Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 7-A Test of Endurance.

Day 7 proves to be the most uncomfortable of the days so far. It rains so much that we can't possibly get dry and so we are damp and cold all day. This is very unfortunate as we visited a sheep herding demo with border collies at Joyce County Sheepdogs Remember Babe? These dogs are outstanding. So excited to work. As Roy was showing his technique, the other 5 dogs were in their pen, barking and jumping, wanting to get in on the act. Here is Roy

Roy and about 20 of his flock of sheep were in Marley and Me.

Owen Wilson spent a better part of the afternoon drinking tea with the Missus and this little girl who was 10 days old at the time

Kaylin is 2 1/2 now and had as much to say about shepherding as her father. It was raining pretty hard when the demo began, but she put on her Hello Kitty wellies and her slicker and hat. Her dad gave her a wee shepherds crook and she was off. I wanted to take a video of it all, but it was raining so hard, I couldn't risk damaging my camera.
After the demo we stopped in the local pub, had some soup and tea and drove around some more.

I barely even took any pictures, that's how bad it was out. We headed back to Galway for dinner and bed, with hopes that day 8 would go back to wind with a bit of sun.

Day 6- Of Wind

I keep telling myself to stop trying to figure out the weather. But our activities are so dependent on mother nature, it's hard not to obsess. Today it was Mountshannon, the final resting place if Monsignor Liam. It is a lovely little town, we visited his grave and then had lunch in his cousin's Hotel/pub.

Then we zagged back east to the Cliffs of Moher. Now getting back to the weather, as near as I can tell, we are either going to have rainy weather or extremely windy and somewhat clear weather. Today was the windy and clearish variety. This made the cliffs additionally interesting as there was the added fear of being blown off the cliff- literally.

Why does photo-pinching objects never get old for me?

So then we drive to Galway and saw stuff:

We were driving and saw this by the beach and drove down a path to it. It is just part of someones front yard. Pretty cool.

And if you ever get a chance to eat an Irish strawberry, do it. Possibly the best tasting tiny things ever!
Coming up next- liquid sunshine!
Oh and this is the night that my body told me to eff off. As we were walking through the pedestrian mall in Galway, I started feeling funny, and not in a good way. We picked a restaurant, I ordered - TANDOORI CHICKEN! See, clearly not right in the head. Food comes, the room seems awfully hot. People get nervous. Ann, the good friend that she is, walked me, quickly back to the hotel. I had a moment during which I was convinced I'd have to try to vomit in a rubbish bin with a teeny tiny opening. But I made it. I crawled into bed and slept the sleep of someone who desperately needed a good nights rest. Moral of the story, if you are tired, rest, you big dummy!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 5: normally weather like this

would see me in bed, with a book. But that's not what we do on this vacation. Hey, we booked a trip to Ireland, not Antigua, we knew weather would be persnickety. Today it showed us how cranky it could be. Bear in mind this did not stop us. I bought a toasty warm woolen sweater and cap, I fear not drafty, damp, blustery weather. Today we toured the Ring of Kerry. This is not a geography lesson people, so if you want info on what that means, it's called google. Anyway, here is a smattering of what we saw:

Hills, and water and rocks!

Fucshia growing wild on the sides of roads

The remains of ancient fortresses

Cliffs and water!

Fog and remains of fortresses- hmmm how can we get to it?

Answer, find a terrifyingly narrow road/sheep path and drive down it


Nice and ruiny!

Foxglove and rhododendron grow wild in this area

The ocean

This is what seems to pass for sand so far at beaches in Ireland.

Some more water, cliffs and ruins
And a colorful town

Tomorrow we leave Killarney, go to Mountshannon, then Cliffs of Moher and then two nights in Galway. Till then, ciao!

Care for a jaunt?

