We took a mini-holiday to Co. Kerry the week before last. A friend of ours, a classmate of Gabriel’s, invited us to his parents’ lovely country home near Tralee. We felt so spoiled to be able to stay there for a few days.

On Monday, we visited Blarney Castle. A major tourist trap, but the grounds are well worth seeing. We didn’t kiss the stone because the queue was stretched from the top of the castle down the stairs to the entrance, and we both have the gift of gab well enough. 😉

Blarney House, which looked a lot more interesting than the castle. It was closed at the time but it normally hosts tours.

Some of the gardens were breathtaking.

On Tuesday we took Connor Pass over the mountains from Tralee to Dingle.

It was stunning.

But I was glad I wasn’t driving! Yes, that is a one-lane road you see. We had to pull over fairly often to let other cars pass.

When we got to the top, we stopped to look around. Can you recognize anything in this picture? Those red bits are a shattered car hundreds of feet down the mountainside. Our friend told us later that it happened a week earlier when a tourist got out to take pictures and forgot to set his brake! At least no one was in the car at the time.

Coming up on Dingle Bay.

In Dingle, we visited the aquarium. It was so fun to show Bronwyn the fish and see her taking it all in. One of the big reasons we went on this trip is because we wanted her to do something fun this summer besides sit in the house and do all her “normal” activities which mainly are: sitting/playing on her car, sitting/playing at her table, and going for walks in the buggy. Not bad things, but it gets so monotonous even for me, and sometimes I feel like we’re stunting her mental growth or something by not giving her more things to do in her body cast.

Anyway! Back to the holiday.

This baby saw sharks!

And penguins! Actually Gabriel and I had never seen penguins before either.

After the aquarium, we spent the rest of the day driving part of the Ring of Dingle, a coastal route. The weather and the scenery just got more and more spectacular.

We visited Louis Mulcahey Pottery. This is the view that greets you as you leave the place.

This sign is rather self-explanatory, don’t you think?

This is the drop-off it was warning us about. I was standing about a foot from the edge when I took this picture.

If this photo doesn’t make you want to visit Ireland, there is no hope for you, my friend.

We came home on Wednesday. Friends of ours stopped in for the night before their flight back to America the next day. The following Sunday we invited more house guests—friends of friends from America who were stranded in Dublin when their husband and father had to be admitted to the hospital. They’ve been with us for the past week now and have no idea when they’ll be able to return to the States. I’m sure they’d appreciate your prayers for their dad’s healing. We’ve been on the receiving end of others’ hospitality so often that we feel grateful to be able to do this for someone else. It’s so neat to see how God has worked this out in giving us a bigger house (we’ve had at least three sets of overnight guests in the month we’ve been in the house) and making us stay in Dublin longer this summer than we wanted to. If we’d be in Canada now, we’d be missing this blessing of being able to host this family. Also, He knew we’d need the memories of this sweet little holiday with just our family before the next few hectic weeks.

I needa go to bed. 6:30 is too early to get up on a Sunday morning.