Courageous Travels: Ireland

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 |

Day 1

Good evening Courageous Travels,

The travelers have started their journey Ireland!

We began our pickups in Maquoketa at 7am. We picked up Spencer at the Casey’s and he was all smiles for his trip. Next we journeyed to Davenport, where we picked up Kathy, Cindy, and Linda(Grandma). They were super pumped about heading to Ireland!

After we finished checkin we made our way to Coralville. Where we met a huge group of travelers. Mike P. Mike C. Calea, Sara, Heath, Jonathan, Alex, Annie, and Abraham. Along with volunteer Shannon. They were so excited!!

We then made our way Marion where we picked up Steven, Dusty, Shelby, and Susie. We made our pick ups in great time and when we arrived at camp CIT Charter was waiting for us. We also picked up our last travelers and staff.

Harold, Angela, and Michael M. Along with Diane, Charlotte, Mark, Betsy, and Carolyn our staff. We said hello to our driver Rick and made our we to Dubuque to have pizza ranch for lunch and met Katie our last traveler.

We had a great lunch, boarded our bus and then made our way to Chicago O’Hare Airport.

We arrived at Chicago O’Hare airport in plenty of time, unloaded, said bye to Rick and made it to our checkin location with Aer Lingus.

It was a smooth checkin, and a smooth process through TSA. We made it to our gate and we began the waiting game. When the entire group arrived, we split up again to go grab a bite to eat.

Before we knew it, we were all back to our gate and the gate attendants started boarding our group. We were first to board to get our individuals settled into their seats. The crew were very nice and patient with our group.

We are off to Ireland!!!!

The crew explained the rules and we were off! It was smooth flight. We had an yummy evening meal, watched some movies, and had a delicious breakfast.

Monday, September 10th.
Welcome to Dublin Ireland!!

We landed around 9:40am (3:40am central time). Some got sleep, some watched movies, and some just sat and enjoyed the flight by reading or doing absolutely nothing. Either way, we made it to Ireland!!! Steve and Kathy cheered as we landed and Steve welcomed us to Ireland!!

More to come later tonight…

The Travel team

Day 2

Good Evening Courageous Travelers,

As I mentioned before we made it to Ireland!!  Whoot Whoot! Despite how tired we were, we definitely were excited and ready for and awesome time. As I mentioned earlier, the crew were great with our travelers and our travelers loved talking to the crew. His kindness spread out into the airport, to the guards helping us get through customs, the customs agent(which we all had an official Ireland stamp!), and even when we met our driver. His name Nickee.
He was already joking with the group and making them feel welcomed. It is great to have such a fun, loving, and safe driver. Who wants only but the best
When Nickee picked us up, he was already telling us about landmarks and the city of Dublin. He also Answered all the questions that our travelers were asking. Did you know that the tunnels that the cars drive through, if the car goes over the speed limit it is docked. If the vehicle is docked three times the person and it’s vehicle are banned from tunnels for a whole month.
Before we knew it, we were at our Hostel. Four Courts. They welcomed us and had a sack lunch ready for us. We enjoyed our lunch and hopped back on the bus for a city tour of Dublin.
We picked up our tour Guide Sheila. Who was just thrilled to hang out with us and show us the city. She told us fun facts, the national language is Gaelic and mentioned that the name Sheila is Gaelic and its translation is Julia. Alex found that so cool because his moms name is Julia and they are part Irish.
It was fun to tour Dublin, all the cool place to see. From Guinness factory, to all the potential gift shop choices! It was a fun trip. Before we ended the tour it was time for us to get out of the bus and explore. So Sheila asked Nickee to drive us to a coffee shop and garden. As soon as she said coffee shop the group got all excited and couldn’t wait to explore. Sheila asked me to split the group in half, so half would go in the shop and the other would explore the garden. We did and it worked out great! Steven noticed the corn that they were growing and the pees like were picking. Steven said he was surprised to see the corn.
Before we knew it the groups were switching places and the rest were getting their sweets! There was so much type of coffee, tea and hot chocolate! There was also delicious dessert and the group made sure to buy some!  Cheesecake, cookies, chocolate cake just to name a few!
Once we had our fill and our to go cups, we made our way back to the bus. We hopped on board and made our way to the hostel.
We received our room keys and dropped off our items off at our rooms. We then walked next door to a restaurant. Our first sit down restaurant in Ireland! It was called O’Shae Merchants. They had the best Fish and chips! Well, so far anyways! We also had a special guest visit us. Sara’s aunt Ann H. lives in Dublin and really wanted to get together with her niece. It was great! Ann is in the picture at the front of the blog.
After dinner we made our way back to the hostel where it was time to go to bed!! Everyone was super exhausted and couldn’t way to fall asleep!
Have a great night and we will talk again soon.
Cheers!
The Travel Team

