Sunday, 21 April 2013

Getting There is Half the Fun

As a child, I was thrilled about taking a 2 hour drive to the Lake of the Ozarks.  When we made the long drives to Colorado, Wisconsin and Florida, we were in heaven sitting in the back of our conversion van.  We would turn the seats around backwards and lay the bench seat flat to sleep and play.  We looked out the windows to play the license plate game or the ABC game with signs.  My parents did not have cell phones or GPS.  They used maps, made out of paper.  To keep in touch with friends' traveling with us, they used CB radios or flashed their headlights.

My how things have changed.  My children have traveled by car, plane, train, bus, subway, Chunnel and now by a ferry. (Cora has done that in her first year of life!)  Our journey to Ireland was very interesting.  On Easter morning, we drove for almost 5 hours north into Wales to the Holyhead port.  Our kids were quite content with their dual DVD players and Leap Pad and Leapster games.  We saw mountains, castles, windmills and lots of sheep.  We went through three tunnels in the mountains right by the Irish Sea.  The ferry was such an easy and convenient way to travel.  It was a 3 1/2 hour boat ride, and the kids thought we were on a cruise!
 Our route from Chippenham, England to Holyhead, Wales
        Ferry routes from Wales to Ireland.  We went from Holyhead to Dublin.

Three content kiddos

We drove right along the Irish Sea
If you notice the temperature, that is in Celsius.

Hard to see, but there was a HUGE castle

 Windmills in the Irish Sea

 Driving with the mountains on the left and the sea on the right

 Entering a tunnel through the mountain

There is our ferry at the port!  It was massive!

Driving onto the ferry

We parked the car and got out for the 3.5 hour boat ride.

Front row seats in the ferry.  It was a beautiful, calm day at sea.

Video clip from our front row seats

The kids enjoyed a pirate show and a visit from the Easter Bunny.

Video clip looking out the window

We had a room for the kids to rest.  The loved the bunk beds, although no sleeping took place.

Pulling into the port in Dublin.  Dylan loved watching all of the action.

Video clip: arriving in Dublin port

This was a great way to break up a long driving trip.  The kids had so much fun on the ferry boat!  We had our picnic lunch, watched cartoons, colored pictures, watched a pirate show, "relaxed" in our bunk beds and just enjoyed the various views from the ship.  It wasn't very crowded since it was Easter Sunday.  Our hotel was only about 10 minutes from the port.  This was a great beginning to a wonderful vacation in Ireland!