19 June 2019

Up early and had breakfast in hotel. Bagel, OJ and coffee. No fruit to put in my bag. Bummer!

Called a cab to take us to airport. He took every back road–no traffic and we made it in fifteen! And it was cheaper than last night by five dollars. Last night the gentleman took the freeway.

Since we hurried re-packing, eating, and making sure cab arrived at hotel early enough for LA traffic, we were quite a bit early for our flight. My Sweetheart went looking for Starbucks so I could have my latte before boarding. What a guy! With pipping hot latte in hand hubby and I sat and people watched while idling away our time. Hubby’s number in line was A-1 and I had A-6. We took row three and spread out.

I had window and he had isle. We tried to keep it like that but alas it was a full flight. The Late Bloomer who held up the flight came stumbling onto the plane and took my guy’s seat. Hubby moved over next to me. No problem. So it began!

Door closed and plane pushed back. Our Late Bloomer yelled “They have my passport.”

Flight attendant. “Sir, you don’t need a passport for Hawaii.”

“No, they have my passport.” And with that he grabs his small bag under the seat in front of him and starts rummages through it. “Oh wait, here it is,” as he holds it up for all to see.

Relief floods over the flight attendants face. You heard a loud sigh from all the passengers. Onward! When it was safe for attendants to serve drinks Late Bloomer says he wants two bottles of vodka along with orange juice plus a bottle of water. Bloomer is about 5 foot 7 inches and probably wears a size 34″ pants with maybe a medium shirt. You see where I’m going here?

Hubby had his head back with his eyes closed. Bloomer nudges hubby and tells him about getting robbed in Reno. “They took everything I had. Even my phone.”

My love sat and agreed with the gentleman. My hubby had brought my newest book The Stranger in the Polka Dot Tie, How I Found My Father on the trip so he could read it. Late Bloomer kept rattling about being robbed. He finally put his book in the seat pocket for later, maybe. Stranger Book Cover Final large print

About an hour or so into flight, after the first round of drinks had been served, the flight attendants began handing out snack packs filled with cheese, pretzels, crackers, jellied fruit and mints. Special for trips to Hawaii. southwest food

I tried to close my eyes a few times but wasn’t successful. Hubbs tried too, but Late Bloomer kept up his talking. I could write a book with all the information he was feeding us. Between talking and his drinking we kept shaking our heads in amazement. The flight attendant at last came by with one more bottle of vodka and said. “Listen, Buster, this is it. You are easing up as of now.” She said that so nicely, too. And with a smile.

Last leg of flight and out came the cookies, Pepperidge Farms Milano’s. I had coffee with a shot of Bailey’s. It was that kind of a day. Lo and behold when I asked for coffee and Bailey’s so did Late Bloomer. Go figure.

The few times I’ve flown to Hawaii and the closer we get to land, I am mesmerized by the color of the ocean. It’s so clear and blue. I feel like a little kid trying to watch how big the waves are below the plane. Like you can really tell that high up in the air.

When we landed, unbuckled our seat belts, Late Bloomer shot out of his seat like he’d been shot out of a cannon. He was the first to deplane. Really quite comical. After a five hour flight, waiting in the airport for our flight, getting our luggage off the carousal , listening to our friend, I was ready to check into our hotel, kick off my shoes and get comfy. We checked into the hotel and found the grab and go called Happy’s. Got a salad, stocked up on drinks at the Exchange and headed to our room. THEN I kicked off my shoes and relaxed. Long day but very interesting.

Stay tuned. Until then my friend………………………….




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June 18th

Happy Birthday to the wonderful Guy I married over thirty years ago. We had breakfast at Denney’s then after paying we forget to tell them it was his birthday. So, no free breakfast. Oh well, next time!

My friend, Cathey, picked us up and took us to the airport to catch our flight to Hawaii. Well, final destination was Hawaii, after a stop in San Jose to rest and freshen up. We are old, the long flight wears us out!

Oh my goodness, thank you Southwest Airlines for the leg room. I am in heaven. My knees are not up against the seat in front of me. I can see now I will be able to move around, even in my seat. KUDOS SOUTHWEST!southwest seatingNo more swollen feet by not moving around.

Met flight attendant, Scott from San Diego, when we boarded in Las Vegas for the last leg of our trip to California. He heard me say I found my father through DNA to the gentleman behind me when we boarded. He stopped by our seat after everyone was seated and started talking. He found his bio father through DNA on Ancestry. He beamed while telling us of all the relatives he’s already met and it’s been only three weeks. He was gushing. He even showed us pictures of his grandmother. I’m so glad for him. He said he was going to keep digging so he can learn more. I encouraged him, at least I hope I gave him encouragement.

Landed late in the afternoon at San Jose. Made our way to the hotel then across the street for a California Mexican plate. Or rather we had a taco a piece. I must say the hot sauce had a very good bite!

Until then my friend……………….

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April 8, 2019

Today we were heading to the Cliffs of Moher. More scenic rides through the countryside and looking at the hedge rows. Most were rocks marking off each persons land and homes. Alongside the roads it seemed to be more rows of bushes and flowering bushes.

We reached the Cliffs of Moher and parked our bus. The wind tore at our jackets bitting cold right through to our bones. I took my new scarf and draped it over my head and covered my ears from the cold wind tying it under my chin. I know I probably looked silly but it was cold! We took the walk way and gradually climbed up hill until we reached the top of the cliffs. By this time the wind was beating our faces. Mr. “C” tried to take a picture of me but the wind kept whipping at my face so much i couldn’t keep my eyes open. They watered, a lot!

Ireland Cliffs of Moher boat trip II

This picture was taken by friends, Brian and Karen Birdy. Thank you guys! We walked along the pathway for a while looking at the sheer beauty of the solid rock jutting up out of the ocean trying to reach the sky. No beach, just rock. It was a bit misty not giving us a clear picture of most of the cliffs. They were beautiful! The cliffs rise to 702 feet at their highest point and range for five miles along the Atlantic Ocean.DSC00118

Seems like I stopped my journaling here. We spent two more days in Ireland with one night at Castle Cabra. Cabra Castle side view of castleWonderful dinner with everyone. Don’t know why I didn’t finish out the last few days but I guess it was just too much fun and didn’t take time to stop and write it all down. So until my next journey………….

Until then my friend………..

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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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