… And celebrated King’s first birthday!

The trip was booked well in advance, a nudge a former colleague mine who suggested – after sending me a link to an Air Canada deal – that if I don’t book it, I won’t… The price was right, so off we went.

After departing Halifax and connecting with our (essentially, and coincidentally “red eye”) Air Canada Red flight at Pearson International, we were Dublin bound for King’s first international adventure.

Traveling with a just-mastering-walking 11-month year old could have been worse. Thankfully the little master slept for the duration of the five hour flight across the pond and we were all (mostly) fresh and ready to go when we hit the Dublin.

After de-planning we gathered our gear, picked up a sim card for the cell phone ($35 CAD for 1 GB data, unlimited calling/SMS to anywhere at anytime and no activation fee… ya know, a comparable $100 monthly plan in Canada), hailed a cab and headed straight to…

To the dear old Temple Bar – Dublin, Ireland

We found a perfect spot just outside the downtown Dublin core on Airbnb – Barry O’Mahony’s place was perfect, plus as a multi-dog owner he jived with us quite well. It was definitely the perfect way for us to see a new place.

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin

Out and about in Temple Bar

A visit to the Marquis – The Isle of Bute, Scotland

While on the ground in Dublin, Tash made contact with her friend’s sister who happened to own a bed and breakfast on the Isle of Bute, Scotland, U.K. So we boarded a RyanAir flight for about $150 total and off we went!

Dublin to Glasgow to the Wemyss Bay – Rothesay Ferry

Rothesay, Isle of Bute

Mount Stuart, Rothesay, Isle of Bute

After wrapping up our impromptu visit to Bute, it was back to the Emerald Isle to finish up one last stop on our not-so-planned trip through Ireland.

Pulling the Cork off this little adventure – Cork, Ireland

Catching our RyanAir flight back to Dublin, we took the final leg of our journey in style, grabbing a rental car and heading down the highway to Cork.

Both Tash and I agreed, this is a town we will revisit for a far lengthier stay. As the “real capital” of Ireland (it IS Dublin, but I guess folks in County Cork have thing here), it’s still a busy spot filled with pedestrian shopping streets, and a slightly less tourist feeling than Dublin.

We had another excellent Airbnb host, Brian Caffin and his partner and cat. They’re place was gorgeous, and super chill, making for a very restful one-nighter in the city. Brian’s place is still listed on Airbnb if you’re ever planning a trip!

Happy first birthday, Kingsley!

Cork was the location of Kingsley’s first birthday, We had dinner down in the main shopping district (thanks to Brian and his personally vetted map of places to go and eat, and that evening we grab a little chocolate birthday bar from a local french bakery and had a quiet party for three at Brian’s before heading off for our final sight seeing adventure!

Blarney Castle – Blarney, Ireland

And home again

After wrapping up in Cork, it was a slow drive back to Dublin where we spent the night in a decent Hotel close to the airport (which didn’t actually help not prevent almost missing our flight by not finding the place to return the car… but I digress, that’s a story for a brew or two) and relax before a non-red eye (and thus a very awake Toddler) trip back to Halifax.

All in all, the trip was an earnest lesson in how travel will be with a small child. A laissez-faire approach with minimal expectations of what we were going to or not going to do was the perfect execution for the trip. Sure, I didn’t get to tour Jameson’s or Guinness locations around Dublin, and we for sure should have added the bulk of our trip’s time to Cork, all these things are simply reasons to return in the future…

Published by Liam Mather

Partner, dad, dog lover, reluctant acceptor of cats, sometimes musical performer and always professional communicator.

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