Ballyfin, Ireland aka dream world

I’m finding it hard to describe where exactly we are right now because it doesn’t seem real. We arrived in Ireland yesterday at around noon and were taken by driver from Dublin to Ballyfin, where we were greeted like royalty by three friendly servants… Is this real? I’m finding it hard to write without sounding pompous or something. I’m just trying to write it down to make sure it’s even a reality. My three little cousins ran out of the front door so excited to see us. “We picked the tapestry room for you,” said Olivia. I was overwhelmed walking into castle and still a bit groggy from jetlag, but those feelings quickly dissipated once we started the tour. The entry way is guarded by an Irish elk:

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Keep walking and there’s a study-like room with a portrait and plaque honoring Ballyfin’s teen founder Sir Charles Henry Coote:

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The grand staircase is in the next room. Sometime this week a historian and Ballyfin expert will come in to tell us all about the people in all these portraits and the history of the place.

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A fire constantly burns in the living room which is lined with tall marble columns. As I’m walking around taking photos, I’m in shock. The outdoor terrace looks out onto this gorgeous fountain protected by a statue of a god-like Poseidon looking man.

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Our bartender, Malcolm, looks exactly like the actor Denis O’hare and we’ve taken to calling him “Lloyd” like the bartender from The Shining. He’s English and a complete movie buff, so it’s been fun to sit at the bar with him and my uncle who is constantly rattling off various movie quotes. We are on the way ride horses now, but I wanted to blog quickly before we left. More to come!

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