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Ireland (June 19, 2002)

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We are nearly done with our trip. It is very sad. We have been traveling for eleven months, and have not seen home. We are not going to be used to staying in one spot for a long time. It will be very unusual that it is not in Euros anymore when we get back to the States.

We are in Ireland. It's cold and wet, and it's very rainy and windy. We are staying at Pinewood Lodge, where there are two boys eight years old that played with us. They had a toy machine gun that shot sticky darts. At the Pinewood Lodge, in the front yard there is a rock path going through two grass islands with rocks on them. Before we met the two boys, Cam and I played where one of us was a certain tribe or area, and the other was a certain tribe or area, and we fought against each other. And the rock driveway was a river that we had to swim across. Since we were using our swords again, I started spinning my sword around in the river to make me go faster. I called it a propeller. So we kept doing that for the rest of the day.

We went fishing, same place, at the "Angling for All." We didn't catch any fish, although we had fun casting. We had a hard time trying to figure out how to make the make the wheel unreel to make the line come out. So we didn't get our lines very far. The first time that dad did it the right way, he threw it so far that his float came off. At the end of fishing, I let all of the worms free, and I watched them crawl away in the mud.

We went to Wexford, where we stayed at an old ruined castle. Well, we weren't actually staying in the castle, but we were staying in a nice building beside it. Mom said that you could actually go up into the castle. There's a tennis court and four tennis rackets with some balls. Cam and I played tennis and we lost a ball over the fence. It went onto a tree with a branch, and it was very hard to wiggle to get it off. So we had to call dad out to get it out. We had also lost a ball into the bush, where we couldn't find it, so we just kept on going with the game and didn't bother to look for it.

There's a museum in Waterford where they make crystals. It is one of the oldest crystal in the world, and best crystal. It was very interesting. We got to see the people carving them. They used spinning wheels. We saw them making it, and when a person was done with it, the person at the other side put it onto a conveyer belt and it bounced around. That was fun. We also bought an Ireland angel. Mom has been collecting angels from Europe on.

We also saw three peninsulas right next to each other. We also saw lots of green and sheep. We also picked up a hitchhiker. He was from Spain, which we had recently accidentally gone into.

After we dropped off the hitchhiker, we went to Sneem. We had to go across a car ferry to get there. We went into a shop and bought a hat for me. We also went into another shop where we got ice cream and lots of snack food. When we came out of the shop, there were a whole bunch of tourist buses crowded around the sidewalk, so we decided to go back home.

After we stayed at Gaine's Country House, we went to the Moher Lodge. There was a fireplace. It was nice and toasty. We went to the Burren. The Burren used to be covered in ocean. It is very, very wide. After the years, the ocean created limestone, so it was all limestone - except for some grass and plants. I found some bones. I found first when I was climbing over a wall, a spine bone. I brought it over and I found some more bones. There were ribs and teeth, and mom said it was probably a cow. But I asked, "What would eat something in the Burren?" Mom didn't know.

The Burren was all rocky. Cam and I played with our swords again. I played where I was the "Flying Master" and Cam was my apprentice. We kept jumping around on the rocks and pretending that the grass or plants were pits or lava.

We went to the Cliffs of Moher, where it was really, really high up; and we were still playing that I was the "Flying Master" and Cam was my apprentice -- but this time, we were doing training levels, and not a mission. Mom was not happy to be up on a high cliff. The guidebook said it was something like 629 feet high. It looked pretty high. There was a tower that used to be a castle. Cam and I played there for awhile.

At the Moher Lodge, there was a horse. He was blue with white speckles. He had no name, so we decided to call him "Raincloud" because it was always raining. When we left, it was sad to leave the horse. We pet him on the nose goodbye, and we went to our last place in Ireland: Dublin.

We were staying at a Travelodge. A Travelodge is basically the same thing as a Travel Inn. It had two beds, one that had a bed roll out from under it, and another double bed. I slept on the bottom and Cam slept on the top.

We went to see the Book of Kells. It was written on Iona at the Abbey that we visited, but sent here before the Abbey was destroyed by King Henry VIII. After we saw the Book of Kells, there was the Long Room, where there were lots of statues lined along the wall. It had lots of books, and if you wanted to read more out of them, you could go up into the reading room where you could read the books that you didn't understand.

Also, there was Pictionary. It is a game where you roll the dice, you land on a square that says "O," and you have to draw a card and read the "O" part of the card. "O" is for "object." "A" is for "action." "AP" is for "all play," which means it could be anything. "P" is "person, place, or related character." After you draw the card, you are supposed to draw a picture of it on a piece of paper. And the other teammate that you have is supposed to guess what you're trying to draw. You can't write anything or do any gestures. We had a lot of fun playing Pictionary.

I liked Ireland, and we are not ready to go into hot, hot weather in Washington DC. The plane ride will be eight or ten hours, and I hope we make it.


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