Monday, June 26, 2017

At Home In Ireland

The view on our walk to downtown Kenmare in Kerry County Ireland

It's not often that I miss posting on my blog, but I'm thinking our marathon travel schedule may suffice as a good excuse for missing yesterday's posting.  After awaking at 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning (with about two hours of total sleep), we headed to Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle where we met Annie.

Then, it was off to Charlotte, North Carolina where we had a 3-hour layover before our flight to Dublin.  To say that sleep on the flight over was, at best, minimal would be an understatement, but the thoughts of returning to the place we love so much sustained our weary bodies and minds.

Twas kinda neat to recognize the customs agent from three years ago who stamped our passports in Dublin.  After obtaining our rental car, we headed west, stopping in Tipperary and Cork (both new to all of us but old in traditions).  

The Irish countryside in these areas is so rich, green and beautiful.  I always like to say that Ireland in general reminds me of a magnified Selley Valley. Yesterday we saw dozens of herds of dairy cows (lots of Holsteins) and the usual high quality tidiness that is so much a part of Ireland.

We took in the local sights in both Tipperary and Cork, and, of course, Annie and Bill did some geocaching in both areas. 

We stopped at the Lidl grocery store where Bill and I learned that having a bag in advance is just plain expected.  Not a lot of patience from the cashier.  We learn the ways quickly. 

Anyway, we stocked up for eats here at this beautiful country home where we will stay for four nights.  By the time the birthday celebration in downtown Kenmare ended, we walked home, found our beds and found "fast asleep" within seconds.  

It seemed like three years ago since we had left Seattle with no beds in between, but this morning we're all up and rested.  Annie and I have picked up slight sore throats, so we're hoping it's just the environment and not any germs we may have breathed on the plane.

The house where we are staying has a layout similar to ours in Sandpoint, and we have a "fill-in" dog called Charlie.  He's a terrier and everyone in Kenmare knows him because he happily follows anyone who'll let him, except to the pubs.  

So, even though we're thousands of miles from our home and our beloveds, Ireland is doing what Ireland always does---making us feel perfectly at home and happy to be here.

Yes, these Irish eyes are smiling. 

Hope you enjoy the photos and that you'll forgive yesterday's missing assignment. 

Happy Monday!

A wonderful faraway reminder of a very important person in my life.  Mother, you're always there!

Noreen owns the house where we are staying; her friend Vivian  provides desserts for P.F. McCarthy's where we had the birthday dinner last night.  

The folks at P.F. McCartheys treated me to a mini Guinness with an extra touch of Irish "spirit." At Annie's request, Noreen greeted me at the door to our temporary home with a birthday cake and some cold Guinness.  

These talented music men of Kenmare told me the name of their band is a work in progress. They played a song for me last night, providing the perfect touch to a phenomenal 70th birthday.  Thanks, guys!

Birthday dinner venue in downtown Kenmare.

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