Ireland… Part 2

Hey friends!

We have wrapped up our week in Ireland. If you didn’t see my post on Connemara, go back and check it out here before reading about the rest of our trip!

After leaving Connemara, we decided to head South. As I said in my Connemara post, we are driving ourselves all around the country, so we have the freedom to stop anywhere or change our itinerary if we choose to do so. On our way to stay at Gregan’s Castle, we stopped in Oughterard for lunch at Power’s Pub where we all had delicious traditional Irish dishes.

Leaving the small village, we stumbled upon Aughnanure Castle. Taking the tour, we learned how these castles were not always for glitz and glamour. Owned by local chieftains and their families, these Gaelic era estates were built with a strong emphasis on protection and defense from outside attacks. Although a seemingly basic rectangular structure, every detail of the castle, from the roofline to the front door and the stairs to the trap doors, was designed to protect from or get rid of unwanted guests. Each floor is more or less one open room, so living was in close quarters with everyone – family and servants alike. This particular castle was built by the O’Flaherty clan around 1300, but there are hundreds of similar castles throughout the country that reflect the Gaelic time period and a family’s need for protection.

Aughnanure Castle
Entrance to Aughnanure Castle

The same afternoon, we made our way to Gregan’s Castle for a quick overnight stay. This quaint, but lovely house is situated in the countryside near Ballyvaughan. Each room is unique and has its own personal style. From the drawing room to the dining rooms and garden, you feel like you’ve just been invited to someone’s personal country home for the weekend.(Also rumored J.R.R Tolkein stayed here!)  Our favorite part of our stay was the amazing dinner served in their dining room. Their award-winning dining room served us an amazing 3 courses with several accompanying “snacks” from the chef, served throughout the meal. Amazing service and we definitely hope to return someday!

Gregan’s Castle

On our way to our next stop, Killarney, we visited the Cliffs of Moher. These cliffs are quite popular for movie scenes, but I think they are even more popular for their sheer size and striking beauty. Being on the coast, it was wildly windy. Paying a small fee to enter the national park, we hiked up the path to the edge of the cliff to view the sheer drop offs, caves and crashing waves below.

Cliffs of Moher

On the national park side (owned by the government), there are barriers and safety guidelines to keep you away from the edge. However, part of the cliffs are privately owned and the owners graciously allow visitors to explore the cliffs on their property. On the private property, there are recommended barriers, but one can easily walk closer to the edge to experience the magnitude of the cliffs. Being the adrenaline junkies we are, of course we jumped the barrier with everyone else to experience the cliffs in all their majesty. These cliffs were amazing and left us awe-struck. I truly felt they reflected the Lord’s divine design as they displayed such power and beauty.

Upon arrival in Killarney, we checked into the Lake Hotel, originally built in 1820 and family owned since the 1940s. This historic hotel sits on Lough Leane and adjacent to Killarney National Park (Ireland’s first national park). We explored Killarney National Park a few different ways. We hiked up to Torc Waterfall on Torc Mountain. Stunning waterfall and gorgeous, green hike. We also explored the Muckross Estate, including the house and abbey. The original estate was over 11,000 acres and used for hunting and fishing. After exchanging hands a few times, the estate was eventually gifted to the government for preservation and history to be accessible by all. We took a guided tour via horse-drawn carriage. Sadly, I did not take many pictures of the house. We then toured the old Muckross Abbey. Although the abbey was originally not kept up as much as the house and most has fallen away, the old monastery still holds so much reverence and you could feel the Lord being honored in the past and present throughout the building.

Torc Waterfall
Our carriage ride with “Paddy”
Muckross Castle
Muckross Abbey
Muckross Abbey

The next day, we drove through the Ring of Kerry. I must admit, at this point, we were so tired of driving, however, this drive was so gorgeous and the views of the countryside were absolutely incredible. We stopped at Ladies’ View, before heading to Blarney Castle to hang upside down to kiss the legendary Blarney Stone! Legend says if you kiss The Blarney Stone (while hanging upside down off a ledge), you are to receive the gift of eloquence. Blarney also included a gorgeous house and intricate gardens on the grounds. We spent an evening in Cork, although we didn’t get to enjoy the city very much due to needing to get to Dublin the next morning.

At the top of Blarney Castle
Blarney House
Lane and Rusty in front of Blarney Castle

Overall, I had no idea what to expect from Ireland, so my expectations were pretty low. However, I was so pleasantly surprised at the food, hospitality, landscape and history of the country. We quickly fell in love with the country! We also quickly learned Ireland takes pride in sourcing as much, if not all, of their ingredients from their own land or waters, so every meal was incredibly fresh and in very generous servings. We can’t think of one meal we didn’t love! You can find my restaurant recommendations at the bottom. Ireland was incredible and I loved experiencing their culture, food and people!

