Traveler Spotlight: Mariella & Maxwell, Ireland July 2011
Friday, November 18th, 2011 | By Katie
Tenon Tours would like to share with you the trip taken by “best-est” friends, Mariella and Maxwell, who have been traveling together for the past 3 years experiencing “one adventure after another”.
Mariella: This was the MOST magical trip I have ever been on, surpassing Rome, Greece, London, Paris etc … I can’t stop singing about my trip to Ireland and hope to make my way back up there next year too! I have been lucky enough to have traveled to many, many places but never before has my soul been captured as it was in Ireland. I’m still driving those around me nuts by going on and on and on. I’ve told everyone that Ireland is a piece of heaven on earth and when I “grow up” and have no more cares in the world, I’m moving home to Ireland!!
Ahhhh, we love the passion!
Why did you pick this as your destination?
I had always heard it was beautiful and it was on my bucket list! When I began looking into making the trip, I realized it had been my 2nd year in a row considering a trip to Ireland so I figured it must have become a place I was certain I had wanted to visit for a while.
Did you meet any new friends:
Ever place we visited, stayed at and stopped at, including the pubs and gas stations, we were warmly welcomed and while we may have met as encounters, we left as friends.
What was the biggest surprise Ireland had in store for you?
Brown Bread Ice Cream!! I thought I had discovered the latest invention only to discover it was solely new to ME!! And it was delicious!!
What was the best part about your vacation?
The Ballynahinch Castle! And then of course, finding out that Jennifer Aniston enjoys hanging out there too.
How did you go about planning your trip? Picking a company, your itinerary, sights to see, etc..?
I asked a friend of mine, who’s Irish, to direct me to those ‘not to miss places’ after I had spent some time searching for points of interest and thankfully his suggestions could not have been any better!!
I chose Tenon Tours to book my Ireland tour with due to the individual attention received. Stephanie Molettiere was awesome, most importantly she never tired of all my questions, even after I was already in Ireland!
Any tips for others planning an Ireland self-drive tour?
Take your time! Enjoy it – it’s beautiful!! You will never cross the same path twice!! -Oh, definitely splurge and upgrade for an automatic vehicle. While driving on the ‘wrong’ side may not seem so different, after a while old habits kick in. I can’t tell you how many times I tried to get into the car from the ‘wrong’ side.
Any advice for the “round-abouts” or “circles” while driving?
How I wish I had known what round-abouts before we were leaving! It took me 2-3 ’round-abouts’ to figure out exactly what they were! They’re simply ‘circles’ in which various roads intersect with cris-cross exits … take your time, go around the ’round-abouts’ as often as you need.
What were your sights “not to be missed”?
The Hill of Tara – Is where I took my first Irish breath! We were able to jog the hill, surrounding by sheep, intertwined around the most gorgeous church!
Aran Islands – We knew nothing about Ireland before going, other than knowing it was beautiful. We visited the Aran Islands toward the end of our holiday and almost bypassed it, because it seemed the weather was going to turn bad and it turned out to be the most beautiful day ever!
The Cliffs of Moher – breath-taking
Any advice about the weather?
Make sure to take a rain coat, sweater, disposal type of rain gear, an umbrella and both short and long sleeve clothing even if traveling in the summer.
.Anything else to share?
-Slow down, Ireland is beautiful and meant to be enjoyed like a fine glass of wine!! Every county is unique unto its own so each place will bring an experience of its own.
-Be sure to have some Brown Bread Ice cream!
-Contrary to American belief, corned beef is NOT a typical Irish meal.
-Drive to a local super market to get a local feel.
-While stopping and walking through the main street of a village, we walked by a local bake sale – DELICIOUS!! Ireland is a whole body, mind and soul experience … don’t be afraid to tread unto unknown territory, the Irish are more than willing to lead you to where you need to go!
-My first morning there I was asked if I wanted some pudding, thought it was a strange question for breakfast – FYI pudding is not American pudding.
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