We drove out to Connemara today. Kate’s parents are in town and they’ve rented a car. It’s great getting that American parenting that we miss so much.

Connemara was gorgeous. All mountainy and dotted with sheep. We stopped at The Quiet Man bridge, apparently where a lot of scenes of the movie were filmed. There’s a big picture of John Wayne there and everything.

Erin and I got a lot of chances to get our sheep photos in, but we failed miserably. We did not really anticipate them being quite so afraid of us. They tend to run away. We did, however, watch a guy approaching the sheep with a bucket full of feed and they were sprinting toward him. Maybe we just need a bucket.

It was about 1 hour and 15 minutes in the car. I was exhausted, but between roundabouts and the winding, bumpy Irish roads, sleeping is impossible in the car.

We drove down to Kylemore Abbey which was fascinating. The place was built by a Mr. Henry for his family. But his wife died at age 45, before it was ever finished. He built a church nearby to bury her there, and years later when the nuns took it over, they built a mausoleum for her. There are only a few rooms you can go into in the house, I think because nuns still live somewhere in there, and because there’s a private school there, but the open rooms were all furnished and had a lot of the original architectural pieces (the original fireplaces were especially gorgeous). We took a shuttle to the gardens, which were walled in at the base of the mountain and were awesome even though nothing was in bloom. I can’t imagine it in the summer (can’t wait to go back with Mom in May).

When we left to find lunch, we kept seeing signs for Letterfrack. We seemed to remember the Keane boys mentioning it, so we assumed it was a cool place. But upon arriving there, it was tiny and the first place we stopped wasn’t even serving food. And then we saw the furniture college. The Keanes had never told us to go to Letterfrack. They had merely mentioned that Alan’s brother had gone to school there. They may have even said don’t go to Letterfrack. The memory plays tricks on us.

(BUT, an amendment: I talked to Alan, and he said that some cousins own a pub called the Bard’s Den in Letterfrack. The funny part? That’s where we ate lunch!)

Anyway, having parents around is great. They drove us all the way out there and still got us home in time for class at 5. How very responsible parents tend to be.

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