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TRIP OF A LIFETIME

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TRIP OF A LIFETIME - Page Text Content

S: TRIP TO IRELAND, SCOTLAND, PARIS AUGUST 17- SEPTEMBER 3, 2011

BC: F O R T I E T H | A N N I V E R S A R Y

1: On St Patrick's Day, 2011, Bruce gave me a card from his sister, Carol & her husband, Steve. The card said that I was to plan the trip of a lifetime to Ireland. This explained why, in January, Bruce insisted that we get passports. I couldn't believe I was going to a place I had always wanted to see. I was so excited & frustrated that I had to wait four whole months before we could start our journey. However, it took that long to plan the logistics for our trip and try to fit in everything I wanted to do. I came to learn that trip would have taken no less than a month. But it certainly was The Trip of a Lifetime.

2: NEW YORK TO DUBLIN

4: AFTER A CROWDED FLIGHT FROM CHICAGO TO NEW YORK AND AN HOUR DELAY ON THE TARMAC, WE FINALLY TOOK OFF FOR IRELAND. TOO EXCITED TO SLEEP ON THE FLIGHT, WE GOT TO KNOW OUR SEATMATE, A YOUNG GIRL LIVING IN NEW YORK ON HER WAY HOME TO IRELAND. SHE LIVED NEAR THE NORTHERN IRELAND BORDER. SHE GAVE US SOME RECOMMENDATIONS FOR RESTAURANTS IN DUBLIN. | GOT TO DUBLIN IN THE EARLY MORNING & CHECKED INTO THE GRESHAM HOTEL. TOOK A TOUR OF THE CITY ON A HOP-ON-HOP-OFF BUS. HAD DINNER IN A LOCAL PUB AND FELL ASLEEP BY 8:00 PM. SLEPT ERRATICALLY AND WOKE UP BY 9:00 AM. | THE NEXT DAY WE WERE ON THE BUS BY 10:00 AM. STOPPED FOR BREAKFAST AT PACINO'S. EXPLORED ST. STEPHEN'S GREEN WHERE THERE WAS AN ARTISTS SALE AND A BEAUTIFUL GAZEBO. WE TOURED CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL, ST. PATRICK'S CATHEDRAL, ST. CATHERINE'S CHURCH, & GUINNESS STOREHOUSE. STOPPED AT SHANAGHAN'S PUB FOR A DRINK, HAD DINNER AT THE MERCHANT'S ARCH. I HAD BEEF & GUINNESS PIE, BRUCE HAD SEA BREAM. FOR DESSERT WE HAD BANOFFEE PIE (BANANA CREAM) AND APPLE CRUMBLE.

5: Dublin | MOLLY MALONE

7: ST PATRICK'S CATHEDRAL

8: ST. CATHERINE'S CHURCH

9: CARRIAGE RIDE THROUGH DUBLIN | IRELAND'S VERSION OF THE DOLLAR STORE | BRUCE COULDN'T RESIST

10: GUINNESS STOREHOUSE AFTER OUR TOUR, WE DISCOVERED: I STILL DON'T LIKE BEER & BRUCE STILL DOESN'T LIKE GUINNESS

11: WALKING BACK FROM DINNER THROUGH THE TEMPLE BAR DISTRICT AND CROSSING THE RIVER LIFFEY.

12: PICKED UP OUR RENTAL CAR. THE 15 MINUTE TRIP TURNED INTO 45 TRYING TO GET INTO THE ALLEY BEHIND THE HOTEL TO LOAD THE SUITCASES. ENDED UP GOING THE WRONG WAY DOWN THE ALLEY. IT TOOK BRUCE A LITTLE WHILE TO GET USED TO DRIVING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE STREET AND SITTING IN THE WRONG SIDE OF THE CAR. | WE HEADED TO WATERFORD CITY AND STOPPED ON THE WAY FOR LUNCH. WE TOURED THE WATERFORD CRYSTAL FACTORY AND DIDN'T BUY A THING!!!

