I just told Bill that our local veterinarian Dr. Jenni Grimmett is gonna LOVE the blog today.
In fact, anyone who loves Ireland and Irish setters and appreciates meeting some really nice young people should approve of the lead off photo.
All three are represented in the photo above.
The young pups belong to the family who owns our lovely townhouse apartment here in Drogheda.
Talk about polite and friendly kids and super active pups: the handlers had their hands full with their high octane pets when we met them last night after a day on the road.
Most of our day was spent in the car, as we drove from Malin Head, through a portion of Northern Ireland, stopping in Omagh and ending up in Drogheda, home to Bill's family roots.
Again, we saw rain, we saw brilliant sunshine and we saw green hillsides dotted with sheep, sometimes horses or donkeys, Holtein milk cows and a variety of beef cattle.
The roads have widened from what we saw in Western Ireland, and they're busy in these population zones.
Our morning began with breakfast at a window table where we could enjoy our last scenes of ocean waves pounding the north shore of the Republic of Ireland.
As we were finishing breakfast, a family came in and sat at the table next to us. The more time we spend in Ireland the faster we pick up on the American accents.
Within seconds, we knew this family was American. Upon asking them where they live, they answered, "Helena, Mont."
As you can imagine, the visiting picked up as did the comparisons of individual experiences in Ireland.
I hit a familiar note when mentioning that we sometimes had a difficult time figuring out the showers in each place where we had stayed.
Twas then, that I learned I wasn't the only one who had taken a couple of sponge baths along the way because I couldn't figure out how to make the shower work.
At the Sea View Tavern B and B, both families were proud to note that we'd figured out the showers and how to get warm water with absolutely no problems.
It's always sad to say good bye when meeting lovely people, either the fellow travelers or the folks who work so hard to see that we are fed, watered and bedded down in the best way possible.
Still, it must happen.
We said good bye to our new Montana friends and to Caitriona and Maura from the Sea View Tavern B and B.
While driving through Northern Ireland, we skirted the town of Derry where we'd stayed before and moved on to Omagh.
For the most part, all went well with a visit to the magnificent Catholic church and a few minutes inside a country music store, which featured vinyl records and a blend of Irish and American country music.
On our way back to the car, we stepped inside a local coffee shop to avoid a sudden burst of pouring rain. Well, that rainstorm precipitated a surprise when we arrived back at the car.
A ticket on the wind shield, showing we'd over parked by 20 minutes also informed us that we could pay 45 pounds to the local cop shop---envelope included.
We moved on and eventually arrived in Drogheda, enjoyed a visit with our landlord and then walked to town for dinner at Weaver's Pub.
Drogheda and its night lights were beautiful last evening.
This morning marked the last morning for sleeping in on this trip. Today, we'll visit the Irish National Stud and some other points of interest south of Dublin.
Tomorrow, we'll get together, for breakfast, with Annie's friend John and then it's off to the airport for the long, long day of traveling to---next to Ireland---the most beautiful spot on Earth: home and the beloveds.
It's been a phenomenal trip and so much fun sharing the experiences with blog and Facebook. Thanks to all who have expressed appreciation while coming along to see Ireland vicariously.
Hope the pictures and the stories prompt you to consider coming here and enjoying this lovely land for yourselves.
For my local friends, it's much easier than you may think.
With this being my fifth trip here, I still believe passionately in the magical aspect of the land and its people.
When we take our Irish adventures, we fly to Seattle and then board an 8-hour nonstop flight to Dublin through Aer Lingus.
Check out the possibilities cuz the airline often offers some great deals.
Read Rick Steve's travel guide on Ireland or check with some of the local travel experts for ideas on what plans or modes of travel in Ireland will suit your specific needs.
Once here, pretty much every minute of whatever you choose to do will be filled with positive memories that will last a life time.
Just don't stay too long in your parking spots.
Top o' the mornin' to ya, an happy Wednesday.