Vanessa and I wanted to take a real destination trip with Dominic, kinda sorta just to see if we could do it. Not that we were hoping or envisioning that it would be impossible, but it was hard to visualize, so we had to try.
We settled on Ireland as the destination based on two propositions: we can take the baby to the pub, and the people love babies. (These were the actual reasons recommended by an Irish friend of Vanessa.) OK, not that we’re such raging alcoholics that we can only travel to pubs, but “can take the baby to the pub” is actually a pretty good proxy for “is not uptight, and will be forgiving of people traveling with a baby”, which turned out to be true. Also true is that the Irish were not only gracious and charming hosts, but that many of them indeed like babies and know how to show it. For us, this translated to both people being prepared and understanding, but also to a lot of free entertainment. Dominic likes a lot of stimulation, and he got it.
I’m pretty proud of our itinerary, in retrospect, because we were making it up as we went along and it turned out really easy. No doubt it helps that Ireland is a small country, native English speaking (almost), and the people and culture are easygoing, so probably anything you do there is likely to go well. Still, for us it turned out remarkably easy to travel.
Here’s where we went:
The itinerary, of which I’m proud because the transfers were so easy and involved only public transit: We flew from San Francisco to London and then immediately to Dublin and caught the city bus to our hotel. Dublin: 3 days walking around, with a side DART trip to Howth. Then we walked from our hotel to Heuston Station and caught the Irish Rail train to Galway, where we stayed at a hotel a block away from the train station. Galway: 2 days walking around, with a bus/boat trip to Inishmore (largest of the Arran Islands). Then we rented a car from the Budget office right next to the train station and drove south to the Cliffs of Moher, with an overnight stay at Ennis, then to Dingle. Dingle: 2 days walking around, with a drive around the peninsula loop. Then we drove onwards to the Kerry Peninsula and around the Ring of Kerry, then to Kenmare. Kenmare: 2 days walking around including a hilly and marshy segment of the Kerry Way. Finally, leaving Kenmare, we drove past Cork to Waterford, dropped our rental car off at the tiny airport there, and caught a flight back to London Luton, from where it was an easy train ride to the London neighborhood we were staying in.
Some photographic evidence of highlights from Ireland:
Howth, a scenic day trip from Dublin:
Dominic disembarking the train in Galway with aplomb:
Galway’s Dominick Street:
O’Brien’s Castle above the Cliffs of Moher:
Dominic playing in the window seat at Murphy’s ice cream shop in Dingle:
Dominic and Vanessa taking a break from hiking the Kerry Way, above Kenmare:
Have a look at the rest of our pictures.