We braved the rough Irish sea once again to see family for Easter. It’s so much easier when you have small children to take the ferry across to Dublin and drive to your destination not only because you can pack the car to bursting levels but because road trips, ferry rides and having your own car when you get there with car seats is brilliant for everyone. We try to make it over twice a year to visit family, see friends, and explore the many castles of Ireland.
This Easter, we did just that. We packed the car up, told the Easter bunny we would be elsewhere…Santa got a similar map and note from the tots. We made sandwiches for the ferry ride over with all our favorite snacks in tow too. When you are travelling with small ones you always have to be prepared. Yes, the ferry does have food available but we found its not only really expensive but it’s all fries, burger, fish and pizza type food which neither of my kids like. We always make nice sandwich in a cooler with water bottles full and lots of nibbles like raisins, rice cakes, fruit, and granola bars.
The kids absolutely love taking the ferry even if Mommy gets sea sick, every time. We think we are cursed because normally we take the fast ferry over to Dublin from Holyhead but the last four times it’s been cancelled due to weather and we end up taking the slower one. The weather never helps me either making waves crash hard against the ferry and the color from my face green along with it. But I still think it’s the better way to travel over to Ireland when you have kids so I take it in my stride and think of the many places we will see.
Fore Castle is near where my husband’s mother grew up, where we stay in the house she was raised in. It seems like it’s always our first place to visit, go for long family walks, and enjoy the sunshine above us. It’s a beautiful place with a lake near by and we stop there too. It’s a little tradition, one that Mr P used to do with his own parents when he was the kids’ age so memories sit here for him too. I love the family memories that pour out of everyone when we visit and they talk of past times here growing up. There is something so magical about generations and family history as much as the magic of the castles and their own history. This trip we seem to have been at a different castle every day. Something that you can’t find in America so it’s pretty amazing to me.
We spend a day at Trim Castle, home of Braveheart and it’s beautiful grounds. Granny came to Ireland with us this time, for the first time. We stowed her away in between two car seats, bless her, but it was great to have her there sharing her very own childhood at all these places along with us. The kids are so close to their Granny and we ecstatic she was there with us. The house felt so great having her with us in it. The very house she grew up in, cooking in, celebrate her own fare share of Easter egg hunts too. I bet it was even more memorable from her point of view watching her own grandchildren running around the garden she ran around. Trim is a beautiful little town too. We did some shopping, ate at the hotel next to the Castle that has the cutest boutique to shop in too. I always love going there. While we try to see different places each time there are places like this and Fore Castle that we always see.
This time around I was too busy soaking in the kids’ laughter, quality time with the hubby and chatting away with my mother-in-law. I only took a few shots of our trip with my iphone. Sometimes even if they are a little grainy it’s still the memories that count. I really enjoyed the slower pace of life and just shutting off for once. It’s hard for me to unwind. I have never been any good at it. We had a lovely family day with Mr P’s Aunties and cousins. The kids had their four cousins there too. I only captured this photo below of our family day sadly but we were having too much fun catching up to do others. You can see with four boys, MM was the odd one out and she tried to keep up but bless she wasn’t having any luck being the youngest one. Having six children (baby not in photo) under 4 made for some entertainment and challenges for the adults but it was the best Easter ever.
Since Granny came with us this time we had the chance to go out for the day just Mr P and I. Whilst golf isn’t ever my first choice it was a semi-sunny day and the golf course was at a castle. I am a sucker for castles so I strolled along as his caddy for the day and it was lovely and peaceful just us two together. We then went home, got dressed up and went out for a lovely meal with his cousin and her husband. It was the first time without all our kids climbing all over us that we got to have a drink together, catch up and be adults. It was lovely. We were grateful for Granny babysitting.
I have a lovely friend Emma from Life at the Little Wood who I try to catch up with while we are over there. Her family is absolutely amazing and so sweet to us. We always have such a great time with them. I love when you can get two whole families together and the moms get along, the dads get along, and the kids hit it off every time. It makes getting together so easy, so fun and enjoyable. We had a blast with them walking around Malahide Castle, seeing the biggest pastries of my life, shopping at Avoca my favorite shop, and hitting the town for something to eat. The kids always have a good giggle together too.
This time we found a huge wooden playground to stop at with the kids. It was massive. I think the kids were in awe of it as much as we were. It was a lovely sunny afternoon so we took them their to run off steam. They didn’t want to leave they were having so much fun. It was one of those there so many different obstacles they would be on one thing and run to the next and the next and I was constantly running after them to keep a close watch from one end of the playground to the other. Phew, it was tiring. I think I was feeling my age when they were playing. I would love to have the energy they do, again, just think of all I could accomplish.
Our Easter trip was a short one and in no time at all we were back in the car heading for the Ferry. Once again, fast ferry was cancelled and we were prepared for the slower one. Either way, we sailed back in another storm but we had sunny bright blue skies while we were there and that’s all that matters. As long as you are prepared, packed, and got your motion sickness medicine with you the ferry is a lovely way to see Ireland with the family.