 

Day 3

Good Evening Courageous Travelers,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CASSANDRA LOCKHART

It was a chilly day in Dublin, but that did not slow this big group down. We had two exciting activities planned today. We visited Powerscourt Estate and the Dublin Zoo.
This morning we had a light breakfast that got us ready for the day. Nickee our driver for the week greeted us at our hostel and we talked about the day. We boarded the bus and made our way to Powerscourt Estate. On the bus, we said Happy Birthday to Calea and wished her a Happy Birthday. I don’t think we made her blush ;).
As mentioned we made our way to Powerscourt Estate full of excitement of what we would explore.
Powerscourt has 1,000 acres offend people can explore 47 acres of gardens, it is located in Enniskerry, County Wicklow and 30 minutes from Dublin’s City Centre. It takes a full day to explore the entire estate. The different gardens include a Japanese Garden, Triton Lake, a Pet Cemetery, Italian Garden, Dolphin Pond, Walled Gardens, Julia’s Memorial, and much more. The group explored a lot of the garden and at the end we had a chance to shop.
Mark’s group, consists of Dusty, Michael M., and Heath, explored a medieval tower, where they walked up some steps to see the beautiful scenery from above.
Betsy’s group, consisting of Sara, Calea(birthday girl) and Angela explored the plenty of the gardens, they liked visiting the Julia gardens and the Titan Lake.
Diane’s group, consisting of Michael C. Mike P., and Harold, explored the fountain with tons of steps and enjoyed viewing the water flowing from the fountain. This was at the center of the gardens and could take some great photos.
Carolyn’s group, consisting Steven, Spencer, and Alex explored the Italian gardens and Walled Gardens. Which they enjoyed viewing the flowers.
Shannon’s group, consisting of Abe and Jonathan, explored the Japanese gardens and enjoyed the different styles. They also wondered about the trees. There were different types of trees, that included palm trees and other tropical plants.
Melissa’s group consisting of Linda and Shelby Visited the Tower, Walled Garden and the Pet Cemetery. They learned a lot about the animals who passed at the gardens. They found two cows, dogs (one named Chow Chow), cats, sheep, and ponies.
Emma’s group consisting of Anne and Kathy loved visiting the gardens and seeing all the flowers still in bloom.
Charlotte’s group Katie, Cindy, and Suzette watched a video regarding the gardens and learned so much about the design of the gardens.
After shopping, we hopped back on the bus and continued our drive to the Zoo. We stopped for lunch outside of the zoo, with a sack lunch that was prepared by the Four Courts Hostel.

After we ate lunch, we made our way to Dublin Zoo! The travelers had been looking forward to the zoo! They all had favorite animals that they were hoping to see! We learned that the Dublin Zoo is the 4th oldest zoo in the world!!

Once we arrived, we paired up in smalls groups and went off to explore the zoo! Shelby and Spencer really wanted to go see the big cats, so Alex, Stephen, Spencer, Linda, Shelby, Carolyn and Melissa headed off in that direction first. They saw Asian Lions, Snow Leopards and and Amur Tiger!

Afterwards they made their way to the African Savannah! Here they saw Giraffes, Ostrich, and Scimitar-horned Ornyx. They got there right as a keeper presentation was about to start. The keeper fed the giraffes right in front of the group and then told us a little about the animals! We learned that Giraffes do everything standing up, even sleep! We also learned that their tongue is black and grey so their tongue doesn’t get sunburned. Stephen and Shelby asked the keeper some great questions too!

Abe, Jonathan, Katie, Cindy, Suzette, Charlotte and Shannon also made sure to stop to see the Lions. While they were there, they witnessed one of the lions stalking a squirrel that had made its way into the enclosure. The travelers thought it was neat to watch this giant cat crouch into a pounce position and watch the squirrel. This group also really enjoyed the Sea Lions!!

Kathy, Annie, Michael M., Dustin, Heath, Emma and Mark visited the reptile house and got to witness the keepers feeding the penguins. A big highlight for everyone in this group was watching the Orangutans swinging from the ropes in their enclosure.

