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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Connemara Ireland Photos

******TRAVEL TUESDAY*******

Welcome to another travel day outside of New England. Today I am happy to share with you some details and photos about day two of my recent trip to Ireland.
We woke up in our Galway penthouse to mostly cloudy skies. Our bus driver Victor promptly picked the ten of us up at ten AM where we began our drive up to the beautiful Connemara region of Galway. I have always wanted to go to Connemara. There is something about the wild and rugged landscape that had drawn me to this area, and it didn't disappoint.

Our first stop of the morning was at this adorable little drive up coffee truck located roadside just out of Galway City.. It's owned and run by a brother and sister team. They couldn't have been any nicer, and their coffee and breakfast goodies were delicious.

 Here's the first stop we made in the Connemara region. The scenery up in that area is simply breathtaking!

We arrived at Connemara National Park where we dropped off the three guys in our group who spent the majority of the day hiking a mountain. Our driver Victor then took all of us girls to the adorable quaint fishing village of Cleggan for lunch. By the end of the trip, our slogan was "In Victor we trust", as all of his suggestions for us were perfect!!!!
This is our ride for the ten days parked out back behind the restaurant "Oliver's Seafood Bar"

Cleggan Harbor......the view from the restaurant:

My lunch that day: Seafood chowder. I had read that Ireland has good seafood chowder and I can attest to that fact. This was delicious! I also ordered it for lunch another day in a different area of Ireland and it was just as delicious. If you ever go to Ireland, I highly recommend it!

Another harbor view....such an adorable little fishing village.

After lunch, Victor drove us to a hidden gem of a beach. I'm not sure the name of it, but it was about a ten minute drive from Cleggan Village. I just loved this little hidden oasis. It is located way off the beaten path and it felt as though we had the world to ourselves.

Miss J, my niece Kristen, my sister Kathleen:

Miss J

From here, we returned to pick up the hikers in our group......they had a fantastic hike and all three of them came back with smiles on their faces and beautiful photos from their hike. The rest of the day was spent touring some of the off the beaten path roads of Connemara. We had very changeable skies that day which created some very nice drama for photography. 

So many sheep lining the roads!

A Connemara Pony

My cousin BettyAnn on top of the world

There is so much more of the Connemara region that I would love to see. One day just wasn't enough.....but I will return some day. The rugged wild beauty of this area is calling me back. I absolutely loved it.
Stay tuned for the next travel post which will feature a day spent in County Roscommon with our Irish relatives. I'm excited to share it with you. It was incredible.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Galway City, Ireland

********TRAVEL SUNDAY*********

Welcome to the second Travel post from my recent trip to Ireland. Typically Tuesday are travel day posts but for now I'll be posting travel days periodically.

 The first four nights of the trip we stayed in a beautiful penthouse apartment overlooking the docks at Galway Bay. The location couldn't have been any better.......we had a large walk out balcony with plenty of room for all ten of us......and we were within a few minutes walk to all of the shops, restaurants and pubs that Galway has to offer.

Galway stole a piece of my heart! It is such a vibrant lively city....and it's so clean!!!!! That's one thing that struck me about Ireland......the cities and villages are extremely clean and well kept. We had so much fun walking the streets in the evenings, stopping into the shops, pubs, and restaurants. 

 Here is a video I took one evening as I was walking down Quay Street. I love the two "Irish Gals" who came along!

The sun doesn't set this time of year in Ireland until well after ten o'clock at night and it doesn't get totally dark out until after 11 pm. This gave some beautiful evening light.

 Here is a photo of Miss J and I having our first pint at a restaurant called The Sevens on our first night. Photo credits go to my cousin MaryCatherine.

Back at the penthouse, we had a family of  Herring Gulls nesting off our balcony. The nature and bird nerd in me absolutely loved seeing the interaction between the three babies and their mama. The babies hadn't fledged yet but I'm hoping by now they have taken off and are living happy little gull lives as they sore over Galway City and Bay.

I had asked my parents to send us a rainbow from above to let me know they were with us, and on our last night in Galway this appeared before us. It was a very special moment and so beautiful to see.

The next blog post from Ireland will be featuring photos that I took on day two of the trip......a day we spent up in beautiful Connemara with some changeable skies and some dramatic light. It was an incredible day and can't wait to share it with you.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Scituate MA Foggy Morning

Yesterday morning had some very nice foggy conditions along the coast in Scituate. I was happy with my choice of destination!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Test video

This is just a test. I’ve never posted a video on the blog. Let’s see if this works. This was taken at Kate Kearneys Pub at the Gap Of Dunloe in Killarney. Just a fun little video. I have other videos from the trip so I’m hoping this works as I would love to share some videos with you on future blog posts.

By golly it worked. So happy about that. I will leave this post up just to give you a smile and laugh. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Cliffs of Moher and The Burren, Ireland

**********TRAVEL TUESDAY*********

Welcome to Travel Tuesday here on the blog, a day where photos taken outside of New England are posted. Today I am blogging about day one of my trip to Ireland.

The flight over was uneventful and came and went without a panic attack on my part. I'd call that a very successful flight!  We landed to sunny skies and temperatures in the 60's-70. Our private mini bus driver, Victor, met us at the airport. He was quite the character and soon became part of the family.

Just to give you a little bit of background on this trip. When my Dad passed away last year, I know that his biggest regret in life was the fact he never went to Ireland. The reason was because my Mother was afraid of flying (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree) and he wouldn't go without her. We have a lot of family in Ireland. Some we have met when they came over to the United States but many others we had not met. The day of my Dad's funeral, I told my Sister Kathleen that I was going to go to Ireland. I didn't want the same regrets that my father had. And so it began.......I planned the entire trip myself, with a little help from my cousins. Mr S did not come on the trip with me as he had no desire to go. Upon my return I found out another reason why he didn't go. He had a huge surprise for me when I got home. More on that surprise later. Miss J came on the trip with me, as well as my sister Kathleen, her husband Jim, my niece and nephew Kristen and Brian and Kristen's boyfriend Dave. Also three of my cousins came on this trip......all three of them had already been to Ireland several times so it was great having them with us......especially during our extended family visits. More on those visits coming during future blog posts.

Our first stop after landing was to see The Cliffs of Moher. We were so lucky to have such a beautiful blue sky day. The wind was fierce but the fresh air felt wonderful!

From here, our driver drove us through the Burren. The Burren is a region in County Clare. It is a vast landscape of bedrock incorporating a vast cracked pavement of glacial-era limestone.........with cliffs and fossils, and rock formations. It made me feel as though I was walking on a different planet. 

This photo was taken just at the start of the Burren region. You can see the limestone in the upper right hand portion of the land mass in this image. The mountains beyond the ocean are in Connemara.

I'm not sure of the name of this castle, but it was located to theNorth of where I was standing when I shot the previous photo.

There was plant life growing amongst the limestone.

My nephew Brian.

The curvy roads throughout the Burren.

One final road shot as we made our way up to Galway City where we spent the first four nights.

Day one was fantastic! Next Tuesday I will blog about Galway City.....a place that stole a piece of my heart!

As always, go back and click on the photos for a larger view.