Taking a trip with mom and Scott is something I have absolutely no reservations about. And this is a trip for which we have almost no reservations.
We’re headed out for our first trip to Ireland since 2013, also our first trip to the Emerald Isle without my dad. It’s bittersweet to go without him, but I have a feeling that he knows we are going and is really happy about it.
This time we are headed out for a 10-day trip through Northern Ireland, mainly to places Scott and I have never been.
We’re staying our first night in Carlingford, Co. Louth. The next day we will drive up along the Coastal Causeway Route to Co. Antrim, which is where poppa’s family comes from. We plan to visit Giant’s Causeway and stop at any other landmarks or sites that look interesting. Beyond that we don’t have any plans other than driving south to Dingle and The Dingle Peninsula near the end of our trip.
I’m looking forward to the drive and the views and restful time with my sweet family. I’m even looking forward to the travel time to get there. We’re leaving on April 18, flying from Nashville to Chicago on United and then on to Dublin on Aer Lingus. Our return flight leaves from Shannon on April 30. We’ll fly from Shannon to Boston on Aer Lingus and Boston to Nashville on Southwest.
The first part of our trip was easy and restful. Our flight from Nashville to Chicago was uneventful. The international terminal was lovely and we had a good meal at an Italian restaurant called Tocca before boarding flight E122 to Dublin.
Our flight landed in Dublin right before 5 a.m. We got our bags, steaming hot cups of coffee and our rental car — an Opel Astra — and hit the road.
Half an hour out of town we stopped at the Scholars Townhouse Hotel in Drogheda for more coffee and breakfast. We really stumbled on a find with Scholars House. The property was built in 1867 and is lovely with lots of historical details and interesting old furninshings. Scott loved the bar and lounge area which looked like it was from an episode of Downton Abbey. The meal was excellent and inexpensive, too. Scott enjoyed his first full Irish of the trip and mom and I had the continental breakfast with scrambled eggs. The “more coffee” element of this stop was important and our waitress kept it coming!
We headed toward Carlingford, Co. Louth after breakfast. The drive was pretty short, in fact our whole driving time from the Dublin airport to Carlingford was about an hour. Carlingford is a beautiful mideval resort town. We enjoyed walking around the cobblestoned streets and looking around the shops. The three of us particularly enjoyed stopping at Kingfisher Bistro for soup. Really, really excellent.
Our first night in Ireland was at Belvedere House B&B. The B&B is sweet, comfortable and clean. We checked in for an afternoon nap and hot showers at 1 p.m. We were so sleepy that we caught some Zzzzs despite the loud band playing at the pub across the street.
Scott and I got up at 6p to go walk around and find dinner. Mom opted to get a little more sleep. We had a really good supper at P.J. O’Hare’s and met a few really nice locals close to our age that we joined for post dinner drinks at Taaffe’s.
We were back to the room and in bed early.
More on this beautiful, historic town and its history — Vikings! Kings! — can be found on the Carlingford Heritage Centre website.
Details on our experiences are available on TripAdvisor.