The Gift of Gab: Blarney

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October 30th 2006
Published: October 31st 2006
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The Blarney CastleThe Blarney CastleThe Blarney Castle

I got my daily group shot with the Blarney Castle as our background.
The time zone change is reeking havoc with my schedule. I had hoped to be up and out of the house by 10:30am but I didn’t end up getting out of bed until noon. After I showered and went downstairs, Matt and Billie were already up and downstairs in the kitchen. I told them that they should have woken us up. We were up last night playing cards until well after midnight. We made sandwiches to take with us for lunch; Billie and I had peanut butter and lemon marmalade which turned out to be tasty. I think I’ll take a jar home for Grandma and pick up some smoked salmon for Grandpa. Today was Matt’s turn to drive their very compact car on our days adventures.

First stop was the Blarney Stone and Castle outside Cork. The fee was €8 per person and that included a tour of the grounds and kissing the stone. The whole area is just one scenic beauty after another and I was snapping pictures left and right. I have thousands of pics of the four of us posed in front of one thing or another. I had to ask the other tourists to take
Crazy KrystalCrazy KrystalCrazy Krystal

You know me, I like to have a good time no matter where I travel to :)
pictures of us and their pictures didn’t always turn out so great but at least they tried. The Blarney Castle was quite remarkable and each room was labeled, to include the closets. Billie I guess is afraid of heights so she was a little shaky by the time she made it to the top of the castle to kiss the stone. We each in turn had to lie down on our backs, grab the bars, and kiss the smooth bottom of the rock. Supposedly this gives you the gift of eloquence, or gab. I have already been blessed with that so I was just covering my bases.

Next we walked over towards the Rock Close where the Druids Cave, Witches Kitchen, and numerous other sites were located. The trees and vegetation around here are so interesting. To mention that it is excessively green over here would be the understatement of the century so I won’t go there. The colors do make me look great though. I can’t wait to get home and enlarge some of these shots. At the gift store on the way out, I picked up a white chocolate candy bar to go with the milk chocolate
Krystal Kissing the Blarney StoneKrystal Kissing the Blarney StoneKrystal Kissing the Blarney Stone

I was down, kissed, and back up in the flash of an eye.
bar I bought at Ladies View. Now the girls can each share half of their candy bar with each other. I bought a certificate that states I officially kissed the Blarney Stone. I’ll just make color copies so everyone can have one. I finally found somewhere that sold stamps so I bought four of them and they are nice looking. I was able to stamp AshLee and Erika’s postcard so I can drop it in the mail. It cost .65¢ for international mail. For my scrapbook, I got a couple long stickers for page titles. I saw some awesome books by Irish authors that I am going to try to locate once I get home. I won’t have any room to haul books home in my luggage so I wrote down the ISBN’s and I should at least be able to order them off of (United Kingdom site).

We headed to Cork to find the Annual Jazz Festival that was being held this weekend but it wasn’t quite what we were expecting. We ate our sandwiches on the way to save time; the bread was a little chewy but pretty good. It has the look of a homemade
Robert Kissing the Blarney StoneRobert Kissing the Blarney StoneRobert Kissing the Blarney Stone

It is much more fun to watch the other person go through the contortions to kiss a rock wall upside down while at the top of a castle.
loaf of bread, very square in shape with an uneven, browned top. The Jazz festival ended up being different than we expected. You could buy tickets to it at the Opera House or try to find it in some other venue but nothing seemed to be advertised; at least not to our knowledge. The signs were posted everywhere but we couldn’t find anything happening so we continued onto Kinsdale. We found a parking spot in the street right off the bat and I mailed the girls’ postcard. We walked in the direct of the live music and stopped in at Oscar Madison’s and listened to some great jazz and a fantastic young saxophone player. When the band took a break, we left in search of food and found the Armada Bar. The sign out front advertised live music at 8pm and it was a quarter after 7 so we figured we were in luck. I enjoyed the bacon and cabbage which wasn’t quite what I expected either. It turned out to be a small pile of stewed cabbage and two slabs of very tender, delicious ham. And to top it all off, I drank beer! Robert ordered a pint of
Wishes for My DaughtersWishes for My DaughtersWishes for My Daughters

I threw two pennies into the River Blarney and made a wish for each of my lovely daughters.
Guinness and Billie had the half-pint. Then Robert decided that he wanted the pint glass his beer came in so I asked the waitress if we could buy it. She said that it probably wouldn’t cost more than €1 so then Billie decided she wanted one too. We tried to tell the waitress that we only wanted a half-pint more of Guinness in one of the pint glasses so she could have a glass to take home as well. We ended up getting one half-pint glass of Guinness and one pint glass of Guinness. So Billie got her pint glass and I took the half-pint and managed to down it in a few gulps. Oh how nasty, I absolutely can not stand the taste of beer but while in Ireland, blah blah blah. I had only planned on drinking Guinness at the factory but I had to take one for the team. Robert was nursing his pint and Matt was our designated driver having an Irish coffee that was mostly whiskey, a kind he didn’t care for.

Heading home, I stopped in the phone booth to call home and got to talk to Kara, AshLee, and Erika. My little
First GuinnessFirst GuinnessFirst Guinness

I drank my first half-pint of Guinness and while I still don't like beer, I managed to chug it down and take one for the team.
one was gabbing away on her new Polly Pocket phone and not really paying attention to me. Kara still hasn’t gone into labor yet so my dreams must just be me worrying in my sleep. We stopped to get petrol on the road back and I picked up some new varieties of chips; grilled steak and onion fajita tortilla chips and Doritos Tangy Cheese to enjoy with some sour cream and chives dip, no Ranch to be found in the store. I got a copy of the Irish Examiner and a couple more Magnum bars; Almond for me and Classic Chocolate for Robert. I grabbed a chocolate bar called Nestle Aero that said “Have you felt the bubbles melt?” I had to get it just to try it of course.

Once we got home, it was time for another round of Phase 10. Damn Matt won this game again tonight so we all need to gang up on him tomorrow night. Robert came in second place this time and I was the last place loser, again! Now it is going to be the best three out of five! It’s about 1am now and they just refilled their glasses with
Oscar Madison'sOscar Madison'sOscar Madison's

We found our way to this bar with its lively jazz music during the secondary jazz festival in Kinsdale.
mixers so I don’t think anyone is heading to bed anytime soon. I’m off to fiddle with my pictures. *Update* As everyone wandered upstairs, to bed I was thinking, we stopped in the glass room overlooking the bay and I brought out a deck of cards. We ended up playing Spades until 5:30am while I watched them polish off a bottle of Malibu Rum and Jack Daniels. So much for drinking Irish whiskey while we’re over here, lol.

Our plan tomorrow is to drive the 120 miles around the Ring of Kerry, visit the Ross Castle if possible, stop into an internet café, and play some more cutthroat cards tomorrow night.


1st November 2006

Sounds like you are having a blast over there, I look forward to seeing all the pictures when I come over for thanksgiving/christmas :) I miss you! Don't forget to send me a postcard of something nifty :) Love you!!
1st November 2006

Hey guys
Hi guys The pic's are soooo amazing!!!! I wish I was there :( you guys look like you are having soo much fun :) That is sooo funny the Irish drinking thing haha I would be drinking with you guys up there haha I read the drinking age is 18 or somthing? How are the Candy Bars? Ok I hope im doing this comment thing right lol HAVE FUN keep up on the pics.. they are coming out great! :) Take care and I will keep reading Brandy
1st November 2006

fun fun fun
sounds to me as if you are having the time of your life. wish we could have gone, but this way we can be planning our wedding. keep the updates comming. see you later.

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