Happy 13th Birthday to you Ariel!!

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Flag of Ireland  , County Clare,
Friday, March 23, 2012

Ariel became a teenager on 23 March 2012. We made her wait an extra day, cause in Oz it was the 23rd yesterday - huh, huh, huh!!

We took her out to a cafe for breaky, then traipsed along the Cliffs of Moher, near Doolin, R wanted to saunter further along the cliff tops - past the signs saying 'extreme danger', 'danger hazard area' and 'do not enter'. Everyone else was doing it, so Bill and Alo, reluctantly, escorted her. Brandi-Chanel refused to go and told us, "You are completely stupid!" Off we trudged, took a couple of photos and then our dear 13 year old exclaimed, "I just want to hang over the edge so I can see where they made the part in the Harry Potter movie" (Half blood Prince). It's only a 700 metre sheer drop to the ocean. Yeuch!  Is this what we're to expect from a teenager?  It was a new experience for us, after-all this was our first day.

The best of the day was kept for last, the medieval banquette at Bunratty.  We joined the Earl and Ladies for a glorious banquet at a sublime 15th century castle.  The entire hall, of over 100 guests, sang Ariel an endearing happy birthday to harp and violin accompaniment.  She felt like a right royal - that she did!

Happy 13th Birthday precious girl. Mwah!!
Next we checked out the Hill of Tara - also known as the Seat of High Kings of Ireland. It was at the height of its power in the early centuries after Christ, until St Paddy single-handedly converted them, and the rest of Ireland, to Christianity (they say). He couldn't have stopped to sleep or eat if that was true. 

There were stunning 360 degree views from the top of the hill. But the weirdest site was the Wishing Tree, an old Pagan ritual was that people would tie something significant to the tree for healing and luck. There were all these bits and pieces of guff tied all over the branches of the tree, including someones knickers - hah?

We also visited the impressive Trim Castle - the largest Anglo/Norman fortification in Ireland. (Maybe Alo's busy Great .... Uncle Richard De Clare had something to do with that too?) Many of the scenes from the Mel Gibson movie 'Braveheart' were filmed there. Ariel climbed the curtain wall and pretended to fight off the enemy with her imaginary bow and arrow - wicked teen. The whole structure took over 30 years to build - amazing little worker bees they were back then, but also dirty, stinky buggers. Unlike the Celts who liked being clean and had daily baths, these dudes didn't wash themselves, or their clothes, it wasn't long before they had creepy crawlies, in particular, fleas and lice, running rampant. So to get rid of them they came up with this pungent idea.  

1.  Remove clothes.
2.  Hang them high over cesspit.
3.  Leave hanging until all lice and fleas are killed.

The ammonia gasses from human excrement would suffocate the little blighters.  Must remember this one, it could be a handy tip for school kids head lice issues.

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glen & julie on

great your having a ball in ireland, happy birthday ariel, all our best, glen & julie.

joderekononhome on

Another birthday wish to you Ariel - Derek and Jo

Heather Knuth on

Don't you love the old castles and scenery and the cobble pathways, there is so much history and beauty there that Aussie doesn't have...

Heather Knuth on

OH and Happy Belated Birthday to the new teen!!! Daniel just turned 15, time fly's!!!

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