County Kerry

Thursday morning was very productive!: I attended my two classes, got half my stitches out– the rest will wait til Tuesday to be safe, and finally got to see some family from home!!!! Around lunchtime, I was on my way to Portmagee in County Kerry with Nana and Papa. They’ve come to visit for about a week, because Papa’s niece, Kathleen, is getting married tomorrow!!!

After an afternoon of driving through scenic Western Ireland, we were finally in Portmagee (the town where Papa lived until he was 19 and emigrated to the US). We checked in at our beautiful B&B called Portmagee Heights and settled in quickly. We ventured to Papa’s brother, Michael’s house to spend an evening with them. Meeting them for the first time was so cool! It’s crazy finally being introduced to the family I’ve heard about all my life, but hadn’t ever actually met. Michael, his wife Margaret, and other daughter Shinead were so welcoming and warm. After snacking and chatting, Nana and Papa were feeling some jet lag, and we headed to bed. A semi-early morning today got us off on the right foot for a great day of touring!! Below should be a picture of my GORGEOUS room and our delicious breakfast from this morning! I felt like Richie Rich with a beautiful room to myself, but sad I had noone to jump on the bed with!

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With Papa as my tour guide, I saw many interesting sites in the area. Who better to show me around than my grandfather who spent the first nineteen years of his life here. Cliffs of Fogher, a rock quarry, the Glen area, island of Valentia, and other awesome stops on our tour simply blew my mind. Countless times I said “I’m never going home.” Honestly, I can picture myself living here. Pairing our modern technology and conveniences with the natural, amazing views of this part of the country, I don’t think a person could ask for anything more.

After an entire day of snapping pictures and quite literally having my breath taken away by the views, we came back to the B&B to brush our wind-blown hair and clean up before the rehearsal dinner. Here we met Papa’s brother, Donal, and his wife Pat who live in England. Uncle Donal is full of fantastic and funny stories and kept me laughing throughout the night. Meeting more family over dinner was a great experience, and they were all so friendly. Once again, my stitches were a great accidentally conversation starter! The pub/restaurant, The Moorings, where we ate was actually founded by my great, great grandfather, to my understanding. They had bagpipes playing for a while and moved into other traditional music where locals did set Irish dances. Being in that environment of close local friends and family all enjoying themselves was such a great experience. I couldn’t have asked anything more of my first two days in Portmagee. Can’t wait for Kathleen’s wedding tomorrow! It’s supposed to be huge, and if tonite was any indication, it’ll be lots of fun :)!

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