Our first glimpse of the Emerald Isle from the airplane looked exactly as I had imagined it... a glorious patchwork of green.
Upon landing, we knew we were in the right place when we saw this:
Once we disembarked and made it inside the Dublin Airport terminal, we got our bearings, got some coffee, and went to wait on a double-decker bus which would take us from Dublin to Northern Ireland. The drive from Dublin through the countryside was amazing... so many beautiful things to see. And, the drive was so swift that it was hard to take everything in before it whizzed by.
Isn't it incredible? This (photo above and 3 below) was Clough Castle ruins (pronounced "clock"), our first stop in Northern Ireland after we were picked up by our hosts on our way to the Irish Sea at Newcastle. We smelled the Irish air, really breathing it in for the first time (really lovely because we had spent over 24 hours between flights and bus trips and without a bath!) We were so excited to be putting our wee toes in the wee beautiful grass of the Emerald Isle. (You see, in Ireland everything is "wee" -- denoting its diminutive nature... the wee boys and girls came to the wee church for Bible club, and we went for a tour in the wee van. You get the idea.)
After a very short and happy visit with the castle ruins, we continued on to Newcastle, a lovely coastal town where many of the locals spend "holiday" and visit for special occasions. The Slieve-Donard House is a gorgeous hotel that sits on the Irish Sea. We loved how the mountains met the sea along the coastline there.
My sweet daughter and I were PINCHING ourselves that we were IN Ireland about to put our toes in the Irish Sea. We had a lot more fun ahead of us, including a visit to the place of St. Patrick's (reported) burial! Look for it in a future post.
On a personal note, I had a birthday this week... we are delaying the REAL celebration until I can actually chew something I will enjoy. But, in the meantime we had little celebrations throughout the week which made it very nice! The wrinkles and gray hairs are coming fast and furious, but I am thankful that "my people" still love me in spite of them.