It was over in the blink of an eye. She was dropped down and lifted back up to vertical faster than she could yell out in an Irish accent, “Oh, Blarney!” as she’d planned to do. She left a tip for the men working, as it had to be a tough job holding onto people all day as they literally bent over backwards to kiss a legendary stone for tradition’s sake.
She snapped a picture of her friend Hillary as she grabbed the rails and curved back and down to kiss the Blarney Stone for eloquence and wit. They took their time going back down the castle, for it held an enchantment on their eyes with lush greens all around, gray stone structures, and strong, crisp winds carrying whispers of the history here not kept in books.
The tall girl strayed away from the group as they all headed back to the hotel because of the sky that had suddenly opened to down-pouring rain. Out came her umbrella and independent spirit. There was so much more of the castle grounds to see! She strolled through the Poison Garden en route to Blarney House. Her path took her by gorgeous flowers in full bloom, a wrought-iron gate surrounded by ferns that could have been the setting for The Secret Garden, and along pebble walkways that kicked up the little rocks between her feet and the Birkenstocks she wore.
After snapping a hundred pictures of everything she saw from underneath her umbrella, she unhurriedly made her way back to the hotel so as not to be left behind – although she didn’t think it’d be half bad to call a castle home.
Once everyone was back at 10:30 from seeing the castle or buying souvenirs in the gift shop, the tour bus was off again for a couple hours driving to the lunch stop. Despite half of a sleeping bus, British tour guide Allie continued talking into the fuzzy microphone of the bus speaker to a tuned-out audience. Perhaps 5 people were awake on that bus and maybe 2 were listening – such is the nature of a bus tour.
The beautiful port town of Kinsale was adequate retribution for the annoyance of a long drive. Fresh sea air filled their lungs and salty, crispy fish ‘n chips filled their bellies. The wolfgang was once again content.
They even made a furry friend, Toby, who was the sociable greeter and lunch companion of all at Dino’s Restaurant.
Following a 30-minute search for their ice cream fix after lunch and only finding a small bakery, the group boarded the bus once again to head to their final destination for the day – Killarney. The crew was thankful to settle in for a couple nights there, as it’d been crazy on-the-go until this point.
The following morning greeted the tour with an ombre sky of blue to gray, leaving it a mystery as to how the weather would act throughout the day.
Sun ruled while they were contained in the bus and headed towards the Ring of Kerry – their day-long destination and adventure. As soon as the bus stopped to let them out at the first site (the Red Fox Inn and Bog Village for Irish Coffee), the sun conceded to the rain clouds. Bog Village was a short walk-through of how Irish folk lived in the old days, and then everyone rushed in for cover from the rain and especially for the famous “Ireland’s Best Irish Coffee”.
The rain coincidentally stopped once they were inside the bus and on their way around the Ring.
After Kinsale they continued driving until reaching Killarney, where the weary but ever-adventurous group checked into the hotel and for the third time was served Irish stew. It warms the heart and fills the tummy, so there were no complaints (although there were some requests for Taco Bell or Chick-fil-A. Ireland did not oblige.)