For Jeff and Lindsay's visit we tried our best to give them a wee taste of Ireland... we sent them to Dublin, Trim, Newgrange, and...
we took them to the pub for a traditional Sunday Carvery Dinner. Now this is a tradition that we've never partook in ourselves, though all of the pubs in town would offer a carvery. A carvery by definition is a plate of meat decorated with some boiled cabbage, carrots and potatoes, not very veggie. Regardless, the carvery has strong Irish roots, so we chose to take them to Brady's. Though I heard that the meat was fabulous ...they did offer a veggie soup with bread, so we survived!
We also took them (by request) on a day trip to the ocean. Since the weather was far too windy for much beach activity, we decided to visit Malahide. Malahide's most famous for it's castle, so a tour was naturally required. The castle itself was quite nice... but the site is privately run... so unlike all of the Heritage Ireland sites... the tour was in audio format only. Which means it was quite short (35 minutes) and only just glazed the surface of historical interest... focusing more on "important pieces" in the decor. I also found the cafe to be a complete drag... much more reminiscent of a tourist trap in Canada... in Ireland the tourist sites usually have fantastic cafes, worthy of a visit simply for the food. Not so true in Malahide.
The castle grounds are really lovely, with nice landscaping and a pretty terrific playground (second only to that in Lisburn). Malahide has a nice view of the Irish Sea, bobbing fishing boats, and lovely fine sand dunes. A warmer day would have made for some good sand castle building. However, it's an estuary, meaning that there is a standing wake at the mouth of the town, so swimming would definitely not be a safe enterprise.
Jeff and Lindsay are fairly avid bloggers, so you can see their opinion of Ireland on their blog! We loved having them stay. Nikolai and Zach had a mutual adoration, which made it easy for the two of them to entertain each other. Zach is already a very active (and literally bouncy) baby, so I imagine in two years time the two of them will be well entertained by tearing around the back garden after a football (soccer-style of course).
Above is Jeff, Lindsay and Zach on the train. Below is Malahide Castle (can you tell who comes from Kelowna?) and the sand dunes (we seldom get family photos).