April 7, 2019

Up at 6:30–dressed and packed for our trip today. Breakfast at 8:30 but we were drinking coffee at 8 am by the fire in the lobby with a few of our new best friends.

Suitcases loaded by 9:30 and we were ready for our jaunting car ride in the National Park. Our horse was Bob and our driver Patrick. I would say Patrick had the gift of gab—he’s been kissing the Blarney Stone. He reminded me of the little Irish man who played in the movie ‘The Quiet Man’ with John Wayne.

Our driver gave each of us a blanket to cover up with as it was quite chilly this morning. We had been warned and most of us dressed appropriately. Patrick knew every bramble, tree and flower in the park. He spotted more deer and knew each creature that made his home in and amongst in the trees and bushes. Our trip lasted about an hour before we were dropped off by our chariot for the day.Ireland Trip Killarney National Park Jaunting Cars

Once we were all seated Caspers put the bus in motion. First stop Adare, about an hour and half down the road. I knew I should have visited the loo one more time. No potty stops along the way. Just before our stop I mentioned to hubby I really needed to go potty. Mr. “C” stood up and said go ahead. I looked at him like he was crazy. Where—I didn’t spot a toilet on board. he said it was at the back door almost where we were sitting. Lil, who sat in the seat in front of us got up and opened the door to show me. Well, lookey there! I made a bee line! I should have said something sooner!

We stopped for lunch at a small cafe. Mr. “C” and I shared a slice of bread pudding and I had a latte. We shopped and walked the Main Street. Quite a few old houses with thatched roofs.

After an helium or so we were back on the bus heading to Limberick for the night. Beautiful rolling hills with each piece of property sectioned off by rock fences running the length of their property.

Casper entered the city of  Limberick while Colette gave us historical information of buildings, people and legends. She has been so interesting in the things she has told us about her country. From political to famines, wars, and legends. I wish I could have recorded her as I’ll never be able to remember the things she has said.

Our hotel is the Absoulute Hotel close by the River Shannon. We saw the castle by John along the river.

We left the hotel by 5 pm to go to Bunratty Castle for our medieval dinner and entertainment. Just a twenty minute ride and we were there. Dinner on first floor, welcome on second floor with steps like the ones at Blarney Castle. We had a four course meal all eaten with our hands. Entertainment with singers. Wonderful evening.

Until then my friends………..

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April 6, 2019

Got a good night’s sleep in our king sized bed. First and second night in Dublin two single beds, third night in Kilkenny a double! Last night king sized bed. What’s in store for next hotel?

Got ready for the day, plunged the curling brush in and went to put on make up. When I came out of bathroom hubby said the brush smelled hot and thought it was going to catch on fire so he let it dangle from suitcase. Okay, well I’m ready to curl my hair and I went to pick it up. It completely burnt the brush off the rod! We brought wrong plug! Now what to do with straight hair. Wear my new hat!  All DAY!

Breakfast at 7:30 and sat with David and Margaret. Ate too much again. Loaded the bus at 8:30 and we were off for the Ring of Kerry. First stop at Moriatary’s for shopping. So much stuff—beautiful stuff! Would love to buy a sweater but the sweaters are so heavy we can’t wear them in Texas. So I headed to the jewelry counter. Bought the Claddagh ring and a Celtic cross with the Connemara stone, plus a few trinkets for gifts.

Back on the bus—second stop to see the Atlantic Ocean with the Dingle Pennsulia across from us. Beautiful countryside, lots of sheep farms. The highest mountain in Ireland is before us with snow on it’s peaks. Glad we won’t be going up there. Made our way to Sharif Inn and restaurant after about an hour and half driving. Got behind a funeral which took up a half hour as the procession was quite long. Delayed us a half hour.

We stopped before lunch at the Kerry Bog Village to see how they lived many years ago. Thatched roof houses, one room, no windows, and they used dry bogs for heating and cooking.

Went inside the Red Fox Inn for a hot coffee and whiskey and look at trinkets.

Back on the bus and had lunch at the restaurant, cafeteria style. We both had chowder, crusty roll and a slice of bread, I thought it was date bread. NO—it was fruit cake.

Took pictures of the bay with all the small rock island jutting into the sky. Back on the bus for the sheep farm and watch the working dogs—Border Collies. Got to see several lambs close up—one day old to three days. So cute. Not, I don’t need to hold them no matter how cute they are.

Back on the bus to finish our trip around the ring. Pulled into parking space of the hotel at 4 pm. Full day of riding and seeing the lay of the land.

