What an amazing birthday today! First my loving husband gave me a pretty St. Bridget ' s cross necklace and a funny card. Then on the bus after breakfast my new tour friends gave me the perfect card and sang to me. I am the third birthday girl of this trip.
We drove around the majestic and magical Ring of Kerry. The weather could not have been more perfect. It was sunny and warm. In fact Ann Marie, our tour director, kept exclaiming into this evening that we're going to go home with the completely wrong impression of the weather here. She said, "You must be looked on quite fairly to be getting a beautiful day like this!" I feel it's true in my heart.
We made an hour's stop at a charming little Inn overlooking the ocean. There were stone ruins of abandoned dwellings from the famine years along with stone walls, greenery and those adorable painted sheep.
We shopped a little then got an Irish coffee and some delicious homemade bread pudding with custard sauce...warm. It was just delightful. I was in such a happy mood.
I went outside afterwards, slid off my flip flops and walked around barefoot on the Irish earth. I closed my eyes and said a fervent prayer of thanks before searching for my rock souvenir. I found two little ones: one was white and looked (to me) like a leprechaun's profile, and the other was a greenish slate star.
A little bird serenaded me on top if a sign to boot. He was so tiny and cute!
On we went around the Ring, stopping here and there to take pictures. We saw several 4,000 year old stone ring dwellings that were once covered in thatch. People lived here as far back as 9,000 years! Ann Marie said wherever a newer home was the stone remnant of the house that used to be there was close by. It's true! As we have been told, people had to leave here because they couldn't eat the scenery. My heart still felt sad to see in person what they had to abandon.
After our drive, we checked into the Clarion Hotel in Limerick with time enough to change for our medieval evening at Bunratty Castle. What a fun time that was!
Before going to the castle, we walked around and visited a Victorian street village. In one house the peat bricks were piled in a basket and the smell still filled the room.
The musicians and singers who were also our wait staff were fabulous. And the food was just delicious. We were given a knife to eat with and that's all. My birthday was acknowledged as well as a couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. It was truly a special evening and I thanked everyone on the bus for making my day.
Thanks also to everyone who sent me birthday wishes. They were truly apreciated. Love, Kathy