Next stop, London!

So thankful for Lane and Rusty who have invited us on many travels with them. So special to celebrate Lane’s birthday in such a beautiful country!

Restaurant recommendations: Powers Pub in Oughterard; Guy’s Bar in Clifden; Maxwell’s in Galway; Blackberry restaurant in Leenane; Killarney: Castlelough at Lake Hotel, Bricin’s, The Laurels; Cork: Market Lane; Dublin: Gallagher’s Boxty, Rustic Stone 

First stop… Connemara, Ireland! 

We made it across the Pond! 

For our round the world trek, our first stop is Ireland! I will admit, this trip was already planned. My sister, Lane, and her husband had decided to travel to Ireland for her birthday and they invited us to come along, so we decided this was a great starting point for our big trip! 
We are exploring most of the country, so I assumed I would just do one post about our whole week, but we have just completed our first stop and, after that, I realized I probably will not be able to fit all of Ireland in one post! 

Our first stop in Ireland was in the region of Connemara. Set in a gorgeous valley, the Delphi Lodge was originally built in the 1820s as a fishing lodge. Restored in the 1990s, it is now an adorable fishing lodge nestled right near Fin Loch (Lake Fin).  

Delphi Lodge

Upon arrival, we were ushered into tea time. With fantastic weather, we had tea and coffee outside facing the lake. That evening, we went into the small village of Leelane to dine at Blackberry Restaurant. Leelane is a quaint village with just two streets of cafes, pubs and shops. 

The main street in Leenane

The following day, we traveled to Clifden. I should preface, while we have several places we would like to see and experience, we all agreed we’d rather not have an agenda so we could feel free to stop wherever we decided. Driving towards Clifden, we stumbled upon a castle and decided to stop. We found ourselves at Kylemore Abbey. Kylemore was originally built in the 1870s by Mitchell Henry as a private home and gift for his wife. On the property, he later built a private church and mausoleum in her memory after her passing. 

Kylemore Abbey

The church was eventually sold to Belgian nuns who were fleeing World War I. The nuns turned the estate into an Abbey and eventually a boarding school. The property has since been restored and now serves as a monument and museum. We spent the rest of the day driving to and around Clifden exploring shops, cafes, churches and other castles. 

Often called “cathedral in miniature” due to its ornate beauty and attention to detail, despite its petite size

Upon our return, we had a communal dinner at Delphi Lodge’s long dining table with all the other guests. Most of the Lodge’s common areas are designed to facilitate conversation and interaction with other guests. Unfortunately, we didn’t really take any pictures at this dinner. 

On our last morning, Reed and I went fishing on Fin Loch (Fin Lake), which was right off our front lawn. Tom, our fishing guide, taught us the traditional fishing method of “dapping.” Dapping is a combination of fly fishing and top water fishing where a very small bait is designed to look like a fly, floating on the surface of the water and “flying” up every so often. The trout will either snatch the bait from the surface of the water or jump completely out of the water, trying to catch it as it flies. Although we did not catch any fish, we had many fish attempt to get the bait, jumping completely out of the water. We really enjoyed our first “dapping” experience and Reed is hoping to try it again very soon. 

Overall, our time in Connemara was so great and we hope to return soon!  View of front lawn and lake from our room

View from our run around the lake

See you on the flip side… Of the world! 

Hi friends and family!

We are excited to announce we are heading out for a round the world trip! Something we have been dreaming about, but never thought possible, is become a reality!

It all began with a love for traveling together. Since we got married, we have known we just love traveling, especially when together. Traveling together has taken us to places I would never dream of, and not just geographically. We have expanded our palettes, learned so much about ourselves and God’s creation that we live in, and even been challenged and grown in our marriage.

Our “travel bug” has also been inspired by following friends we know and other travelers on social media. The Bucket List FamilyAbbi and Callen Hearne, and Bugs on My Face are just a few who we love to follow and live vicariously through their travels and experiences. Their zest for life and all the adventure that’s out there played a huge role in inspiring us to take such a leap. We have had the blessing to travel previously but we are now ready to take on another adventure!

We sat down with a big map, a calendar, a bunch of sticky notes and a huge bucket list. After making itineraries, adjusting, canceling, rebooking, and planning, we finally nailed down a (loose) itinerary! Starting August 27, we will be heading out for our 4 month tour around the globe. We will be exploring Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia!

When we sat down to begin planning, we asked ourselves what our goal was? What was the purpose? What did we expect from this? After talking about the elements we are the most excited about, we decided our goal for this trip is to experience God’s creation throughout the Earth and creativity He has given people through art, food, music and architecture, celebrating His glory!

