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OK, so we've been ordered to observe a 30-day lock down, and our borders have been closed for vacation travel. We will live again. We will vacation again. This too shall pass. In light of this we decided to post 30 of our favorite vacation experiences during the course of this lock down. So for the next 30 days starting today we will post vacation ideas based on our personal experiences with our own photos for resorts, destinations and cruises.


The Rock of Cashel, Ireland

The Rock of Cashel, Ireland

It was not that long ago we were stuck for a last minute family vacation idea. Nothing seemed to work out. Believe it or not Ireland did. Great rates, flights, accommodations - they all fell perfectly in place. So off we went on an 8-day, 4 adult, 1 child family vacation in the same rental car. Justin planned every aspect from A to Z.

You can read our day to day itinerary here. But for the sake of space we will stick with the first day for this post. So off we flew to Dublin enjoying complimentary import beer and wine aboard our AA flight. With our rental car in possession we take off driving on the opposite side of the road for a 2-hour ride south to the famous Rock of Cashel.

Jay, Cameron, Carol, Justin & Katie French at The Rock of Cashel, Ireland.

Jay, Cameron, Carol, Justin & Katie at The Rock of Cashel, Ireland.

What an amazing site to begin our first Ireland experience. The Rock, is a fabulous castle which began it first phase of construction back around 1235. It sits above the interesting town of Cashel and offers stunning views over the entire town in one direction, and lovely Irish countryside with a mountain range as far as we could see in the opposite direction. The grounds surrounding the castle are filled with Irish crosses as headstones above family graves established centuries ago.

Irish crosses atop of grave sites at The Rock of Cashel.

The fascinating historic grounds at The Rock of Cashel.

The castle is undergoing a massive restoration project. Much of it is open to the skies, while other sections are enclosed with rooms furnished to represent their past appearance, photos through the years as well as photos of the Queen's visit a few years earlier. Having never experiencing anything quite like this we agree this was a perfect introduction to Ireland.

Graves and Ireland countryside at The Rock of Cashel.

Graves and Irish countryside at The Rock of Cashel.

Off to Cork. Sure we were tired from the overnight flight and lack of real sleep, but who needs that when adrenaline is flowing. But there was our first dinner in Ireland to tend to first. It was late and our first attempt failed us so off to the next village of Killeagh we drove (in the opposite direction of our hotel). A simple pub served the purpose successfully with our first Guinness in the land of you know what, and some tasty Irish sandwiches.

Justin's first Guinness in Ireland at the Old Thatch in Killeagh, Ireland.

While our itinerary will include accommodations of all types: B & B's, chain hotels, mom & pops, etc. Justin had warned us our first night accommodations would be of the economical variety. As we near our hotel we observe the remains of Castlemartyr Castle. Obstructed from our view was the fabulous Castlemartyr Resort, our surprise luxurious home for the night.

Castlemartyr Resort room

Castlemartyr Resort room interior. Cobb, Ireland

Our 500 square foot suite is luxuriously furnished and includes floor to ceiling windows overlooking lovely grounds and stables. The bathroom is fabulous. We have no complaints. Neither did any of the celebrities including Bruce Springsteen, who stayed here before us. As the night rapidly concludes Justin & I adjourn to the Knights Bar, reminiscent of ancient times yet very modern, for a couple Irish ales. Cheers to our first fabulous day in Ireland.

Luxurious bathroom at Castlemartyr Resort. Cobb, Ireland

Bathroom at Castlemartyr Resort. Cobb, Ireland

We will return with more of our Ireland trip before our lock down concludes. Still to come: Cliffs of Moher, Ring of Kerry, Slieve League, Giants Causeway and much more.

Castlemartyr castle ruins. Cobb, Ireland

Castlemartyr castle ruins. Cobb, Ireland

ULTIMATE VACATIONS can help you arrange an Ireland vacation either independent, hosted, or escorted through well qualified tour operators. Call us for personal service. 913 248 0108

Knight's Bar at Castlemartyr Resort in Cobb, Ireland

Knight's Bar at Castlemartyr Resort in Cobb, Ireland

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