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Minnesota, United States

31.10.09

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

When witches go riding, and black cats are seen
The moon laughs and whispers
‘tis near Halloween.

-19th century Halloween postcard
Window at Bunratty Folk Park
County Clare, Ireland

Photo by D.M.C.

29.10.09

Irish holiday

We got back from our holiday in Ireland late last night. I've been working on photos today. I think we brought back the weather! It was a fantastic week, and we really enjoyed staying in the cottage for the whole week. It made travel easier, not to mention meals. Doolin is a beautiful area on the west coast in county Clare. We particularly enjoyed driving around The Burren. We managed a trip to the smallest of the Aran Islands, Inisheer, and it was lucky because the boats didn't sail out to the larger islands becuase of the rough weather. On the way back we got to sail by the Cliffs of Moher. Honestly I didn't mind the rain and wind during our week because the photos are more interesting. The sea air smelled fresh and clean and all the rain makes the grass green--my favorite color! One day we were driving along the coast and came across a Shetland pony. It playfully came up to the fence to visit, and then proceeded to run away and chase the sheep! It was talkative, too. The cows were also friendly. I got out of the car to take a photo and they all ran up to the fence to check me out. So funny. The sheep were a bit more elusive and just gazed at me from afar. The shop and pub windows were decked out for Halloween and it would have been fun to stay a few extra days to celebrate in Doolin--they even advertised fireworks! There are so many stories to tell and pictures to show, but I'll just give you a glance and let some of the photos speak for now:

DOOLIN
A friendly reminder at the Shannon Airport car rental, one of the shops in Doolin (it just happens to be a sweater shop), MiniD strikes a post on the beach, GREEN landscape, cross at a ruin, our favorite pub in Doolin--MacDermott's.

Doolin donkeys nuzzling, windblown tree, pool (I thought this looked like the one with the dead people in it from Lord of the Rings--cool!), looking of the edge, rock formations on the beach, MiniD helped me write postcards by the fire in the cottage. The view from an upstairs window at the cottage, Crab Island (surfers love this spot), Doolin Cave (stalactite over 600,000 years old suspended from the cave ceiling), and the friendly Shetland pony.
INISHEER, THE SMALLEST ARAN ISLAND
The boat to Inisheer (the handsome fellow is the skipper--and a bit of Irish eye-candy), cabled rope on the boat, 12th century church ruin on the island, lovely altar in the church.

Inisheer Jim, boats on the beach, some of the rock walls (talk about using available resources!), colorful trap, very old thatched cottage.

Bunratty Castle outside Shannon (we went to the Medieval dinner years ago and returned to tour the Folk Park), a window in the castle, walking with the ducks in the Folk Park, a charming window, part of the town in the Folk Park, when the weather cooperated I slipped on St. Brigid and posed (I was happy to get a good photo!).
Take your pick!, falcon at Aillwee Cave, waterfall inside the cave, O'Brian's Tower at the Cliffs of Moher, the Cliffs of Moher.
King's Head Pub in Galway (Established in 1649--wow!), Doolin cliffs, 7th hole at the Doolin Pitch and Putt by the cliffs, and some curious, friendly cows.

I hope you enjoyed the short tour! We had a lovely time and would like to return and hike The Burren. It was a great birthday/anniversary trip for me. Yes, I did find and purchase some yarn and a couple of patterns, Jim got me a ring, and we have many wonderful photographs and memories!

19.10.09

On the road with Jim and the Gnome









We enjoyed our weekend with Ben. Gosh, I miss him...but I'm glad he's doing well in school and loves college. It rained a bit and was chilly, but we did have a good evening on Saturday for the football game and casino night. Gnome began his adventures on campus and will go to Ireland with us. He particularly enjoyed meeting the "laughing Lincoln" statue.
Today I have lots to do in prep for our trip. I finished the Baktus scarf on the road and have almost a pair of socks finished. Now to choose needles and some starter yarn for the trip...