Sara, Calea, Angela, Michael C., Harold, Michael P., Betsy and Diane saw Eastern Bongos, Red Pandas, Penguins and more! Calea was really enjoying taking photos of all of the animals she saw. She took some beautiful photos! A highlight for this group was the Elephants! There were 5 baby elephants and they were so cute! This group also really enjoyed reading all of the facts about each of the animals they visited.

After we explored the zoo for a couple of hours, we made our way to the gift shop! The travelers got some really great souvenirs!

Next up, we made our way back to downtown Dublin where we did some shopping before having dinner at Hard Rock Cafe! As we were finishing up dinner, our server and a couple of Hard Rock employees bought out a giant brownie and ice cream sundae and we all sang Happy Birthday to Calea!!

After our delicious meal we split into small groups and explored the city!

The groups did more shopping and some groups stopped for treats! Some groups got specialty donuts, another got their favorite drink from Starbucks and others got ice cream!! Everyone then made their way back to the hostel and got ready for bed. It was another great day in Ireland!

Day 4

Good Evening Courageous Travels,

This morning we had breakfast at our hostel, packed our luggage back on the bus and started making our way to Galway! Nickee was right on time and packed the bus. The hostel made another to-go sack lunch and we were out the door.
Along the way we stopped at a shopping mall to browse around. The travelers found clothes, books and other odds and ends that they couldn’t live without. After some shopping, we hopped back on the bus and continued our journey. We stopped again at a rest area to have lunch. These are the lunches from hostel I mentioned earlier, we decided to stop and enjoy an outdoor picnic!
After lunch, we once again hopped on the bus and finished the drive to Gallway. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery along the way! Everything was so green! We saw many fields with cows and sheep and beautiful stone walls. It was great having the chance to see the beautiful countryside! The travelers enjoyed the scenery and got some more rest along the ride as well. Before we knew it, we had arrived at Savoy, our hostel in Gallway. We got settled into our rooms then our driver, Nickee, lead us on a walk through the city. Gallway is such a fun energetic city! There were a lot of people walking through the streets, musicians playing and singing outside and lots and lots of shops! One of the final street performers we saw was an individual playing the violin. He was very talented and his name is Fion. The group loved hearing him so much, that he played another song that Abe requested. It was awesome! Check out the Courageous Travels Facebook page to see the performance.
Afterwords, we split into small groups and did some shopping before meeting at Zappis, an italian restaurant that was right next door to our hostel. This food was so delicious! The travelers really enjoyed this meal!
After our food, we surprised the travelers with gelato! Shelby was hesitate to try gelato at first but she decided to give it a try (she chose the Werther’s Caramel) and she loved it! She said she couldn’t wait to tell her mom that she found another dessert that she likes!
After our delicious treat, some groups headed back to get some rest while others decided to do a little more shopping before calling it a night. Everyone is now resting up for another fun filled day in Ireland as we explore Galway!

