Showing posts with label ireland trip. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ireland trip. Show all posts

Friday, August 22, 2014

MDS Monday Ireland Scrapbook Page

The challenge sketch this week from MDS Monday was one that used lots of photos!  That's the best thing for me.  I have a hard time weeding through my photographs after a trip to just pick out a select few.  I see other people's scrapbook pages where they have just used one or two pictures.  Not me!  I tend to want to share them all!!  So that is one of the reasons I liked the sketch this week.  I decided to use some of my pictures from our Ireland trip.  That was the most awesome trip.  And I got to relive a few of the moments while putting together this page!  Hope you like it!  The main focus of the challenge was to include a map on our page. I had downloaded this map after our trip so it was easy to use it for the background and circle some of the places we visited.  The focal picture is Sonny and I walking through St. Stephens Park early one morning.  What a gorgeous place!  I used several elements from Project Life for this page.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ireland with MDS

I did a little more work today on my Ireland scrapbook with My Digital Studio.   I love working with MDS but boy, can the time get away from me while I'm doing it!!

You can click on the images to make them larger.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ireland Scrapbook Pages

I took some time tonight to work on my scrapbook from Ireland.  At the rate I'm going, I may be finished with it next year this time!!  I actually haven't done any pages in a month or more which explains why I'm not even finished with our first week there!!  Oh well, it's fun to do anyway.

I hope you enjoy these pages I created in My Digital Studio.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dublin Pics

I've been working on my Ireland pictures using My Digital Studio.  It's slow going but enjoyable.  I really like all the things I can do with MDS.  Here are the pages I've done so far.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

National Scrapbook Month

In honor of National Scrapbook Month, I did a few pages today.  I used My Digital Studio to make these pages using pictures from our recent trip.  I am going to make it a goal to do several pages each week.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Another Sunny Day!

(This was written on Tuesday night - just couldn't get the pictures to download until this a.m.)

Well, our luck is holding out so far .... blue skies again today.  It looked a little "iffy" this a.m. but the sun came out late in the a.m. and it was a beautiful day again.  We arrived last night in Doolin which is a small little coastal town.  Not a lot of nightlife going on but there are a couple of pubs in the village.  We had dinner in one of them last night and listened to some traditional Irish music - no singing, just instrumentals.  After a few songs, one began to sound like the other.   I did have my first Irish Coffee last night though! 

We made a list today of how many pubs we've visited in our trip.  So far, we are at 28!  But you have to understand that all our meals (except breakfast) have been eaten in the pub except for 2-3 lunches.  My sister thinks we'll need to attend AA when we return!  You know, we have to get the full Irish experience!

Today we took a 40 minute ferry over to Inisheer Island which is the smallest of the Aran Islands.  When we departed from the ferry, there were several locals offering tours around the island.  Luckily, we didn't take the first one we saw - he wanted 10 euros each - but instead took the last one for 5 euros each!!  It was absolutely fascinating!  There are only 200 residents on the island with 1 primary and 1 secondary school and 1 doctor and 1 nurse on the island.  The roads are super skinny with hand-built rock walls on either side.  He took us by a 10th century church ruin where the patron saint is buried; a 15th century castle ruin, a shipwrecked boat from 1960; and  a burial site from 1500 BC.   The land is totally divided up and handed down through the generations to family members.  The whole island is made of limestone.   The Irish (Gaelic) language is the only language spoken on the islands.  Of course our guide also spoke English.  There was a young couple on the tour with us who were from Ireland and only knew a few words of Irish. Only about 9 % of the total Irish population speak Irish.  Our guide stopped and spoke with another man on the tour and it was great to hear them converse in Irish.  The other couple told us that was a rare treat for us.

In between those narrow stone walls are where you drive!  The larger areas are for the residents - gardens, cows, etc.

The inscription is in the Irish (Gaelic) language

Monday, March 28, 2011

Beautiful SUNNY Ireland

I finally have good internet in my room and don't have to sit in the lobby to type!!

We have had the most beautiful weather in Ireland ever since we have been here.  We haven't seen one drop of rain and the skys have been "Carolina Blue" every day.  I'm afraid we are due for a change tomorrow though but we are not complaining.  I have only had my jacket on a few times - mostly just sweaters and long sleeve tees.

