When we were in Schull with my in-laws, Jon and I had a long talk on our date night about family vacations - and what they'd look like for our new family. My parents and sister and I would go to my grandparents' country house in Connecticut for a week over winter break and two weeks in August every year; Jon's immediate family always spent a few weeks during the summer at his late granny's cottage on the southwest coast of Ireland. Jon and I are incredibly lucky to be able to fly to the UK every year for Christmas but, as privileged as we are, we only have so much disposable income and vacation time we can spend on holidays and we know we'll have to make some difficult choices. While it's exciting to imagine the new traditions that we'll develop, it's disappointing to know that our son probably won't experience the ones that Jon and I grew up with.
I mentioned in my last post that our trip to Schull was an opportunity for me to catch a glimpse of what those childhood summers looked like for Jon and, especially if we don't go back regularly, I'm glad to have the memories and photos with Robbie.
Below are some from our day out to Cape Clear, Ireland's southernmost inhabited island. We took the ferry from Schull in the morning and, after a restorative tea by the water, set off on a hearty 90 minute trek from the North Harbor to the South Harbor. (It's the route in red on the map.) The distance between the two can be covered in five minutes if you walk directly (as you can see from the blue line on the map), which is how we got back, but we wanted to see the spectacular views to the mainland and across to the Fastnet from the center of the island, which is at a much higher elevation than the shoreline. Along the way, we stopped at a farm selling goats' milk ice cream and chatted with the owners, who had moved to Cape Clear from London to escape the rat race. It was delicious, and not just because we felt like we'd escaped, too! It was such a beautiful day - barely a cloud in the sky and unusually hot. A few relatives took a dip in the Atlantic at the South Harbor, which must have felt divine, but Jon and I completed the circuit so we could change and feed Robbie at a café at the North Harbor before hopping on the ferry back to Schull. We definitely earned our pints at the pub later that evening!