Vacation, Part 2

Hello again!  I have some really nice photos to share with everyone from our trip to Ireland in this post.  We went to the town of Kilkenny which was north of where we were staying.  Since school wasn’t out, we had to do something “educational”, so mom thought a visit to Kilkenny castle was a good idea.  It was really a very interesting place and I thought it was especially pretty.

Kilkenny Castle was built in the 13th century and was inhabited up until 1935.  The Butler family owned it for over 600 years until the 1960’s when they turned it over to the town of Kilkenny for a payment of only 50 British Pounds!! Converted to US dollars, that’s just $65 today and probably way less back in the 1960’s.   Can you imagine buying a castle for that little money?  It’s very pretty and there have been many refurbishments and restorations done to it since then.

 

I especially liked this room with all of the antique toys in it!  Isn’t it cool??

The long portrait gallery was impressive as well, mom said it reminded her of a room at Windsor Castle.

From various points in the castle you could see the town of Kilkenny when you looked out the windows.

After a quick snack in the tea room at the castle, we decided to go on a mini-train tour of the city.  Mom forgot to get a photo of the train, this one is from the website.  It was really fun, we got to see a lot of the different parts of the city.  https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g186616-d2162851-Reviews-Kilkenny_City_Tours-Kilkenny_County_Kilkenny.html

It was really interesting to see all of the different buildings.  At one point we actually got kind of stuck, the driver took the train up through an alley, but there was a van parked in the way!  We had to wait while the owner of the van moved it, definitely an interesting moment on the tour.

It was really an interesting tour, we all had fun.  Well, everyone except Jerry.  He wanted to go back to the beach.

After the tour, mom wanted to do a little bit of shopping.  There was this fantastic group of shops right across the street from the castle (and not far from where we parked).  She was so happy to find a pretty Irish Aran style cardigan, actually made in the Aran Islands as well as a ring and a Christmas ornament.  They didn’t have any toys though, darn!  I made up for that later in the week though…

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Vacation!!!

Hey guys, it’s Mimi here!  Some of you who follow us on Instagram already know that we went on a bit of an adventure last month, but for those who aren’t on IG, here goes!  (Plus, there will be a lot more photos on here that we didn’t post on the account, bonus!!)

To be honest, I wasn’t even sure I was going to get to go.  But at the last minute it turned out that there was space for me to travel along, I was so excited!  I’d never been on a plane before, so I was a little bit nervous.  We had to fly from Pittsburgh to JFK airport in New York, and while we were there, dad bought me something to snuggle with.  Isn’t it cool?  Not everyone has a pillow that looks like an airplane.

From JFK we flew to our final destination.  Are you ready???? We went to…

IRELAND!!!!

Yup, the Emerald Isle!  And yes, it’s very green.  Mom said that it’s really no greener than Pennsylvania during the summer months, but it retains it’s green color almost year round for several reasons.  It’s a much warmer climate, it rarely gets close to freezing, even in the winter months.  And it generally doesn’t get very hot either during the summer months, so most of the plant life there doesn’t die off from temperature extremes.  Plus, they don’t have a lot of trees like we do, so you just see field after field of green as you fly over.

Why Ireland?  Mom has a very good friend who lives there and she’s been wanting to visit.  She lives in a small town in southern Ireland called Tramore.  It’s a beach town and I imagine during the summer months it is very busy with people coming to swim, snorkel and visit the carnival set up near the beach.  It was a very relaxed place and we had a lot of fun while we were there.

We took Jerry along with us.  He was definitely beach ready!

Tramore is perfectly situated for a drive along the scenic Copper Coast.  Thanks to great directions printed out by our hosts at the B & B we stayed at, we got to see all the little coves and inlets.  Part of the way it looked like we might get rained on a bit, but somehow we managed to avoid it and got lots of really pretty pictures of the scenery.

This cove is where people who are serious swimmers go, the water is very deep.  It was very busy when we were there because it was unusually hot for Ireland that week.  Originally it was a “men’s only” club, but now both men and women are permitted to swim here.

The views from this location were just amazing.  See those three towers off in the distance?  There’s a man at the top of one of them–well, not a real man, but a figure of a man.  It’s called “The Metal Man”.

The towers were built after a tragic accident in the early 19th century.  It’s a very interesting story, if you’d like to read more about it, you can here: http://tramore.ie/the-metal-man/

Unfortunately the pillars are on private land and near a dangerous cliff, so you can’t get very close.  At least not legally.  There is a legend about hopping around the Metal Man 3 times and you’ll be married within the year.  We didn’t bother, we just got a photo from behind!

 

There are plenty of pretty beaches and coves along the Copper Coast, we stopped at several different ones.  They were all so picturesque!

Jerry and I had some fun at one of the beaches.  WELL, I had fun.  Jerry just wanted to sunbathe!

We ended up in the town of Dungarvan where we had dinner.  It’s a really pretty town, mom said it reminded her a lot of one of her favorite places in Northern England, a town called Thirsk.

Mom and dad both thought this sign was especially cool, Erie isn’t far from home and one of dad’s oldest friends went to school at Mercyhurst in Erie, Pennsylvania!

The drive back was very pretty.  We did encounter an “Irish traffic jam”! (giggle!)

