Our experience this day was an example of how no matter how much one can plan not everything will go as planned. If you roll with a sudden change of plans, your experience may be better than you could have planned!
On our drive out to Kilkenny I received a call on my cell phone from the hotel we had reservations at in Kilkenny. We had two rooms at a hotel in the town that had a parking area for our car and was easy walking distance to the castle I wanted to visit while there. The hotel was calling to say that they overbooked by two rooms and our two rooms were no longer available! I couldn't quite understand all that they were telling me over the phone due to the poor connection and their accents so I told them we would be there shortly and could discuss in person.
We parked our vehicle in the back of the hotel headed in to talk to them. They were very nice and apologetic and explained the situation. They said they took it upon themselves to book us at a nearby place called the Lyrath Estate. I knew nothing about it but decided we didn't have many options. They said it cost more to stay there but they would cover the difference. I found that to be a very nice gesture and figured if it cost more it couldn't be too bad. They allowed us to leave our car parked there while we explored the town.
Kilkenny Castle was a neat castle to visit. It's a self-guided tour, at your own pace. The grounds were incredible and the castle itself interesting to explore. After the castle we headed to some shops. After a few hours we headed back to our car and drove out to the Lyrath Estate.
While heading out to the Lyrath Estate we drove through beautiful Irish countryside, the epitome of what the one imagines Ireland to look like - misty and ever so green. We soon arrived and followed the long, winding driveway which flowed over hilly land, ending at the incredible estate with gorgeous flowers and rows of hedges.
What an absolute surprise this place was! A beautiful old estate had been expanded to include a beautiful hotel. We had two rooms - one large suite with an amazing view of the countryside and another smaller room. We could not have expected a better place!
After unloading our belongings in our room we decided to go for a walk on a walking path on the property of the estate. It started drizzling a tiny bit but was so pretty we didn't mind! Sheep were grazing in the distance and our surroundings were impossibly green. After a while we headed back and decided to eat dinner. I had an epiphany! What if we left the kids in the room (Skylar is 16 after all) with a movie on Netflix and room service...then Mike and I could go down and enjoy an adult-only dinner (we never get this at home!)...it worked like a charm! The kids loved their room service meal and movie and Mike and I dined downstairs. This is now our new favorite to do while on vacation!
After our meal we headed back up to the room. We all got situated and headed to bed. The next morning after we were ready we headed down to the breakfast which was fantastic. The dining room overlooked the gorgeous rose garden and the food was incredible. We hated to stay goodbye to this amazing place but it was time to head west. Next stop - The Rock of Cashel!