Day four, Killarney Jaunting tour
a horse cart ride and boat tour of
some of the most beautiful scenery ever. We took the Gap of Dunloe tour. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The weather behaved beautifully (thank you,thank you, thank you),

our horse fully entertained us,

and the boat ride was grand.

If you ever have a chance to do this, jump on it! It's touristy, but fun and come on, you know you want to!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, May 23, 2011

Attempting to Flee Dublin

We underestimated terribly, the amount of havoc our President visiting the city of Dublin could wreak for us. We thought we had planned accordingly. I was originally going to kvetch about it a whole lot. Then, later on when I'd seen the coverage of his visit I thought better of it. He seemed to enjoy it. He grabbed that cell phone and he finished that pint of Guinness. When we finally got a cab to take us to Hertz, we discussed the fickleness of Ireland's weather with our taxi driver. Quote of the day "it's like living in a car wash". Thank you Mr. Taxi driver. We are on vacation, we survived, it was no big deal in the end.
Our late start made us change our attitude about what we wanted to accomplish. We took an Amazing Race attitude. Rock of Cashel? We nailed it:

Then a race to Blarney Castle to kiss the stone. We got there just before they stopped for the day. The sprint up to the top kept me from thinking about what I was about to do- lay on my back over a hole and lower myself down to kiss a piece of rock. Done!

Now we strolled around the grounds and enjoyed a lovely park:

Oh and Henry is doing an awesome job of driving us around, on the left side and driving a manual transmission diesel machine. Thanks Hank!

Oh, and 80 mph gusts of wind, yet so lovely.

Day Two

Day two of what is apparently to be a pub crawl of Ireland. Second day in Dublin, after a good night's rest.

After a hearty breakfast we
headed to the Jameson Distillery.

After the tour there we headed over to the Guinness Storehouse for the tour and a pint at the bar.

On the way over there I decided I wanted to photobomb as many pictures as I could, including our own. Net result, I got all hot and sweaty from hopping around trying to get into pictures, but didn't actually get into any shots.

We also had a quick sandwich there, because although beer is food, I require something that needs to be chewed. We hit two more pubs (and walked past Dublin Castle, which looks fabulous but was closed already).

We will head out extra early tomorrow morning as Obama's visit is putting a cramp on our Dublin visit. We head off for a couple days in Killarney next.

I am aware that this post is disjointed and nonsensical. That's what happens when you write a post after a long day and then add pictures and publish it the next morning. Later!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Greetings from the Emerald Isle

I'll make no excuses for the disappearance from my blog. I will say I've been a little busy, but I figured that my trip to Ireland would be the perfect impetus to get me blogging again. The wifi situation is a bit sketchy, but I'll get them up at some point.

Day one and we are in Dublin. To me, traveling between time zones is tantamount to time travel. At the time I am typing this, it is 5:24 home time and I have essentially been awake for over 24 hours. I thought I'd sleep on the plane, but the acute allergy attack I suffered kept me pretty awake despite combining antihistamine and Guinness. I saw the sun rise over the Atlantic. It was lovely and the first sun I'd seen in over a week.

Anyway, we landed in Dublin around 3:00 am our time and spent the day roaming around. Our cab driver from the airport was lovely.

Ann and I wanted to keep him. It was a challenge to get us to our hotel (Obama is scheduled to arrive monday, the day we leave), but he got us there and imparted some wisdom, and we (Ann and I) missed him after he'd driven off.
It rained off and on, but we didn't let that dampen our enthusiasm for wandering around aimlessly in circles. We ate and drank

and shopped a bit.

Our hotel is right near Trinity College in a pedestrian friendly area of the city, so wandering was fun if not a trifle damp.

The parks in Dublin are lovely and full of sculpture

Even the doors are lovely

Tomorrow we visit Guinness and Jameson and more touristy points of interest. As of right now,I am extremely jet lagged and punch drunk. Hopefully subsequent posts will be more coherent. Or, maybe they wont. The successful completion of tomorrow's activities may come to bear on my posting abilities.