We also saw this abandoned copper mine along the way.  This is the reason this drive is called The Copper Coast, there used to be many mines along here.  This is the only one that we saw that has been preserved as a landmark.

We saw tons of these flowers along the drive as well.  Mom said it looked like Mother Nature had hung hanging baskets all along the way, don’t you agree?

Earlier that day we ventured into Waterford (pictures of that later) and stopped by the gift shop that the brother of my mom’s friend owns.  He told us that there was a cruise ship docked at Dunmore East, so we decided to go check it out!  Dunmore East is a very pretty little town, and they frequently bring cruise ships in there because it’s always deep enough for them.  They shuttle passengers back and forth on little boats called dinghy’s.  Once ashore, they can either hang out in Dunmore East, or catch a tour bus to take them into Waterford or to some of the other interesting sights in the area.

Mom said it reminded her a lot of the town “Port Wenn” in the British television show “Doc Martin”.  (The real name of the town where it is filmed is called Port Isaac.)

Oh–almost forgot!  Mom and I got a chuckle out of this sign.  After she posted it to her personal Instagram account, one of her friends said “I didn’t know cars could swim”!!! (hee hee!)

I have more pictures to share with everyone, be sure to check back in a couple of days.  Ireland is so pretty, I hope everyone enjoys the photos!  Slán!  (that’s Gaelic for goodbye!)

So what’s new with you???

Hey everybody, thought I’d pop in and say “Hello”! (insert wave here)  Most of the posts that you have seen recently were ones written a while ago, I love the ability to schedule posts ahead.  HOWEVER, I’m not only out of posts, but I have all sorts of fun stuff that I need to write about, so the next few weeks will have some interesting new stuff.  Stay tuned!

Part of the reason for the pre-scheduled posts is because we went on vacation, and I knew it was going to take up a lot of my time, both before and after.  Then to top it all off, Mr. Flo and I both ended up sick (him while we were away, me right after) and I’m currently dealing with a sinus infection as my bonus, ugh.  I was very thankful that I’d taken the time to write all of those posts beforehand because between being sick and immensely busy, it would have been crickets around here!  Fortunately life has slowed down, and I’m hopefully on the road to recovery from all of this crud.  I’ve lost track of how many times in my life I’ve had a sinus infection around this time of year, why should this year be any different?  The break from writing though was a good thing though, and I have some cool stuff to share.

What else is new?  Not really a whole lot.  I thought I’d update you on some of the other stuff in my life.  The book is on hold at the moment.  Partially because of having too much going on.  I also mentioned previously that I was having issues with my laptop.  I ended up buying a new laptop, only to discover that there really wasn’t anything wrong with my laptop, it was an issue with a Windows 10 update, and after spending an entire weekend messing around with it, I have it up and running again.  Thank heavens I have a bit of an IT background, but talk about frustrating.  And now I have two laptops.   At that point though, I was having misgivings about the direction the book was going, and decided to put it on the backburner.  I’m thinking that the story might be better used as a short story, or even one of those cautionary type tales you see in Readers Digest.  I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with it.  I will say that having to think about the events that led up to the initial idea started to get to me, and that, along with some new developments in the situation, I just didn’t feel like dealing with it.  I may get back to it, and then again, I may not.  The crazy part is it is a continually evolving situation, and just about the time I think it’s done, something else happens.

My guitar lessons are going very well.  At the beginning of April I started working with a new teacher and he has been a godsend.  My concerns about my previous teacher were right on the mark and changing teachers turned out to be a very good decision.  I’m so glad I talked to another friend who is not only a professional musician in California, but also teaches guitar.  His advice and input helped push me in the right direction and I’ve not regretted it a bit.  I’ve since bought an electric guitar and I’m having all kinds of fun with it.  I think I learned more in two lessons from my new teacher than I had learned in two months from my previous teacher.  Definitely an instance of change being a good thing.

We are getting ready to have some new windows installed in our house over the summer, last year we did the front doors.  I’m not looking forward to the mess, although this builder is very careful about that and does a good job of cleanup afterwards.  I’ve never quite recovered from our bathroom remodel!  Fortunately the doll room IS NOT one of the rooms on this years schedule, I definitely do not look forward to that!!!

What does everyone think of the new AG releases from this past week?  I was happy to see them do a Jess mold doll that didn’t have brown eyes and dark hair, about time!!!  Also glad to see some new outfits that aren’t weird for a change AND colors that I’d actually wear myself.  My favorite piece is the 3 in 1 Game Table, although I’m not sure I’m going to buy it.  I think it’s a cool idea, just not sure I would get enough use out of it to justify the price.  We’ll see.

I also think the Wheaten Terrier is cute, and was backordered, along with the remote control car, but I see both are available again.   And why, oh why did they have to put an American Girl vanity tag on Kit’s outfit?? So not cool.  Not sure I’ll get the terrier, we already have enough pets in the dollhouse, but it sure is tempting…

I hope everyone is doing well and having fun now that summer has officially started.  Keep checking back, I’m going to have a wide variety of posts in the next few weeks, ranging from stories to reviews and everything in between!  Thank you so much for continuing to read and comment over the past few months, I’m hoping to get things back on track now that the really busy stuff has passed.