21-year-old Brittani may have been the one celebrating a birthday, but Catherine feels like she got a gift, too. "It was such a great feeling to step back and see Brit get into the experience of travel," she says.
Catherine and Brittani drove along Northern Ireland's North Antrim coast to the Giant's Causeway, a cluster of rock columns formed by a volcano. "It was a long drive, but seeing the glow of the rocks at dusk was worth it," Catherine says.
Get Jiggy With It
The only time the women saw Irish musicians was in a bar full of tourists. "The four or five Irish people taught the rest of us how to do a few traditional Irish dances," says Brittani.
One Step at a Time
For Catherine, one of the best things about the trip was watching her niece negotiate the world as an adult. "I love this picture because it shows Brittani conquering her fear of heights," Catherine says. "I think travel taught her that she can do anything if she really wants to."
It's not unusual to come across unmarked ruins throughout the countryside. "Sometimes there'd be an old stone wall with a new house built off it," Brittani says.
Worth the Wait
To get to this B&B, the women drove past the sign twice, got on the wrong road, and then gave up and asked a cabbie to lead the way.
Brittani was amazed at how verdant Ireland is. "I always thought it was just a cliché, but it's true!"
Ride of a Lifetime
The Black Taxi Tour, which included a stop at a peace wall, was the most poignant part of the women's trip. "It really helped us understand all the emotions behind the conflicts," says Catherine.