Kilkenny, Ireland

We decided that despite the danger, a car was definitely going to be the better way to travel through the country. The driver that took us to the rental car center gave us plenty of serious and sometimes humorous driving tips: “Hey, California (referring to my friend, Karen), red light means STOP, no turn on red, stay to the LEFT!” After a few practice laps around the rental lot, we went through two terrifying roundabouts and finally made our way out of Dublin.

Though it may seem big when you’re opening a map of Ireland, it is in fact a very small island. It took nearly no time at all before we reached Kilkenny the morning of my birthday. Oh, right – did I mention I spent my 38th birthday in Ireland? Well, I did.

When we arrived in Kilkenny, we parked the car in a garage and rolled out suitcases up the street to check in at Butler Court B&B (a very lovely, clean and friendly bed and breakfast that I would highly recommend.) This was only a one-night stay, so we literally dropped our bags in the room and then left to explore the little yet touristy city.

Shopping Tip: There are a lot of cute boutiques and stores to shop at, but if you want to see where the locals buy their clothes, go to Penny’s (it’s a bit of a madhouse after 6PM). I also ended up wandering into Dunnes Store on Kieran street after we had my birthday dinner at Kyteler’s Inn, picking up a fabulous red coat.