Friday, December 18, 2015

salt and pepper sweater

Sweater:  Joe Fresh  |  Turtleneck:  J.Crew  |  Hat:  Carhartt  |  Scarf:  Etsy  |  Denim:  Banana Republic  |  Boots:  LL Bean  |  Socks:  Hunters  |  Raincoat:  Arcteryx 

I loved this raincoat!  It was a recommendation from my sister and it was used pretty much every day.  The length helped protect me from the wind and rain and the longer sleeves even kept rain from going down my sleeves or into my pockets.  The hood also tightened a bit where it wouldn't blow off when the gusts of wind came through.  I also had several pairs of rainboots on our trip.  As you can see this was pretty much the state of my hair each day, but it gave it a great windblown, wavy, Irish locks.  I always had a scarf and hat on and sometimes not the most practical'll see what I mean later!  The Sweater Shop behind me was unfortunately closed, but I loved the bright pink home as a backdrop as were many of the homes and businesses!  It really is picture worthy! :)


Ireland Part I:

We arrived early on the West Coast of Ireland Thanksgiving morning.  We were quickly escorted to Frank's bed and breakfast, Doonmacfelim House - soon to be Moloney House in Doolin where we were treated with a tour of the home and an full Irish breakfast.  It was such a treat!  John and I changed and got settled in our spacious rooms.  The built in wardrobes were amazing!  We also unloaded our luggage full of gifts which definitely lightened the load a bit for our trip! ;)  I glad Frank likes to shop as much as I do!  

Since it was best that we stayed awake the whole day to fight the jet lag we fueled up with a lot of coffee and a two-day tour of the Wild Atlantic Way (WAW)!  We started with Frank's farm.  It was so much fun to get out onto the country side and see the cows, tractor and the bull.  The land was right along the coast that even the cattle have the best view ever!  From there we stopped where the ferries go out to the Aran Islands.  Visibility was low, but we could still see the surrounding countryside and cliffs.  Wind was so powerful that the streams were blowing back up toward the land and created spray.  The ferries to the islands are closed this time of year, but it will definitely be on my to-do list next visit.  

Afterward, we headed out to the Burren, but made a caffeine stop where they have the only handmade chocolate from scratch in Ireland - Hazel Mountain Chocolate!  Frank drove us all along the Burren and to the Dolmen taking frequent pit stops and photo ops!  Livestock grazed amidst the rich limestone rocks.  It really is truly a phenomenon that cattle and sheep can survive on such rocky lands!

After our tour, we headed into Galway to explore and catch a bit to eat.  The town was setting up for the Christmas Market and the shops and restaurants were bustling!  We didn't do as much exploring throughout Galway, as we wanted to use the daylight hours to explore more of the coast on our way back to Doolin.  We had to get ready for the Irish-American Thanksgiving dinner anyways!  

Our drive back to Doolin along the WAW involved on-again and off-again dozing from our jet lag (I only got 2 hours or sleep on the plane so I needed it)!  After a few more photo stops and windy roads we made it back safely to change and go to dinner at McGann's.  John and Frank had the traditional Thanksgiving dinner that they have every year, but I went right for the fish 'n chips!  We enjoyed our pints, Irish coffees and the traditional Irish music.  Doolin is known for their Irish musicians and people come from all over to play.  After some tunes, we hit Gus O'Connor's, the other pub in town!  We finished off our Thanksgiving, not with a second serving, but one of many pints throughout our trip!  It was an amazing first day and I can't wait to share more of our adventures of Ireland!

You can see much of our adventure on Instagram here, but I will be sure to fill you in on the rest of the trip as well as some pictures of the views!  

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