we could use points and stay for ‘free’ so he suggested that we drive to Dublin through Athlone, instead of the shorter route through Limerick, and visit Ireland’s oldest pub. I agreed, so we booked our last night in the Hilton.

We rented a larger car this time because we knew that four adults and their baggage would never fit in the little Rio we had last year. Even with a bigger car, we limited ourselves to one bag apiece to insure we’d have enough room. After much research, we chose a rental company, Irish Car Rentals , and a credit card that would give us free Collision Damage Reduction (CDR) insurance.

We both went to the dentist and I went to the doctor to make sure that nothing would plague us while we were away. I have eliminated most of my migraines by purging MSG and artificial flavorings from my diet but I knew I might not be able to control what I ate while travelling so I stocked up on my migraine meds and made sure I brought healthy snacks with me. I always carry all our medications in my carry-on luggage, including back plasters, in case KC throws his back out, which he has done on more than one trip.

I ordered a pair of telescoping walking sticks small enough to fit into our bigger suitcase because I knew KC wanted to climb Mount Brandon and I suspected I would need them. I also ordered laminated copies of the #70 and #71 Discovery Series Ordnance Survey Maps we had used last year, that were so good, and that I knew we’d need when we arrived. I gave them to KC to put in his carryon since mine was full!

FINALLY, Friday the 11 was here!


Page 0: Preparing for the trip.
Page 1: Graigue Cottage.
Page 2: Connor Pass / An Droichead Beag.
Page 3: Sybil Head.
Page 4: The Blasket Islands / An Droichead Beag.
Page 5: Cork.
Page 6: Inch Beach / The South Pole Inn.
Page 7: Shopping / Brandon Mt. / John Benny Moriarty’s.
Page 8: Return Home.
Original, all-on-one-page version.

Press here to return to personal picture menu.



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OOAKFolk, Inc., and artist Barbara Healy are not affiliated in any way with the original manufacturers of the dolls pictured in this site. No photograph, text or graphic on this site may be copied without written permission from Barbara Healy. Copyright © 2004 OOAKFolk, Inc.

Last Revised: October 19, 2009
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