Our Mother Daughter Trip to Ireland

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Hey guys! Happy Wednesday. I finally got around to editing and organizing all of the images from our Ireland trip we took a couple of weeks ago (so. much. footage), and I’m super excited to share some of them with all of you :)  Before I dive into our trip and all that we did, be sure to check out the gallery of my professional images right here.  Ireland is breathtaking, and I did my best to capture it both with my camera body and the Drone – and I’ll be adding some of these prints to my print shop soon (fresh content is needed!)  so stay tuned if you have any interest. Hope you love!


DUBLIN

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First things first – we flew Are Lingus which was a really lovely experience. We got the bulk head seats (as we always try to do when we fly international for that extra leg room) and fell asleep almost immediately upon taking off to try and get at least 5 hours (we got 6!) By the time we woke up, we were told we only had 25 minutes to go until we landed. LOVE when that happens. We rented a car and made sure to choose one that we could pick up right there in the terminal.  It was a smaller car, and thank goodness for that because those Irish roads are TIGHT! (and lined with stone fences)  We had a hard time navigating Dublin (lots of roundabouts and one ways that aren’t actually one ways to the locals, ha) but we made it and b-lined for the bar for a Guinness and a cup of coffee. So necessary.

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Once we woke up a bit (we decided against a nap and tried to rally through the day until bed time – and that we did ;) we walked around Dublin to get a feel for the city. Super friendly and vivacious, and very easy to navigate.  We saw most of the popular landmarks, so many flower markets, and ended up back where we were staying which was in Templebar. We LOVED the vibe, so we ended up going to Busker’s for live music and the most amazing artisan board, and stayed so long that I ended up being called up to Irish Dance with some of the dancers. SO FUNNY yet SO embarrassing so I’ll refrain some showing you the video ;)  We only stayed in Dublin for this one day/night, and ended the evening at The Oliver St John and it was amazing. Tons of locals and fantastic music. The extra bonus was that it was right across the street from our hotel room.

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GALWAY

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The next morning, we grabbed some breakfast down at our hotel and headed out towards The Cliffs of Moher – our end goal being Galway.  While driving through some of the countryside, we saw so many amazing places to pull over and take photos (like this awesome castle up above). I was in heaven as you can imagine as a photographer – and could never be fully satisfied since it wasn’t logical to veer off the road with speed limits being so insanely fast.  (again you can check out more of my images from the countryside by visiting my photo blog here)

We arrived to The Cliffs of Moher at the perfect time. It was SO windy, but it left me near tears with how beautiful it was. I can’t recommend this spot enough if you’re visiting Ireland.  It’s a tourist trap for sure, but it’s so huge there’s room for everyone, and you’re way too distracted by how beatuiful the landscape is you won’t even care.

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From there, we continued driving until we reached Galway.  We stayed at the Galway Bay Hotel and it was out of this world.  It’s more traditional and a little “old” if you will, but the views can’t be beat both in the hotel rooms (facing the bay only of course) and off the hotels main patio where you can order food and drinks.  The landscape isn’t what I was expecting (less rolling hills and sheep, more rocks, water and city) but the energy in the City Centre was so much fun.

^ our hotel – taken with the Drone ^

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My friend Erin had recommended the restaurant called Aniar (which means West) and it was so delicious. It was a tasting menu which I had never done before, and I really loved the experience. We even got to meet the chef who recommended another restaurant that we later went to in Dingle Bay for my mom’s birthday and Mother’s Day :)

The next day we decided to walk most of Galway by foot (which ended up being a whopping 5 or 6 miles, yikes!) We went into City Centre, had some pints, I grabbed some photos of locals and we got massages at a nearby hotel.  It was exactly what we needed. After that, we stopped by the hotel bar for a cocktail and a cheese plate, and cabbed it back to our hotel to grab some dinner at the pub that’s attached.  We were so tired from our long walk that we took it fairly easy thisevening and brought some drinks up to our room and played some cards.  We had a long drive ahead of us the next day, so rest was necessary ;)
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FERRY ALONG THE RIVER SHANNON (GALWAY TO DINGLE BAY)

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetThis was such an awesome experience for a couple of reasons. 1) I’ve never been on a car ferry and 2) my oldest sister was named after the River Shannon by my dad, so we promised her we would make a visit.  I was worried I would be super anxious about being in a car on a boat (I don’t like tight spaces and when you’re all parked on a ferry.. well.. it’s tight ;)  But we were able to get out and walk around to take in the fresh air and awesome views. It was also only about 20 minutes. Short and sweet.
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We arrived in Tarbert and drove through the countryside seeing SO MANY SHEEP AND COWS I cannot even tell you.  I put the drone up a couple of times because the rolling hills and the colors of green were just unbelievable my heart almost exploded.  It was a long drive (though we cut it a little short by taking the ferry) but still coming in at about 3 or so hours of drive time until we hit Dingle Bay.

