Dingle Peninsula, Ireland

We started off our third day with a nice homemade breakfast at the B&B and then ventured off to to the Blarney Woollen Mills so my dad could buy a proper Irish cap. The place was huge! We decided to skip the Blarney Castle since we didn't really care about kissing the Blarney Stone and Chris had already done it anyway so we devoted the rest of the day to the Dingle Peninsula. This is what it looked like:

Absolutely breathtaking. If Chris and I were ever to move to Ireland, I would want to live here. We would be cozy in a quaint cottage with a blue door surrounded by stone fencing and chickens pecking at the ground.

We followed the Slea Head drive around the peninsula and stopped periodically to check out the beehive huts along the side of the road or to snap a few photos.

Swoon. Yes, he is my husband.

Reportedly a dingy restaurant, but it sure does have a cool name.

Hope to see you again someday, Dingle Peninsula. 

After a day of breathtaking views, it was time to find our B&B in outside of Limerick in Lough Gur which was two hours away. We had originally planned on stopping in Limerick, but we were short on time so we decided to just go to the B&B. The only problem was that we got completely and utterly lost. I had printed off directions prior to leaving the US, but they weren't serving us very well at the moment. Our rental car came with a GPS, but it was set up to accept American addressed with house numbers not Irish houses with zero house numbers and completely different addresses. Throw in  some crazily narrow roads and rapidly decreasing daylight and you will find a lot of doubt that we were ever going to find our beds for the night. I have no idea how my poor brother was able to drive down the trails roads we found ourselves on. There was only room for one vehicle, and there were bushes or fences on each side higher than the car! The only positive to being lost in the middle of nowhere without a bathroom when nature is calling your name is that absolutely no one is around to see you make whatever decision you do. Thank goodness for that.

We finally made it to civilization - a little town of five buildings, tops. One was a pub so I went in to ask if anyone had heard of our B&B, and my dad followed me in to help. Once I pushed the creaky door open, I felt like I was in a movie scene when an outsider walks into a saloon and everyone slowly turns toward the door. There were probably ten guys surrounding the bar with beers in hand and all looking exactly like the stereotype of Irish men spending their nights at the local pub in your head right now. "Hiiii! My family and I are lost, and I was wondering if you knew how I could get to Desmond Lodge in Lough Gur???" And I was the stereotypical peppy and clueless American girl. 

Well, they sure wanted to be helpful. All of them started answering me with the thickest Irish brogues, and I could not understand a single word coming out of their mouths for at least the first fifteen seconds. But even if I had understood them, it wouldn't have mattered because their answers were: "Ten miles up the road!" "Just a mile if you turn around!" "Do you need someone to take you?" "Take a left and then a right." "No, no, no, take two lefts and then a right and then a left." It really was awesome, and I'm not being sarcastic. Finally one of the guys was more persistent than the rest and continued to confidently tell me where I needed to go. So to where did he give me directions? Another pub, of course! "Go to Reardon's. They are very nice people, and they will tell you the rest of the way." Who needs a GPS when you have pubs? I love Ireland. 

So I left that little peek into small village Irish night life, and we ventured back out through the two-way-but-only-one-car-fits roads. Lo and behold the Irish brogue did not lead us astray, we found the second pub, Reardon's. The bartender gladly told us how to find the B&B (we just had to go up the street), and basically demanded in the nicest possible way that we come back for a pint after we dropped our stuff off. 

We found Desmond Lodge, which is run by the sweetest Irish lady, Bridget, and her sister. She completely didn't care that we arrived so late, gave my brother and dad separate rooms since there wasn't a full house and encouraged us to go back to the pub because, "They pour the best pint of Guinness," she claimed repeatedly. And she assured us that there was such a thing as bad Guinness in Ireland. So we found ourselves ordering four pints of Guinness (which really were amazing. I thought it was like drinking dark chocolate, it was soooo smooth), sitting back, chatting with the bartender who had lived in the states for a ten or so years and watching his choice of television: Swamp People.  I guess the fascination with rat tails spreads far and wide. 

The next morning we woke up a bit later, ate the best Irish breakfast cooked by Bridget herself and had a conversation with her for over an hour like we were old friends. I really cannot say enough about Bridget and the B&B she runs. She was the epitome of Irish hospitality, full of charm and just so genuinely kind. And it seems like all of TripAdvisor agrees with me