Monday morning I woke up and ate breakfast with the boys. I strayed from the usual oatmeal/porridge and had Cocoa Crispies. You can't eat breakfast with a Kellogg's Executive every morning for a week, and not have at least one bowl of Kellogg's cereal. The Cocoa Crispies were the BEST ever, of course. I loved that they turned my milk to chocolate milk... I mean, I would've taken an Ethan Brownie for breakfast too if it were offered, but the cereal was perfect. With perfect company.
After breakfast, I packed my suitcase. We were heading out to a few more places before I had to be at the airport that afternoon. Our first stop was the Malahide Castle and Gardens, which was the castle about a half mile from Joe's home that Aurora and I sprinted around the day before. I got to see the castle this time...
We walked a little around the grounds and took some pictures before the tour of the inside started. The really cool thing about this castle is parts of it were constructed in the 12th Century, and it was the home of the same family, the Talbot family, until 1976. Almost 800 years. Amazing. The tour was awesome. There was so much old furniture with fascinating stories,
really cool old paintings, the decor in the rooms was amazing. This room was aptly named the Oak Room- all the walls were solid oak. Dark oak. And they had amazingly detailed carvings on them.
the windows (and the way they opened) were so cool, and the view out them to the gardens was spectacular.
A few of the things in this house that I thought were super cool:
The "save face" screen:
Hundreds of years ago, women would come to parties at the castle, wearing face makeup, of course. Only their makeup was much different than what we have today- it was very waxy and thick. They would come in out of the freezing cold and naturally want to sit by the fire to warm up. The only problem with this was the fire would literally melt their face off. So they would sit next to the fire with their face behind this screen to warm up while saving their face. It is believed this is where the phrase "to save face" comes from.
The other thing I loved was what the tour guide referred to as the "flirting couch":
It was like a little love seat with an extra seat on each end. During gatherings, people of status would never come alone- they were always accompanied by a chaperone of sorts. So if a couple wanted to sit and chat, get to know each other, there was a place for their respective chaperones to sit and listen in, make sure the conversation was appropriate. So funny!
I was also infatuated with this little alarm clock on the nightstand in one of the bedrooms that began making tea when the alarm went off. Clever.
The wallpaper in this little office room was painted and embossed leather. It was so cool.
I loved it all! I just soaked it all in- all the history and stories of the all the rooms and the people that once occupied them. Again, made me grateful for all the simple, modern things we take for granted, like running water, flushing toilets, makeup that doesn't melt off your face... The little things.
After we toured the inside of the castle, we went out and walked all around the gardens. Joe took pity on me and let me walk as slowly as I wanted. I was certainly in no hurry. The weather was incredible. Sunny and cool, I relished my last moments in Ireland walking around the Malahide Gardens.
The grounds of the Malahide Castle were amazing. Acres and acres of gardens.
Walled gardens, secret gardens, little houses in gardens, crazy. All of the gardens were fairly recently created (1940's-1970's), and there are more than 5,000 plants, many of which were transplanted from all over the world. I even recognized a few from home: Palm trees and agave plants.
There was a Eucalyptus tree there with a sign saying to smell the leaves. There were no low- hanging leaves, but that didn't stop Joe from tree climbing... In his work clothes. Awesome...
It was amazing walking through all the gardens. At the foot of an 800 year old castle. Amazing.
Malahide Castle blue skies sunny selfie:
We ate lunch in the Avoca cafe there on the castle grounds.
We ate out on the patio next to the gardens we had just walked through. I had soup and bread, per usual, with a tomato/cucumber salad. Joe had this baked potato with a ton of super delicious goodness piled on it. I had immediate buyer's remorse about my soup/salad choice. He kindly let me have a bite, (heaven) then I resorted to eating my own lunch. It was actually AWESOME! You know what was more awesome? The after lunch carrot cake.
Blissful. It was a perfect last supper in Ireland.
After lunch, we stopped by a little market on our way to the airport to pick up a few things I wanted to bring home: Hobnobs, Kellogg's Crunchy Nut, Black Jacks, Haribo Jellies, Lynx spray, ect. I went to pay, and they didn't like my credit card. Evidently, of the billion places that accept Visa, this place wasn't one of them. Actually, I think maybe they accept Visa- if you have a European "chip and pin" card. Whatever that is. Joe had to buy my groceries. Embarrassing. The lady asked me if I wanted a bag. Yes, of course I want a bag! I just bought like 20 pounds of junk food! Joe: "No, she doesn't want a bag. We'll just carry it." I guess they charge for grocery bags there... What a way to end the trip... Ha.
Drive to the airport summary: I cry because I'm a girl. It makes Joe uncomfortable because he's not a girl. The end.