Happy Tuesday, friends!
As you know, we’re currently embarking on our anniversary trip of a lifetime, and are loving having you join us on our adventures! We are so excited to share each part of this amazing journey with you, both through Instagram, and through this blog. We will be writing a full recap of each of the seven countries we visited, and sharing loads of photos too, starting today with out first stop, Ireland.
It’s sunrise in rural Ireland as we write this post. We’re on a train cutting through the central countryside, from coast to coast, en route to Dublin for our flight to London. Glints of light are climbing over the peaceful green hills and running along the pastures where the black and white spotted dairy cows graze in groups — which, we found out, is why the butter here tastes oh-so good.
It’s been a whirlwind 72 hours, that’s for sure. We left Phoenix on Friday morning, arrived in Dublin on Saturday morning, spent the entire day driving through the farms and back roads of Ireland, and the entire evening (until ten o’clock, because the sun sets later here) shooting an engagement session in a location that dreams are made of: the grounds of an Irish chateau and ruins of a 12th century Catholic church. It was every descriptive adjective we could think of wrapped into one. But, in a word, it was magnificent. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can see both parts of the session using the links above or by clicking here.
We kept a fast pace in Ireland. With only 48 hours to spend and so much to see, sleep came second to sights (as we expect it will for the rest of our adventure abroad), but we saw all things we came to see and did all the things we came to do. We drove the countryside and sat on the edge of the most beautiful Irish cliffs. We climbed to the top of a castle and walked the city center. We drank proper Irish tea in the morning and Guinness with lunch. We went to church together and were surprised at how close we still felt to God (and each other) while we were so far from home. Every moment in this country took our breath away, and it’s been so fun to share it with you.
But it wasn’t the things we’d planned to do that meant so much to us. It was everything we didn’t see coming, from the small things that made us laugh, like eating chips (fries) with our Chinese food — because EVERYTHING in Ireland is served with chips! – to the big things that might on the surface seem small, like the warmth of our friends who welcomed two weary travelers into their home our first evening here with hugs, smiles, and piping hot bowls of traditional stew.
Before we came, we’d heard about the luck of the Irish, but now that we’ve experienced the shamrocks for ourselves, we’ve got nothing but a love of the Irish.
Here are a few behind-the-scenes images from our Irish engagement session!
After spending the whole day on Saturday with our awesome clients and new friends, Kathleen and Aaron, we all went to church together the next morning. Our home church, CCV, is passionate about training believers to become disciples, and sending those disciples out all over the world. Our friend, Dermot, a native to Ireland, came all the way out to Arizona to live and be trained at CCV, and has since moved back to Ireland with his family, and started his own church in Limerick. It was so cool to get to see all of their hard work in action, and even better to share it with one of our awesome couples.
A special thanks to Marie and Dermot (and their cute daughters!) for also hosting us in their home for a few nights and showing us around town!
We loved listening to Dermot preach about prayer! Our biggest takeaway was when he asked, “What if we got today what we thanked God for yesterday?” If you’re ever in Limerick and need a church to attend, or if you want to contribute to help them help more local people, visit their website here.
From the moment we stepped off the plane to the moment we boarded our train to London, Ireland completely stole our heart, and was the perfect way to kick off this trip of a lifetime.
For those who’ve asked, we been photographing our trip with the Canon 5D Mark III camera and Canon 50mm 1.2 L-Series lens. In hindsight, a wider lens would’ve been helpful! The European streets are tight, the buildings are tall, and the tourists are plentiful! If you need gear recommendations, you can view what’s in our bag by clicking here.