14: ON TO YOUGHAL ! WE ARRIVED AT ST. MARTIN'S B&B, COUNTY CORK, WHICH WOULD BE OUR BASE FOR THE NEXT TWO DAYS, AND WERE GREETED BY THE OWNERS, MARGOT & PAT. STORED OUR THINGS AND HEADED TO TOWN TO EXPLORE, THEN DINNER AT AHERNE'S WHERE WE DISCOVERED IRISH BEEF DOSN'T COMPARE TO MIDWESTERN BEEF. THEY DID, HOWEVER, HAVE A GREAT DESSERT... CHOCOLATE WHISKEY MERENGUE. AFTER DINNER, WE WALKED AROUND TOWN & STOPPED IN A LOCAL PUB FOR A DRINK.

15: THE NEXT DAY, WE WENT TO MASS AT THE OLDEST CONTINUOUS PARISH IN IRELAND. ST MARY'S IS PART OF THE CHURCH OF IRELAND . WHEN WE WENT UP FOR COMMUNION, WE KNELT AT A COMMUNION RAIL. BRUCE HAD NEVER SEEN ONE BEFORE & I HAD TO EXPLAIN WHAT TO DO. WE TOURED THE CEMETERY. THEY WERE HAVING A MEDIEVAL FAIR & WE WALKED AROUND A WHILE. STOPPED FOR A DRINK AT THE NOOK PUB & HEADED TO ARDMORE.

16: DROVE TO ARDMORE AND WALKED THE CLIFFS ABOVE THE IRISH SEA THAT WERE THE BACKGROUND FOR NORA ROBERTS' BOOKS ABOUT THE GALLAGHER FAMILY AND THEIR PUB. THE STORIES HIGHLIGHTED THE MYTH OF CARRICK, KING OF THE FAIRIES, AND LADY GWEN. WE SAW MOST OF THE PLACES MENTIONED IN THE BOOKS AND STOPPED IN THE CLIFF HOUSE HOTEL FOR A DRINK AT THE BAR. WE WENT TO ST. DECLAN'S WELL, TOWER, MONASTERY AND CEMETERYAND WERE VERY MOVED BY THE HISTORY. HE WAS A 5TH CENTURY SAINT. WE WALKED BACK TO THE CAR THE SAME WAY WE CAME (ABOUT 2 MILES EACH WAY) AND DROVE BY THE CLIFF HOUSE ON THE WAY OUT OF TOWN & DISCOVERED THAT WE COULD HAVE TAKEN A SIDE STREE BACK TO THE CAR AND ONLY WALKED ABOUT A HALF MILE. WHEN WE GOT BACK TO YOUGHAL, PAT TOLD US ABOUT THE WRECK WE SAW OFF THE COAST. A SHIP WRECKED ABOUT SIX YEARS BEFORE & ONE OF THE VILLAGERS LIVED ON IT FOR 40 DAYS TO TRY TO SALVAGE THE IRON. HE COULDN'T DO IT AND LEFT THE VILLAGE IN SHAME.

17: WE DROVE TO MIDDLETON AND TOOK A TOUR OF JAMESON'S DISTILLERY WHERE EILEEN BECAME A CERTIFIED IRISH WHISKEY TASTER. WE COMPARED JACK DANIEL'S, DEWAR'S AND JAMESON'S AND, OF COURSE, JAMESON'S WAS THE BEST.

18: KILLARNEY | WE MET THE NAUGHTONS, JOHN, PATTI, GER & SEAN AND DID A LOT OF SIGHTSEEING IN THE AREA. WE WENT TO ROSS CASTLE. PATTI, BRUCE & I DROVE TO TORC WATERFALL AND THE BEAUTIFUL LADIES VIEW WHERE YOU CAN SEE ALL THREE LAKES OF KILLARNEY. WE WENT ON TO MUCKROSS HOUSE. THEN MET THE BOYS BACK AT ROSS CASTLE | TORC FALLS | ROSS CASTLE

19: LADIES VIEW | MUCKROSS HOUSE

20: AFTER WE SAID GOODBYE TO THE NAUGHTONS, WE LOCATED A B&B FOR THE NIGHT. WE STAYED AT KATHLEEN'S GUEST HOUSE. IT WAS MORE LIKE A SMALL HOTEL. WE HAD DINNER AT DANNY MANN'S (BRUCE HAD FISH & CHIPS). AFTERWARD, WE STOPPED AT A PUB AND LISTENED TO A BAD SINGER SING AMERICAN SONGS. THEN BACK TO OUR ROOM TO WATCH THE ROSE OF TRALEE FESTIVAL ON TV. THE NEXT DAY WE FINALLY HAD IRISH SODA BREAD FOR BREAKFAST. WE THEN WENT BACK TO ROSS CASTLE TO TOUR THE INTERIOR, BUT UNFORTUNATELY WE WERE'NT ALLOWED TO TAKE PICTURES INSIDE. AFTER THAT, IT WAS OFF TO DINGLE WITH A STOP AT INCH BEACH, KNOWN FOR IT SURFING...A BIT TOO COLD THAT DAY. DID SOME CHRISTMAS SHOPPING AT SAMMY'S STORE AND LEARNED ABOUT THE VAT.

