Wednesday, March 26
Soaking up the last bit of Ireland.
Leisurly get up and ready for a late start. Head out sans Donncha (David is watching him) for breakfast and shopping at Avoca. After circling around looking for the correct Avoca (Google doesn’t always take you to the place you want to go), we stop at the Fernhouse Avoca. While Cessy parks the car, Julie and I do a little “window shopping.” in the shop which is an upscale version of Cracker Barrel. We head into the tea room section are seated and soak in the decor. It’s a classy establishment with an eclectic/modern antiquing twist. The chandeliers have a forks and spoons hanging down connected by ribbons. Some of the tables resemble picnic tables with each board painted a different color complete with the chipped paint appearance. Some chairs are wooden backed while others have been covered and padded. Since this was our last relaxing breakfast in Ireland, we opted for a traditional Irish porridge (we’d had our fill of the Full Irish Breakfast and wanted to try something different). Porridge, cream, honey, and fruit – delicious and filling. To wash it down we had sparkling lemonade. We also tried the bread variety tray – white bread, brown bread, nutty bread, and cheese bread toasted with butter and jelly. Yum!
While allowing the food to settle, we toured the shop and picked up a few more souvenirs. They had Fluff! I also saw a marshmallow kabob – sorry, Craig, it was too long to fit into my suitcase.
Afterward we head over to Powerscourt House. The sky is overcast and appears that rain is imminent. We drive up to the parking area . . . and find the Avoca we were searching for originally. Good thing we went to the first one (I picked up Mom’s souvenir from there). We toured the grounds which were very well manicured. Nothing like Rick Steve’s video – no sun and no people. But well worth the visit. Stepping out of the House you see a vast landscape and a path leading down to a gigantic pond with a fountain. After touring the pond and walking through the boat house we make our way to the Japanese garden. A beautiful area with winding paths, rivers, bridges, a pagoda, and a secret cave – feels like we stepped into “Treasure Island”. From here we walked to the tower – we were able to climb the winding staircase to the top. This area of the garden has a wide variety of trees which were planted over the span of 200 years.
Instead of taking the easy route beginning with a slight hill to the pet cemetery, we start downhill for the Rhodedendrum garden and walk up a STEEEEEP hill to the pet cemetery. (I’m very thankful we don’t have the stroller.) Here the family pets were buried. The animals ranged from dogs to cows to horses. After reading all the plaques, we continue our tour past the dolphin pond and into the flower and rose garden. The only plant which seems to be blooming is the Daffodils which grow like weeds in Ireland. (Think clover, but instead its a daffodil) They are all over the forest floor and spread throughout the fields. After the flower garden we step into the rose garden with the focal point being the Juliet fountain, built for solitary contemplation in honor of the Viscounts Mother Juliet. This ends our self guided tour and we meander back into the house and wander through the various sections of the gift shop.
Since we are in Europe, we stop by the grocery store to stock up on chocolate before our return.
From here we head back to Cessy’s house to check on David and Donncha and eat some supper. Cessy makes a delicious chicken dinner with rice. I’m going to miss that cooking (Mom, be prepared, I’m coming over for food!)
After dinner, Julie and I pack up in preparation for the return trip home.