“It’s nice to have a different face in the house.”
– Kenzie, upon her Aunt Jackie’s arrival in Ireland
My sister Jackie spent 16 days with us in September. It was so much fun to show off the sights of Dublin, explore new places and share a bit of our everyday life with my sister. And yes, it was nice to have a familiar face around.
On Jackie’s second day, we decided to get out for some fresh air and a good walk to fight jet lag. Kenzie doesn’t have classes on Tuesdays, so she went to Howth with us. It’s a charming harbor village with a great cliff walk.
Guinness Brewery Tour
Jackie doesn’t even like beer, but we took the tour anyway. (Plus, it meant more beer for me!) The best part is the view from the top of the factory, which overlooks Dublin and the surrounding mountains.
Wicklow Mountains National Park
Known as the Garden of Ireland, Wicklow offers spectacular scenery around every corner—and the occasional flock of sheep in the road.
Dún Laoghaire Farmer’s Market
Any guesses on how to pronounce the name of the town listed above? If you guessed “dun leery”, good job! Located on the south side of Dublin, the seaside town of Dún Laoghaire holds a farmer’s market every Sunday, featuring fresh, local food.
Powerscourt House & Gardens
Also located in Wicklow, this estate was voted as the “number three garden in the world” by National Geographic. The grounds are gorgeous and we spent the better part of a day there. I’d like to go back to try the hotel and spa!
Northern Ireland Day Tour
This was by far the most memorable experience of Jackie’s visit. Jackie and I booked a rail-and-bus tour for the day remnants of a tropical storm pummeled Ireland with winds up to 88 miles per hour and pelting rain. Within the first 15 minutes, our bus drove over a highway sign that had flown off its holder—blowing a tire—and we knew we were in for an interesting day. Several of the sights we were supposed to visit were closed due to power outages, but our intrepid bus driver/tour director soldiered on and made it fun anyway. (Well, except the part when I threw up on the bus from motion sickness. #goodtimes)
In the end, we got to see Carrickfergus Castle, Giant’s Causeway, Bushmill’s whiskey distillery and the Glens of Antrim. And we saw some of the locations where Game of Thrones is filmed.
These adventures took us through the first half of Jackie’s vacation. Stay tuned for part two!