Vacation, Part 4 (and the end at last!)

Sorry everyone for the delay, but something came up that sidetracked us here.  And you know how that goes, one thing happens and then it just throws everything out of whack!  But we didn’t forget, and here are the last of the vacation pics!

Tramore has a cool place right in the middle of town that has recently opened called the Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens.  It is a place designed to celebrate the life of Patrick Lafcadio Hearn who lived in Tramore at one time.  He also lived in Greece, the US and Japan.  His story is very interesting and very sad at times, if you’d like to read more, you can check it out here:

The gardens were very pretty, but because of the time of year, full of pollen and we were all sneezing!!  Mom’s friend Zoe had come over from London to meet up with us and she was having a terrible time.  We did get a couple of nice pictures though.


After our visit to the gardens, we all went and had a nice lunch where Zoe’s fiancé, John, decided to surprise us by showing up!  He and mom are good friends and he had told her he wasn’t going to be able to make it, but was able to after all.  I laughed when mom said she wasn’t sure if she was going to hug him or punch him!  Afterwards we headed to the local radio station where mom, dad, Zoe and John were actually on the radio along with mom’s friend who worked there.  It was pretty cool hearing them on the radio.  (We were sad to learn shortly after we got back to the US that the station closed due to financial issues.  😦 )

The following morning we headed towards Dublin because we had a very early flight the next day.  Mom had arranged to meet up with another friend who lived near there for lunch.  We had so much fun getting to meet all of these people in real life that she has met through various ventures online.  Hopefully we will get to go back soon.  After lunch, we headed back to our hotel room to relax because we knew we had a long day ahead of us to get home, we were up for 25 hours straight due to layovers and all.  We made it though!

In the previous post I had mentioned that we stopped so I could do some toy shopping.  We went to a store named Smyth’s, mom knew about it from a previous trip to Ireland.  It is a chain, and it reminded me a lot of Toys R Us, it was pretty large and had a nice selection of stuff.  Check out all of this Our Generation and Lori!!!

(sorry for the poor photos, a combination of mom using her cell phone AND being so excited to see all of this stuff)

They even had a decent selection of Glitter Girls!

We were good though, we didn’t buy anything in that section.  Mom was excited to get a good look at the Our Generation beach house, it’s really cool.  When she told dad about it, he said “why didn’t you buy it?”  Mom just rolled her eyes at him and said “because it wouldn’t fit in the suitcase!!”  Dad’s so funny sometimes.

I did get two things there though.  Are you ready to see my souvenirs from our trip?

First off, I got this really pretty necklace.  It’s called a Trinity Knot, and it’s a design you see a lot in different Irish goods, especially jewelry.

I also got this adorable stuffed sheep!  My friend Alya has one that she got from Ireland and I was so happy to find one to take home!

At Smyth’s I found two things I really wanted.  Luckily one of the things were on sale and mom added a little money to what I had with me so I was able to get them both.

My friend Alya collects Calico Critters and she told me that they had lots of them in Ireland.  Over there they call them Sylvanian Families.  And she wasn’t kidding about them having a lot to choose from, it was really hard to decide, but I finally chose this little guy.

I thought he was just adorable, and I loved the little crib.  Of course there was a catalog inside the box too, so I can figure out what I want to get next!


I also got this cool doll set, on the back of the box it showed other things you could get, but I really liked this set in particular.

Now Louisa and I can play with our dolls together!

Mom thought the carrier was especially interesting since it could be carried or with the wheels attached, although it’s kind of short for me to push.

I did get some other stuff in Ireland, but mom is saving that for a later post, she wants to do a review on it.  Plus it’s mostly stuff for school (ugh) so I’d rather not think about it for a few more weeks anyhow!

I hope you enjoyed the posts about our trip to Ireland.  I have another adventure to share with you soon, hopefully we will get all caught up on posts in the not so distant future.





Vacation, Part 3

Happy 4th of July everyone!  Sorry this is a little bit behind, we had planned to post this next installment sooner, but we got busy with a couple of other things and it just didn’t happen.  But, better late than never!!

We spent a good bit of time in Waterford since it was close by, but also because one of mom’s friends owns a gift shop there!  Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city and it is a very interesting place.  We did a tour of Reginald’s Tower, it was really cool with tiny circular stone staircases.  You had to be careful not to hit your head!  (well, I didn’t, but mom and dad did 😉  )

Reginald’s Tower is in the part of Waterford known as the Viking Triangle.  You can see it on this cool 3d “map”!

We walked around that area a bit and came upon Christ Church Cathedral.  Mom really enjoyed it, because it’s not as old as some of the cathedrals in the UK and Europe, it looks completely different inside.

Next door to it is the Bishop’s Palace.  It’s now a museum with a cool café in the back where we had an awesome lunch.  Mom is now addicted to goat cheese on a salad.

We wandered around down by the water a bit.

Waterford was really fun to see, I really enjoyed it.  Jerry of course was still wanting to go back to the beach…

On our way back to Tramore, we stopped at a VERY cool toy store.  I will post about that in our next (and last) post about the trip.  We did go to the local pub later that night where the brother and dad of another one of mom’s friends played in a traditional Irish band, it was so great to get to hear them!  Mom is in the process of posting the videos she did on her YouTube page, you can check one of them out here:

Hope you enjoyed this post from our trip, hope to get the last one up over the weekend!  In the meantime, have a safe and fun 4th of July!!


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.

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…