July 24, 2011

Hiking Mountains and Redmon-ness

So... Andrew didn't get us killed again today!  (Andrew's Note:  Hooraaaay!)  Way to drive husband, way to drive.

Today began in Dublin, was spent in the Wicklow Mountains, and ended in Wexford.  If you get out your handy-dandy map of Ireland, you'll notice we pretty much drove the eastern coast of the island.  Who knew it was that small?
Dublin is great.  Like, great.  I could definitely see myself living here.  It's a very not-so-foreign feeling city, if that makes any sense.  Normal but super cute looking suburbs with a really vibrant downtown.  If I could only drop the "y'all" from my vocabulary I could fit in pretty quickly here.  (That, and drink like a sailor...our guidebook says Dublin is a pretty safe city - the only thing that's an issue is that the hospitals are bursting with drink-related injuries on any given night, especially weekends.)

We, and by we I mean Andrew, drove down the eastern coast to the Wicklow Mountans and went hiking in the mountains!  The landscapes were amazing!!  We hiked the "gray" trail, which was the second to the hardest trail to hike.  We wanted to do the hardest trail, but it said you needed "navigational" experience and we didn't think the Garman counted.  So gray trail it was.  (Turns out we still needed the Garman.)

At first we got lost.  Like, way lost.  Hiked WAY past where the trail even started.  I got really mad at Andrew's "navigational" directions.  But then we realized that because this wasn't a 'beginner' path, they weren't going to label every turn for us.  (Indeed, wife.  Indeed)  So we doubled back and found the trail.  Feeling very proud of ourselves we hiked for about 2 hours and then stopped at a huge lake and had a packed lunch of french bread, salami and cheddar cheese.  Mmmm.  We finished out the hike and felt like true mountain people.  In fact, I kind of wish there were more cool places like this in Texas that weren't 8 hours away to hike.  (And 700 degrees with coyotes and rattlesnakes actively hunting you.)

Will not concentrate on beautiful landscape.. will not concentrate on beautiful landscapes.

At the base of our hike in the Wicklow Mountains there was a cemetery

Some of the graves were hundreds of years old, some from 2009

This uilleann pipe player greeted us

You know you're hiking in Ireland when grass is replaced by 3 leaf clovers!

HP reference:  So many flowers, so few dementors!!

I realize you shouldn't hike in jeans, but it was dang cold.  Don't judge.

Andrew found a walking stick.  (My Dad taught me the value of a walking stick.)

And staked his claim on Ireland. ("It's MY...ISLAND!"  Yes!! A Braveheart reference in the Ireland post!)

Our lunchtime view.  Sure beats my office at school.

So many skinny trees. 

Base of the mountain we hiked!!

We (I) then drove an hour and a half from the Wicklow mountains to Wexford, Wexford County.  (I hit, maimed, killed, or hurt precisely zero things!!) This just happens to be where the "Redmon(d)s" are super famous.  Redmond square, Redmond statue.... Andrew's a pretty big deal here.  (They threw palm branches in front of the car when we drove in.  On Redmond Street, no less.)  His ancestors were all in Parliament and started revolutions.  Makes me feel like I haven't accomplished much in my life so far.

That said, here's Andrew for a nerd account of why all things 'Redmon' are awesome.

(Translation of the previous line:  I'm tired of writing.  Here's Andrew to finish."  It is said in my family that we are cousins to the Redmonds of Wexford, the oldest family in Ireland.  They were pretty much all leaders in government and favored Ireland ruling itself.  John Edward Redmond was the leader of the Home Rule Party at the turn of the century.  

I was going to try and fill in some of the gaps between my North Carolina Redmon descendants and the Wexfordian?  Wexfordite? (Wexfordecianitian) Redmonds BUT we found out this afternoon that the Wexford Geneological Society office has been closed for a year  > :-0   It was packed up and moved to Dublin, ironically.  Anyway, I'll just have to keep doing that research from afar.  

We did go downtown, though, and pick up some proof of just how awesome I am:

The Redmond Statue in Redmond Square
This guy

 I'm even bigger in Japan!

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