As a daughter of a Kerryman (what, my name didn’t give it away?) I’ve been lucky enough to venture back to the homeland to visit the family pretty regularly throughout my life.

Here’s the top things my family and I do as soon as we touch down in Shannon.

1. Eat

A heart full Irish.

A heart full Irish.



Ireland may not be known historically for it’s delectable cuisine, but my family and I are always up for a feed of sausages, puddings, eggs, toast and tea as soon as we touch down in Shannon.

Overpriced in the airport sure, but in a daze with jet-lag, a fine Irish feed and a dose of Irish air does just the trick.

2. Pack it in

Not quite as spacious.

Not quite as spacious.



Everything’s bigger in America, and that’s no exception for luggage. Take the luggage of five particularly tall people and a mid-size European car and you’ve got some puzzle to figure out.

The trip out to Kerry from Shannon is one with tired people wedged between bulky bags.

3. See the family

Lots of food and drink with the family.

Lots of food and drink with the family.



Sure, many people go to Ireland for leisure and vacation, but when I go, it’s mainly to visit family. Luckily, we get the best of both worlds as my Dad is from Kenmare.

Dad takes the wheel and off we go straight to our grandparents, aunts and uncles, all before unpacking.

Cups of tea are always waiting for us tired travelers.

4. Get settled

Take a break with a cuppa!

Take a break with a cuppa!



Kenmare is a home away from home for my family and I now.

A fresh shower, a run to Centra, and RTE News are always on the agenda for the first night in town as we attempt to adjust to Irish time.

5. Wake up at some odd hour

Horrible jet lag!

Horrible jet lag!



Who said adjusting to Irish time was easy?

Nothing like rolling over at 4am and not knowing what country you’re in, and wondering why there are sheep outside your window ...

6. Wake up for real

Wake up to the kettle boiling.

Wake up to the kettle boiling.



No resting on this vacation!

Up with the birds and thrust into Irish time. With a fry going in the kitchen, you don’t need much more luring to get out of bed, no matter how comfy your Irish bedsheets are.

Read more: The best things about growing up in County Kerry

7. Head to town

Get stocked up.

Get stocked up.



Time to stock up for real now. Off to Supervalu it is to pick up even more sausages, blocks of ice cream and wafers, Lucozade and some gossip mags to fill you in on what you’ve missed on “Fair City”.

8. Down to the old farm

Always work to be done.

Always work to be done.



There’s always some amount of tinkering to be done down at Dad’s old homestead.

If anything, there’s a ram to be teased with or a football to be kicked around.

Make sure to wave to the Ring of Kerry tour buses!

9. Out to dinner

Catch up over food.

Catch up over food.



Round up all the family and head to town for a good meal.

Our favorites in Kenmare are The Coachman, The Landsdowne or O’Donnabhain’s. They have to push tables together when the O’Shea’s roll in.

10. Out to the pub, of course

Image: Getty images.

Image: Getty images.



What’s a trip to Ireland without a trip (or several) to the pub?

Drinks continue on at The Coachman with live music, and then a stagger over to The Square Pint for more dancing and drinks.

When it’s last call, it’s back to someone’s house for more drinks and yet another fry.

Read more: Facts about Killarney on The Ring of Kerry.

*Originally published in 2013.