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Published: April 3rd 2011
The hostess kept saying how Zoe was the most gorgeous baby in the world...she even called the cook out to see how cute she is. I agree!
Today is Mothers Day in Ireland. We woke up in our gorgeous hotel room overlooking the sea in Cobh after a great night of sleep; the sea air is really just divine. We ate our Irish breakfast which is way too much for us, so luckily we’ve been able to choose what we want to eat so just eggs and toast today. We then drove up the insane hill to get some more shots of St. Colman’s Cathedral which is just gorgeous (said with an Irish lilt). Then we were off on the N22 to Macroom. Now Macroom is where my great grandfather Patrick Dineen is from; so it was the first stop that was significant from a family history point of view. We arrived just as church was starting so the town was closed, as I assume the town was at church. We were looking for a Dineen’s Pub which I had heard was in Macroom. Sure enough it’s on the main street, but again since everyone was at church it was closed. Also it was only half of 10 (or 10:30), so I guess the bars aren’t open at 10:30 on Mothers’ day. So we were just walking around
In Macroom...not sure if related to these Dinneens or not, but still pretty cool
taking a video for my Dad to see what the town center looked like, when the proprietor of the pub showed up. So in talking to him I realized that he wasn’t sure if we were in fact a relation, but was nice enough. All in all Macroom is a really cute little town, the church was quite lovely, it was just beautiful and really the centerpiece of the town. I just love the history, everywhere, literary everywhere you turn there is history and some of it belongs to my family.
Next up on our itinerary was Killarney National Park –- “The air was filled with the fragrance of wild flowers, and the Eye wherever it turned beheld a region of Delight, in which nature seemed to have unlocked all her treasures.” – Lewis Dillwyn 1809
We got into town and found a car park and then decided to drive around to see where to get the jaunting carts, ironically enough they were about a block away from the first car park – so we went back. We met a nice guy on the corner who offered us a ride for 40 euro – we got a Mothers’ Day discount
Quaint picturesque little city.
of 5 off, so we were reasonably pleased. Zoe was instantly a huge fan of this – all morning she has requested to walk – so we weren’t sure how sitting in a horse drawn carriage would work out. She was a bit of a handful – fist move she lost her shoe (have I mentioned this scenario before – lost shoe in creepiest bathroom on Earth??), well she kicks if off and I yell “Shit her shoe” so the jaunting cart driver stops, forcing the 4-5 cars behind the horse carriage (who are already annoyed at being behind a horse drawn carriage), to stop as well, Chris hops out to get the shoe and all is well again. So our driver (not sure of his name) was excellent he gave us exactly what we had wanted a tour of the park. We picked up the drive in Killarney in the city – we then went to Deenagh Lodge, Knockreer House, Victoria Bay (where he told us about a Welsh man who wanted a title so in order to get it he had to have the Queen come, so Queen Victoria came and he gave her her choice of room
in the estate, apparently Queen Victoria had a fear of fires and being on the second floor was not suitable so she told her lady in waiting to pack her things after one night and they left – he never got the title and fell into financial ruin. The plus side to this as that through time the estate and lands passed hands and then were gifted to the country as a National Park. We went to Ross Castle which is beautiful from afar (mainly just a castle on the inside). Zoe liked the lake and the ducks, there were even swans. I liked the picturesque views. Just a really pretty place. It was also sunny which was great, but very cold. Our trip ended back in the city area and Zoe said goodbye to Charlie, the horse.
We were done with Killarney and so glad we changed our reservations to Valentia Island for the night. We didn’t really want to stay in Killarney it is very touristy, we’ve found that there a lot of the same kind of stores around, they sell some lace, some leprechaun stuff, magnets, postcards, some Celtic designs and overpriced knit work…they’ve been in Dublin,
Killkenny, Rock of Cashel, Cork, Killarney and well all over and what we’ve decided is great for some, not for us. So onto Cahersiveen and Portmagee. At this point in the day I am getting anxious, because I have spent the last months (3 to be exact) calling Ireland every few days in an attempt to contact my Murphy relatives over her. Considering Murphy is a popular name here it was only expected that there would be 518 Murphy’s in Kerry, 14 in Cahersiveen, and 12 in Portmagee, nonetheless, I made contact and I was a little nervous about how it would go, if I would actually be able to find them and then if I did what it would be like. Here is what I was thinking – I find someone who I think is a relative, and then show then a picture and it’s not them…so I am sad. Or I find them show them a picture and they don’t care…so I am sad. Or I find them and show them a picture and it’s them, but weird since I have a picture of them. Anyway, I was a little anxious.
So we get into Cahersiveen and it
I am a fan of this car
is one of those beautiful places that appears out of the hills and is just so gorgeous you are left without words. So stunning and the sunlight was coming through the clouds and shinning down on all of the hills and the hedgerows. Then we continue on to Portmagee where my great grandmother is from and it is just as cute as I had imagined, we go into town and I had read about a place that had great chowder so we stopped in there, being Mothers’ Day it was crowded. So…we go in to the Bridge Bar and find a table. We order the seafood chowder which is great and are eating when the people next to us ask where we are from…we say Seattle they recount how they’ve been there and loved it. Asked how long we were here etc, one thing lead to another I ask if they happen to know of this one particular Murphy of the 12 that live here (or are listed in the phonebook) and they say yes, then they call over the hostess and tell her who we are and that we are looking for this one Murphy and she says “his
We had hoped she would love it, she has been talking about ponies for days
daughter is working the bar right now”. In my head I am just spinning! So I pull out of the picture that is my link and head to the bar, a girl about my age is there and I show her the picture and well it would seem that one of the kids in the picture is her father. Even better she is going to call her Nana and tell her about me, so I give her my number and where we’re staying and leave just shaking my head at the incredibly small world.
We then head over the bridge to the first house on the right and it is the Carraigh Liath House on Valentia Island, it is so nice. The family is possibly the nicest, which is so great since yesterday’s B&B was a disaster. They have a younger girl who Zoe can play with and so they ran around playing for possibly an hour while we all chatted about sports, my family, Portmagee, benefits from the government to the Irish people, and Charlie Sheen and how he a complete nutter. I am in love! I cannot wait to see what tomorrow brings.
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