Month: October 2014

Day 64 – The Birds Have Landed

Up early and off to the bus state in the pouring rain…   We found a cab bad got there but boy were we soaked.  No gentle Irish rain this morning.

The City Link Bus left on time and I slept part of the way to the airport.   we had to walk a long way to get to our gate but finally were off.  it was a short flight.  we took a bus into Edinburgh and then walked to the Bridges and found a bus out to near our B&B.   Lizzie was very nice and welcoming to us.

we settled in and did some reading about the area and then we out to The Bell Pub for dinner. it was very nice and we enjoyed a good meal there.   then we walked back here and are vegging out.  tomorrow we will take at least one of the tours and probably tour the Castle and shop around up there.

A couple of pictures from the iPad as we flew over.imageimage

Day 63 – The day of the drum..

I got up and did some work around this place – load of laundry, cleaned up the kitchen, made a grocery list etc and then headed out to Michael VIgnoles to pick up our Bodhran.  What a great opportunity this was. Met Michael’s son and he took the attached picture of us.   I walked back and on the way a lovely woman came out of her house and smiled and came up and asked me if I had just picked up a drum from Michael.. She has one too.

Once home I got ready and went up and met Melanie at the bank and we walked up to the Ulster Bank in Eyre Square to get British pounds for our adventure to Edinburgh.  Should be fun.  Then I went to Dunnes and a few items for the frig and for me to take on our adventure in case they are not as gluten free friendly in Scotland as they are here.

Came back and cleaned and sorted things for a bit and got ready to go. all packed and reservations in a folder.  At 6 we went to our drumming lesson and it is amazing how much better everyone is at this point. Most of the group are going to perform this weekend at the Funky Drums Halloween Party. We are sad that we won’t be there with them. Hopefully we will be there for the Christmas Party. By then we should be much better.

Denis is all set to go to Northern Ireland this weekend. He will be back on Sunday to get ready for the folks coming on tuesday.. For the next few days any pictures will be either on my ipad or on the camera and not uploadable, I don’t think. Maybe I can and don’t know it. HUMMMMMM. will have to check that our with all the cords I have.

Went to dinner at the Front Door and it was very good. Met Melanie there so we shared a final dinner together in Galway.

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Day 62 – Bus trip to the Castle

Up early again today and off on the #51 bus to Bunratty.  It took about 2 plus hours to get there and then we walked into the park. Started by looking around the gift shop a bit. Then we headed into the park and walked towards the castle. It is a lovely preserved building.  A fellow when we came in told Melanie the history of the building then we went about touring. The preserved buildings are very interesting.  In several of the houses I was surprised to see furniture similar to some of our old family furniture. Guess the irish immigrants brought those styles with them.

We had lunch in the pub after purchasing some nice items in the knit shop and the pottery place.   It was getting late if we were going to get a bus back that would bring us to Galway by 6 and Melanie was getting tired. so we walked out to the bus and missed it by 3 minutes. so went across the road to a pub/restaurant and had a cupa tea. finally got the bus that took us to Shannon Airport then we had to change to another bus 35 minutes later so we did not get back until after 6 pm. Was not bad. I came home only to find out my writing class was canceled for this evening.

Tomorrow will get this place together so can go away friday with less stress.

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Day 61 – Was that a Tour Guide or an old Flirt?

Melanie and I were up bright and early and headed out to be on our Tour Bus by 9;15.  The problem was initially we were the only two on the tour, the guy seemed to be in no rush to leave and then after we finally started out about 9:35 we had to go back because five more folks showed up.  Mick was a grand old retired guy who loved to talk, to Melanie.  He did speak to me but really liked talking to her.  So off we went.

Now this was only his third day on the job so we will give him a little leaway but really now.  He never spoke to everyone on the bus to tell them anything about where we were going or what we were seeing.  But the most special moment of the day for me which still has me laughing like crazy was when Melanie asked if we were going to see the stone tomb – a monolithic one out in a field, thousands of years old, his response to her was “They are just stones, You can see stones anywhere” I almost fell off my seat trying not to laugh out-loud. Aside from the shock of his lack of awareness it was obvious he was not well trained. He talked and talked about his favorite singers, Frank Sinatra, etc and how his family was all into music. I would love to know what the rest of them thought – the five folks from Germany. First being totally ignored – he seemed to have attitude towards Germans and his lack of knowledge.  Guess I will have to give my friend Frank a call and inform him that his drivers need to be trained better.  Melanie asked what the round tower was out on the point in the bay and he said, “an old tower or something”. I said, “I believe they are called Martello Towers and were used to protect the coast.”  I think he thought I was showing off but the truth is I thought people should get an accurate bit of info from time to time.  Anyway it was another adventure.

The best part of the day was the fact that there was no wild wind at the Cliffs of Moher so I really enjoyed it, not like the first time when I thought I would be blown off the cliff.  It was lovely out, we went to the top viewing area but did not walk out on the cliffs themselves.  Then we had a cup of coffee and looked around the shops. I was so sad the jewelry store was not open today. I wanted to get something I should have purchased the first time I was there. It is a family business and they make a lot of the pieces themselves.  Some great stuff but it was all closed up.

