"One of the greatest things in human life is the ability to make plans. Even if they never come true - the joy of anticipation is irrevocably yours. That way one can live many more than just one life."

Maria Trapp-The Story of the Trapp Family Singers - Ch. 12 p. 4

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

- St. Augustine

Saturday, August 21, 2010

September: Pro's & Con's


#1 - Going in 2011
If we decided to go in September, we could probably make it work for 2011. It would be fun to think we'd be going next year, rather than sitting around daydreaming about a trip that is 18 months away. Especially when the money is sitting there, burning a hole in our bank account, asking to be spent! :)

#2 - Possible Fall Foliage 
While May is supposed to be stunning for flowers and color, fall is my favorite season and September might be late enough to come upon fall foliage. I don't know if Ireland has beautiful fall color, but I'm guessing they do since they have deciduous tress, not evergreens like us.

#3 - Still Shoulder Season
September is still shoulder season, so we'd still get some of the benefits of good deals and fewer tourists. As far as I can tell there are more good deals for May since shoulder season for some places included September but others don't seem to start until October. However, there are good deals if you look for them. 


#1 - Did I mention staying in a castle? 
As far as I can tell, the only affordable deal at Ashford Castle is in the early spring, ending in May. I'm not sure we could get it in if we went in September. Now, we do hope to get a package deal with which we would get to stay at Powerscourt Gardens, so maybe it's silly to plan a whole trip around having the chance to stay at Ashford Castle. But really, how many times do you have the opportunity to say you spent the night in an authentic medieval castle? Ashford seems to be the one "real thing" opportunity in Ireland. Most of the others are rebuilds, mock-castles, etc. Ashford Castle seems to be the real thing.  

#2 - The Weather
September is much more likely to be very wet and probably quite cool. Ireland's weather is similar to ours, but cooler. Their summer heat waves only make it to around 78 degrees. So, while September here is warm and wonderful, it may be a bit cool in Ireland. It won't be winter or anything, we'd just have to deal with more rain. 

#3 - Start of School
While not smack dab between Hayes Birthday Month and Family Camp the way May would be, September does have it's own events to consider. Adam starts school right then and I wouldn't want to ignore first-day-back and all. Also, Amara's birthday is the 23rd. So, somehow we'd have to go between those two things or after both. 

#4 - End of Tourist Season
I've read that if you are going to go during shoulder season, spring is better than fall. In the spring, the innkeepers and historical site docents and others who work in hospitality are rested and anxious to get back at it and welcome the new wave of visitors. In the fall, everyone in Ireland is tired of tourists, burnt out and ready to be done for the winter. It seems like we would be more likely to find smiling faces, warm welcomes and excited guides in May than September. In September most Irish may be wary of one more wide-eyed American to entertain and put up with.

So, now you have our two options.....any thoughts, opinions or insights?????

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