Way back in February I featured Blarney Balm for Feedback Friday. I told the story of how the balm came about, how it’s just right for prepping your lips for kissing the Blarney Stone, and how—just like the stone—it will bestow the “gift of the gab.” (Well, that last part might be blarney…)

A friend (and customer) read the post and said, “I’m going to Ireland in a few months with my mom and sister! I think I need that!” I sent some Blarney Balm to all of them (all friends, and all super customers) in hopes that it would come in handy.

They returned last week and shared some amazing photos of their trip on Facebook. Beth and her sister Jen have graciously allowed me to show some of their pictures here along with sharing their favorite things—foods, experiences, sights— from the gorgeous places they visited.

Beth: “I think that our staying in Killarney was a great idea. We were literally across the road from their 26,000 acre national park (above), and taking jaunting cars through the park and walking through the park was a highlight. There were red deer, Kerry cows, Muckross Abbey (see photo below), Ross Castle, Torc Waterfall, and beautiful mountains and lakes in the park.”

Jen: Dingle was definitely a highlight. One of the many, many things I loved about Ireland is the obvious pride the people have in their towns and their country–nearly every town or village we drove through had been recognized in the annual “Tidy Towns” competition–everything was clean and neat and welcoming.”

Beth: Dingle had THE BEST ice cream (Murphy’s ice cream) on the planet. They also had hands down the best fish and chips. Murphy’s had ice cream flavors like sea salt (made from salt harvested from the waters around Dingle), brown bread (Irish brown bread is not like the kind of brown bread we serve with beans and hot dogs – theirs is more like a wheat bread…and it’s caramelized in brown sugar for the ice cream. The ice cream had the texture of grapenut ice cream here), and honeycomb (with bits of honeycomb in the ice cream).”

Jen: “I also love that nearly every business is named for the proprietor/family….everything in Ireland is about relationships–who ‘your people’ are, where your family is from, etc. and I think that’s really neat.”

Beth: “I loved, loved, loved the sheep. There is one picture of the two sheep wandering down the road on the Ring of Kerry in front of us. One of them turned, glared at Jen (who was driving) and jumped in the air, kicked his feet, and in the next photo you can see that they hopped the rock wall and went down into a huge field next to the ocean. The picture of them perched on the wall is one of my favorite photos from the trip.”

Beth: “I think Blarney Castle and the gardens around it was one of my favorite stops – mostly because the sun was shining and the gardens were full of druid circles, the Witch’s Kitchen, and the wishing steps…all very cool.”

So I’m dying to know what happened at the castle! Did you kiss the stone??!

Beth: “The sad news is that the Blarney Stone is at the very top of the castle, and while I am not afraid of heights, I do have claustrophobia that is sometimes overwhelming…so going up a small, stone spiral staircase to the top was not something I could do. Jen can attest to the fact that I REALLY tried, but about three flights up, I started to panic and had to go back down. I did see lots of people kissing the stone, and I found another stone on the grounds to kiss…but that’s as close as I got.”

(No one else is talking, so we’ll just have to wonder what happened when they made it to the top!)

Here are Betty, Beth, and Jen applying their Blarney Balms in front of Blarney Castle! They were such sports to take the balm along on their Irish Adventure—and share some of their beautiful pictures! I really enjoyed living vicariously through their stories and photos, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it, too. As Jen said,
“We had a fabulous time, as you can tell—Ireland is a very special place.

(Photos posted here belong to Elizabeth and Jennifer Dimond. Please do not copy.)