Hi Ed:

We are back and what a wonderful experience it was.

We landed in Dublin.W e asked the cab driver who was driving us to the
hotel from the airport where O'Donoghue's and Foley's were   "Oh, its
the two great drinking spots you're interested in" was his reply.  What
a way to start our trip.  We did walk to O'Donoghue's and  Foley's just
to see where they were and took pictures but it was late at night so we
didn't go in   saved that experience for our last days in Ireland.

We met our tour guide and started on our tour of the beautiful land.  In
Dublin we took a bus tour to see, but not go in, Trinity College, Dublin
Castle and St. Patrick's Cathedral.  We then  went to Kildare where we
went through the Irish National Stud Farm and Gardens.  We didn't look
forward to this stop but changed our minds when we got there.  It was
wonderful..  We saw all the famous horses who they breed for the races,
where they are kept, etc.

Our next big stop was Kilkenny , where we saw an Irish Castle before
reaching Waterford   where we shopped, shopped and shopped.

The next day we went to Kenmore and saw Youghal, where Moby Dick was
filmed, and on to Cork.  We went to Blarney Castle   where your sister
Grace and Nancy kissed the Blarney Stone.  I did climb to the top but
turned chicken when it came to laying on the ground so I  took pictures
of them doing it instead.  I couldn't believe we were there.  What a
walk back down those tiny stairs.

We then went along Lee River valley past Maqcroom, over the Derry
Saggart Mountains and down into Kenmore on the Ring of Kerry.

Next we took the Ring of Kerry Excursion.  It was  Spectacular and Agnes
(the guide) described everything we passed.  She pointed out  Dingle Bay
and  the South Kerry Mountains.

The next day we were off to  Killarney and its beautiful lakes, stopping
to see and eat in  what is called the prettiest village in Ireland,
Adare.  We settled in our hotel which was  actually  only a 30 minute
walk from the Ross Castle.  We arrived around four pm so we unpacked
fast and Nancy called a cab to take us up to the Castle.  We got there
just in time for the last tour.  The girl gave us a wonderful tour and
explained  about the O'Donoghue Clan.  I was surprised that the castle
was restored and even furnished.  The guide told us about a book that
she felt had to best account of the O'Donoghues.  She said it also
contained some web pages about ancestors that were good.  The next day
our tour had planned a boat trip on the lower lake of Killarney so we
got  another view of the Ross Castle and Mcgillycuddy Reeks.  We
actually boarded the boat in front of the Castle.  I never thought I
would be standing there.  What a wonderful feeling.

Onto Limerick we went to St. Mary's Cathedral and  King John's Castle
before setting in for dinner.

We left Limerick the next day to go via Ennis to County Clare to Galway
Bay. We went to a Irish Ceili Evening with our tour.  Wonderful dinner
ham and cabbage with potatoes.  Great!  Free wine all night (not
beer) and Irish entertainment all night.  Traditional Irish music and
dancing and the group joined in to sing Irish melodies.  This was
special!!!!

From Galway we went back to Dublin where the tour ended but we stayed
ourselves for two days.

Of course we went to Foleys  for dinner, upstairs   $16.95 for a piece
of chicken   and $2.50 for a small potato.  You forgot to tell us a fine
meal meant an expensive one.  But, it was perfect and we deserved a
special treat.

Then, onto O'Donoghue's for a drink.  It was packed.  We stayed for
about a half hour. Had a  beer and listened to the music.  It was really
fun!  We were there during the week so the upstairs wasn't open!

Next day we walked all over Dublin and took the tour through St.
Patrick's Cathedral and Trinity College.

We went to so many places and saw so much in 9 days.  The tour guide,
Agnes, was as Irish as you can get (she lives in Dublin) and had us
singing the Irish songs and  told us stories about the different areas.
She was a wonderful Irish story teller    got to the point where we
didn't know if she was telling  us facts or stories.  She was wonderful.

I walked the streets of Dublin and stood on Galway Bay. Can 't believe
it yet!

Now, if only my mind will retain all that I saw.  At least I had a great
time when I was there.

What a wonderful experience we had in England   we spent three days. It
was like walking into a history book.  Nancy was our tour guide there

and had read all that there was to read so she had all the important
places picked out.  She even sat up at night, after Grace and myself
went to sleep, figuring the best routes to take, walk, subway, train, or
hip hop bus.

We saw  and took tours into everything in London   Westminister Abby,
Buckingham Palace ( we were lucky that there was a tour that day )  we
went through so many of the rooms   even where Charles had his 50th
Birthday party.  I was surprised they opened up so many rooms that are
actually used for meetings, greetings, picture galleries, banquet hall,
etc.  We went to the Tower of London and saw the Crown Jewels.  I
especially liked seeing the spot where Ann got her head cut off.  And
where all the famous people were held as prisoners before execution.

We went on a guided tour  of St. Paul's Cathedral where Diana got
married and other important English events take place. We walked over
London Bridge and the Tower Bridge  and walked for at least two hours
one night along the river, seeing the beautiful buildings, and Big Ben
bonged while we stood under it.   We saw the British Airways London Eye
the highest observation wheel and London's fourth tallest structure.
I didn't ask Grace if she wanted to ride on it as she would probably
have said YES.

We even took the train to Hampton Court Palace.  Good old King Henry
VIII took it away from some Cardinal.  I couldn't believe I was walking
up the exact stairs that he walked up, standing where he had banquets,
his gardens, etc.  His bedroom and sitting room had been demolished by
the next King that moved into the palace so I was disappointed we
couldn't see them.  It was like going back to those days.  Not that I
would have liked to live back then.  Seems everyone ended up in prison
or dead.

We saw, I think it is St. James Palace, where Charles and boys live now
AND stood at the gates of the palace, where Diana and Charles lived,
the night of the third year of her death.  All the people were gathering
and putting flowers and notes on the gates.  We even took one of those
two story bus tours.

As you can tell from the above I didn't need to kiss the Blarney Stone
as I already have the "gift of gab" !

But it was simply wonderful and we had a perfect two weeks.

Love
Jeannine

PS:  I did take Griffin with me to Ireland but the poor lad was left in
a hotel in Dublin!  Grace said the same thing I did   wouldn't you just
love to pinch those legs.
Grace, Jeannine & Nancy - Checking Our Roots In Ireland
Go Back
Here's
some Irish
Pubs
Ross Castle
Killarney, Ireland
was built in the
15th Century.

Built by the
O'Donoghue
chieftains