Vicky and Mr G have known each other since they were 2 & 3 years old having grown up on the same estate and I met Vicky when I was 15 and we moved "down south".
I'm so glad she did as I love her like a sister and we have had some fantastic fun over the years - and I realise despite being in our forties we are still like teenagers when we get together!!
Vicky settled in Ireland about 20 years ago and used to visit home at least once a year so begin with I saw her regularly. Then her parents and two of her sisters followed her over and she stopped coming back over so until I attended her wedding in 2010 I had not seen her for ten years.
Determined to not let it go so long again this year it was decided that our family holiday would be taken in Ireland.
It took 36hrs (including overnight stop in Liverpool) door to door - but oh was it worth it!! Not only is Ireland the home of my BFF, it is just beautiful!!
We stayed in an annexe belonging to friends Martin & Eilish which had the most lovely view which looked different everyday:
On the Sunday, having left our husbands in their respective beds with raging hangovers (they went to the pub on Saturday - Mr G doesn't really drink but found everyone so friendly he couldn't help it - every time he went to the loo two more pints were waiting for him!!) Vicky and I took her beautiful crafts to a little craft fair:
Sunday evening was spent in front of the log burner on Martin & Eilish's patio:
Eilish & I....
Squeezing my Vicky and not wanting to let her go!!
Our visit was all the more special as Vicky is expecting a baby with her lovely husband David:
We have utterly fallen in love with Ireland, the beautiful landscape, slower pace of life and wonderfully generous, hospitable people. We've never been made to feel more at home and welcome.
Our evenings were most often spent tucked on Vicky's cottage crocheting:
In the middle of our stay we travelled south to stay for a night with Vicky's Mum and Dad, Diane and David, who run Ballywarren House - a gorgeous little hotel (when we were kids they had a cottage hotel too and Vicky and I would get into trouble stealing OJ and the expensive couverture chocolate chips by the handful!!)
We took the scenic route south and boy was it worth the extra miles:
Ballywarren itself is beautiful. My kinda house!! I just love the Georgian double fronted look:
It was really wonderful to see Diane and David again!!:
The next morning we bid our farewells but not before the obligatory photos: