I had the pleasure of spending a week on the Emerald Isle with my wonderful Owen family (my mom's side of the fam) this past July. It was gorgeous, fun and all around -- it was an amazing time! My aunt planned the trip in honor of her oldest going off to college this fall - eek! Aaaaaand the rest of the Owen clan greatly benefitted from this... a big thanks to Dini for planning and Sarah heading to Wisconsin (Go Badgers)! The whole thing was booked through Exploring Vacations. For the eight of us, we had a small bus and a driver. Our driver, Bill, was from a small town in Ireland and he really made our trip extra special. He was extremely enthusiastic and gave us tons of fun Irish sayings and phrases that will keep us laughing for years. I promised Bill I would be back... maybe even move there and he promised to gift me with a cow to get me started! Seriously still considering that offer... and Cork was by far my favorite city, which is pretty close to Bill. Imagine all the Guinness and Irish Coffees I would drink.... I'll have to go back (in Bill's words) "Oh that's fer-sure!"
After a whole week abroad with family... I think my favorite part was the stories and memories shared by my mom and her sisters. My Nana Owen was a huge traveler and she certainly instilled that in her kids and that has filter to me and my cousins' generation. We visited a lot of the places my mom had been with her mom in the 70's and it was neat to hear their memories of the places and how it had changed, or not changed!
Here's a run down of the places we visited;
Dublin // Guiness, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Brazen Head Pub, Waterford Crystal Factory
Cork // Cork City, Blarney Castle, Blarney Stone, Cobh Heritage Center
Kenmare // Ring of Kerry, National Park, Waterfall, Muckross House
Dingle // Dingle Peninsula, Sleep in Ballyseede Castle
Limerick // Bunratty Castle, Dirty Nellie’s Pub, Knappogue Castle for Medieval Meal
Galway // Cliffs Moher, Dooliln, Burren, Small plane to Aran Islands
Donegal // Connemara Penninsula, Kylemore Abbey & Gardens
Sláinte Bill -- we Owens sure do miss yah!