Took a group to Ireland for 14 days and what a great time! Dinner on a barge in Dublin and made time to get up to Glasnevin Cemetery to see Michael Collins grave as well as some others from the Rebellion. Then on to Belfast for a visit to the Titanic Experience, a trip out to the Giants Causeway and tours of the political murals and Shankill Road and the Duke of York Pub. We left Belfast for Londonderry and a walking tour with Ronan McNamara, the best guide ever. After lunch we found a small used book store and chatted with some gentlemen who told us loads of stories of the city and of course showed me the books I needed to get to understand Northern Ireland better!
Donegal for 2 nights with a stop in Belleek, Knock shrine, Yeats grave and then on to Galway one of my favorite cities. There was a sea festival that day which was loads of fun, lunch at a pub of course and then a walk around before heading out to Killarney. Stopping on the way at the Cliffs of Moher and the Corcomroe Abbey as well as Classiebawn Estate the home of Lord Mountbatten at the time of his assassination. In Killarney we of course did the jaunting carts and dinner with traditional music on the Muckross Estate. The morning of leaving was July 4th and in Killarney they have a choral raising of the flag in the morning and we got to hold our state flags before we left.
A very foggy day on the Ring of Kerry didn't stop our fun. Oh and I forgot a trip out to Connemara from Galway and a stop at Kylemore Abbey which is outstanding and not to miss.
On to Blarney and the woolen mills on our way to Waterford where we took a walking tour and wandered upon a pipe band. Waterford Crystal was next which is amazing the skill needed. On the way back to Dublin we stopped in Kilkenny which is another of my favorite towns for a tour of Smithwick's Brewery which is a must and then time to just take in the sights, sounds and food of the town.
Still had time for a stop to visit the Famine Ship in Dunbrody and the Kennedy Arboretum before arriving at Ballyknocken Cookery School for an amazing dinner by Catherine Fulvio. Last night in Dublin was at the Roganstown Hotel where we had a final night of traditional music and drinks before leaving the next morning for home. Glad to be home but already planning the next adventure.
Have you been dreaming about a trip to Ireland? Well I've got one for you. I'm taking a group to Ireland next June for 14 days and hope you'll join us. We'll fly out on June 23rd and pick up the tour on the 24th and not returning until the 7th after we've seen so much!
Can you think of a better way to spend 2 weeks? Starting in Dublin we travel to Belfast, on to Donegal, Galway, Killarney, Waterford and back again to Dublin. Two nights in each town or city with loads of free time built in so you can go off and explore on your own. From the Guinness Warehouse, Jameson Distillery, Book of Kells and Dubliin Castle to the Titanic Experience, Giants Causeway, Ring of Kerry and Waterford Crystal there's something for everyone.
So stop dreaming and join us in Ireland where you can find the Gift of Gab!!
Well I'm just back from Scotland and what a trip! I attended the Visit Scotland Expo and was able to catch up with some of my vendors and meet a lot of potential vendors. There are so many ways to visit Scotland I was just amazed. After the Expo I went on a tour of the Borders which is the area closer to England where we concentrated on the East Coast an area I haven't visited in the past. After a ride on the recently opened Borders Railroad from Edinburgh to Tweed Bank we were off to Melrose and Dryburgh Abbeys where we saw some beautiful ruins. And then off to Abbotsford which was the home to Sir Walter Scott and Traquair a lovely home to descendants of the Stuarts. We had a delightful tour there and were accompanied by their two spaniels who had the run of the place. After being in so many other castles and palaces wherever I've traveled and always had those velvet ropes to stay behind it was refreshing to see the puppies just meandering about without a care in the world!
Also visited Dirlton Castle where we were escorted by our own Knight and Tantallon which has a beautiful view of Bass Rock, we then went on a boat ride around the rock where we spotted loads of Gannets (thank goodness for head gear to keep their your know what off us) but no Puffins, I was so hoping to see Puffins!
After the tour and back in Edinburgh I stayed a couple of extra nights. Had some wonderful tea and scones at Clarinda's Tearoom where everyone should stop and my original favorite the Tearoom above Ramone & Paterson's on Princes Street with not only great food but a beautiful view of Edinburgh Castle. Finished the trip with a trip to The Scotch Whisky Experience and then brought home some Scotch for my hubby, BenRaich, which isn't available here in the US, a success he loves it and some Arran Gold for me. If you're a Bailey's Irish Cream lover, you have to try this also but you have to go to Scotland to get it!
Till next time, here's me and Jamie, if you're an Outlander fan you'll know how excited I was and if you're aren't you'd better catch up!
I've had a very busy winter and am now just getting around to tell you about my recent trip to Wales and Ireland. So my first time to Wales and we stayed at some fabulous hotels and manor houses. My absolute favorite was Llangoed Hall in Brecon Beacons. The service was unbelievable, they were always there to answer any question or fill any need. The rooms were luxurious and the food, well it was delicious! We toured Penderyn Distillery, Caernarfon Castle, St. Fagans Natural History Museum and went zip lining over a shale mine! Then it was on to Dublin where I took in some of the 1916 Uprising tours before picking up my own Celtic Tour to the South of Ireland. My first time to Kilkenny, Waterford and Dingle where the scenery was exactly what I was hoping for. After seeing Ryan's Daughter many many years ago and finding out that it was filmed in Dingle I couldn't wait to see it and was not disappointed!
Our last stop before heading back to Dublin was the Irish National Stud Farm. What a hoot. Brand new foals only a day old were a site to see as well as their beautiful gardens. We finished our trip with a stop to Guinness where else. So my next stop is Scotland in a few weeks for a stay in Edinburgh and some traveling in the southeast. I'll keep you posted!
Saturday was Bristol Day and as always a great turnout. My sister Kim helped me set up our table and stayed to help all day and she was great! Lots of people stopped by with some great questions about Ireland and Scotland and have quite a few leads. Only goes to show that people are still traveling and Scotland, Ireland and the rest of the UK are as popular as ever! Let me know if you were able to stop by and what you thought of the booth. The weather was a bit chilly and windy so the posters went flying quite a few times, had to keep our hands on them at all times. Actually thought a twister went through (haha) when the poster flew off and the flyers went flying at the same time. As always an adventure and isn't that what life is all about...
Well only 3 more days and then Scotland here we come. Have Iona, Fingal's Cave and Dunnottar Castle on my radar along with the Tattoo so will keep you posted!
We're going to see The Berserker Residents this weekend, who are previewing their show leading up to the Fringe in Edinburgh. Can't wait, they sound hysterical! The show is in Philly so check it out..