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Now, Dingle Bay is ADORABLE and if you have the time to go to further down the coast, I HIGHLY encourage it. We even said we could have made a trip solely visiting Dingle Bay.  The locals were AMAZING, the town is so cute and charming but still has a lot to do, the sea salt ice cream is to die for and the marina is gorgeous. So many old boats and colorful homes lining the water.   We stayed at The Dingle Bay Hotel, which I would highly recommend for the customer service, the breakfast and the location. The rooms are tiny and really nothing to write home about, but we could walk out our door and be right in the action which is so important when traveling.

When we got in, we were obviously exhausted from our drive, so we went into a bar called Marina Inn and had a delicious burger (felt kinda bad after driving by so many cows….) and a couple of drinks to take the edge off of driving on the opposite side of the road, haha.  We met a really nice local who shared some good pubs for us to visit, so we walked around a little, bought some snacks to have in our room, had a drink at a place called Dick Mack’s (which would become our favorite bar) and Foxy John’s Hardware which is an old hardware store turned into a bar. We cozied up and the bartender let us in on an amazing location to scout for the next morning – Slea Head Peninsula.   We decided to grab an easy dinner and head back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep so that we could wake up early and drive down to Sea Head. This would also be Mother’s Day and my mom’s birthday, so we both wanted to feel good and rested.

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As you can see, Slea Head was STUNNING.  I can’t even wrap my brain around what we saw that day, and I’m so sad that it was too windy to put the drone up.  My mom loves the water (I talk about the sentiment behind that a bit here), so we wanted to start the celebration off right, and that we did. We even saw a mama horse and her baby roaming!  It was magical.  We spent the rest of the day wandering around and doing some shopping, eating some sea salt ice cream, having a pint (Baby Guinness for me!) and went home to get ready for our reservation at Global Village. (this was the restaurant the previous chef had recommended)  Everything from the staff to the food was INSANE. Since it was a double celebration of my mama’s birth and just being all around the most amazing mother, we dined hard with some lobster and a bottle of wine.  I was so full I felt like I needed to be rolled out of there, but the experience was wonderful.

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After dinner, we stopped by a pub down the road (I feel so bad that I can’t remember the name, but it’s literally all in Irish and I didn’t take a photo. But it’s purple! You can’t miss it) We intended to just grab a pint or two and head somewhere else, but the live music there you guys?  I was covered in chills. Before we knew it, we looked down at our watches and it was 11pm.  They had played for us the entire evening (they even sang Happy Birthday to my mom!), and it was the most amazing Irish music. I think I have about 100 videos from this duo alone haha, but heres one so you can get a quick feel! 

After that, we headed home to put ourselves to bed and prepare for a long, long drive back to Dublin for the rest of the day/night before leaving for the airport around noon.  Since we had covered a lot of Dublin our first day there, we opted for an easy dinner at our hotel (we stayed at the same one as the front end of our trip) and a good night’s sleep with some cards before bed.  The next morning, we ordered some room service, packed our bags and headed home!   It was such a special trip – the 4th country I’ve been to with my mom in the last two years, and I’m so grateful for our ability to travel so well together and make some amazing memories.  If you have any specific questions about our trip, feel free to leave comments below and I’ll respond! x

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1 Comment

  1. Shelly Elieson
    August 18, 2017 / 9:22 AM

    I adored your photos & comments! I have a serious case of wanderlust & keep considering a trip to Ireland. I would take my 10 yr old daughter who, like you, LOVES photography. Did you & your mom plan your itinerary yourselves or use a vacation package as a template? Is there anything in hindsight you would have done differently? Thanks for sharing your insight & beautiful images. This Texan mama thanks you!
    Best,
    Shelly

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