Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rainy Day Exploration

It's Ireland so of course, we know to expect rain.  As I write this, it's looking semi-sunny so I'm hoping to get Josh and the kids out of the house so we can take advantage while we can.  But Sunday, our first full day here it was raining off and on.  This was probably good because we needed a bit of a lazy day and needed to do things like find the grocery store.
A relaxing morning

We started off the day with a visit from Rita, the owner, and her daughter Claire.  As I mentioned in my other post, they are just lovely.  We asked her where we could find a decent grocery store that wouldn't cost us a small fortune like the one tiny one in our town.  She suggested a place in Galway, about an hours drive.  You know you are in the boonies when you have to drive an hour to the grocery store. 

Instead, we headed back up north on the coastal road as we had seen some decent sized stores (by decent I mean the size of my city size grocery store, we're not talking Stop n Shop by any means) that we could get a few supplies at since we wouldn't be eating all of our meals in the house - but we needed breakfast food and some snack food. 

A lighthouse on our way up north.  We later learned that the caves in Doolin actually are part of a system that begins/ends here.

Some of the gorgeous views along the way

The roads here are not only narrow but the views from them are unspoiled.  There are no McMansions where we are.  There is wide open space as far as the eye can see.  Houses are not set upon each other and everyone has plenty of land for their cows, horses and sheep to roam on.  It's a beauty unlike anything I've ever seen. 

We ended up in the town of Kinvara.  It's very cute and charming.  We went to the grocery store inside the gas station and stocked up on a few things.  It felt very odd to be shopping in the gas station for something other than a drink and snack.  Then after putting the stuff in the car we went to grab some lunch.  While nothing spoiled since it was chilly out, perhaps it would have been smarter to eat first, shop after.  That and as we were walking to lunch we saw a larger, more "normal" looking grocery store that we also stopped in (that one after lunch).

The gas station supermarket where we first did our shopping...
thankfully we've found better since then!

Pub where we had lunch

View of town

Another view of town
Boston.... Ireland?

View of Galway Bay in the distance

Happy despite the winding roads

Not sick of the car... yet
But we'll take a break to check out the donkeys just to make sure you don't get
sick of the car too quickly!

After taking the very windy roads back to Fanore, we decided to take a walk along the street that our house was on. There was a stream just down the road that Josh and the kids did some exploring in and saw a few fish. It was great getting the kids back to nature for a little bit and they loved looking all around and touching everything. 

Josh in front of the house we rented

View into the front yard of the house

Liam doing some exploring... he wanted rocks for his rock collection.  He wasn't thrilled when I told him gravel wasn't quite the same as beach rocks.

My boys on a nature walk

View towards the house

Garden that one of the neighbors has - apparently it's pretty famous in this area

Creek along side the neighbor's house

Aidan ventures down on the other side of the creek to check out some fish we saw from the bridge above us.  He loved climbing on the rocks!

And where Aidan goes, Liam goes...

View under the bridge

The raincoat didn't help him from stepping in the creek a few times...

Mommy looking on from above, not as courageous as she was once upon a time...


Really pretty concealed area that was covered in moss

This road is supposed to fit two cars????

Was trying for a pic with just Liam but Aidan insisted on joining in and making a face...

View of the house from the distance.  Yes, this is the boonies but how beautiful is it???

Since we had a great time doing some exploring near our house we offered the kids a chance to go explore the beach which was less than a 5 minute drive from us. Unfortunately within about 3 minutes of our arrival it started to rain pretty hard. So that didn't last long but it is a beautiful sandy beach and they have a surf school. Perhaps if the weather holds out we can sign Aidan up for a class or two before we leave. Liam wants to do it but we told him he needs to learn to swim first!!

Fanore Beach, a blue flag (best in Europe) beach

Beautiful black rocks along the beach

Liam was psyched to play in the sand

Aidan, not so much...
By then it was bedtime and so it was a great mellow day - perfect way to start out our vacation!!  Today we are off to the Cliffs of Moher since the weather seems to be holding out, for now.


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