Events by Divine Creations | Pardon the Long Pause
Events by Divine Creations

Pardon the Long Pause

by Valerie DiVecchio 21. October 2009 15:59
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So obviously I have been absent from my blogging... sorry about that!  The day after my last blog I left for a wonderful vacation in Ireland with my husband Joe.  Some long overdue R&R mixed with fun adventures.  We started our journey in Dublin - what a great city.  Of course since it was our first timeJameson Joe and Val in Ireland we did all of the touristy stuff: Trinity College (Book of Kells), Guinness Brewery (fun), Jameson Distillery (lots o'fun), Dublin Castle   (all of the English speaking tours where sold out so we hopped into a Spanish one... and no, we don't speak Spanish!  Luckily there was a couple from Corpus Christi who knew enough to give us the highlights!) and kilmainham gaol (famous jail where leaders of the uprising where publicly executed).  Very quickly we learned that the map we received at the hotel was not to scale.  On the map it looked like a stone's throw from Guinness to the jail.  After about 2 miles I finally stopped a lady on the street to ask for directions.  If you have never been to Ireland before the best thing (in my opinion) is the people.  They are SUPER friendly!  Always willing to talk, lend a hand and always smiling.  Big difference than most US major cities.  Anyway, instead of pointing us in the right direction, this lady actually turned back around, put her groceries back in her car, invited us in and drove us right to the front door!  My aching feet thank her still!Castle

Next we headed for Kilkenny and the real adventure began... we picked up the rental car!  I heard the stories about the roads and dangers of driving in Ireland - ha!  Those stories were nothing compared to real life!!  Did I say we went on vacation for some R&R?  Talk about some white knuckle driving... well actually riding... I refused to do the driving!  Kilkenny was a quiet little town.  We did stop at some really cool castles along the way and in the town itself.  It's amazing how much  history is just sitting on the side of a road.  There are ruins everywhere you look - in the middle of a cow pasture, next to the coast - everywhere!  We climbed to the top of this little round tower.  The stairs were straight up (great workout for the legs) and the turns were very tight.  One gentleman actually got stuck and had to work his way back down!  At the top there was a great view of the town, but it was so windy that the entire tower felt like it was swaying.  I think we made it down to the bottom in half the amount of time it took to climb to the top!  With the building being a few hundred years old, we weren't too sure about its maintenance  scheduling! Sheep

Then on the Kinsale and Kenmare.  Kinsale is a sleepy little town and wasn't our favorite.  Might have had something to do with the never ending rain!  Even though we had a car we decided to walk to Charles Fort because the B&B owners said it was only about 1/4 mile.  I don't think they walk much... it was at least 2 miles if not more and lots of hills to top it off.  We were drenched and I was getting cranky when I heard the voice of an angel, "Want a lift?".  I could not have jumped in this stranger's car any faster!  Once again, love those Irish!!  Kenmare was a little more happening.  We stayed above a restaurant in this B&B right on the main street.  There was this great pub where Mikey O'Connell played the "squeeze box".  He was fantastic!!  The place was packed and people were up on tables dancing and having a great time.  Joe had developed quite a fondness for Guinness by this time so most nights were could be found in the pubs, enjoying music, Irish food and of course a few pints.

We drove the Ring of Kerry which originates in Kenmare... I think I saw most of it but when a huge tour bus is coming towards you on a road that fits only one car, I felt like my hands were over my eyes for half the drive.  If it wasn't a tour bus, it was sheep or cows crossing the road.  All cars in Ireland have Cliffs 2massive scratches and dents all along the passenger side (and remember, the steering wheel is on the other side of the car and you drive on the wrong side of the road!).  That's because the passenger always ends up in the shrubs or ditch!  After the Ring of Kerry came the Dingle Peninsula drive which is right along the coast.  It really is breathtaking... when there are no oncoming cars or sheep or cows in the road!  We arrived in Dingle and our B&B was awesome.  We had a large room with a terrace that overlooked the harbor.  And the house dog, Rio, was too cute!  We adored her and would spend hours on the lawn playing fetch with her.  It was truly the town for that much needed R&R.  We did take a boat ride out into the harbor looking for "Funji", the wild Irish dolphin.  Yes, I know, we live in Florida and can see dolphins on a daily basis.  What can I say?!

Then we were off to Doolin - the place where musicians are made.  Well, Doolin consists of 3 pubs, a church and a souvenir shop.  The entire town is like a block and a half  long!  But the pubs were the place to be and the music was good.  We took rides out to Connemara and the Buren during the days and kicked back with a few pints and some fish and chips at night.  After all of the small Kylemoretowns we were ready for a bigger city so off to Galway we went.  Small city, but a city none the less.  We were in a pub (go figure) one night and they plopped a wooden board down on the middle of the floor... out came some River Dancers!  Too cool.  We also went out to the Aran Islands.  Unfortunately the weather was Irish that day, but the trip is one that will remain in our memory for a long time.  I love boats and have been around them all my life.  My husband on the other hand doesn't much care of them and can get a little green around the gills on boat rides.  Well, on the way back from the Aran Islands we took a boat for about an hour through the Atlantic Ocean.  The ocean was not happy that afternoon.  The swells were HUGE.  I have never seen a boat roll fromTorc Waterfall one side to the other like this.  I freaked out when I saw the crew freaking out.  Never a good sign.  Joe couldn't even look up - he had the right idea.  If we had been cats, that was probably worth about 2-3 of our nine lives right there.  Happy to be on land that day was a big understatement!

We wrapped up our time in Bunratty with the huge castle and village.  That castle was a little different than the others in that it was still largely furnished and you could actually get up close and personal.  They even let you have access to the dungeon.  Would have hated to tick off the King in those days!  Of course, last chance for the true Irish pubs and we made good use of the time.  Then the next day we headed back to the airport, returned the car and hoped they did not care about the additional scratches that we undoubtedly added to the car!

It was a great two and a half weeks, but we were ready to come home.  Unfortunately the fondness of Guinness caught up with Joe.  Apparently they do not pasteurize their beer or milk in Ireland like we do in the States.  Well, let's just say Joe met a bad batch of Guinness on our last night there and spent the next two weeks sicker than a dog.  So between playing nursemaid and trying to play catch up at the office, blogging fell to the back burner.  But now I'm ready to get back to it!  Look out for pictures from recent events and some more tips on planning the perfect event!  Cheers!

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Valerie DiVecchio Valerie DiVecchio

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Divine Creations

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