Sunday, April 28, 2013

County Wicklow Mountains

Saturday we drove the short trip to the Wicklow Mountains to visit Powerscourt Gardens and then take the Military Road to Glendalough (pronounced Glen-da-lock). Rick Steves recommended this day trip from Dublin, so we thought we would do an easy one for our first trip.

We drove in through the village of Enniskerry and followed the signs to Powerscourt. It is a very large area with a golf course, a Ritz-Carlton, the main house and the gardens. We walked the garden for about 90 minutes then headed in to get a bite at the cafe. The food was decent, but I bet the cafe gets very crowded in the summer! We walked anti-clockwise through the gardens, which unfortunately was not very stroller friendly. The Japanese Gardens is probably the nicest area there, but the Walled Garden is probably very lovely in the summer.

Next we drove the old Military Road through Sally Gap to head to Glendalough. The road was pretty rough and the scenery was mostly bogs. The little village of Glencree seemed like it might have been a good place to eat lunch at the pub.

We arrived at the visitor center in Glendalough and drove around the carpark looking for a spot. In the summer, it is probably near impossible to park there. We walked around the Monastic City for a bit, then walked the boardwalk to the Upper Lake. While the boardwalk route is stroller friendly, the Green road path is no worse than the monastic city, and the boardwalk is longer. The Upper Lake is beautify with a green space for play.

With recommendation from a local, we ate at the Wicklow Heather Restaurant. It was our first (finally!) pub and it was awesome. Corned beef, potatoes, and Guinness.

Pictures can be found here.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

How are Things? (Liana is 7 months)

What a week! We moved to Dublin, Ireland almost a week ago. The few days leading up to the flight were busy, but we had planned things out and didn't have any surprises we couldn't work through. Our almost 5 hour layover at JFK turned in to a non-running hurry-up and we basically walked straight on to our Aer Lingus flight due to flight delays and weather.

Our arrival in Dublin was quite good. We were offered a ride to immigration. We fit everything on 2 carts and the stroller (we didn't really know how we would get 10 bags, 6 carry-ons, and 2 car seats to a rental car and taxi). Then, a very nice woman insisted on helping us push our carts to the rental car desk. It was quite nice, we were overwhelmed by all the nice people trying to help us, just within the first couple hours!

Our plan was to fit as much luggage and kids in the rental as possible, then Kacey would take the rest in a taxi. Well, the nice folks at Enterprise helped us get it all in! (Except for the stroller that we forgot on the shuttle).

We arrived at our temporary apartment in Sandyford, which wasn't quite ready, but we just waited in the coffee shop for 30 minutes.  Once unloading the car, I immediately went to Lissen Hall Vet Hospital to pick up the cats. This was also uneventful. I was also able to swing by Enterprise and pick up the stroller.

We explored the Dunnes grocery store, which is next to our apartment. They have about anything we use to make meals, it just isn't always where you would expect in the store.

The kids have done ok. Nolan didn't really get any kid time for about a week. Liana popped a tooth through finally! Right in time for her 7 month birthday. She wants to be so active, but our apartment just doesn't have room for her to crawl. I swear the other day at the Children's Museum she wanted to take a step but didn't. Her balance is getting better by practicing in her playpen.

We are excited to be here! We are looking forward to finding a house (the rental market here is crazy) and settling in, which is hard to do in a little 2 bedroom apartment.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Next Chapter Coming!

This is our final week in California; next week we move to Dublin, Ireland! We have made some great friends here in SoCal and it is sad to leave them. Hopefully we get some visitors to Ireland!

This week is going to be hard on Nolan because I can't give him a lot of attention, and a lot of his stuff is packed up. He has still been pretty good, though.

We are almost done selling a few things. Still need to sell the Durango and the cordless drill. We have backup plans for each, so not too much stress.

We are excited for the next chapter of our lives!