We have seen and done so much that I am keeping a travel journal and trying to jot things down.  (It's hell getting old and not remembering what you did yesterday!!)  I think my last blog post, we had finished our days in Kilkenny and were headed to Kilarney.  On our way we stopped and toured the Rock of Cashel which is a 12-13th century cathedral.  It is just amazing to me how old these buildings are and to think the residents of America were living in tee pees!!  While in Cashel, we visited a (very) local pub there - Pat Fox's.  We had met an Irelander on the road and he told us to stop in and tell his brother hi so we did!  From there, we headed to Cahir where Ashley and I toured a medieval castle.  Sonny had seen his fill of castles and cathedrals so he sat in a park and read his novel.  Afterwards, we met him in a local pub (surprise!!) and had a pint.  When we were leaving, there was a funeral procession going by.  It was very interesting to us - instead of everyone following in their cars, they were walking and flanking the car carrying the casket. 

From there we drove on to Killarney.  Our hotel was ultra modern.  I was not so impressed with Killarney - it was more of a party town and of course, us being there on a Saturday night didn't help.  We had dinner in a small pub (great fish & chips!) and watched a soccer match against Ireland and Macedonia.  Everyone in the pub was glued to the tv just like us watching the Steelers play!  When Ireland won, there was a jovial atmosphere.  We left there and went to another pub thinking we would listen to some good Irish music.  Instead, we could have been in a bar in America with all the young people shoulder to shoulder and the rock music playing.  We did not stay there long!!  Unfortunately, at our hotel there was a bar with live music playing in the courtyard downstairs that was also really crowded and our window overlooked the courtyard.  They partied until about 2:30 AM!  I was not happy!!

On Sunday we managed to book a tour bus (all day) to see the Ring of Kerry which is a 100+ mile horseshoe around the Iveragh Peninsula. The route goes along the peninsula with views of Kells Bay and the beautiful Dingle Bay.  There are lovely mountain range views along the Iveragh Peninsula also.  I got some great pictures!  We made several stops to take photos.  We went through one little village that only has 90 people living in it!  (Molls Gap)  The downside of the tour was our tour driver.  He had a very heavy accent and no one on the bus could understand him.  We tried to slow him down which worked for about 5 minutes!  But it was much better than Sonny having to navigate those narrow coastal roads!  Their roads here (not the major highway) are about as wide as one lane of our highway - with no shoulder and stone fences on the passenger side.   Last night we had dinner (and a few pints) at Danny Manns Bar.  It was quite large but there was a good singer in there singing many Clancy Brothers songs that we enjoyed.

Today we drove to Doolin.  Our first stop was a beautiful little town, Adare in the county of Limerick.  It is  regarded as being Ireland's prettiest and most picturesque village.  Adare's streets are lined with original thatched cottages which have survived for hundreds of years. Some of the cottages are kept by local restaurants and Arts & Crafts shops, but many are still privately owned. We just strolled around town and the Visitors Center.  Our next stop was in Bunratty where the original Durty Nellie's Pub is located.  We had lunch there and took a lot of pictures.  Durty Nellie's is a favorite bar of ours in San Antonio when we visit there so it was fun to find the original.  After lunch, we toured the 15th century Bunratty Castle, the 19th century Bunratty Folk Park and the Village Street. The Castle is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland.  Built in 1425, the castle was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour and now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings.

Here are some pictures - in no particular order!





Friday, March 25, 2011


Having so much fun!  We left Dublin yesterday in our rental car and drove to Kilkenny.  What an experience!  Sonny was gripping the steering wheel all the way while trying to figure out driving on the wrong side of the road!  The roads here are quite narrow and it is pretty scary.  Ashley sat in front to be the navigator.  I started out on the passenger side in the back but quickly moved over behind the driver so I didn't have to see how close we were coming to the stone walls on the side.  We only touched the wall once - only folding the mirror in and only missed about a half dozen turns resulting in us having to turn around and backtrack.  When we got to our hotel, Sonny parked the car and we have walked all around ever since!  It is about a 20 minute walk (about a mile) into the town.

Last night we walked into town and found The Kytelers Inn / Pub that had a couple playing Irish tunes.  This was just the type of pub that I imagined in Ireland!  The Kytelers Inn dates back to 1324, when Dame Alice Kyteler, a Banker-Money Lender, Brothel Keeper and Black Witch first established business on this medieval site. Dame Alice Kyteler was accused of being a witch and sent to the dungeons beneath Kilkenny Castle. But by the political power of the Chancellor of  Ireland, her former brother-in-law Roger Outlawe, her escape was organised. Her guards were beaten senseless and Dame Alice was released from the dungeons and freed from the sentence of death that hung over her. Instead Alice Kyteler's servant, Petronella, was burned at the stake for witchcraft in 1324.  The pub is supposed to be haunted.  There was a couple of local men sitting at the bar who got up and were dancing the Irish jig.  I got up to take a picture .... big mistake!!  One of the men grabbed me and started dancing with me - as if I know how to dance a jig!!  I was able to keep up for a few minutes but thought if the song didn't stop, I was going to have a heart attack!!  By the end of the night, we were quite good friends with Adrian!  He is the local tailor here and is quite a character.

