It Was a Very Good Christmas

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Inis Oírr (Inisheer), the smallest of the three Aran Islands is about 3km (1.8miles) long and 2km (1.2miles) wide and has an approximate population of 250 people. Our travel to Inis Oírr involved a grand time vaulting the raucous troughs of the wild Atlantic. Many passengers crawled toward the tweendeck to sit in silent, stiff huddles; hands covering mouths. Our taking motion sickness prevention beforehand was a wise decision. 😉 Upon departing from the Doolin Pier, we sat topside enjoying the salt spray and wild 30-minute bronco ride. As the captain stated, “A good splash of holy water so be sure to bless yourself.”

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What is it About the Game of Thrones?

My family and I recently visited a few Game of Thrones film locations in Northern Ireland. Three members had never indulged in the series; however, we all still had a great time! There may even be a few converts.  We had great fun visiting the different locations.  A humble photo log of the GOT film locations:

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Cairn Castle as fields of Westeros

This beech tree hedgerow (below), planted in the 18th century, is the setting for the haunted Dark Hedges of the Kingsroad; where Arya Stark, Gendry and Hot Pie escape King’s Landing and head north. 

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The King’s Road, The Dark Hedges, Ballymoney, County Antrim

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Doorway to the Land of 100,000 Welcomes

There is nothing lovelier than the pride and welcoming spirit of Ireland’s people. Hospitality abounds in the pubs, restaurants, on the streets. As we traveled throughout Ireland, we received numerous invitations in every county to join the lads in the pubs, to on-street inquiries asking whether we were lost, to colloquial instructions on how to act like an Irish. 🙂 Céad Míle Fáilte: truly, Ireland is the land of 100,00 welcomes! Friendly and full of pride – never more evident than the colorful entryways of Ireland’s homes. 

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Seemingly always freshly painted and adorned with a bit of greenery or flowers; every entry a welcome. 

May you have warm words on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill all the way to your door.
                                                                             —Irish proverb

Have a good week – – Joanne

More Travel Tips for Ireland

Prior to departure from the United States for Ireland, our preparatory plan included tips for airfare, luggage, and moneyPlanning and budgeting in advance has allowed my family to experience the land of 100,000 welcomes without sacrifice. Once in Ireland, we had a focused itinerary with pre-paid tours, meals, accommodations and built-in down time. Here are a few more tips from our trip to Ireland…

PREPPING   Planning for our trip began eight months in advance by pouring over the internet, purchasing travel books, maps and questioning friends who had traveled to Ireland. We each decided upon a “must see” which, in turn, helped us plan an itinerary and determine transportation needs. We visited a travel agent once we knew what we wanted. We saved by purchasing tours online, giving us a focused itinerary at a discount.  Of course our tours included tourist hot spots:

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Giant’s Causeway (& my reckless kids)

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Travel Tips for Ireland

Ourselves, daughters, son-in-law and grandson are off to Ireland, the Land of 100,000 Welcomes! We’re celebrating life, family and our 37th anniversary; just to name a few. We did our homework on budgeting and travel tips…

AIRFARE  I truly despise flying international “economy” – but we are a party of seven ($$$). Since Ireland is not as far a distance from the United States east coast as some destinations, it was bearable. We saved quite a bit with airfare purchased with Wednesday departures.

LUGGAGE  We are traveling light.  Our daughters were slightly taken aback upon learning that we’d be traveling light with one carry-on and a backpack, each. No hairdryer? (Audible gasp). 😄This allowed us a quick Customs Check as we were able to skip the sleepy wait at baggage claim, avoid long taxi lines and (with Day 3 now upon us), happy that we’re not lugging around suitcases. We’ll need to visit a laundromat at the half point.

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TV Multimedia Console, Part 1

George and I spent the weekend helping our daughter and son-in-law build a TV-multimedia console.  Brianne and Brian found online plans that would suit their needs, but desired storage with more of a mid-century flair.

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How to Specialist: How to Build a TV Stand

The inspiration choices were narrowed down. However, it still wasn’t quite what they had in mind. They didn’t want all the wiring and electronics exposed, but were concerned about enclosing heat-producing electronics.

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