when in ireland

we might travel differently (backpacking, tour groups, overpacking, adventurous or staying close by) but we can all agree when we travel God gives us His world to enjoy!

i’ve been privileged to travel and see amazing places and so have others – to places i’ve been, to places i’ve yet to go. but coming all the way here opened my eyes to see that our stories, our truly best stories come from within. whether you’ve never left the farm or you’ve moved so much you’ve lost count, whether you’ve seen too much or seen too little, you’e seen enough to tell your story. so here, i’m telling my story. what i’ve seen when in…

when in ireland…


ben and i traveled to ireland for one main purpose. to engage in conversations with a community of believers in kinsale, a beautiful small sea town just south of cork. to see if they might really want to start a small group of epic church in their home.


ben took to the right side of the car and i, the backseat. i still wasn’t back far enough! the roads narrow and the shoulders non-existent, ben got us to our friend’s home. what a strange feeling to be driving on the other side of the road and the other side of the car. it really throws your equilibrium off! a joy of travels!



kinsale breathes quality of life. the harbor and the history. the people and the community. this town is a foodie paradise with more restaurants than people! and really good ones!


ireland must have 50 shades of green. to think that God is that creative to have not just plain green, but so many greens and they are all on the island of ireland.


the fuchsia flower was seen growing wild along the streets. remember, we got a close pick at the landscape as the roads were narrow and the hedges quite close to my passenger window!


breathtaking kinsale at charles fort. constructed in the 1600s..yes, let your mind try to go back that far.


only God could have brought us here with the invitation from our friends. to have met alan at church one sunday and him begin to ask, “what if…” to now sit with his wife, while enjoying tea, we learned each other’s stories and all took the posture of letting God continue His penmanship on our lives.


i love visiting places of old. places that have stood the test of time and war and neglect and restoration. the mystery of a place so old and historic is that every person and every generation has an opportunity to make a mark. to leave a footprint. to present a legacy that goes beyond human life.


this cemetery at charles fort is so old and weathered that names and dates on the tombstones can no longer be seen. but you can imagine that the lives these markers represent all had a story. a story that blessed another life or a story that potentially squandered their own. powerful to think about…the life i am living and what i want my life to count for.


and it’s not like this particular trip had me thinking about life and the pursuit of happiness. it’s that anywhere we go, every people we encounter, all the cultures we explore, it’s all God’s way of showing us a much bigger plan, a much bigger purpose, a most beautiful picture.


sometimes when traveling, a map or google can’t even…

we were grateful for “retro camper” who we followed for a good 50 km. whatever they did, we did. we wondered if they were talking about us like we were talking about them! it appears she’s in the driver’s seat, but it’s really him. {following that train of thought, ladies?} thanks to them, we started feeling slightly more confident on the road. the left side of the road that is. and the road led us to…


i mean. i tried to get tickets to downton abbey tour outside london, but then ben found this place in ireland and you can spend the night in this mansion! the bantry house has been in the family for hundreds of years and sophie, the estate manager, is in the family lineage dating back to the earl of bantry in the 1700’s.


so my old soul was elated to fall into bed that night in this elegant home with a grand library and fancy lifeless rooms, and creaky floors and remarkable banisters and an eerie, romantic silence that caused my imagination to run wild.



what a treat to have tea in the library. rose infused. itty bitty scones that were powerful in taste with creme fraiche and raspberry jam.


i couldn’t help but put my hands on the ancient books that were in mass in the library. the high ceilings and imagining the conversations that were had in the room centuries ago.


scones were our treat again for breakfast, along with fruit, cheese, yogurt, eggs, bacon and pancakes. we probed about the scones and they were kind to share the recipe.

bantry house scone recipe


us planners barely made it to the airport from bantry, but everything lined up just right. always glad for small airports. always glad for small towns that stand out on such a big world map. also glad for the irish friendships we made and the bond that is eternal. the big cities are grand for sure. but the peace in the wide open spaces and the clayton’s living room filled up our lungs and our memories for a long time.

so when in ireland, particularly the south of ireland…

town of kinsale

charles fort {you don’t have to pay if you just want to enjoy coffee/tea/scones}

tap tavern and the ghost tours {it’s one of the oldest pubs and we got to meet the guy who runs the ghost tours!}

diva boutique bakery cafe and deli in ballinspittle {we indulged in cappuccinos, carrot cake and peanut butter deliciousness}

old kindle head golf course {it was a drive by only, but how spectacular}

bantry house {you can get a ticket to tour the house and gardens or stay a night at one of the 6 bed and breakfast rooms}

the brick oven restaurant in bantry {pizza was amazing and so was their seafood}

been to ireland? what would you recommend? 
because we're going back one day for sure!



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