Today was a perfect day!!! The Weatherly family (or Team Weatherly as we call ourselves, we even have the kids doing a little hands all in…Teeeeaaaammmm Weeeeaaatheerrllyyy chant going on – we have been doing that for years and have now infected our children with the adventurous spirit) woke up bright and early at the Bunratty Manor and stormed the Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. Once again, we climbed twisting staircases, fired cannons, swam moats, warded off attacking hordes and traversed crazy and twisting playgrounds (this place had a playground in the shape of a castle with live animals, rock climbing walls, swings, a moat, a huge maze, slides – the kids were in heaven). We explored the Folk Park (kind of like Busch Gardens….except real!!!), talked to locals, chased down two Irish Wolf Hounds and petted donkeys, Shetland ponies, chickens, cows, deer…and so many other animals we can hardly remember them all. After making new Irish and tourist friends we headed back into the car and North again towards the Cliffs of Moher (about an hour drive from Bunratty).
We had been building up the Cliffs of Moher for a few days now to the kids…Giants live there and there is a tower that they live and sleep in. The wind blows really hard because that is the Giants breathing, sleeping and snoring. We have to be very quiet, stay close to Mommy and Daddy, don’t venture off the path and do not for any reason, whatever you do…do not wake the giants! Yes, we were tricking our children into being good (it’s what parents always do, right) and getting them to stay close to us because it is a fact that the Cliffs of Moher are extremely dangerous, the wind is crazy and at least a few tourists die there a year because they stand to close to the edge…and are more or less idiots and stray from the clearly marked paths! The Cliffs were all they were cracked up to be…and well worth the hour drive from Bunratty. We would have driven a few more hours for that view. They say…the Cliffs are where Ireland drops off into the Atlantic Ocean…and…if you strain hard enough…you might even see America. After today, we believe it!!! The Tower(s) were cool and the kids were all about the ‘Sleeping Giants’. The Irish gentleman in the main tower was a good sport, played along and said they had just put the Giants down before we came…because they were getting really cranky. The kids ate it up!!! We even saw a “Giant Arm” come out one of the windows for a minute. We walked the Cliffs, took some hair raising (figuratively and literally) family action shots and then headed back south towards Bunratty and more importantly, Dromoland Castle!!!
Dromoland Castle was a surprise for both the kids and us. It is a fully restored Irish Castle that is a 5 Star (*****) Hotel on hundreds and hundreds of acres of green hills, lakes, gardens, trails and bunkers, fairways, and greens as far as the eye can see. We checked in and really surprised the kids. They were so excited to be sleeping in a castle for the night. Our fortune (perhaps it was the kiss on the Blarney Stone) turned out well, in that we got a gigantic executive Suite for about 1/3 the price due to our late night convo with Naim (the bartender/receptionist at Bunratty Manor) the night before. We walked the grounds of the Castle for the rest of the day and didn’t even cover 1/2 of it. It is so huge and definitely recommended by the Weatherly Family!
Tomorrow, Daddy is trying to catch the front 9 (weather permitting…we are supposed to get rain for the first time in our almost 2 weeks here, which is unheard of…Blarney again, we guess). So if golf is cancelled, no big deal…we’ll perhaps go swimming, practice live hawk training, drive golf carts, shoot bows and arrows, clay pigeons, or just run up and down the endless castle hallways and tire the kids out. No matter the weather or the circumstance, we will make the best of the winding down of our 2013 Weatherly Irish Adventure! For tomorrow night, we head back East to Dublin and then back to America to conclude a trip that we will certainly remember for a lifetime!
Good night from Dromoland Castle….our home for the evening!