When deciding we’d spend a day or so in Ireland I really just wanted to drive the countryside. Get off the highway and just drive. Seeing as much of it as I could see. Meg is OBSESSED with castles. I can’t even tell you how much so in words. I began looking through castle ruins that we could see on our day of driving. At one point I saw a photo of this castle. Actually just the entrance.I had to find it though. And I did. Then I kept it a secret from Meg. It’d just be fun to surprise her. A castle in the country that’s in ruins, sorta, with no one around or paved walkways around it or touristy. The only catch… it might end up being on private property. I guess I’d just find out when I got there.
That morning Meg woke up to a little bit of drama. And as much as she didn’t want it to show…. what was happening was hurting her. So we took our time that morning getting ready. Then it took a little time to find a place to eat since Irish don’t usually eat out on Sundays. We ended up having one of the best breakfasts of all time in an Irish pub! As we left breakfast Meg took care of things and put the events of the morning aside as I told her we were going to a castle somewhere in the opposite direction of our final destination. And we started driving out of Limerick on another cool, rainy day.
After driving in circles around the property we finally found a way in. I pulled up to a locked gate and parked our bright red car there with some trees separating us from the neighbors house. We sat there looking down the driveway with the entrance in the distance. What was our next move?
There was no way we were not going down there. We quietly got out, grabbed our stuff and tried to quietly shut to the car doors and not disturb the neighbors dogs. Then squished through the gate swiftly walking down the path. If we got caught…. we could talk our way out of it. Right?
Meg was pretty much jogging towards the castle entrance and I swear her face had to hurt from the huge perma grin. I knew my girl loved castles but even I didn’t expect this much excitement out of her. And anything that had happened that morning was washed away.
I’m honestly not sure how long we were there. It was a long time. But at the same time, I wish we had stayed longer. We spent most of our time there just looking at it with our mouths wide open. It was so incredible. The entrance alone had us mesmerized.
We walked up. Laughed alot… cause what the hell, where are we?!! Took the same photo over and over and over. And then as we started to walk through the entrance Meg took off running back down the driveway yelling something. It sounded like she was saying “Someone is coming!” Which I thought…. then why the hell are you running towards them?!! But really she was yelling “The sun is shining!” And we ran back out jumping in delight and rephotographing all of it as the sun set. Our only sunset the entire trip.
It was as if the universe was telling us this is where were meant to be. Life is good. I stood there watching Meg dance in the sunlight. Her journey and my own are similar in many ways. And, damn, they sure as hell haven’t been perfect. But they are our journeys. Ours to own. Ours to choose. Living to the fullest and happiness are choices. Ones that we choose, on a regular basis.
And for some it might sound crazy, but this moment was my favorite of the entire Europe trip. From the fjords of Norway to the Eiffel Tower and everything we saw in between… it’s this moment. Because it’s the small things in life that really make up life. Dancing as the sun shined through our hair, in the middle of the Irish countryside, in front of a real castle, just one of my best friends and I. That’s it. Til we make our way back there again….
*The photos are a mix of mine and Meg’s from our cameras, GoPro, & iPhones. Ok, mostly from our iPhones!*