A glimpse of the good life: Ireland

Last week I returned from a magical 8 day respite in Ireland with my family. My mom grew up just outside Belfast, Northern Ireland, and as a kid I was lucky enough to travel back with my family frequently to visit her home. I spent a lot of time there when I was young, but the last time I set foot in Ireland was I was 10. And so, after a 16 year hiatus, I returned to the homeland, and it was glorious.

It’s easy to fall in love with Ireland. The people, the views, the beer, the sights–it’s no wonder it’s such a popular vacation spot. But my favorite part about this vacation wasn’t really any of that; it was the chance to spend time relaxing with my family. But of course we also enjoyed the views, the beer, the sights, the people as well… Here’s a quick snapshot of my trip:

Family: seeing my grandpa and his wife for the first time in more than 15 years. Also saw mom and sister (not as rare).

 Hiking in Ards Forest Park behind Ards Friary on my first full day. Gorgeous weather!

Breakfast. Ah, breakfast. Delicious Irish sausages and baked beans on toast. This was by far the most minimal Irish breakfast I had. Others included: The Full Irish Breakfast,  the “mom’s version of an Irish breakfast” (AKA  put some whiskey in your oatmeal and call it a day), kippers (gross. no.), coffee cake homemade my by aunt (AKA literally just a cake. eaten in the morning. ideal.), and your various assortments of breads and jams.

Never ending board games with the family. That afternoon’s feature: Mexican Train. Lovely way to spend the afternoon away from the chilly wind outside.

Doe Castle just outside Creeslough. Went there for the first time as a kid, and it’s still just like I remembered it.

 The sheep and I enjoying the beautiful view

Took a Sunday drive up Horn Head just before I left

And of course a trip to Ireland wouldn’t be complete without a couple of pints and a rugby match. We drank a lot of Guinness and cider this trip, and it was delicious!

Returning home was hard, but fall in Seattle is actually warmer than it is in Ireland, so it cushioned the blow a little bit. For now, it’s back to work as usual at the Aquarium. Til next time!

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