Today we took a walking tour of Kilkenny and learned the history of this medieval town.  It is just hard to believe how old the buildings are.  We also took a tour of the Smithwick Brewery.  The brewery is situated on the site of a Franciscan abbey where monks had brewed ale since the 14th century, and has ruins of the original abbey on its grounds. It is Ireland’s oldest operating brewery, founded by John Smithwick in 1710 on land owned by the Duke of Ormonde.  The Smithwick's unlike the Guiness tour in Dublin is actually at the brewery. You get to travel through and see beer in the making.  It was very interesting.

I am very tired tonight and my battery power on my computer is about to die!   We need to plan out our day tomorrow.  We will be driving again = this time headed to Killarney.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Having a grand old time here in Dublin!  Got in yesterday at 5:30 - Ashley met us at the hotel around 2 and we were off.  There's a nice pub next door to our hotel - The Bleeding Horse.  We walked over and had lunch - corned beef, mashed potatoes and a brew .... yummm.  Then we wandered around Dublin, walking down to Trinity College, the oldest university in Dublin.  We stopped off in several pubs around town.  I have discovered one thing about Ireland so far .... there is no worry of getting thirsty!  On each city block, there is at least one or two pubs.  I've never seen anything like it.  I'm not a big beer drinker but I do enjoy hard cider and it is on tap at each pub.  Don't want to think about how much weight I'm putting on.  But, we are walking a lot so that will help! 

Today we got on a "hop on hop off" bus and saw the sights around town.  We an took individual tour of Kilmainham Gaol which is a jail that was built in the late 1700s.  Quite impressive!  Then it was on to a tour of the Old Jameson Distillery.  The actual distillery has moved out of the city but again, the building was built in the 1700s.  The tour was interesting taking you through the entire production process.  And at the end, there was a tasting room.  I have a good friend that loves Jameson (hi, Sharon!) but I have tried to drink it and never was a fan.  Ashley and I both had it with cranberry juice and it wasn't bad.  But the best thing is Ashley and I are both Certified Irish Whiskey Tasters!  They asked for volunteers from the group and at the end, we performed a taste test with Jameson, Johnny Walker Black Scotch (yuck!) and Jack Daniels Black.  After the taste test, we were given certificates with our names on them. Our next tour was at the Guiness Brewery - Sonny's favorite!  After a tour of 7 stories, we ended up in the Gravity Bar for our free pint where we had a fantastic 360 degree view of the city as the sun was setting.  Arthur Guiness was a smart man - he signed a 9,000 year lease for the property in the late 1760s!!  The brewery covers 55 acres!

We visited several really old pubs and had lunch at a beautiful Victorian pub, Ryans.  It even had an authentic snug in the restaurant which was an enclosed area so women could go in the pubs and have a beverage.  Several more pubs later, we ended up back in our hotel around 10 pm although Sonny is still roaming the pubs! 

Tomorrow we pick up our car at the Dublin airport and Sonny has to figure out how to drive on the "wrong" side of the road ... just a little scary!  We begin our tour of southern Ireland.  I tried to download some pictures but keep getting an error.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'm In Dublin!!

Just a quick post to tell you I'm HERE!!  Haven't seen anything but the hotel so far.  We arrived here about 5:30 am.  I didn't sleep as much as I had wanted to on the plane - just slept in bits and pieces.  I took a sleeping pill shortly after take off but I don't think it kicked in until about the time we arrived.  I was so wobbly when it was time to get off the plane, Sonny had to carry my backpack.   And to make it worse, the door wouldn't open so we had to get off the plane on the metal stairs onto the tarmac.  I was weaving like a sailor and holding on the rails.  I even got sick as soon as I got to a bathroom.  I won't be taking those again!  As soon as we got to our room, I went to sleep and slept hard until 11:00 a.m. (Ireland time).  Right now we are 4 hours ahead of EST but they will "spring forward" this weekend.  I am sitting in the lobby now watching the doors for Ashley.  According to Luftansa, her plane arrived at noon (it's 1:30 now) so she should be here any minute!!  Sonny & I are both starving and anxious to try out a local pub!!