Day 5

Good Evening Courages Travelers,

The group spent the day in Galway Ireland! What a fun and quaint place. Very different from Dublin, but a good different. Dublin is like every other big city. Galway is like Dubuque. We had a chance to see Galway in different ways, with a walking tour and a boat tour.
The Travelers had the opportunity to rest in a little longer. They definitely needed it. Breakfast was served until 10:30am and the majority of the travelers took this opportunity. I had the group meet in the lobby at 11:20am, so we could be ready for our walking tour at 11:30am. Liam, our guide and local of Galway, was a very nice man who loved telling stories of the city and did it with enthusiasm. The travelers listened intently and followed closely all through downtown Galway.
The tour began at the Hostel and we made our way through some historic parts of the city. We learned a lot of facts about the city. The coolest part was learning that we were walking the same streets as the Kennedy brothers in 1963. The Kennedy’s have roots back to Galway, since their grandfather was from Galway. Even the same streets at Christopher Columbus, back in 1477 or James Joyce or Oscar Wild. These were the different names Liam throughout. Galway was founded in 1400 and there main theme in the city is Love, Loyalty, and friendship. After exploring the city, we felt all three. It was such a wonderful tour and beautiful city. We explored some old buildings that were made into common business, like banks, gift-shop or bars. We visited statues and a church, called the Church of Ireland. Liam knew a great deal about this place, especially because his Father served as a special Ranger and showed us the flag that was his regiment.
Throughout the tour, we had cloudily skies, rain, sunshine, and wind. Some at once and sometimes at different times during the tour. It was pretty crazy, one minute we are wearing sunglasses and the next we have our umbrella out. That’s Ireland!!
We continued to tour, Liam continued to show us a good time. He did is finale, thanking everyone and walking us back to the hostel. We clapped and thank Liam for a great time.
Once we arrived to the hostel, we used restrooms, made our way down to the common room, and ate a turkey lunch. It was pretty delicious.
After our lunch, we hung out for a bit, before Nickee our driver and tour guide, met us and we began our walk to the Corrib Princess, a boat cruise on the Corrib River. It was a private boat cruise for our group. We had the whole boat to ourselves and the travelers loved it! The majority of the group relaxed at the bottom of the boat and kept warm. Some of the travelers, like Mike P, Jonathan, and Dusty made their way to the top of the boat. Dusty made a connection with the captain, so Dusty was helping the Captain drive the boat. The Captain was also our tour guide, so he shared a lot of information about the Corrib River and the different irelands on the river and old buildings we passed. It was such a relaxing tour of the Corrib River. After the Captain talked, he asked us to sit back and relax and while we did, we listened to some Irish music. Some of it sounded like the movie “Brave Heart” soundtrack.
Before we knew it, we were heading back to the starting point. As we did and before we docked, Mia one of the crew members, came by and said she wanted to show a Irish dance. So we all went back downstairs and watched Mia perform an Irish dance for us. It was pretty cool and sweet of her to do that. After the dance, Nikee Challenged me to dance and I don’t back down ;)! But of course Dusty and Michael M, came up and showed me how to dance correctly. It was awesome!
As we docked, we thanked the crew for a great cruise and some great hospitality. Something we will always remember.
Before we made our way to dinner, Nickee wanted to show us one more special building to the city. The Galway Cathedral. It was a beautiful building with lots of seats, big altar, lots of places to pray, and beautiful chandlers. It was so cool! They even had a gift shop. The travelers were all about that! We did a self guided tour of the Cathedral and Nickee shared some information about the building. It was built on the grounds of the first Cathedral that burnt down. He didn’t know the reason for the fire.
Once we were done, we made our way to dinner at the Imperial Restaurant. They had a room reserved for our group and they served us a three course meal. It was delicious!! Everyone got what they wanted and more! What a great way to end the evening!
We are now resting at the hostel, as we have to get up early to get going to our next adventure in Ireland!
Have a great night!
The Travel Team

Day 6

Good Evening Courageous Travelers,

The day started off early. We wanted to start off early so we could get to our destination as early as we could. Our hostel had our breakfast and our to-go lunch ready. The travelers and staff were ready to head out, so they showed up early. It was awesome.
We were on our way to the Cliffs of Moher. The biggest highlight of the trip. The only way I can describe the cliffs, is by explaining that the cliffs are on the other side of Ireland and it is very beautiful. Nickee our driver explained that the weather at cliffs of Moher is windy, rainy, cloudy, and sunny. We had windy and cloudy, and the sun popped out for a few moments. The group split up in its smaller groups and we explored the cliffs. The first part of the tour, was the visitor center. The center was built within the cliff. It was pretty cool. The tour we had with Liam back in Galway, he mentioned that when people build buildings with an old structure or with the land, the business gets two years tax free. When we saw the visitor center, I remembered Liam telling us this. In the building there was a cafe, gift shop and a mini museum. The Museum had hands on activities that told us about the cliffs and a video that explained the sea life and other things we wouldn’t normally see at the cliffs.
After we toured the museum, we made our way up the cliff to view the spatacular view. It was amazing! Breathtaking! The pictures and videos we post today, don’t do justice. Linda said she loved looking over the cliff and seeing the water hitting the cliff it was majestic. Michael, loved walking all the way to the top and decided to enter a “castle tower.” He was so excited about this. He and I went up some narrow steps and when we reached the top, he was all smiles. It was great.
The other groups went the same direction, but at different times. There were many ways to go and so many different views. We could have spent the entire day at the cliffs if we went different directions. Once we were done viewing the cliffs, we made it to the gift shop, bought some awesome souvenirs and made it back to the bus for lunch on the bus. It was another sack lunch from our hostel and it hit the spot.
After lunch, we made started making our way to Killarney. It was again a beautiful drive through the countryside! The views were breathtaking! We saw many green fields with sheep, cows and stone fences. We also saw beautiful castles and other stone buildings. After about an one and a half we made to to a town where we had to board a ferry in order to get across to Killarney. The travelers thought it was really cool that our entire bus could drive onto the ferry! We made a quick stop at the visitor’s center and hopped back on the bus so we could board the ferry. It was a quick ride on the ferry, it only took about 10 minutes or so to get across.
We drove off of the ferry and continued our drive to Killarney. We arrived at our hostel, The Railway Hostel around 5pm. We checked in, unloaded our luggage and then made our way down the street to Murphy’s Pub for dinner. We had a delicious pub dinner and then some groups did a little shopping while others preferred to head back to the hostel and get some rest.
It was another great day in Ireland! Everyone is now resting and looking forward to exploring Killarney tomorrow!