21: CONTINUING AROUND THE RING OF KERRY, WE HEADED TO DINGLE, WHERE WE HAD LUNCH AT THE MARINE INN. SPENT SEVERAL HOURS WALKING AROUND THE VILLAGE AND BOUGHT MANY SOUVENIRS INCLUDING MOOSIE'S RING, A ROSARY FOR MOM AND AN ORNAMENT FOR US. WE TOOK A VERY ROUGH ROAD OUT OF DINGLE HEADING TO TRALLEE & HIT A HALF HOUR TRAFFIC JAM DUE TO THE FESTIVAL. STOPPED AT O'FLAHERTY'S FOR A PINT & A JAMESON'S. THEY HAD THE NICEST BATHROOM WE SAW IN IRELAND. THEN ON TO TARBERT FOR THE NIGHT AT THE LANTERN INN. SPOKE WITH MOOSIE FOR ABOUT AN HOUR ON THE WEBCAM AND GAVE HER A TOUR OF THE HOTEL. | FORTY SHADES OF GREEN

22: STOPPED AT A LAUNDERETTE TO DROP OFF OUR CLOTHES THEN HAD LUNCH AT KEOGHS. STROLLED AROUND THE VILLAGE. ENJOYED A PINT & A JAMESON'S AT MERRIMAN INN AND PJ FLATLEY'S. PICKED UP OUR LAUNDRY (TO THE TUNE OF ABOUT $30) AND HEADED TO GALWAY. | ON THE ROAD BY 9:30 THE NEXT MORNING. TOOK THE FERRY TO KILLIMER AND DROVE TO THE CLIFFS OF MOHER. STARTED POURING JUST AS WE GOT THERE. WE WALKED ALONG THE BASE FOR ABOUT 20 MINUTES. IT TURNED VERY WINDY & COLD SO WE DECIDED TO DRIVE ON TO KINVARA.

23: TRAFFIC IN GALWAY WAS HORRIBLE, SO WE DROVE RIGHT THROUGH. CONTINUED ON TO CONG, WHERE A LOT OF THE SCENES FROM THE MOVIE "THE QUIET MAN" WERE FILMED. SPENT THE NIGHT AT THE DANAHER HOTEL AND HAD DINNER AT THE KELLY HOTEL. WENT BACK FOR A DRINK AT SQUIRE DANAHER'S BAR AND WEBCAMMED WITH MOOSIE BEFORE GOING TO BED.

24: ACROSS FROM THE MUSEUM | VISITED THE QUIET MAN MUSEUM AND GOT TO DRESS UP LIKE MARY KATE & SEAN. THEY WERE HAVING A 60th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF THE MAKING OF THE MOVIE THE NEXT DAY. MAUREEN O'HARA WOULD BE THE GRAND MARSHALL. UNFORTUNATELY, WE HAD TO BE IN DUBLIN, SO WE COULDN'T STAY THE EXTRA DAY.

25: BEFORE WE LEFT CONG, WE WALKED AROUND THE CLONBUR FOREST & CONG ABBEY FOR A COUPLE HOURS. WE COULD SEE THE ABBEY FROM OUR ROOM. AMAZING HISTORY & BEAUTY.

26: DROVE THROUGH SLIGO AND HAD LUNCH IN MULAGHMORE AT THE PIER HEAD HOTEL BAR THEN ON TO BELLEEK. BOUGHT LOTS OF GIFTS AND HEADED TO ENNISKILLEN. SAW GORDON'S CHEMIST ON THE WAY.