So, on a score of 1-10 this was a good day.  When we got back to town was not worn out since we did little on the tour but visit one old abbey which was nice, the Doolin Wharf, and a pub where we ate, and the Cliffs. He did stop to let us take pictures once or twice.  So anyway, I went and bought denis a carry one suitcase and bought myself some turtle necks because I was cold most of the day except at the Cliffs when it was sunny.  Then came home, made dinner, made a ton of reservations for the next seven days and well that about does it.

Will upload my pictures and post some on here.  Great day really.DSCN2198 DSCN2202 DSCN2206 DSCN2209 DSCN2210 DSCN2211 DSCN2217 DSCN2223 DSCN2225 DSCN2230 DSCN2237 DSCN2248 DSCN2252 DSCN2259 DSCN2264 DSCN2268 DSCN2270 DSCN2277

Day 60 – Life Under the Sea

Being the good little girl that I am and seeing that this was a bank holiday I looked up the Craft Village in Spiddal where it said in several places that it is closed on mondays… oh dear, there went that plan for today. So instead I came up with two offerings for the day – The village of Anthery or the Aquarium in Salt Hill.  Melanie picked Salt Hill so off we went on the bus at 10 am.

The Aquarium is fabulous. I was impressed totally with it and prefer it to the one in Baltimore. I thought it was more kid friendly – lower walls, lots of glass to see the fish etc.  They had a young woman doing a chat and feeding of the small fish. She had a whole bunch of young kids with her and their parents listening, asking questions etc.  I learned a lot as we walked around and saw the various sea life.

After that we walked up the street to the Gourmet Tart Shop for lunch which turned into a brunch since they  had not switched over their menu yet even though it was after noon.  We saw the bus coming as we went out and the nice fellow waited for us at the stop so we were back early.  Went up Shop Street so Melanie could get some more items to take home for her kids.  By the time we got home she was pretty darn tired and sore, her hip is bothering her so she took a rest and I was on a two hour skype call with the N-CAP folks.

I made a quick dinner of left overs and we went out to listen to some music.  Tomorrow will be an early day again as we, Melanie and I are going to the Cliff of Moher. So I will end and put some pictures of the lovely fish on here.

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Day 59 – Halloween parade

Mix of good and bad today.  We slept in and then went to the 11am high mass at the Cathedral. The music was very good.  Neither of us could understand the priest so I am sure he gave a lovely homily but since we did not understand him we will never know.

We came back and had rashers and scrambled eggs. Melanie was not feeling real well. Achy hip from the bus ride yesterday or maybe the bed.  Irene told us about the parade this evening for Halloween. So we planned to go.

Denis and I went and did a little shopping and then came back and went to work on making reservations for trips. Then we went off to the parade. I will attach some pictures. It was certainly not the kind of Halloween parade we are use to. An Acting group does these huge costumes which have many people moving them and making them work. Pretty fabulous.

We also saw some Kayakers on the river.  When we got back we learned that Melanie’s sister had passed away and she spent some time on line figuring out what happened etc. It was a hard afternoon on her.

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Day 58 – Rough seas and the sheep that got away

Up early and out by 9:15 to Jury’s Hotel to wait for the Van. We took the Wild Atlantic Way Tour of Connamara today.  Jimmy was our driver and he did a great job.  These are smaller tours so we were in a 14 passenger van with two young girls studying in Dublin from France, a traveling young couple from San Diago who work with the immigrant population there and were on two weeks holiday, and a family of three from Germany. Nice group of people. Melanie was able to sit up front so she got a good view of everything.

First we went out to a shop in Spiddal and had 15 minutes to look around. Denis finally found himself a vest which fits very nicely.  Then we went on up the coast and to Roundstone and had a coffee break there, we found a store where they had fabulous jewelry. I have a new necklace folks.  Then we drove on to the sky road or something like that that is the highest road in Ireland? Anyway, well above the sea with gorgeous views even with the wind and rain.  Oh of course as usual we went from cloudy, to showers, to downpours to sunshine and back again. NEver a dull moment when it comes to the rain.

We drove through Clifden and then on to Kylemore Abbey.  We spent two hours there, Had lunch and then went into the Abbey and the Chapel.  Even though I saw it before it was lovely.  We enjoyed our walk there and would love to spend a day there sometime. In nicer weather of course. a spring visit…

And then we headed back to Galway. Saw lots of peat bogs both coming and going, thatched cottages, sheep, cows, donkeys and horses.  It was a lovely day and I know I really enjoyed it.

After we got home we went out and picked up some lottery tickets so if you hear we are never coming back it might be because we won a few million… enough to keep us here for a bit longer… tee hee.

