Sunday, January 31, 2010

Birr Castle

Birr Castle
We drove down to Birr to meet up with a co-worker of Tim's, Mary and her daughter Sirsha, to see the castle. Mary's uncle worked at the castle as a gardener. Home of the Parson family since 1620, it is still a private residence and is not open to the public, but the gardens are. This castle is built on the site of a Norman castle dating from 1170. The girls spotted the moat and in they all went. How many times do you get to run around in a dry moat?

Snowdrops in January........beautiful, but even more beautiful in January!


and more lambs!

This ewe came walking right over as if to say, "No more pictures".

300 year old box hedge.....amazing. According to the Guinness Book of Records, these are the tallest in the world. The grounds have been evolving since the 17th century. The grounds include a lake, two rivers, a wildflower meadow, a formal garden, and a fernery.

Lucy, Sofie, and Sirsha feeding the ducks. They ate right out of their hands!

This is the Great Telescope. It was built in the 1840's by the third Earl of Rosse. The seventh Earl of Rosse lives in the castle today. We actually saw him going into the castle--Mary pointed him out to us!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Gertie Browne

After wandering through the fog, we were all throughly chilled, so we popped into Gertie Browne's to warm up. It is exactly what you think an Irish pub should look like--a fireplace, narrow, winding hallways, and cozy snugs.
The girls and I had tea to warm up. I had to take a picture of this--no paper cups, no disposable civilized. Love it!

If you ever come to Athlone, make sure you visit this one--it's brilliant!

Living in a Cloud

We went to Athlone this afternoon to walk around in the fog. Yes, that's fog behind the girls. They're sitting on a ledge by the River Shannon. All of these photos were taken between 3 and 4 p.m. No sunshine today.
St. Peter and Paul Church

Cheeky Sofie
Moydrum Castle

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Riding Lesson I

The girls have been dressed and ready to go riding all day....they practically ran the whole way there.
Lucy's horse Bertie was so good for her. They cantered around the arena a couple of times. Lucy's eyes were just sparkling.

Sofie's little pony, Fluffy, was so fat and round. She was just thrilled she could mount him all by herself.

Two very happy girls.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Our House

I had a couple requests for some interior shots of the house so......come on inside! Heather said it looks like a frat house. I agree. Through the front door. Sofie likes to slide down the hand rail.
The back of the house. Love the paved driveway!

This is the mudroom/laundry room coming in the back door.Yes, that is our fridge back there.
Heading into the kitchen.....

This is the room off the kitchen. We put the keyboard in here along with the hundreds of toy horses.
My favorite thing in the whole house! The fireplace....a real, peat burning (or anything else you can burn) open flame fireplace. Isn't it lovely? I'm not too keen on the flower tiles on the sides. It's the open flames I like.
Must have been a 3 for 2 sale.....This is our main living room. The fireplace is on the right. I have my station all set up right next to it--the recliner and slippers.
Upstairs hallway
Sofie's room
Lucy's room--we made all the garland for Christmas but I have a feeling it's going to stay up until we leave.
The girl's bathroom
Well, that's the house! For all of you who are interested, it's a concrete house with a slate roof. I don't think I'd do so well as a real estate agent.....frat house description might turn off a few.