27: STOPPED AT PAT'S BAR IN ENNISKILLEN AND STAYED FOR DINNER. JAMES, THE KID WHO TENDED BAR, SPENT A LOT OF TIME TALKING WITH US AND HELPED US FIND A ROOM FOR THE NIGHT AT ARCH HOUSE B&B. WE CHECKED IN & SPENT THE EVENING WATCHING IRISH FOOTBALL (SOCCER) WITH THREE LADS FROM KILKENNY WHO WERE WORKING AT A LOCAL HOSPITAL TAPING DRYWALL DURING THE WEEK & GOING HOME ON THE WEEKENDS. BACK IN THE ROOM, WE WEB-CHATTED WITH BUD, MOOSIE AND LJ & BOB. SENT A TEXT TO KATE TO FORWARD TO JUDI FOR HER BIRTHDAY. LEFT THE NEXT DAY FOR BELFAST TO TRY TO FIND THE CEMETERY WHERE MY GREAT-GREAT GRANDPARENTS WERE BURIED BUT COULDN'T FIND THE RIGHT CHURCH. WE ONLY FOUND ST. PATRICK'S CHURCH OF IRELAND NOT CATHOLIC. WE DROVE BACK TO DUBLIN TO RETURN THE CAR. TOOK A BUS TO O'CONNELL STREET & HAD DINNER AT THE CHURCH RESTAURANT. SPENT THE NIGHT BY THE AIRPORT BECAUSE WE WERE LEAVING EARLY THE NEXT DAY FOR SCOTLAND.

28: 8/27 ARRIVED IN EDINBURGH @ 8;30 AM, | CHECKED INTO THE HOLIDAY INN & TOOK THE BUS INTO THE CITY. TOURED SHOPS & BOUGHT TRAIN TICKET TO ABERDEEN. IT SEEMED AS IF EVERY STREET WAS UPHILL & NONE DOWNHILL. WENT BACK TO HOTEL, HAD LUNCH, CLEANED UP & HEADED BACK TO THE CITY. | MORE SHOPPING. DINNER AT THE DORIC. WALKED THROUGH THE CASTLE AREA & GOT IN THE QUEU FOR THE TATTOO. | MET A COUPLE FROM SWITZERLAND WHO THOUGHT THE WORD "TATTOO" WAS FUNNY.

29: BRUCE BOUGHT AN ARGYL SWEATER HERE & I BOUGHT A CASHMERE.

31: OUR SEATS FOR THE TATTOO WERE EXCELLENT. IT WAS A BIT WINDY & COLD, BUT IT DIDN'T RAIN SO WE CONSIDERED OURSELVES LUCKY. THE PERFORMANCE WAS BRILLIANT & WE ENJOYED IT VERY MUCH. IT STARTED AT 10:30 & ENDED WITH FIREWORKS AT MIDNIGHT. CAUGHT THE BUS BACK TO THE HOTEL & REPACKED FOR THE EARLY TRAIN TO ABERDEEN.

32: WENT TO THE STATION & CAUGHT THE EARLY TRAIN. WE GOT TO THE HOTEL ABOUT 11:00 BUT COULDN'T CHECK IN UNTIL 2:00. WE LEFT OUR BAGS AND WALKED OVER TO HIGH STREET. VERY COLD & WINDY SO WE STOPPED AT THE ABERCROMBIE FOR A DRINK. JAMIE, THE BARTENDER SUGGESTED WE HAVE HAGGIS & HE TRIED TO EXPLAIN WHAT IT IS . . . THE MORE HE DID THE WORSE IT SOUNDED, SO HE WENT TO ASK THE CHEF & CAME BACK TO TELL US IT WAS THE HEART, LIVER & LUNGS OF SHEEP MIXED WITH ONIONS, OATMEAL, SPICES & SUET THEN COOKED IN A SHEEP'S STOMACH . . . WE PASSED. HE RECOMMENDED WE TOUR THE MARITIME MUSEUM. SO WE FINISHED OUR DRINKS & HEADED THERE.

33: WE STOPPED AT THE TOLLBOOTH MUSEUM WHICH WAS USED AS A PRISON FOR MANY YEARS. WE THEN WENT TO THE MARITIME MUSEUM. ON THE WAY WE STOPPED AT THE TOWN SQUARE WHERE A WOMAN TOLD BRUCE HE "STUCK OUT AS AN AMERICAN BECAUSE HE WORE A BASEBALL CAP & GYM SHOES". WE THANKED HER FOR HER FASHION ADVICE.