Took our goodies to our room to get ready for dinner. Gotta eat again! Someone’s got to do it.  We walked for a ways and found the Kings Head Pub. I had bangers and mash, hubby had fish and chips. We shared. Excellent! Stopped at a couple of souvenir shops while we made our way back to room. What a day. Tired but oh so excited to see this lovely country our ancestors came from. At times such rugged terrain.

Until then my friend……….

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I think I need to hurry up and get these posts up to date so I can be ready to tell you about my latest adventure. So here goes.

Same day after the castle Colette asked us if we wanted to go on the small island in the late to see the monastery ruins. Of course everyone said yes. She says then make sure you are dressed warm as it is on open boat that can get to the island—the closed boat can’t get that close to it. Okay, I’m thinking a good sized boat with all of us on it. WRONG! It was four small fishing boats with ten people in each boat. A challenge to get into and out! I’m not as young as I used to be and definitely not as limber. But I did it, aching hip and all. We got out on the island to see the ruins then back in our little fishing boats, life jackets on and back to dock! At least it didn’t rain on us. Turned out to be a nice day after all. Came back to hotel to get ready for dinner. Yes, we have to have our meals to be able to keep our strength up for all these excursions. We had dinner at hotel, six went to the Flesk and 13 went to the Trevare. Each of us had different tastes tonight.

David and Kathleen joined us. The guys had roasted lamb while Kathleen and I had cottage pie. Much like Sheppard’s pie. Very good. Three of us had the cheesecake for desert and Kathleen had apple crumble. I had hot coffee with whisky with my desert.

Back to room, took shower and washed my hair to be ready for morning.

Good Night

Until then my friend…………………………


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Part Two

Six pm and I hear church bells ringing. I’m sitting in our hotel room trying to play catch up for the day, Killarney Ave hotel in Killarney.

Back to the Blarney Stone. I told myself I was going to kiss the stone. If my brother could do it so could I. And, I was going to do it! Our guide kept telling us it is 100 medieval steps to get to the top. I couldn’t figure out why I had to climb steps to get to the stone but oh well, if Chuck did it I will too. But no one told me the stone was at the top of the castle!

We were advised the steps were very narrow as well as the stairwell so we could get claustrophobic. Which I do get! As I started up the stairs I felt it closing in on me. I concentrated right away by saying “If my brother did it I can too, besides I climbed the stairs at Notra Dame in Paris and those steps were just as steep.” If I could do that I can do it. I forget just then I was twenty years younger in Paris.

I grabbed the rope on one side of the stairwell and pulled myself up holding on to the walls on the opposite side. One step at a time. i can do this. My brother did it. I can do it I put my head down and trudged on—round and round. Finally I was a wee bit out of breath and ducked into one of the openings. People were talking about what floor we were on, the 4th floor, and it was the kitchen. My love was right behind me. I waited till I caught my breath and went back to the spiral steps and began again. Hubby was right behind me. I guess to catch me if I fell. I was in good hands. I grabbed the two inch ropes and pulled myself up. The rope reminded me of the kind you tie off a ship with. One more floor. The young lady two steps before me kept cheering me on saying “You can do it. Come on it’s not so bad, everything is all down once you reach the top.”  Her mother climbed up behind her and just in front of me.

We made it. Out of breath and legs shaking! But, I made it. The line was short and I was up in no time. Now—how was I going to get up because you had to lay down on your back on a large plastic sheet and place your hands on two bars attached to the wall. The gentleman slid me to the rock, my head backwards, oh my goodness, I threw the stone a kiss and he pulled me back towards himself. I got dizzy really quick. Almost fell, but I didn’t. I DID IT!!! YEA ME!!!

Now that I did it let me tell you on the last step out on to the roof it was a quick step from left to right. Yep, I pulled a muscle in my back. I limped back down. So glad to get my feet back on the ground. We headed toward the mill and a hot cappuccino and warm scone.

Back on the bus after running through the mill and spying a beautiful scarf to buy and bundle myself up for the rest of the trip.

Until then my friend………….




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Part One

Another day and we’re off. The alarm went off at six. I pleaded for more time. My love reset the clock for 6:30 but by 6:15 I kicked the covers off and proclaimed “Well let’s get on with it! I can’t sleep any longer.”

