We left early on Saturday morning to head to Dingle, and the 2 1/2 hour drive went smoothly. We didn’t really know what to expect of Dingle Bay, other than many people we talked to spoke of their love for the space. We had the good fortune to workout on Friday with a woman who was from that area, and she and our trainer had restaurant suggestions for us.
We had reservations at Tower View, which boasted of a mini-farm with goats and sheep. When we drove up, Yessa’s first comment was, “I don’t like the color of the house.”
The color grows on you.
Then we saw the dog running to greet us, then we saw the goats, and then she fell in love.
Happy girl, happy sheep
A pregnant goat
Chocolate brown sheep
Happy to eat a cream biscuit
Mary, our hostess, had been very receptive and helpful via email, and since she was participating in a mini-marathon that day, she was glad for us to check in early. At that point, we were the only people staying in the B&B for the night, so she gave us our keys, suggested we go for a drive around the Peninsula since it was such a gorgeous day with forecasts of rain on Sunday, suggested good places to eat that were kid-friendly, showed us our room, and sent us on our way.
We popped down for a bite to eat at Harrington’s:
Dad had a Guinness at lunch, but we managed to revive him for the drive.
After lunch we loaded everyone into the car. We knew we’d pass by beaches, and planned to stop and play, then stop at any other areas of interest.
Shortly after we began the drive, we passed a beautiful beach. It was sunny, the water not too cold, and everyone was excited to play.
So excited, that Buster and Yessa ended up covered in sand and sea water…at the beginning of our drive. We hadn’t brought extra clothes, and we couldn’t head back to town because the mini-marathon had started.
Some pictures of the fun we had in the water:
Let’s touch the water.
He loves to build in the sand.
Of course she found a doggy friend.
He loved playing fetch into the water.
Time to get out of the water.
Yessa had been wearing two pair of pants, so we were able to improvise for her. Both kids had to go commando, and Buster had to wear his sweatshirt as pants. He and Yessa had several interesting conversations about which of them had the most sand lodged in various crevices. Luckily everyone took it in good spirits.
We saw several more lovely spots.
Buds and I quickly toured the Beehive Huts:
Just surviving was so hard in the past.
We then had a hilarious moment when we came upon a roadside shrine and Yessa hollered out, in total seriousness:
“My God, are you okay?!”
It was such a spontaneous gesture of sincere concern, but so strangely adult and blasphemic, we laughed for a long time.
It was an extremely blustery day, as evidenced by the birds seeming to float in one place.
We came upon a scenic overlook that had an ice cream truck, and ice cream seemed like the perfect addition to this day. I had a lovely visit with the gal inside it. She offered insight on Americans (Southerners are friendliest.), and talked about how the Irish love their ice cream.
I told Buds I could see retiring to Dingle to be an ice cream truck vendor someday. It would be the perfect job: meeting new people all the time, being toasty warm inside your little portable space, fantastic view, and ice cream!
I loved the stone picnic table. They have plenty of stone…use it.
While the youngsters and I enjoyed our ice cream, Buds took the chance to hike down closer to the shore to take some lovely shots.
We stopped at a book store/cafe/Irish craft store clear out on the peninsula, and finally found a chalice for our family. We’ve looked for a very long time, and apparently it had been waiting on the Dingle Peninsula for us all this time.
We light this chalice…
After a multi-hour drive, we ended up back at our hotel for showers, fresh clothes, and then down to dinner at “The Diner.”
Another hilarious moment at dinner.
Buster had pizza, and it looked like he might be slowing down a little as he was eating.
Buds said to him, “I hope you don’t run out of gas before you finish that pizza, Buster.”
The Buster got that impish gleam in his eye and said, “I’m eating all this gluten, and you are afraid I’ll run out gas?!”
Gotta love that boy, and his awareness of his intestinal reactions.
Dingle Day 2:
We woke to a rainy day, but it cleared quickly.
The view from our front window.
Ready to start the day.
The lambs needed fed, and there were willing helpers.
Then we had one of those moments that defines us as a family. We had talked about going to The Aquarium, but that was when it looked like the day would be dreary. As we started to walk to the village, we realized it was going to be sunny, and possibly plans should be changed. Maybe a ferry over to the Blasket Islands would be a better option.
We realized we were divided into multiple camps, and we’d need to find a compromise that was respectful of everyone. One of the many things we love about our tribe is that we are all willing to adjust and be flexible as long as we feel heard and respected.
And we had a lovely/direct/insightful moment of clarity brought by Yessa when we were talking about going to The Aquarium and she said, “Mama, you hate zoos, and an aquarium is just like a zoo, so why are you willing to go there?”
Sweet, glorious, honest child.
“Because The Buster wants to go,” was my simple reply.
So, The Buster and I headed to the aquarium, while Yessa, Monkey, and Buds toured the gift shops in town.
If ever two parents were giving up their personal preferences to respect their children’s wishes, it was this day.
Murphy’s Ice Cream is made right in Dingle with sea salt they harvest and from milk of the very rare “Kerry” cow.
The afternoon was for the adults.
Dingle has its very own dolphin, Fungie (fun-ghee). (We were disappointed to learn the name came from an American woman who saw him for the first time and said, “He seems like a fun guy (fun-ghee.)”
Anyway, we booked spots on a boat to take a tour out into the bay, and hopefully get glimpses of Fungie.
While we waited, Yessa found Lady the puppy to spend time with.
We boarded the boat, and headed out into the bay.
Buster needed a snooze.
Oh, yes, we saw Fungie!
We learned many interesting tidbits from our tour guide on the boat.
They suspect Fungie made his way to the Dingle Bay because he is infertile, and would have been driven out from the pod that he had been with. He’s been in Dingle for over a decade now, and they think he is around 30 years old. He seems to love having his name called, and came shooting over when there were 4 boats, all calling his names.
Dingle Bay was a thriving sea port back when going cross-ocean was the way to deliver goods. It was also an active bay during both World Wars.
He also shared some fascinating history facts about how changing laws, and attempts to steer people to or from the Catholic Church had a part in the famine that devastated Ireland. Much to think about.
Our turn on Fungie’s statue
Photos by Yessa.
Bursts of laughter
After our boat tour, we had time to wander around town, more gift shops, more ice cream, and then dinner. We went to a pub that had live music, and we gave it a valiant effort to last until the music began, but dragging out a meal for 1 1/2 hours is about our max. We did do some family singing of favorites at our table, just in case we were called on to fill in for any performers.
Dingle Day 3:
After a delicious breakfast, we had one last chance to feed the babies, then we set off on the long drive home.
We entered a worm hole for the drive home. It is a 2 1/2 hour drive, but all of us felt it was so short. Toward the end, The Buster asked, “How long until we get home?”
He burst out laughing. “A two and a half hour drive felt like it only took 15 minutes!”
Good times always fly by.