We had dinner at the Spanish Arch and then listened to the band for a bit. They are really enjoyable to listen to and to look at…  I say that because the Union students laughed at me last night when I told them they should go and see this group because the one guy is really hot.  Their eyes got very big at that suggestions coming from Grandma figure…

So not sure what we will be doing tomorrow other than going to church and probably to see if the market is open. This is a monday bank holiday weekend and next week k-12 schools are closed. Not sure what that means to us.

So finally some pictures here and some late additions to yesterdays post as well and maybe the day before. not sure.


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Day 57 Bodhran Shopping

well today was a fun day.  we cleaned up the place and then Melanie headed out for a city tour and we took off to Micheal Vignoles home to shop for one of his hand made bodhrans.  That was fun and he told us about his trips to the US to do workshops on how to make them and the history of them.  He also makes ullian pipes and plays as well. found out that usually on Friday evenings he plays at tig coili so we have to plan to go there the next time we are home on a Friday.   we picked one out and I will get the cash and go up and give him the funds and come home with my Bodhran.. I know it is ours but still….  then we walked aLong the shore road back to home, It had been pouring rain when we walked up but then it was lovely walking back.

weird weather today,  well normal I guess. Will post tomorrow the beautiful double rainbow that we saw out our window.  at one point it was pouring in front and sunshimpne out the back.

then Denis went shopping and I finished up cleaning the kitchen and living room and at six pm twelve of the students came over for pizza.  It was a good time and they stayed quite a while, I figured they would be going out on Friday night but most of them said they had to go home to write papers.  they impress me the level they function at.

Oh and then after the kids left we were watching the new Inspector Lewis which we like at home on BBC America or MHT not sure which.  this episode was directed by my second cousin Nick Laughland.  that was very neat. it is a two parter so I hope we get to see the next weeks so I can find out what happens.

Tomorrow am we head for a tour to Connamara.

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Day 56 – Michelle Mulcahy

Today we had a treat at the Arts in Action Program.  Michelle Mulcahy, who is a renown Irish harp player gave the concert this week. It was wonderful. She is very talented and it was fun to hear jigs and reels and hornpipes on the harp.  It was lovely.

Norah and Andrew had departed at noon to go exploring around the midlands on their way to Dublin. They fly out saturday at noon and we hope they had a good vacation.  Hard to really relax when you only have a week off.  People need more time than that really. It was good to see them and hang out a bit. They got to the Cliffs of Moher and did not get blown off and went to the Aran Isles and rode around in a basket cart.  And they did climb Dun Aengus and Norah even hung over the side and took pictures. That was really neat to see – the pictures…

Melanie and I met Denis up at the campus and went to the Arts in Action Program. Then we headed in to the City Center for some shopping and looking around.  We also stopped at the Cathedral on the way into town so she could see it and the gorgeous stain glass windows  I went to the post office while Melanie attacked sweater shops looking for the perfect Irish sweater.  The sizing is not exactly like ours so figuring things out can be tough.  She did get some thing for the grandkids and great grandkids. Me, well without giving anything away I did some shopping and got myself a knitted hat and mittens to match my sweater and also some girlie – big girl, not little girl stuff.

We hit all the shops and then headed back to the apt.  I got a quick supper of sandwiches and we headed out to our Bodhran lessons. As a group it is obvious we are getting better, quicker etc after only 6 lessons. Most of the members of the group will be playing at a big party Funky Drums sponsors every Halloween. We will miss it since we will be out of town.

After the lesson we stopped at Tis Coili to listen to some music.  The old fellow who I met the other night was that but I suspect he was with his wife a he and his friend were singing a song to one of the women about being a doctor and he had said his wife was one.  We had a little listen to the music and then headed back home since all are tired.

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Day 55 – tea and c

well would love to tell you I was up and at it early today, but no such luck…  Melanie and I had a leisurely morning.  Denis was off to work, Norah and Andrew were off to the Aran Isles, so we took it slow.

we set off and walked north along the canal and Melanie took pictures of the ducks and pigeons and of course the water.   then we walked towards the city centre and stopped in various shops along the way. found some new artsy places to check out more tonight.  we went to the post office so I could mail our votes so they will be there in time to be counted… You take that Cuomo…..

then we got a few groceries. and went to a few more interesting shops.  I was hungry so we went to the tea shop.   cupo’te.  It was very good. I had the gluten free coconut, fig cake, heavenly if I do say so.  Melanie had a very good looking salad.   We sat and talked and then I started to get worried about the food that needed to go in the frig.  So I went back and she walked along slowly and took some pictures of the swans.

we both ended up taking a little nap and then after dinner I went. To my writing class which was super. Getting to know the folks a bit.  Then came back and heard all about the cold and windy trip to the island and the pony cart ride. think I will skip that and take a heated van…   So now off to bed. Will have pictures tomorrow night. Have gotten suddenly very lazy… Norah and Andrew leave tomorrow..


another picture of the fall sky in Galway… rain, then sun, then rain then sun. can never make up its mind.