Thursday, March 31, 2011

Way Too Much Fun in Ireland

This week we had a short but fun visit with Tal and Anita in NYC. We were with them for parts of two days and overnight and we loved seeing their amazing pictures of the Ice Hotel and the fascinating Swenson stomping grounds in Sweden. We also got to see Tal and his partner Danny give an Imagine Learning presentation in a school in Brooklyn. They did a great job! I’ll post about that on our way home since I forgot to take pictures and we’re staying overnight with them again on the way home, After some good talks and a meeting with our book agents we headed out on a “red eye” to Dublin on Tuesday night.

Wednesday morning we rented a car and drove all the way (3 hrs) across the country, managing to remember to stay on the wrong side of the road, to an incredible hotel that Dad/Rick found online while surfing around for our trip. Did we ever hit the jackpot! It is truly beyond belief!

The original building was founded in 1228 by the de Burgo family following their defeat of the native O’Conners of Connaught. In 1589 the castle fell into the hands of Lord Bingham, with whom we hope to find a connections since we are Binghams ourselves!

It passed through several hands including the famous Guinness Family who expanded the property to 26,000 acres (yes the Guinness family of current beer fame).  It then passed through many other capable hands and has recently been voted one of the top two hotel properties in Europe.






Every room as well as hundreds of pieces of art in the hotel is stunning, including 11 Waterford crystal chandeliers in the dining room!











Because Dad is doing a column on the castle and I’m doing a blog post for the Deseret News….last night we stayed in “The Stateroom”.







And tonight we’re staying in the Presidential Suite…whose former occupants include Ronald Reagan, Princess Grace, Bob Hope (whose daughter married one of the former owners) and of course, Pearce Brosnan who was married in a church nearby and spent his honeymoon here.









The grounds were equally impressive. We were thrilled with the green, the occasional sun, the flowers and the amazing trees. Several of the owners were gardners extraordinaire. One planted one million trees…trees of every kind, including a palm tree (which we haven’t yet found)!






Every path led to a new delight!





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The hotel staff has been so good to us!  We’re so grateful that because it’s off-season in the hotel business and pretty much everything in Ireland is priced reasonably because of the economy we have this rare and delightful opportunity to be swimming in splendor! 


eyre blog said...

Oh Mckay is going to be ecstatic to see that you two are in Ireland. He has been saving his money for a ticket to Ireland! Looks like so much fun!

Shawni said...

wow, so cool to see what you guys are up to. Miss you!!