Sunday, October 22, 2006

Summary of the Turtles' Visit - Now with Pix!

copyright 2006 by Ms. Huis Herself
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So, let's see, what to write about the fun we've had with our latest visitors. Well, first of all, Mr. Kluges has decided their code name should be the Turtles. Alrighty then.

We had a fun and relaxing (if very rainy and windy) time with Mr. and Mrs. Turtle. Seriously, they got the worst weather of any visitors we've had so far but were good sports about it. They arrived early Tuesday morning & left this (Sunday) morning, so it was a shorter visit, but I think they were starting to miss their own kids by the end. Both were great about helping with Pumpkin when she needed stories or distraction & Mrs. Turtle gave her her bath most nights and taught us some new songs.

What did we do? Well, Tuesday we went from the airport to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. It was rainy and crappy weather, but they really enjoyed seeing the castle and having lunch at a pub there. We visited a church in Limerick that we found by the "Um, it looks like that big steeple is that way, so take the next turn" method. We hadn't seen it before, so that was cool. Picked up Mr. Kluges from the Limerick office & headed for home.

We took it easy the next day with a visit to Cork City, picnic lunch selected from the Old English Market, and the obligatory Blarney Castle visit. Thursday we went to Midleton, ate lunch at the wonderful Fire & Ice Cafe, and visited the Old Midleton Distillery. Of course we coached them about volunteering at the end, so Mr. Turtle got his hand up in time to be an Official Irish Whiskey Taster. Had planned on visited The Queenstown Story in Cobh, but it got too late, so we just went to St. Coleman's Cathedral there. Very impressive & beautiful church!

Friday dawned clear, so we took advantage of the weather and headed out to Mizen Head, the furthest southwest point of mainland Ireland. Beautiful day, spectacular scenery, and we even got Mr. Turtle to a beach where he rolled up his jeans and splashed in the water, while the rest of us watched with our coats and hats on. :) Ah, now he's waded in the Atlantic. Stopped by the Drombeg Stone Circle on the way home, and in the little back roads happened upon a stray bull who was trying to climb a hedge/wall/barrier to get into another field with some (he hoped) friendly cows. We had to stop the car so that the Turtles could get pictures. (But the photos were taken from INSIDE the car, as none of us was foolish enough to get out to "get a little closer." Bulls are big... and unpredictable.)
Saturday we'd planned on visiting Kinsale for shopping and Charles Fort, but the weather was so crappy we just popped into a bunch of shops and ate in town. Too wet to tour an outdoor site, so we toodled home, made orange butter scones (yummy!), got the girl to bed at a decent hour, and enjoyed a couple of rousing games of Settlers of Catan. (And Mr. Kluges actually won once, which he believes was the first time he's EVER won at Settlers!)

Today it was up early and off to the airport for them. We had a GREAT time with them here - fun and relaxing - and are so glad they were able to ditch the kids for a week and come to see us. We hope (and think) that they enjoyed their first overseas trip, too!

P.S. It's a little late to fuss around with adding photos tonight, so I'll try to put some in over the next couple of days. I did put in a bunch of links in case you want to see other people's pix of some of these.

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