This week was spent feeling like I had returned home to my ancestral land of Ireland. It is hard to explain the feeling of welcoming and love that envelopes you when you are in Ireland. Both times I have visited I felt like I was welcomed with a warm hug and genuine smile. This week was truly amazing and a week that I will be thinking about for a long while.
Sunday was spent at Kilkea Castle with a group of travel writers and industry representatives talking about the future of travel writing and how we work together. It was a full day of conversations and learning. I left the meetings with my mind racing on things I need to do and want to change as I look ahead to 2018 and beyond.
Don’t worry during the day they kept surprising us right and left! It was honestly amazing.
Waterford Crystal came to the castle to give us a demo on how Waterford is cut and designed. I was enthralled watching this process and could have happily sat and watched the bowl being created for hours. We visited the Waterford Crystal visitor center during our last visit to Ireland. It is amazing and a must visit during a trip to Ireland.
They gifted us this gorgeous crystal shamrock which I can’t wait to put on my desk. Such an amazing gift and a reminder of both John and my Irish heritage.
Guinness came in and taught us how to pour a perfect pint of Guinness. I feel like this skill will come in handy at some point in the future. LOL!
The day finished with one of the most impressive dinners I have ever enjoyed in my life. We walked into the dining area of Kilkea Castle and all of us gasped in awe of how beautiful the room was! Holy WOW!
I will be dreaming about this dessert for a long time! Holy goodness!!!
Monday we sadly had to leave Kilkea Castle..for some reason they wouldn’t let us move in permanently.
On our way to Killarney we got a sneak peek of Adare Manor which is a restored 5-star hotel soon to re-open in Ireland.
Adare Manor is absolutely gorgeous! I really hope to return to Ireland soon and stay in this gorgeous estate.
Plus they have Falconry!!!
How cute is my new owl friend!!!!!
I totally had a bird nerd moment with all of the falcons and owls. I could have spent hours learning about how they work with them.
After visiting Adare Manor it was time to check into The Europe Hotel and Resort for the rest of the week.
My room was absolutely gorgeous! I literally slept 10+ hours the first night at the hotel. It was so quiet and the bed was like sleeping on a cloud. I will have a post up later this week or early next week with a ton more info on The Europe Hotel and Resort.
The TBEX Conference kicked off with a speakers/VIP party that included delicious strawberry cocktails and a great boat ride to a historic house.
I knew I was on the right boat when the first thing I saw was a pink flamingo by the captain’s chair. lol!
You can literally walk on water at The Europe Hotel or at least that is how it looks when you watch from a distance.
I made a new friend during the opening TBEX party.
TBEX was filled with great speakers, new friends, and so much more!
Murphy’s Bar in Killarney, Ireland invited a few of us in for lunch and it was delicious. I practiced pouring the perfect pint of Guinness again.
Thank you Aer Lingus for the smooth flight to Chicago!
After a long layover in Chicago I made it home and quickly went straight to bed.
My time in Ireland was amazing and I am already dreaming of a return trip!
This next week is filled with an action packed adventure including Thor, Disneyland, and so much more! Keep an eye out on the hashtag #ThorRagnarokEvent to see live updates. I will be sharing on instagram stories, twitter and facebook this week!
Have an amazing week!