Ireland is a huge part of our family. My husband’s mother was born there and there lives his aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, and grandparents homestead too. Each year, we take a family trip to Ireland for the Easter half term holidays.
While we have our very favorite places to visit each time, we do love to see new places too. We plan out the 8-10 days we are normally there to see family and friends as much as explore the country. Last year, we went to Belfast so this year we thought we would see the west coast of Ireland and stay over in Galway. Granny always comes with us so she gets quality time with the kids in the house she grew up in. I know it’s just as magical to her as it is for us to watch them play in the same front garden where my husband and his mother played as kids too. There is nothing better than generations after generation sharing those memories.
We pack our car to bursting point and drive to Holyhead to catch the ferry to Dublin. While the kids are so mesmerized by the ferry ride and the views, sadly I am not. I have no sea legs and usually you can find me in the middle of the boat watching a movie to try to distract my stomach from contracting and being sick. Ugh! But it’s so worth it when we get there to have our car, car seats, and all our belongings. We stay at my husband’s grandparents house that they kept in the family.
There is something about Ireland where we stay that feels more like back home for me. It’s a small town, little corner shop and a pub and that’s really it. It’s pure country with fresh air the cows in the field and the tractors that you constantly curse to move over, just like home. Everyone knows you and it’s so welcoming to come back to each year.
Check out last year’s video to Fore Castle and Ireland, but this year we only stopped by to say hello to it’s beauty and reminisce about the first time we took both kids there. They have a new walkway through the woods that we took one night after the kids went to bed that you would never know is there but it’s AMAZING. There were fairy houses, hedgehog huts, painted house that tells you a story about two local friends that use to walk this very path through the woods to each other’s house each day. It’s lovely.
We always get so lucky with the weather at Easter time. Don’t get me wrong you can see how windy it was on most days while we were there but the sun did shine and come out to say hello. One day we even got to shed those coats and soak up the sunrays.
B and MM are really getting into taking photos of us as much as I do them. While at first I was nervous they would break my camera or phone or they would take a hundred of just my feet, lately their photos are coming out fun, creative, and from a different perspective – their perspective. I love it. B took this one of me being silly and MM took the one below of B attempting the same. Just shows you from their height it’s a great angle I must start squatting more when I am taking photos. lol
There is something so beautiful and peaceful about Fore Castle and the lake on the way. I love as we drive Mr P has different stories about the time at the lake with his cousins who now have children our children’s age too. He spend every holiday and summer time there like my kids spend their summers in America. I always makes me excited as the kids get older their memories of America will start sticking.
While these family snaps aren’t in focus and a complete Me & Mine failure… I am sharing them here because it was such a beautiful place we were walking that day and I love them and their memories even if they aren’t in focus. Life isn’t about perfection or everything being perfect and so I think this sums our vacation up…we played, we laughed, we walked, we explored, and we were wind whipped and happy together as a family.
This visit was amazing because the kids were older to hike longer, explore further, and were more interested in the next thing we were going to do or see. They aren’t babies anymore. They run in and out of the house like I did as a kid with my siblings to play yard games, kick the ball around or get a drink and snack and back out they go.
I love that it’s limited wifi and no tv really to watch and forces us all to be present and shut off from the main stream world for a bit. We light the fireplace each night and have a cup of baileys and read a book or chat about our days events or plans for the next day. Those memories will stick with me forever. We always leave a map for the Easter bunny or last year even Santa when we went for Xmas and it’s a great surprise to the kids that they know where we go when we aren’t home for the holidays.
We did go to Malahide Castle last year which was just as amazing this year. I always wish we had longer time with friends but it was so amazing that they came and had a day out with us for a picnic. While the weather wasn’t play ball with us as good as it did the year before we still got to play in the fields, walk around the loop and ended with a car picnic. Check out our Malahide Castle adventures with friends here.
But mostly it was chilled out days in between busy days, playing in the garden, watching the cows across the street. Looking for foxes and spotting frogs. The typical fun country life. Wellies were on most of the time and in the evening when the sun was out we would kick the soccer ball around or play family tag (see video below) until bedtime for the kids.
Ireland is beautiful in the Spring time. The flowers are all coming out to bloom. You can spot the floral buds on every tree. If we weren’t in the states each summer I can imagine it would be a colorful summer over there too.
What I love most about our trips there besides the obvious catching up with family and friends is that it enlightens my children about the difference between city life and country life and the difference between their time in England, Ireland and America. They are part of three countries and three cultures and I am so grateful we get to really indulge in all three!
I also love the relationship blossoming between my two. When they only have each other to play with they are the best team. As MM gets taller and more mature you can see the age gap completely disappearing. They have laughed more and been more silly than I have ever seen them on this trip. They really are such great siblings to each other and I always feel so blessed when I see them loving each other and getting along.
Some days we would have family picnics and some days we would go to one of our favorite coffee places in Mullingar. It’s not far from where we stay and they do lovely healthy food too. It’s hard not to want to take a photo. The coffee there is so tasty too! There is a few shops there that I love so much and every year I try to save up to buy a few pieces to bring home with me.
Ireland has a few shops I just wish we had in the UK. Avoca is one of my favorite home stores and I am devastated they don’t do online shopping. But I always leave room in the car coming home for a piece or two. Carraig Donn is my new favorite clothing shop. The trends they have this year are my style to a tee. It’s like a peak in my wardrobe.
When we get together with family it’s hard to remember to pull the camera out unfortunately and I also don’t want to spam other children on my site (respecting everyone else) but here is all the cousins together on the stairs of Mr P’s cousins house. I was so happy I got them all smiling together here. Hopefully we can get this photo every year and see how they have grown and changed. Check out the video below to see the kids passing around baby chicks too, so cute.
If you followed my instagram feed or my ig stories while we were there you would have saw Mr P and I headed to the west coast of Ireland to explore the Wild Atlantic Way. We had lunch in Westport and a bit of shopping than made our way to Galway for the night. We stayed in the beautiful Radisson Hotel and Spa and after a whole day of driving the coast, we popped into the spa for relaxation and went out to eat at Il Vicolo restaurant. It was amazing time just the two of us and so needed. We thank Granny for watching the kids for us for a night.
Of course when I saw the rapeseed that I never can get to or find near us I had to grab our Me & Mine Family photos for April. Here is one of me and the kids. I only wish it was a brighter day as it was a bit grainy on my phone. It was an experience to say the least but we love the quick few photos we captured.
Clearly, I love traditions and we only capture us on the steps of his Grandparents house. A place where his grandparents sat, his mother and aunts/uncles sat, him and his sister sat, and now our kids. Then it was home time on the ferry to come home back. The kids were exhausted from some much outdoor adventures but we had the best time. I can’t wait to go back again next Easter already. Any suggestions where we should visit, please comment below.
Why not pin this to your family travels board on Pinterest for ideas where to go and what to do in Ireland. (Pin will be full size on Pinterest just smaller here for convenience).
Don’t forget to check out our video that shares more of our adventures on the Wild Atlantic Way… and more …..
THANKS FOR WATCHING!!!