Friday, April 29, 2011

Easter Break-Day 1

Belfast to Cork

We got a chance to explore a bit more of Ireland as the island was celebrating Easter. The kids got two weeks off from school and Cam was off also. So, we drove as far south as we could and then headed back up the west coast of Ireland.

The weather was amazing for our trip and the whole island is still amazed at how warm and sunny it has been. Warm is 55 to 60 degrees here, hot is 65 degrees. We made our way from Belfast to Cork ( a 5 hour drive) with a stop at Kilkenny Castle. We took a short walking tour of the castle with the highlight being the family-portrait gallery and the gardens.
It was so warm (at least 63 degrees) that we couldn't resist splurging on ice-cream cones from the ice-cream vender. We hopped back into the car and drove the rest of the way to our hotel outside of Cork in Little Island. The Raddison hotel was a perfect location for us and for our exploring plus it had a great pool where we all went swimming an hour every morning.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mount Stewart

For this Saturday's adventure we took off to another National Trust Property. This has got to be one of my favorites! I felt like I was walking through a fairy tale. The property was absolutely breathtaking.

We took a tour through the Stewart House. The house is still used by the family. They have 20 or so rooms on the other side of the house apart from the tours.

The gardens had fountains, manicured shrubs, ponds, every flower you can imagine, stone work, and a peace that enveloped you as you walked through it.
Soaking in the beauty of God's Good Creation.

We took a walk around the lake on the property and saw and fed many ducks and swans.
Enormous beauty!

Monday, April 11, 2011

And the fun continues...

Elise came down with what they call a "breakthrough disease" of chicken pox. She was vaccinated in the States and then exposed to the wild virus here. She was very crabby last week and then broke out with chicken pox on Friday. She only had 25 or so marks on her back that didn't quite look like the normal chicken pox but after putting all the pieces together it's the only thing that made sense. Thankfully, it wasn't a bad case and she is back to her normal self today! She's trying to see the chicken pox herself in the picture.

Last Saturday we drove an hour to the little town of Newry to meet our good friends, Kevin and Alison from England. They were staying in Dublin and we met half way to spend the afternoon together. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed seeing a cathedral and a castle. We had a nice lunch with our Belfast Baps and Irish Soda bread beside the canal.
Inside the cathedral in Newry.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Rough Week

Since the last posting things have gotten stranger. We continue to struggle with coughs and colds and sleepless nights. Yesterday, Elise was trying to help clean up and accidentally knocked over a heavy wooden TV tray that landed square on my baby toe. The toe turned black and blue and began swelling immediately. Unfortunately, the timing wasn't that great because we had to leave and get the other kids home from school. So, I hobbled up the 1/4 mile or more up to the kids' school using Elise's stroller for support. Then when we got to school Elise decided to walk along a short wall and fell over backwards and got stuck between the wall and fence. I am sure I looked hilarious trying to lift Elise up while standing on one leg while she was screaming the whole time. I finally got her right side up and she was fine, just frightened more than hurt. This morning Elise has a horrible cough that sounds like it is coming from the depths of her lungs. I am just hoping and praying that it isn't pneumonia. My toe is all sorts of fun colors and painful to walk on. It will be an interesting next couple of days. It's hard not to wonder how I am going to manage with my only source of transportation (my feet) in jeopardy.