Funny two hotels and neither one had a clock in them. We were using hubby’s phone for our alarm. I guess if you are on vacation who needs a clock much less an alarm to get you up.Ireland in the Killarney National Park house

Did a quick get ready with teeth cleaned, face washed, make-up, and I’m ready to go all by seven. Again we set our luggage outside the door and headed to the small lift. Our hotel was the birthplace home of Thomas Meagher so the lift was not part of the original building.

We were too early for our group to be fed so we sat with others in the sitting room chatting until 7:30, cups of coffee in hand, waiting for the staff to call us. This morning we sat with Ron and Joyce Sullivan, Bob and Paula from Rochester, MN, Li and Sue from Monroe, LA, and last but not least Howard and Mary from Redding, CA. Interesting conversation but so nice to meet each one.

Most of us had the porridge with either Irish whiskey or Baileys Irish Cream in it. Yes, that was different! It was okay but I believe I will take my oatmeal without it on a daily basis.

We perused the table and picked out our sweet treats and cold cheese and meats along with our juices and coffee. Then the wait staff brought our hot plates loaded with cottage fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage. I believe we had enough food to last us all day! But, oh, so good.

After breakfast we patted our stuffed tummies and went back to our rooms for our carry on bags, potty stop and headed back down to our carriage with Casper, our driver, waiting to take our luggage and place it on the bus. He has been an amazing driver. Such small spaces and he just wings his way through. Now, off to kiss the Blarney Stone and check out the Woollen Mills and do a wee bit of shopping. My fav!

Watch for part Two. Until then…………….



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Part Two

We headed inside the Waterford factory for our tour. It was very interesting how they blew the glass then fired it. As each piece went through the factory it was inspected. If it was all right it went into the box, if not it was broken then and there. At the end of the tour we walked around the store. I would have loved to have a piece but at this stage of my life it would be another thing to keep clean. Besides I’d have to carry it home. I know they would ship but, no, it was not on my radar to buy just yet.


Back at the hotel, grabbed our carry on luggage and our keys to our rooms. The lift held three people at a time, including our bags. We rode up with Linda. Linda, hubby and I got off on two where just about everyone else was still mingling about. Down the hall to our left we went to our room where our luggage awaited us by the door. We freshened up, relaxed and managed to make our way back down to the dining hall by 6:30 pm for our dinner.

Elegant looking tables with white linen cloth and place settings awaited us—just like royalty. We sat with Ron and Joyce Sullivan from our church, Howard and Mary from Redding, CA and Li and Sue from Monroe, LA. The meal started with vegetable soup (pureed). I am going to have to find the receipe as it is really good. Hubby and I had the Guiness beef stew. We thought well, that was it in our small bowl, but then the waiters came around dishing out hot green beans, sliced carrots, cottage fried potatoes, and mashed potatoes with gravy. Our choice of a variety of bread slices with butter. Desert was apple blackberry crumble with hot custard. The big treat was hot coffee with whiskey and cream. Plus the receipe on how to make it at home. I’m sold!

What a wonderful end of the day. Weather was a bit miserable, very cold, blustery, and a bit of rain. All in all–nice!

Until then my dear friends…………………

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Part One

Here we go again. Up at six am, showered, dressed, put luggage outside the door by 7:15 and went downstairs for breakfast. I ordered a latte this morning after spotting the espresso machine. How did I miss that yesterday? Wonderful! Everyone on the bus at 8:30 for our two hour trip to Kilkenny.

A few of us dozed, yes I did. There is something about the hum of the tires, warmth of the sun shinning in the windows, well maybe not a lot of sun, but enough to make the eyes want to close. We arrived at 10:30 and told we were on our own until one. I had spotted a pub and I wanted something hot to drink so we headed back down the road after visiting the loo (English for bathroom.

Landgon’s Bar, and only two tables were occupied when we entered, so we walked around until I spied just the right spot to finally sit down. The waiter brought the menu. No fish and chips were served. We excused ourselves, left and headed back the same way we came. Just before reaching the open air market where our bus was parked, we spotted another pub on Rose Inn St. Very quaint, clean, and quiet.  We went in and sat down. Fish and chips on the list of delectable treats. Ordered and I said, “May I have a shot of Irish whiskey please?” Our beer battered fish was served with a heaping side of French fries, salad and mashed peas.DSC00084When in Ireland, got to taste the flavor of the land. After all it was very chilly outside I’m thinking this may warm me up. Yes, it did at that and so smooth. I asked what kind of whiskey was it. Jameson, my new favorite! Yes, the fish and chips were over the top too!