Check out our trip to Belfast the last time we took the Ferry over… HERE.
Check out our Easter weekend in Ireland with family and friends! Don’t forget to subscribe if you like our family adventure videos!
So cool! I have some Irish lineage…I would LOVE to visit there someday!
Pamela | lifewithmunchers says
Aw, looks like you had a great time! That spread of cakes looks amazing! I’m terrible on boats, I’d be really ill. Well done you for sticking it out though xx
This is my husbands dream, he always talks about getting the ferry to France but it makes me a bit nervous with the girls – but maybe we could start with Ireland and see how we get on. Looks like you had a lovely time x
Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons says
It looks like you had such a lovely break! I get horribly seasick too – you have my sympathies 🙂 You can tell you’re a mum when despite you getting seasick, you still take the ferry anyway as it’s best for the kids! I’ve never been to Ireland apart from Dublin – it looks absolutely beautiful and it’s so close, I should definitely sort out rectifying that!
Yes it makes it easier for me when it’s easier for them. lol Definitely mom points there. We love it there. Definitely check it out sometime road trip!
What a wonderful way to catch up with family and it looks like you had some glorious weather for your visit. I’m with you on getting sea sick, we take the Ferry to France each year, it’s a long one and the kids love it, it is relaxing if sick making! Not too much of a problem with a lovely holiday to look forward to though. Well done for packing in so much and the castles there look really imposing and great for an explore. #Sharewithme
Mummy Fever says
Love the cute video – the castles look great too, my children love a good castle! #sharewithme
Mrs Tubbs says
Catching up with family is wonderful and it looks like you had a great time 🙂 And with good weather! Thanks for hosting each week 🙂
Catie: An Imperfect Mum says
Family time is the best and Trim castle looks like a great day out. I loved the shot of the kids in the stocks. I am not a great boat fan but we are coming over to the UK by ferry in summer, I am hoping for a smooth crossing.
I love Ireland. Looks like you had a great time. A day at a golf course would have been my idea of hell before kids. Sounds quite relaxing now though! #ShareWithMe
Cheryl @ ReimerandRuby says
Sounds like a lovely and fun family getaway! I have not been to Ireland yet, and it’s actually nice to know that it can be accessed through Ferry which I would fancy at some point. Bonding with family, cousins and meeting up with friends is great, I miss doing that myself. Lovely post and beautiful photos too! #sharewithme
Joanna @mumbalance says
It looks like you managed to squeeze in lots into your Easter trip 🙂
It is great when different generations of the family meet. It’s important that kids meet their cousins to make sure they continue family connection.
Poor you with the sea sickness though… I wish I could give you some advice. I don’t get sick myself on ferries, quite the opposite the motion makes me sleepy.
Thanks for hosting #sharewithme
Sarah | Digital Motherhood says
Aww looks like you all had a fab time – the weather looks lovely! Glad to hear you had a good Easter 🙂
Jenny @ Unremarkable Files says
Road trips are the best, so I definitely agree it was a good move to bring the car on the ferry. (Sorry about the seasickness, though!)
Somethings are worth seasickness. Never thought I would say that but having our own car that we can pack to the hills with is a real bonus. No airport customs as I am america living in the uk it isn’t always smooth sailing to fly.
Looks like you had such a lovely Easter with family and friends. So sorry you were ill at the ferry. I get seasick as well, so I know how you feel. Lovely captures, as always, Jenny. Thanks for sharing it with us and for hosting #sharewithme this week 🙂
Love Malahide. I have recently been to the Avoca centre. I haven’t seen it before because I haven’t been to Malahide in years. But I lived there 10 years ago.
Elle C. Mayberry says
Family, tradition, enjoying the moment, and IRELAND … you guys do family vacation RIGHT! So love this post. What magical memories your children will cherish from their childhood!
Mummy here and there says
I bet they loved going on the ferry as it is an adventure to them. Also breaks the journey up. Lovely weather and a beautiful castles to explore X #swm
Carol Cameleon says
You’re the queen of travelling with kids Jenny! Looks like you had a lovely time with tons of memories 🙂 Thanks for hosting #sharewithme
Silly Mummy says
I get seasick too. & the worst ferry crossing I have ever done so far was actually the Holyhead to Dublin slow crossing in my teens! The ferry was delayed setting off too that time, so we’d spent all night at the ferry port waiting for the problems to be fixed! Still, Ireland is lovely, and those castles look beautiful! #sharewithme
Sarah @tobygoesbananas says
It looks like you had a fabulous time. How great to still be able to go and stay in the family house – I bet the kids loved hearing Granny’s stories. And although the ferry might not be much fun for you but I always think it’s easier to have the car and be able to take as much stuff as you can cram in!
Exactly I will take the sickness anyday for the car and the cramming of everything possible including my very own nespresso machine. Yup it goes everywhere with me. Snobbery to it’s highest on coffee. lol At least I admit it. I think it’s amazing to have so much history all under one roof and share that with my children.