October 20th! Mom takes Ireland.
Day 1, first stop Portlaoise.
Peter and Sinead took my mom and me to a café for breakfast. I showed her around the lovely town of Portlaoise and then next thing you know it was time to head to the sports hall for my game. Earlier in the day a few teams from the club I coach, North Kildare basketball, had games at St. Mary’s hall so many of the girls stayed around after to watch my game. (Check out my ‘Victory in Action’ blog to read more about my game and my little supporters cheering me on).
Day 2, next stop Westport (check it out on google maps… its beautiful).
Sunday morning my mom and I caught a train heading to Westport to begin our tour of Ireland. Westport was everything and more! This quant little town was a perfect setting for my mom and me to spend quality time together… we walked up and down the narrow streets, window shopped, and of course stopped in few delicious cafes. In the evening we enjoyed some traditional Irish music and some old school country music as well. We stayed in the cutest inn called the Wyatt Hotel, which was right in the center of the town.
Day 3, Galway
Lugging our suitcases to the bus stop we were ready for our next venture, Galway. Galway was really an adventure. The first day we arrived we decided to just walk around to pop in and out of the shops and cafes down Quay street. Even though it was a little too cold for ice cream, Murphy’s ice cream was calling our name. I had the butterscotch ice cream while my mom had mint chip, both delicious and highly recommended. That evening we went to check out the famous Kings Head, a 3-story pub that offers some great food and awesome live Irish music.
Day 4, Cliffs of Moher
This day went down as one of the best days I have had in Ireland. We did a Burren Day bus tour, which took us to a handful of different locations in the west of Ireland. Our first stop was the Allowee Cave, then Cliffs of Moher, then Doolin, ending with a visit to the Dunguaire Castle. The Cliffs of Moher blew us away… they were absolutely unbelievable! Then there was Doolin. The bus stopped at Fitzpatrick pub in Doolin, where we had an amazing lunch and chatted with an explorer from Australia. We enjoyed our sesame chicken, vegetables, soup, and of course potatoes and brown bread. On our way back to Galway, the bus tour drove along the Wild Atlantic Way, so we admired beautiful views of the coast on the way back.
Day 5, Maynooth
Maynooth is a little town in the midlands that has great restaurants and of course an awesome university. My university! My mom loved the area. She was able to explore part of my town while I was coaching and attending classes for a couple days.
Day 6, Back to Portlaoise
Spent most of the day in Maynooth then traveled to Portlaoise to attend my training session.
Day 7, Dublin
WE LOVE DUBLIN! Our first day in Dublin we did a 3-hour walking tour. We had an amazing tour guide giving us all the history of the city and showing us all the best spots, like Temple Bar area, Dublin Castle, Patrick Cathedral, Trinity College, and so much more. After the tour, we did our own little tour walking around until the evening where we found ourselves in Quays Restaurant. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND, if anyone of you reading this visit Dublin, you should make sure you have dinner at Quays Restaurant. The food was the best food I have had here so far! After our dinner we stopped in a few pubs to listen to some Irish music in the Temple Bar area.
Day 8, Dublin part 2
This day was all about the Guinness Storehouse. We walked in and were blown away. This place is like an amusement park… there is so much to do. We spent almost five hours in the Storehouse as we enjoyed listening and reading about the making of a pint of Guinness. We of course had to eat lunch there to have some Guinness flavored food. Right before the top level where you can see all of Ireland there was a restaurant area where a band was singing Irish music and some pop songs. To say the least we had an awesome experience and recommend anyone to go, even if you don’t like Guinness, it is a great time!
It was a sad day, because it was the day my mom was leaving. BUT we couldn’t get over how we had the greatest week together!
Our trip was amazing and we just had the greatest time! I want to thank Jim and my coach Peter for giving me some time to be with my mom and explore this beautiful country with her! And also thank you to my roommates and friends to telling me all the right places to visit!