After dropping Mom and Dad off in Dublin, Greg and I had an extra night before picking up some friends from New York, Blake and Trudi. They were total troopers after their overnight flight too, but we all agreed that the best way to beat the jet lag was an immediate visit to a distillery. Thus, our first stop was a fairly cheesy, but super fun tour of Tullamore Dew. From there we kept driving on to Kinvarra where we’d used Airbnb again to book an apartment for a couple of days. The name of the game for the week was adventure and this place definitely helped set the right tone. Ronan, our host, was probably best described as eccentric and his house had the character to match. We drove north the next day through Connemara and then to Kylemore Abbey. The abbey was gorgeous, though we wished we’d been able to see more of the inside. From Connemara we drove back a bit past Kinvarra for an evening of live music and really great food in Doolin. We also had our first real taste of Irish driving and decided the full rental car insurance was a really good idea as we drove a road with at least ten switchbacks and barely enough room for any cars coming from the other direction, eek! The next morning we set off toward Killarney and where we were staying for the next couple of nights. The drive through county Clare was of course beautiful and we stopped to see both the cliffs of Moher and a cute little jam shop that Greg knew about (and seems to randomly make it to on every visit to Ireland). That night we stayed at another place booked through Airbnb. It was completely different than Ronan’s though, and much closer to our previous (and more positive) experiences. We walked down into town for dinner and then on our way back stumbled on some more live music that totally made the night. The next morning we set off to spend the whole day driving the Ring of Kerry. We could have easily spent the entire week on this drive, but even in our limited amount of time managed to see a goat crowned as king, a couple of castles, 1400 year old forts, and some of the most amazing views we’ve seen anywhere. On our last full day in Ireland we spent the morning driving from Killarney back to Dublin. Midway we saw a sign for Moneygall, President Obama’s ancestral home. With an American flag lined street and a place called ‘Obama Cafe’ it was super fun, very bizarre and totally worth the stop. Once we made it to Dublin we spent the evening on a whirlwind tour through the Jameson Distillery, Guinness Storehouse and a great pub near Temple Bar. It was a perfect way to end our week in Ireland!