“For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things.

To Him be the glory forever. Amen!” Romans 11:36

We’ve received such an amazing outpouring of love, fellowship, (future) birthday celebrations, support, and prayer over us, but also questions of how friends and family can follow our travels and adventures. That being said, Lamberts on the Loose is launching as a travel and lifestyle blog so others can follow along! I do not claim to be a fabulous writer or professional photographer, but I think this will be a fun way to document and share our travels. We hope you’ll join us along the way!

Much love,

The Lamberts

Follow us on Instagram (@lambertsontheloose) and SnapChat (@beccalambert2 and @reed_lambert)


Last weekend, we traveled Chicago, Illinois, to experience the culinary genius and creativity from Chef Grant Achtaz. Invited by some friends who had a reservation, we were so excited to get to experience Achtaz’s surprising culinary style at Alinea.

We had first discovered Alinea through a documentary series. Over the summer, we were hooked on the Nexflix series “Chef’s Table.”  The series interviews and exposes some of the world’s greatest chefs. Most, like Alinea, are Michelin rated, but the documentary series focuses on their background, culinary history and their culinary specialties that keep their reservations booked out for months.

Alinea was featured in the series for many reasons, but if I were to guess, Alinea and Chef Grant Achtaz were featured because of his culinary mission to surprise your senses and allow you to experience and enjoy food in a way you never have before. Our experience at Alinea pushed our senses to a whole new level, encouraging us to indulge in food with more than our tastebuds.

Chef Grant Achtaz

After their recent complete remodel of the restaruant and menu, we had no clue what to expect going into the evening. Walking into the restaruant, we were seated at a communal table with 16 guests. The first course consisted of 5 small glass containers filled with black tuffle pudding, crab, an herb mix with pickled onions, caviar, and an egg pudding. We were served brioche toast and instructed to “Have fun!” This restaruant being award 3 Michelin stars, I was pleasantly surpised at the very precise, but also relaxed attitude of the meal.


We were then escorted into the kitchen for a cocktail and bite, giving us an intimate and exposed view of the kitchen, staff and prepartions that go into every dish. Back in the dining room, the room had been transformed to have multiple tables and we were seated with our party. The menu had been revealed, but wanting to keep the element of surprise, few words were used to describe the upcoming courses. I won’t go through all the courses, but I will do my best to elaborate on Alinea’s fun and mind bending dining experience.

Wanting to keep the element of surprise, the menu is very vague, using only one or two words to describe each course.

Trying to decipher the menu was like trying to decode a treasure map in an unknown language – near impossible – so we resigned to the anticipation and surprise of each course. The “Crunch Paper” course was a surprising twist on sea scallops. Dehydrated sheets of sea scallop were served in a bowl, a sweet corn broth was poured over it while we were provided with chopsticks to use. Served alongside was a sea scallop cannoli. “Yellow” was a sweet potato and yellow curry served in your hand. In “Cloche Bone,” my favorite element was a Wagyu beef rice crispy treat. Yes, steak on a rice crispy. I was expecting to really dislike it, but I was so pleasanly surprised at the flavors contrasting and complimenting each other, all at the same time.

Multi-sensory courses are a fundamental belief in their dining experience.

The most interesting course was the combining of “Contrast,” “Sparrow-Glass,” and “Swirl.”(Pictured above) Not only were the flavors and ingredients so full of flavor and intrigue, but the ingredients were in fabulously, unique form and presentation. However, the center piece quickly became an active participant in our meal. A teapot poured into our centerpiece, which seemed to be an innocent bowl of fruit, soon began overflowing with the most fragrant smoke as we ate. Light and fresh, it added an extra essence to each bite.


Dessert consisted of two courses. The first was an edible balloon filled with helium! A little sticky, but the treat left you with a silly, high pitched voice. However, the finale was our favorite! Removing pieces of art from the ceiling, a plexiglass “canvas” was placed on each table. Lights were dimmed and the show began… A series of chefs came by each table sprinkling, tossing and painting the ingredients all over. When the lights came on, it revealed a whole new piece of art on top of the art removed from the ceiling. As a communal dessert, we scooped and scraped up all we could from the dish!


Although Alinea has earned 3 (well deserved) Michelin stars, their prestige and precision does not overshadow or interfere with their desire for guests’ interaction, sense of wonderment, and enjoyment. Due to its popularity and high ratings, I went in expecting an uptight atmosphere and strict dining experience, but I left feeling laid back and shared several laughs with the sommelier and other staff. I know there are many with more credability who have dined at and reviewed Alinea, but it was truly an experience! We loved the sense of anticipation and excitement of the meal. We will definitely be returning to experience what else Achtaz and his team dream up and create!