How to Have a Happy Christmas

As much as I enjoyed lying around on my princessy bed with a crackling fire, there was so much to see and do in the Connemara area, even on Christmas day! I got up early and went down to enjoy the fine breakfast laid out in the dining room. They seated me at a corner table, next to the fire and even turned it down so I wouldn’t cook! So thoughtful! They even popped another American flag on my table and said “God bless America”.

I enjoyed the view, a fresh pot of tea and some of the most delicious sausages I’ve ever had. Then I bundled up and headed out to the car park to begin my adventure. I had hoped to visit the castle or an abbey but I was having such a great time driving on the twisties, I shot right past the castle and the fork in the road that would have led to the abbey. I drove along the sky road and then veered off to the lower sky road to try to get closer to the beach. I never got close to the beach but I did get close to some sheep!



If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know how much I appreciate a fun drive on a twisty road. That’s one of my favorite things about Ireland!


Pro tip: an early morning drive on Christmas day means very little traffic on Irish country roads!

Eventually, I headed back to the hotel but when I pulled into the parking lot I ran into Blainey who was about to go for a walk on the beach. He asked if I’d want to ride along so I hopped into his HUGE car. It was some sort of really big Jag but it looked more like a land yacht! It was very impressive how he was able to navigate that beast along those tiny Irish roads.


Beautiful beach where you can stroll along and admire the adjacent cemetery and gale force winds.

We got out and walked along the beach. At first we walked with the wind, which was bitterly cold but sort of propelled us along.


Port Nafeadoige

Then we had to go back and walking into the wind was slightly less fun. Blainey drove the long way back so I got to see some more of the countryside and of course sheep. When we got back to the hotel they were serving lunch and we got a pint and some of the most delicious Beef Wellington ever.


OMG was this delicious…

We also put in our estimates for the Christmas Cake contest.


I guessed 13 lbs 3 oz. It was 16 lbs 7 oz. I’m going to spend the next year training by blindfolding myself and then guessing the weight of heavy things.

We parted ways and I headed back to my room to work on the blog.


Princess bed!

I went back to the bar for tea time and then chatted with a few other guests. Then I went for a walk about the hotel grounds to explore a bit.


One of two helipads I found on the hotel grounds, but why fly in when driving in Ireland is so exciting? Makes no sense!

I put on my party skirt and sparkly sweater and then went back to the bar for the champagne reception. It was lovely again! They also served some crackers with Irish brie and smoked salmon. I don’t even like salmon and that cracker was amazing! We went up to dinner and Blainey sat with me again.


Very festive place settings and everyone got a cracker! Though, turns out you aren’t supposed to open them on your own. Lesson learned.

Blainey and I shared a couple of bottles of really good wine. I had the seafood platter to start and then a pastry with avocado and cheese. I know it was the vegetarian option and I’m a devoted carnivore, but it sounded good after that cheese at the reception. I wasn’t disappointed though Blainey and the server both gave me odd looks!


Santa came and brought every guest a present. I received a box of chocolates. Blainey told me they were the good ones!

During dinner they announced the winner of the Christmas Cake contest, who didn’t win the giant fruitcake, but got medals instead! I’m seriously going to practice guessing weights in the future… After dinner we all went back down to the bar and the music had already started. I chatted with a few other guests and tried the Irish Coffee. It was AMAZING. I might have had a few too many…

Another guy came up to the bar and was chatting me up and asked what I was drinking. When I told him, he ordered one for himself and another for me. He was wearing a shiny gold medal because he’d come in second in the Christmas Cake contest. His name was John and he explained how he was an engineer from London and had actually used math to calculate his estimate. He invited me out to meet his mother and sister who were on holiday with him. They were sitting by the fire in the lobby. His sister was a former policewoman and great fun. His mother lives in Cork and got really wound up in telling the story of her life. It was quite interesting, though I had a few more Irish coffees as she went along and I kinda lost track of who was who or what she was talking about. Blainey stopped by to tell me goodnight and eventually I realized everyone else had already gone to bed! John and I were the only ones left. At that point he was talking very quietly and since I am partially deaf I couldn’t hear a word he said. I made some excuses about my early morning drive to Derry and called it a night. By the time I got back to my room, it was after 3 and the Irish coffee had caught up! Not the caffeine part, the other part. I was happy to crawl into my princess bed and shut my eyes until it stopped spinning!

About isherri

I'm a family engagement expert who travels for work and for pleasure. In fact, I’m half hippy, half clown, latte sipping, brunch munching, MINI driving, rabid social media enthusiast.
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