|We actually got up earlier than previously todya, got showered, and got ready to go! We decided against brekafast so we would have more time for activities, so we got the car, packed, and headed away from Dublin. We then went towards Porlaoise and the Rock of Dunamase. We did take one wrong turn, but otherwise we had no problems finding it. We actually asked a nice lady on the side of the road who pointed us in the right direction. We ended up being the only ones at the Rock, and it was really cool. There were ruins from an ancient fortification with awesome panoramic views, so naturally we took a lot of pictures. Then on to Randowney to try to find the Rossmore Farmhouse Ice Cream Farm. We stopped once to ask for directions, which got us to the next town, where we stopped for directions again. A lady working in a local shop gave us directions then, and from that time forward, the amount of times we asked for directions were too many to count! (We think 5 times) Wendi told Angie that the owners of the farm would be gone on holiday and the only person there would be a hired farmhand, and what do you know?? That's exactly what we found. (Once we got there, FINALLY)The farmhand, though, was very friendly and got us back to a main road. From there we went to Birr Castle. It was an interesting place. There was a neat looking castle occupied by the owners of the estate, namely the Earl of Rosse and his wife. The third earl had built a large telescope because of his interest in astronomy which later on became world famous for his contribution to our understanding of the world around us. After we saw the telescope, we took a quick walk through the memorial gardens and a brief stop in the gift shop. Then we got back on the road, we were off to Clonmacnoise. Thsi was the site of numerous churches and a monestary. We watched a short video about St. Kiernan who founded the monestary once we arrived. It also talked about the history after St. Kiernan's death - the many times the community was burnt and raided, and then rebuilt. We walked through the ruins and then headed on to our next castle hotel. (Kilkenny Castle) We checked in and then straight to the "Drawing Room" for dinner before it closed (we got there pretty late because of the busy day that we had!) Wendi had a beef burger and fries with "delicious" tomato relish...Alyse thought it was gross, but Wendi and Angie loved it!! Angie and Alyse both had club sandwiches, and Wendi and Angie shared a bottle of wine. Then we went to the hotel room that Alyse said was the best room EVER. It was a nice big room with a huge bathroom, large bathtub and separate shower, a sitting area, and a big bedroom with a queen size bed and a twin. Alyse claimed the twin for herself and Angie and Wendi managed to cohabitate in the queen size bed for one night.