34: WE WERE PICKED UP BY JEAN & ALLY PIRIE AT 10AM. THEY TOOK US TO THE GORDON CROFT, ONE TIME HOME OF THE GORDON CLAN. WE HAD TO WALK ABOUT A MILE FROM THE CAR TO GET TO THE BUILDING. IT WAS OVERGROWN WITH WEEDS, SO WE COULDN'T GO IN. FROM THERE, WE WENT TO JEAN & ALLY'S HOME, LACHSHELLACH. BRUCE'S GRANDFATHER & JEAN'S FATHER, WHO WERE BROTHERS, WERE BORN THERE. WE DROVE PAST THE COMPANY ALLY USED TO OWN. WE THEN WENT TO GIBBS MENS WEAR SO BRUCE COULD ORDER A KILT. AFTERWARD, WE TOURED FYVIE CASTLE WHERE THE GORDONS LIVED FOR A TIME. AFTER SPENDING A GREAT DAY TOGETHER, WE ENDED IT WITH DINNER AT AN ITALIAN RESTAURANT.

36: WE SPENT OUR LAST DAY IN IRELAND BACK IN DUBLIN. WE LOOKED FOR A LOCKET FOR LINDA TO GIVE KATE ON HER WEDDING DAY. WE WENT TO A JEWELERS ON THE 2ND FLOOR OF A VERY SCARY BUILDING. HE DIDN'T HAVE WHAT WE WERE LOOKING FOR BUT HE WAS SO ACCOMODATING. WE FOUND THE LOCKET AT CLEARY'S. WE SHOPPED SOME MORE & SAW BUTLER'S CHOCOLATES & HACKETT'S BOOKMAKERS. WENT TO THE TEMPLE BAR FOR A DRINK & TO BUY BOB'S SOUVENIR LIGHTER. HAD DINNER AT THE CHURCH RESTAURANT & FLEW TO PARIS THE NEXT DAY.

37: LANDED IN PARIS & TOOK A CAB TO OUR APARTMENT. TWO BALCONIES WITH GREAT VIEWS, KITCHEN WITH A WASHER-DRYER UNIT (WHICH WE USED A LOT). WE UNPACKED & THEN WENT OUT TO EXPLORE THE NEIGHBORHOOD. STOPPED IN SEVERAL OUTDOOR CAFES FOR A DRINK & LUNCH AT ONE. WENT TO A GROCERS & BOUGHT BREAD, CHEESE & SOME SALADS AND A WINE STORE TO BUY WINE. THEN SPENT THE EVENING ON THE BALCONY.

38: THE NEXT DAY WE GOT AN EARLY START & WENT TO MASS AT NOTRE DAME WHERE WE SAT NEXT TO A HOMELESS PERSON WHO HAD A DEFINITE ODOR ABOUT HIM. WE WERE IN THE FRONT ROW, SO KNEELING WAS ON THE FLAGSTONE FLOOR. WE TOURED THE CHURCH AFTER & BOUGHT ROSARIES FOR MOM & AUNT MICKEY. WE THEN STOPPED AT A BAKERY FOR PASTRIES & HEADED TO THE LOURVE TO SEE THE MONA LISA. IT WAS AN AMAZING PLACE, HUGE WITH TOO MUCH TO SEE. HAD A LATE LUNCH AT A CAFE & BROUGHT BREAD, CHEESE & WINE TO TAKE HOME. AS WE WERE SITTING ON THE BALCONY, WE COULD SEE TOUR BOATS ON THE CANAL, SO WE DECIDED TO TAKE A WALK & ENDED UP HOPPING ON ONE OF THE BOATS. WE ENJOYED A GREAT CRUISE THROUGH A LOCK & THEN ON TO THE SEINE. WE BOUGHT A BOTTLE OF WINE TO ENJOY ON THE TRIP. MET A COUPLE WHO HAD SAILED ALL OVER THE WORLD & NOW LIVED IN ARGENTINA. IT WAS AN AWESOME TIME & A GREAT WAY TO END OUR TRIP OF A LIFETIME! FLEW HOME THE NEXT DAY.

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EILEEN GORDON
  • By: EILEEN G.
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  • Title: TRIP OF A LIFETIME
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