After Dingle, we drove up to stay a couple of nights in a little town called Oranmore, just outside of Galway. Although we enjoyed our time in Oranmore, if I had to do it again I would probably just stay in Galway so we would have been able to spend more time there. We spent a few hours on the first day wandering around Galway Old Town, which was adorable, and eating pretty much everything they had to offer. Most notably, we both shoved an entire pizza from Dough Bros Pizza into our faces, and it was one of our favorite meals of the entire trip. The next day we took our time driving through the Burren and then to the Cliffs of Moher, which is every bit as spectacular as anyone has ever said. I remembered/found out from some other American girls that the cliffs was where they filmed that great scene in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince where Dumbledore and Harry went to find a horcrux together. Obviously when I got back to our room I watched the scene in its entirety. I think that was one of my favorite things about Ireland. It doesn’t matter where you are or who you are talking to, everyone is so nice and welcoming. Even other tourists are more delightful.
On the third day, we were planning on going to the Aran Isles, which I’m sure would have been amazing. But we had just been seeing a whole bunch of cliffs so we thought a change of scenery might be nice. Instead we decided to go to Connemara. Oh man did I love Connemara. I felt like we were in this isolated magical place with mountains, lakes, bogs, and sheep (lots of sheep). The drive through the park is truly unbelievable. We visited Kylemore Abbey which is right in the middle of this mystical, beautiful place, and it pretty much blew my mind. Ask Corey, I was jumping around like a maniac the entire time I was there. The abbey has a romantic and tragic back story, where a man built the home for his wife in the late 1800’s after they fell in love with the area on their honeymoon. The wife tragically died 14 years later, and the home transferred ownership several times until it ended up as a school.
I started with the Connemara pictures and ended up with the Cliffs of Moher because I liked the order better that way :).
Hi friends! The past month has been a total dream but to be honest I am tired and ready for a big long nap. We spent two weeks in Ireland and Scotland, then I went to California for an amazing photography workshop, then came straight back to work, including second-shooting weddings the weekends before and after we got back. Man just typing that makes me tired. I also did a slight miscalculation with how well I would be able to handle the jet lag going from Ireland to California, basically thinking that I would be able to handle it. Apparently I could not because I was a total mess on both days of the workshop and almost threw up on everyone (which I have been known to do.) It was still an amazing experience that I would change, but probably I’m going to not schedule something back to back like that again.
Let’s talk about Ireland. Oh Ireland with it’s breathtaking seascapes and landscapes (pretty much everywhere looks like a postcard) and literally the nicest people you will ever meet. By the end of the trip, I seriously considered thinking about moving there. Two of my favorite places that we visited were Kilkenny and Dingle. We started the trip by flying into Dublin and the next day drove down to Kilkenny as an overnight stopping point. We didn’t have any big expectations for Kilkenny but ended up liking it so much that we scrapped our plans for the day and stayed there instead. Kilkenny was adorable and we spent the whole day wandering around and partaking in their delicious beverages with mine obviously being a hot chocolate milkshake and Corey’s being Smithwick’s from their brewery.
The next day we visited the Rock of Cashel on the way to the Dingle Pensinsula. If you have the time to see the Rock of Cashel I would say it is really worth it. It is an amazing piece of history and has an adorable little town with (you guessed it) delicious hot chocolate and sandwiches for us to have from Swell’s Bakeshop. Side note: I drank no less than 20 hot chocolates during the entire trip, sometimes as often as 2 a day. I could not be stopped. And next was Dingle. You guys, I cannot begin to explain to you how much I loved Dingle. It was the most breathtaking place I’ve ever seen with some of the most delightful people. I felt like I was living in a dream. Also, the food was amazing! If you go to Dingle, which you really must, promise me that you will stay at the Pax House and will say hello to Molly (the cat), Rio (the dog), and John (the owner) for me. John makes you feel like you are family from the moment you enter, and the views from the rooms and the patios are unbelievable. We didn’t even really want to leave to go sightsee. But we did (because it would be stupid if we didn’t). If you go to Dingle you must: eat honeycomb ice cream, drive the Slea Head Tour, eat dinner at An Canteen and/or Doyle’s (where we ate our anniversary dinner), spend plenty of time walking around the town and the shore, and definitely try to get a view of the lovable town dolphin Fungi.
I realize that doing a recap post of a previous trip while also telling you that this is my last post before my trip to Ireland and Scotland is completely obnoxious. I don’t blame you for getting as annoyed with me as I do with those people that “summer.” Who are those people really? But nevertheless, I received my film back from our trip to Chicago and I think I owe it to you and to me and to Chicago because that city is much prettier than it seems in movies. Also, Corey and I are flying to Ireland on Sunday! I am oscillating back and forth between freaking out that I need to pack and won’t have time on Saturday because I am shooting a wedding and shrieking little shrieks of sheer joy. I’m not sure if that is how you spell shriek. I will be gone for two weeks so my sporadic posting will become even more sporadic. Sorry guys – but I will have oh so many pretty pictures when I get back.
Back to Chicago. We were only in Chicago for a quick wedding weekend of three days, with most of that time spent at a pretty spectacular wedding. However, we did take some time to have a nice long walk around the city. I can imagine running everyday along the lake – it seems so peaceful. We took an obligatory picture in front of the bean which isn’t shown here because honestly the bean doesn’t photograph all that well. It is much cooler in person. Also, we stayed right near the park (don’t ask me the name of it), and I was highly impressed with it. We had an interesting but also delicious lunch at the Eleven City Diner. They are extremely strict on their policy that the entire party be in attendance before being seated. Even if we have 5 of the 6 people. And the 6th is 5 minutes away. And they have an entire room empty. They definitely ruffled Megan and my feathers, which is not a good place to be. Fortunately for them, their food is delicious. Possibly the most memorable thing to me was finally being able to see that train that runs between the buildings of the city that is shown in every single movie set in Chicago ever. I can see why, because it is memorable. I felt a little bit like Batman, or really Bane, because he was by far my favorite. Tom Hardy can do no wrong.