-The Travel Team

Day 7

Good Evening Courageous Travelers,

What a BLAST of a day! WOW! We are having such a fun time in Ireland. Everyday is something new and exciting. The travelers keep on saying, they are having a great time and everything they do is their favorite. Well, today, really stood out compared to the rest.
We spent the entire day exploring Killarney and the outskirts of Killarney. After a wild morning of getting things ready for the day and finishing some last minute items, the group was ready to head out.
Before we could head out, we found out that our normal driver Nickee had to take the day off. According to country law, Motor coach drivers have a certain amount of days, hours, etc. they can be on the road. Today was Nickee’s day off. So Dennis, a local motor coach driver, picked us up instead. But don’t worry. Since we have spent so much time with Nickee and the group really enjoys Nickee. He’s like one of us, he joined us for the day.
Dennis was a great driver and guy, and he joined in on the fun. It was actually perfect that he was our driver, because he knew a ton of information about the National Park we were visiting, called the Ring of Karney. The Ring of Karney is a mountain range, we drove through the mountain range, like we would drive through Yellowstone National Park. We saw pretty awesome rock formations, sheep, deer, birds, and fantastic sights that we would not have ever seen if we didn’t visit. Dennis told us some history of the park and explained the three lakes. The Upper Lake, the Middle Lake, and the Lower lake, very easy to remember. He even played jokes about a Leprechaun crossing. Which there was actually a sign for one on the route. Traveler Dusty had a leprechaun hat and beard, so we put the outfit on everyone in the bus and we said that Leprechauns boarded the bus. It was pretty funny and the travelers got a kick out of it.
As mentioned, we toured the Ring of Kerry, we stopped for shopping and stopped to have lunch. Staff Mark mentioned how we should all try a Irish breakfast. So we found a restaurant that served it and almost all of us ate a delicious breakfast. We were done with our tour in good time and made our way back to the hostel.
We freshened up and got ready for our next tour. The Jaunting tour. It is a horse drawn carriage ride. This was another highlight of the day. The travelers were super excited about touring the city and also part of the National Park. The difference, we were being pulled by horses. The horse drivers gave us a great tour and made sure our travelers felt at home in their city. It was incredible. Check out Facebook to see the videos and pictures from our horse drawn carriage ride.
After the tour, we walked back to our hostel to dress up for the night. I told the group, the staff and I have a surprise tonight and if they wanted to, they can dress up into nice clothes. The majority of the group did and they loved the opportunity. Once we got dressed, our driver picked us up and we ate dinner at a hotel that provided a three course meal (that was very good).
The surprise was letting people in the door. So it was time to head out and grab our very good seats. Nickee our driver, set up a show for us at the hotel. It is called Riverdance, It is a form of Irish dancing with tap shoes. It was awesome!! Traveler Calea L. said to me before the show how she loves Riverdance. She was so surprised when we showed up for the show. Traveler Alex, did not know what he was going to watch and after the show he said he LOVED IT!! He wished his mother was at the show. Steve cheered, Mike M. was saying it all was cool and the rest of the group was in awe of the performance or was dancing along with the performers. It was awesome!! Great show! If you ever have the opportunity to attend a show like Riverdance, I HIGHLY recommend it, you won’t be disappointed. The Finale was the only time I could video record, so if you check out the Courageous Travels Facebook page, you will be able to see the performance.
What a jam packed day. But a memorable one. We have been creating a lot of memories this trip and today was no exception. Dennis picked us up after the show, he dropped us off at the hostel, and we said goodbye.
It is a late light, so we went straight to bed so we could get up early tomorrow.
-The Travel Team

