Like spoiled princesses we slept away our hangovers in the castle.
But wait, before you judge, I can explain.
Last night was straight out of a movie.
As we caught up on our daily social media, we sat where the WiFi was strongest, in the lobby foyer near the giant open fireplace facing the red grand staircase. It was around 9pm and we were tired from the day, thinking we would have a few glasses of wine and watch a flick.
Somewhere between 9 and 10pm we were joined by two Irish couples in the foyer. The ladies drank white wine and the gentleman drank Guinness. Lots of both. We all start to converse. Discussing the haunted spirit in the castle, Johnny Cash, and the beauty of dogs. One couple had a giant 140 lb dog and a 6 lb Pomeranian they left out of their rooms. The castle allows pets, we come to find out. The dogs get belly rubs as we chat about a famous guest that stayed here at Markree Castle – Mr Johnny Cash. We are seated around the red grand staircase where he sang a song many, many years ago. In the guest book is his signature as well as June Carter Cash’s.
One woman happened to be a singer/songwriter and had a guitar in her room. She went up and grabbed it. Before you know it, Johnny Cash songs are being sung loudly in the echoing foyer. The two Irish men behaved like the guys in Boondocks Saints and were absolutely hilarious.
At this point, Chelsea and I decide to forgo our previous plans and see where the night takes us. We are staying in a castle after all, in Ireland, making friends and drinking with a bunch of Irish who have excellent singing voices.
Someone complains about our loud noise so we move the gathering into the bar area a bit further from where the guest rooms were located. We joined up with two other couples already seated in the dimly-lit bar. All 10 of our chairs in a circle. The music continued, as did the drinking and laughter. We were discussing everything from Irish politics to prime ministers to Lady Gaga to Canada to surnames to U2… we were absolutely all over the map.
2:50am rolls around, people are starting to waver when they stand.. Chelsea and I bid our farewells. Not before Johnny from Dublin grasps both of our hands and tells us, we are the future. We are going to do great things and to not be afraid of whatever comes our way. Johnny was about 11 Guinness pints in, but he meant well and we will remember his fond appreciation for U2, the Wanted and behaving half his age.
Fast forward to today. We wake up and shower: 1:30 pm. Chelsea calls the Markree Riding Stables to inquire about a ride. They’re ready for us at 2pm. We throw on tops, jeans and our tennis shoes and head out. The stable is a 10 minute walk from the castle (past the mama and baby foal).
We arrive, our lead is a super cute young gal named Niamh (pronounced Neeve… crazy, I know). She is 100% Irish and was recently voted the #1 Justin Bieber fan in Ireland.
We changed into some boots and got on our horses. Mine was a beautiful fast girl named Cheyenne and Chelsea rode a more low-key one named Major. It was just the three of us on this ride, so we took off on the trail. It was an hour long and we chatted the heck out of Niamh. We rode English and it was such a déjà vu time for me. I’ve decided I’m going to start riding again. Maybe i wont jump like I used to, but at least ride. It’s been a few years, but I love it!
This was absolutely one of the highlights. We rode horses around a castle estate, in Ireland.
We discussed the idea of taking Niamh home to America with us. She is all for it. I told her we can find a nice stable for her to work at, she can stay at my place and we’ll all ride horses and drink afternoon tea together.
This is the second product of Ireland that I want to smuggle home with me (baby foal is #1).
The rest of the day was spent packing and prepping for tomorrows travel. We walked into town and bought groceries to make a homemade meal (sandwiches & Guinness) in the room while we finally watched Gladiator.
Life is so sweet.