Ireland - Adventure of a Lifetime

As I sat in a bustling cafe enjoying breakfast, soaking up the last bit of Irish accents and countryside, I couldn't believe my trip was coming to a close. Now, being back home in Minnesota, it still feels as though those days in Ireland were a dream. Did it really happen? Can I go back and do it all over again? 

I knew this trip would be incredible but I have now decided there needs to be a new word created to describe the experience. Instead of boring you with every minor detail from the trip I made the executive decision to share the highlights, which is still a difficult task in itself, but here it goes: 

Favorite Town - Kinsale

When I asked for recommendations on places to see in Ireland, almost everyone said Kinsale and when I discovered we had an Engel & Völkers shop there, I knew I had to make a stop. With it's brightly painted store fronts, friendly people and delicious macaroons I immediately fell in love. When I had one day left in Ireland I debated driving 3 hours back to Kinsale to spend more time there because a few hours was not nearly enough. If you're going to Ireland, you MUST go to Kinsale! 

Favorite Coffee Shop - Suas Coffee House in Ennis

Arriving in Dublin I immediately stumbled upon multiple Starbucks coffee shops, running on fumes I grabbed myself a caramel macchiato and explored the city. It wasn't until Sky joined me on the Ireland adventure I started to understand what real coffee was all about. On our way to the Cliffs of Moher we made a detour for this incredible coffee shop in Ennis called Suas Coffee House . If you know me, I'm not a big coffee person to begin with but one sip of this vanilla latte and I felt all the warm and fuzzies. Not to mention their chocolate almond coffee cake was to die for! Sky shared his scone and avocado, chorizo sandwich, which were both phenomenal! 

Favorite Dessert - ORSO Kitchen & Bar in Cork

After grabbing drinks at a bar in Cork we walked across the city to ORSO, a restaurant with about 20 seats, where we bellied up at the bar. The waitstaff was fantastic and as we ate our appetizers we watched the waitress assemble the chocolate assortment. My mouth immediately started to water, my eyes grew big and my stomach growled. Being the last two customers in the restaurant they kindly served up our chocolate platter with an extra treat and it was heaven. Every single bite was delicious, wanting at least another one of the peanut butter chocolate balls to stick in my purse. They wouldn't notice right? This is a must stop for anyone traveling in Cork, food and service were phenomenal! 

Favorite Overall Experience - Cliffs of Moher

One of the main reasons I chose Ireland was for this magical landscape in County Clare, The Cliffs of Moher. When I wasn't lost in the beauty of the landscape attempting to capture it with my camera, I was left speechless. Photos do not do it justice, there is only one way to experience it... in person. I wish I could have stayed there forever. We lucked out with the most perfect weather, arriving a few hours before sunset with a few tourists and by the time we walked back to our cars it felt as though we were the only people there. 

Beautiful. Inspiring. Everything I wanted it to be and more. 

Photo taken by Skyler Shaw 

Photo taken by Skyler Shaw 

Favorite Travel Companion - Sky

At least thirteen years had passed since seeing each other, not crossing paths even while at the same University, it was only fitting to grab a few pints while in Dublin. Skyler recently moved to the city for work and was kind enough to show me around the pubs my first night in town. Considering his recent move, the countryside of Ireland hadn't been explored by him either. Insert my brilliant idea of having him accompany me while on this crazy adventure! I cannot imagine exploring the countryside any other way. He was our restaurant and coffee expert, my GPS while driving the back roads of each county, the man who kindly encouraged us to climb a mountain and let's be real, put up with me for 5 days :) 

Thank you Sky for being a fantastic travel companion and gently pushing me outside of my comfort zone, cannot wait for the next food inspired adventure. 

The travel bug has officially bitten me and I'm already planning the next adventure, kindly taking any and all recommendations. Life is far too short to sit still and I'm excited to see what's out there! Wonder where my passport will take me next...