Day 8

Good Evening Courageous Travelers,
It was time to head out of Killarney. The group packed up their bags, we met Nickee, loaded the bus, ate breakfast and made our way towards Dublin. During our trip to Dublin, we decided to make some stops along the way. Nickee took us to a small little town called Mucroom, Ireland.We stopped for restrooms and Nickee and I went into a store to buy supplies for lunch. Lunch is going to be small and quick, since we had a HUGE breakfast. We hopped back on the bus and continued our journey.
Our next stop brought us to Claycastle Beach of Youghal Bay. It was time to visit the Atlantic Ocean, walk on it’s sandy/rocky beach. We have a beautiful and warm day which allowed some of our travelers and staff to put their feet in the ocean. The water was COLD!! Mike P, Kathy C., Michael C., and Cindy G. couldn’t wait to take off their shoes and feel the very cool water.  Calea, Sara, and some of the other travelers were looking for rocks and shells. One of the rocks that stood out was the sea glass rock. You can see right through it and it is a rock! We had a great mix of travelers on the beach and some just wanted to hang out at a bench and look out at the beautiful sea. Katie S. and Charlotte went for a stroll down the beach and then they came back to the sand, so they can say they were on the beach.
We are so happy we stopped at the beach. It was needed and there were no other coaches but ours. As we left the area, we passed out our mini lunch and started on our way to Waterford, Ireland.
It has been such a beautiful day in Ireland. The sun is shining and it feels so nice. We think it’s 70 degrees. Anyways, we showed in Waterford 30 minutes early and it was perfect. Waterford is the home to Waterford Crystals. This is where the world’s crystals are made and shipped. The Waterford Crystal company started in 1783 by two brothers who then sold it to an Irishman in 1791. In 1851 a famine broke out and they had to close the factory. In 1952 the company reopened and the crystal company flourished. We had two guides who led us around the factory and explored the different areas that the crystals go through to get formed. It was a pretty neat tour and it was cool to see how crystal items were are formed.
Once the tour was over, the guides dropped us off a the gift shop. We wanted to buy everything in the store, but the cheapest item was 30 euro (seahorse) and the most expensive (of what we saw) was 40,000 euro. Some of the travelers did buy crystals. Abe, Jonathan, and Alex. Remember how I mentioned that Alex wanted to buy one. Well, he found the one he liked and bought the crystal.
After the tour, we made our way to a nearby hotel to have dinner. For dinner we either had Chicken, Fish or a salad. For dessert we had a choice of brownie with ice cream or an apple pie. I heard both where delicious. The food also came out quickly!
Dinner is now over and we are on our way to Dublin. For one last full day in Ireland. We are now at our last hostel for the trip to Ireland!! Tomorrow we have two last museums and then Tuesday we will be flying back to Chicago then Iowa.
Have a great night!
-The Travel Team

Day 9

Hello Courageous Travels!!
We had a great last day in Ireland! After having breakfast at our hotel we made our way to the Guinness Factory and Museum. We snapped a group picture under a large Guinness sign and headed inside! An employee came out to give us a brief explanation of the museum. The employee told us that a lease was signed for the building in 1759 for 9,000 years! We also learned that the world’s largest pint shaped glass made up the atrium of the Guinness building. We also learned that there were 7 floors to the museum! There was a floor dedicated to the Brewing and Transportation process, a floor for tasting, an area where you could learn the art of pouring, a floor with a few restaurants and the very top floor had a 360 view of Dublin!
After the orientation, we split off into smaller groups to explore! We started off learning about the ingredients that are used to make Guinness, which are barely, hops, water and yeast. There were exhibits dedicated to each ingredient. Did you know that Guinness uses 100,000 tons of barley each year? There are also expert taste testers that come in each to to sample each batch to be sure that the quality is up to their high standards. We also learned that there are 50 millions bubbles in each pint of Guinness! Next we learned that Guinness used trains, boats and aircraft to transport their products. There were displays including models and pictures showing the different types of transportation that was used.
Michale M., Dustin, Heath, Annie, and Kathy visited the Guinness Academy where they got to learn the craft of pouring. They learned that it’s a six step process but once they learned the techniques, they got a certificate to make it official!
Out tickets allowed us to receive a free beverage so all of the groups made their way up to the 360 bar area to enjoy a soda and the beautiful view of Dublin! We snapped some pictures then made our way down to the gift shop. The travelers bought some great souvenirs before heading back out to the bus.

