It's hard to believe that three weeks have already elapsed since we boarded a plane in Chicago bound for Ireland.
Three weeks together as we have explored the country from east to west, south to north, then southward once more.
And what a few weeks it has been! During our travels we've steeled our courage for the dodgy roads, flattened a tire on a stone wall, endured countless rounds of normal (but tiring) button-pushing self-amusement between the kids, and worked our way through a touch of homesickness.
At the same time we've also gelled as a family in ways you only can on a trip like this.
We've pulled peat from the earth with our bare hands, talked politics with an old farmer as classical music played softly in the background from his barn, hiked beneath rainbows across boglands and heather, and developed dozens of family inside jokes from misunderstood road signs, travel mishaps, and our pathetic attempts at speaking Gaelic.
And looking ahead to one week from now, we know that returning home again will be so sweet. Home to our own beds, our own pillows, our own house and hills. (Oh also good coffee, cast iron pans, and unscented dish soap – but who's keeping track?) Home will be sweet once after these four weeks away.
But first… the boat!
The last leg of our journey – the most anticipated part of our trip – we'll spend on a small narrow houseboat (called a barge) navigating the canals and the 200 year old locks that pepper its length. I'll post again before we head home with , but until then, wish us luck on the barge! (I'll post photos on Instagram in the meantime.)
See you soon!