We had a great time with the Burkes and got in a lot of cousin bonding time. We celebrated Rosie’s 11th birthday with them at Sa Lolla Pizzeria (of course). We had a short but oh-so-sweet visit from the legendary Josie Hatley on her way home from India! And then we packed up for “holiday” in Ireland. We flew into Cork and stayed our first night at the Cork Airport Hotel. I think I’d go back just for the hotel—full Irish breakfast, golf and pingpong in the lobby, a kids’ playroom, a foosball table. We went to Blarney Castle and climbed the terrifying stairs to the top to kiss the Blarney Stone. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t been carrying Pen for the last 2 sets of almost vertical spiral stairs. We stayed 3 nights at the Muckross Park Hotel in Killarney National Park. We took a jaunting car through the Park one day and rented bikes for exploration the next. Then we drove on to our yurt on an eco-farm in the Irish mountains. The girls got to feed the goats, chickens, llamas, and sheep. I don’t miss the compost toilet, but it was an experience. It was a bit terrifying driving up and down the mountain on a one lane windy road with cars and busses zooming around the bends at terrifying speeds towards us—it felt a bit like we were in a video game. The scenery was amazing though. For our last day, we drove along the Wild Atlantic Way to Dingle where we had great seafood and stopped for a spell at Inch beach. We waved a Southwesterly wave at Emerald Isle, NC from Emerald Isle:) Now we’re back in Wageningen and I’ve spent 2 full days packing and have just about finished. 11 bags and 5 backpacks packed. 7 of the bags are being picked up tomorrow morning, and then we leave for the Amsterdam airport hotel on Wednesday with the rest. Indiana, here we come!