On the bus, we had a sack lunch that was provided by our hostel, Jacob’s Inn.

After lunch we made our way to the Leprechaun Museum. We had to split the group in two. So half of the 30 went through the museum at 1:30pm and the other half went at 2:30pm. While the groups went through the museum, the other groups did more shopping.
The Leprechaun museum is very unique. We went through the museum not knowing what to expect, and I think that was the point. The Story Teller (tour guide), walked us through the museum and told us stories about Leprechauns and about Ferries. Did you know that Leprechauns do not dress in green. They dress in more red and brown. The Disney movie Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959) futures the Leprechaun’s in this dress. But, the little peoples King was dressed in all Green. So in turn, we have always known Leprechauns for being little and green, with a big red beard.
We toured the museum, listened to some more stories and had fun imagining having the Gold in our possession. Steve and Abe really got into the stories, and asked some fun questions. Steve was eager to make all the stories end with a happy ending. Which he helped create. The travelers really liked hearing the stories and enjoyed shopping afterwords. We even took fun pictures.
After the museum we made our way to dinner. Called Bad Donkey. We had a great meal, great company, and delicious dessert. Once we were done eating, we made our way back to the hotel.
When we got to the hotel. We invited Nicky into the hostel and said our goodbyes. Nicky kept on saying, he has never felt this way about a group before. It’s usually do his job and get done. But he told me he had learned so much being with our group  and loved every part of this experience. Nicky is a good man and he cared so much about our group. It was great to have him with us all week. He is now part of the Courageous Travels family! Thank you Nicky!! Till we meet again!! Cheers!!!
Tomorrow we are up early, so we can get through security, customs, and get to our gate in time. We have an 8 hour flight, arrive in Chicago. Get picked up by our charter. Eat at Culvers. Drop off Travelers in Dubuque and at Camp Courageous.
Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers for a safe flight!
Peace,

The Travel Team!

Day 10

Good Evening Courageous Travelers,

The Ireland travelers have made it back to the states!

We had such a great trip! We can’t believe it’s already over!

Even though it’s over, we will always remember our trip to Ireland.

This morning, we started pretty early. Our bus driver, Michael, was waiting for us. He packed our luggage, while we ate breakfast. We then loaded the bus, a little before 7am and then we were out. The roads weren’t too busy, so we made it to the airport in less than 30 minutes.

When we arrived, we unloaded, said goodbye to Michael and walked over to Aer Lingus Airline checkin desk. Aer Lingus is pretty quick and easy. The staff are also very nice and willing to help us out at all times.

We retrieved our boarding passes, dropped off our luggage, and went through TSA (which went smooth). We then walked to
US Customs, which we got to do before we left Ireland. It is so easy to do it this way, so then we don’t have to bother with it when we arrive in Chicago.

Customs went smooth and then we walked over to our gate. We had to wait at the gate for Little over and hour. But it wasn’t too bad.

Before we knew it, we were already boarding the plane and boarding was also simple. We found our seats and got comfortable for our over 7 hour flight.

During our flight, we had two meals, tea or coffee, and ice cream. Majority of the travers watched movies, some read and some just slept. It was nice!

We arrived in Chicago at 2pm, unloaded the plane and made our way to baggage claim. Where our driver was waiting for us.

CIT charters is our company of choice and Tracey was our bus driver. Mike P actually knows Tracey from Iow City, so they caught up right away.

We grabbed our luggage, loaded the bus and made our way back to Iowa. We stopped at Culver’s for dinner, Dubuque for drop off and back to camp. The majority of the travelers have been picked up and they all headed home! Alex and Charlotte is are staying at menster.

Thank you to all the travelers and volunteers that attended this wonderful trip to Ireland!! It was such an amazing experience!

Now it’s time to rest and get ready for more trips to come!

“Keep traveling my friends!”

-The Travel Team

 

Check out Courageous Travels on Facebook to see all the pictures!

2 Responses

  1. Diann Fischels says:

    Shelby is always full of surprises…..This made me tear up……..I told her to try some new foods….glad she did

  2. Diann Fischels says:

    Shelby was tired Tuesday night and went to bed early. We stayed on Dubuque that night. We drove home in rain on Wednesday. She has told me many stories. She enjoyed the trip despite the “sick” day. I asked where the “flat” family pics were. She began to cry and said she just was so busy she forgot about it. Told her that was fine. Glad she was having that much fun. Thank You all for such an amazing trip. She is looking forward to another next year.