My husband has to leave for work the entire summer so we really wanted to get a couple trips in before. Choosing where to go on our first overnight trip in Europe was a bit overwhelming. I mean, we want to go everywhere! I decided to just head to skyscanner and do an open search for the month of April and see where tickets were cheap. Shannon, Ireland came up as $140 total for our family of 4. A quick google search to see what was in that area and I was sold. Ireland it is!
We drove to London Stansted airport which is about 45 minutes from our house and arranged for the meet and greet parking (well worth the money). The flight was a breeze…only 1:05, and the Shannon airport is very small and simple. It probably only took 20 minutes from landing to driving off in our rental car.
Our hotel was in Limerick which is about 25 minutes from Shannon so we decided to stop at a castle located in between the two small cities. Bunratty is a 15th century medieval castle located in Bunratty village. Aside from touring the castle the admission includes entry into the gardens, playground, shops, and some farm animals. After being in the car and plane the boys were ready to burn some steam so we headed to play and watch the goats munch grass first.
The castle itself was like a maze as their were small winding staircases everywhere and I’m not even sure we saw all the rooms. Probably my favorite was the great hall where Kellan got to sit on the throne and pretend to be a king. Every time we see a castle or anything resembling one he always asks “I wonder if the King is home?”
I also enjoyed showing the kids the dungeon where I told Kellan they put people in time outs.
Carter was all about climbing the stairs. He has become fiercely independent in this area and will throw a tantrum in a heartbeat if you hold him going up or down instead of letting him go by himself. Sorry, kid. Not the safest stairs!
After touring the castle we walked around and admired the beauty and snapped pictures. Mostly the kids just wanted to chase the crows and pick flowers. With the dark skies and black crows hovering around us there was a bit of a dark and creepy feeling to the castle (but, in a good way).
After the castle we drove to the Absolute Hotel In Limerick. Mama did good choosing this hotel. It was large, clean and had excellent views. If we return to the area I would definitely stay there again. It is walking distance to plenty of attractions and amenities. After unloading the car we walked to The Locke pub down the street and enjoyed our first Irish meal. Well…Carter and I enjoyed a meal. Kellan told Ben he had to use the bathroom and then they ended up being in there a really long time because Kellan had an upset stomach. Then that night Kellan woke up puking all over the hotel room which was pretty traumatic for all four of us. So we didn’t get much sleep our first night in Ireland but that’s travelling with toddlers. You really do have to be prepared for anything.