After our scrumptious lunch we took the small train around the village. Each narrow street wound its way around the buildings as the conductor told us the history of the town. We were blessed as the train was all enclosed and it was trying its best to rain, a lot. It really started coming down, with small sized hail pelting us as we made our way back to the bus and loaded up to continue our trip to Waterford, the oldest city in Ireland. DSC00079

Waterford was plundered by the Vikings back in 800/900. Very strong presence. The River Suis runs through the city. Our tour guide for Waterford will be Jack, the Lad. He met our bus as soon as we pulled up to the factory. We started our walking tour, up one street and down the next, leading us back to our starting point. All the while the freezing wind is blowing like crazy and it is raining off and on. I’m going to be on the look out for a nice warm hat at the next shop! I already had a scarf wrapped around my neck. So glad I invested in it! I actually forgot how cold the North Atlantic wind chill was.


Until then my friends…………………….



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Cibolo History Book Cover Final Feb 2019The book is finished and we are ready to launch it. JUNE 15TH FROM 1 P.M. TO 3 P.M. AT THE SHOPS AT THE MILL IN CIBOLO.




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Part 2

We packed so much into a day I had to split things up. No wonder I was beat when I went to bed each night. But what a day.


At five forty five we left for the Cleaver Hotel for dinner. Again it was raining and wind blowing pretty good by now. Yes, it was still pretty cold. Grumble, grumble. I didn’t bring heavy enough sweaters! Colette, our guide, said they were getting storms from North–Norway. North Atlantic. Last week winds came from the Azores and they were warm. Everyone was wearing t shirts! Really? I can’t imagine that. My teeth were chattering. I guess you might say it was kind of like Texas weather.

The hotel was small and had meat cleavers hung on windows, walls, and doors. Sure hoped they were anchored down securly. We sat with Bob and Paula, Margaret and David, and last but not least Ron and Joyce. Great company. Bob and Paul were from Rochester, MN, Margaret and David from Texas, our home church and Ron and Joyce were also from our church.

Curtis and I ordered salad and cod. I had Chocolate Mouse for desert and he had an apple crisp. Now, really, we have to have our desert!

End of day, good conversation getting to know our fellow travelers. Looking forward to tomorrow when we head south to Kilkenny.

Until then my friend…………………………


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Part One

Day three of trip and I was up and ready for breakfast at Toddy’s at the hotel. What a fine array of food. This morning was scrambled eggs, sausage (which I might add I was not too fond of) toast and potatoes. Orange juice to get my daily dose of meds down. Gotta keep the blood pressure in check even if I’m on vacation. I topped breakfast off with a spot of coffee, which I will switch to Irish tea tomorrow. There was a big pot of porridge so I had to go get a small bowl just to say I tasted it. Not bad at all, almost like our oatmeal, only creamier.

We met our new friends at the bus and boarded for our tour of Dublin along with our Collette guide, Colette and our city guide, Sally. My mind went into overload after the three hour tour. So glad I picked up lots of brochures and books to refer back to as I’ll never remember everything Sally told us about.

We roamed St. Patrick’s Cathedral DSC00051and heard all the interesting stories about him and how he led all the snakes out of Ireland. Our bus driver dropped us off on Nassau Street by Trinity University so we could tour the library and see the Book of Kells. I was in awe at all the books. IMG_2163 The picture is an old library called The Long Room and it contains over 200,000 books, which are still used to this day.

The Book of Kells is a manuscript written in Latin and contains the four gospels of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). It was created by Early Christian monks. The pages are made from vellum (calf-skin prepared for writing).

Whew, you’d think we’d be really tired by this time but now it was time to shop and, of course, grab a quick bite to eat. We ducked into the Porterhouse Tavern for a French dip and a pint. We shared the sandwich which was more like pulled beef without the au jus. I only drank half the pint, way too much heavy beer for me. On our way back to the hotel we surveyed the woolen store and I bought a cashmere scarf. Really pretty and oh, so warm around my neck. Not sure if I could get used to the damp, cold, wind blowing and whipping about my head and shoulders. Yes, it might have helped if I’d brought a warm jacket but I didn’t, it was my light flannel jacket I’d bought at the Pendleton factory on my recent trip there. But I was wearing a t-shirt with a sweater too. Note to self–when going to Ireland bring heavy jacket preferably with fur inside!

We stopped at the post office to mail post cards home. Hope the family receive them before we get back. One more woolen store on way to hotel and I splurged with buying a full-length green Aran sweater. I shall wear on rest of trip.

to be continued–it was a long day.

Until then my friend……………..


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