Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The next few images are of the Burren in Ireland.  This is an extremely rocky landscape.  There is more stone and rock that one can imagine.  They build their fences with walls of rocks. The homes and buildings are of stone.  The ground is almost solid rock but somehow provides vegetation growing between and the rock creating a grazing table for cattle, sheep and horses. The rocks tell of history that goes back more than 5,000 years.

The immediate photos are of Char calling the cows from a resting position to getting up and approaching the fence for their photo shoot.

Cattle Resting in the Burren

Char is Calling

Char, Attracting the Cows

Stone Fencing in the Burren

Farm in the Burren

Portal Tomb in the Burren

About the Portal Tomb

The Portal Tomb was built about 4,500 years ago.

About the Burren

Cows Fenced in with Rocks

Rocky Lands of the Burren

Burren Landscape in Ireland

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I am interrupting the Ireland group of pictures to present this photo of Peyton and Jordan. This photo was taken before Peyton's Soccer Banquet.  Their team was 2nd Team All-District.  Peyton was awarded  the Academic All-District.  This means out of all the teams she was tops with a few playing a sport and keeping high grades.  We are so proud of her.

Peyton and Jordan Dressed to Attend the Soccer Banquet.

Friday, April 26, 2013

In the center of an extremely rocky landscape called the Burren near Ballyvaughan is the Burren Perfumery.  Fragrances are taken from the flowers of that area and made into perfumes, soaps, oils and more. This quaint perfumery also has a cafe. They make wonderful soups and have an outstanding bakery where everything is prepared there.  I had some delicious leaks and potato soup.  One of the first things I made when I returned home was some leaks and potato soup.

Perfumery in the Burren

Perfumery and Cafe in the Burren

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Cliff's of Moher are over 600 Feet high.  We took a boat tour out to see it from the water.  It was very cold that day and the waters were choppy.  The cliff's are one of the most breath taking natural landscapes I have ever seen. You have to be there to experience the dynamics of it all.

Clliff's of Moher

Rapids at the Foot of Cliff's and Moher

Arched Area of Cliff's of Moher

Tower Overlooking Cliff's of Moher as Viewed from the Water

Looking up toward Tower at Cliffs of Moher.

Tower at Cliffs of Hoher, the highest point.

Shores by Cliffs of Moher

Monday, April 22, 2013

We spent a couple of nights at the Ballyseede Castle Bed and Breakfast.  It was fascinating , elegant and a very fun place to go.  We had dinner at the castle the evening of our arrival.  It was delicious!  With the superior service we began to feel like royalty.  They also served a wonderful breakfast.
Higgins and Einstein were two permanent residences of the castle.  Higgins was a huge but gentle dog guarding the grounds while Einstein was very social insisting everyone play his little game which he was obsessed with all day long.  Both brought a lot of personality to the castle.

We really enjoyed our stay there and would recommend it even taking in consideration the haunting of Hilda the ghost. 
Click on older posts at the end of the page to see all of the entries.


Hilda, the ghost of Ballyseede Castle?

Just kidding!  But Hilda really is a ghost of Ballyseede Castle.  She has made several appearances.  She may have had something to do with the fact that Joe and Char's room was locked from the inside after our return from the castle dinner.  It's true.  The door was locked from the inside of the room.  Joe and Char had to take another room.  The next day the door was repaired.  Later we took a tour of the castle and the guide was telling us Hilda died in the Campbell Room. That was Joe and Char's first room and a lady spoke up with an alarmed look on her face saying "that's my room!" It was a little spooky.   

Our arrival at Ballyseede Castle.

Don't you love that red door amongst all of that grey!

Bedroom in Castle

Sitting area of bedroom in Castle.

Tripple seat in the Castle

Midway up the tripple staircase in the castle is a charming little sitting area with a tripple seat. 

Bob posing in a tripple seat in the Castle.

Char, Bob and Joe coming down the stairs of the double staircase in the Castle.

Tea Room in the Castle where they served tea and scones.

A lamp inside the Castle.

An overall view of the Castle.

Char, Joe, and myself saying good-bye to being royalty for a couple of days.

View of Castle from one end.

View of Castle Gardens in front of the Castle.

View of the Castle Gardens from our upstairs bedroom window.


Einstein would lay stones from his mouth at the feet of the castle guests and stare at them until the the person would pick them up and throw them for him to retrieve.  Then it would start all over again and he would wait there for a very long time for a response.  That was his thing and he did that all day long.

Friday, April 19, 2013

After we left Jane's in Chicago we boarded a plane to Dublin Ireland with our Chicago friends Joe and Char.  We actually bought out tickets last June.  This trip had been in the planning for almost a year.  Joe and Char have been to Ireland several times and are familiar with the country.  Both Joe and Char have family there.  Char planned our trip and booked the hotels, restaurants and tours.  She did an amazing job. It was like having our own personal tour guide. It was so much fun to share this experience with them.

We met Joe's cousin Terry in Ennis. He took us to lunch at the Dromoland Golf Course Country Club.  His son-in-law joined us.  It was very nice meeting Terry.  The unique thing about Terry is that at the age of 19 he was discovered singing in Ireland and was invited to sing at the White House for President Nixon. How often does that happen!  I would have liked to have heard Terry sing.  Even though retired Terry still makes singing appearances occasionally. The Dromoland Golf Course was amazing.  There is a castle on the grounds and the course has beautiful rolling green hills with streams and natural settings. 

We went to so many different places that I need time to get my pictures together and to digest everything we did. I will post our events in sections and not necessarily in order. 

Bob, Barb, Joe and Char in Ireland

Joe and Char Talking to Joe's Cousin Terry

Monday, April 8, 2013

We were very fortunate to be in Chicago over Easter and visited with Jane, Ben and Jake.  We attended an Easter service at Jane and Ben's church and they had dinner later in the day.  Ben's parents, Ben's brother's family and my brother Silas and his wife Hollie attended dinner along with their daughter Lisa and her husband Nick. Bob's brother and his wife Maria also stopped by.  The kids had an Easter egg hunt. It was great to be in Chicago although it was a short visit. Below are some images of Easter Day.

We also got to celebrate Jane and Hollie's birthdays.  I also want to mention that we took Jake to see Lego Land in Schaumburg. I will posts some pictures from that event because they had the new Star Wars Exhibit.  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.  The Lego sculpted buildings of Chicago were unbelievably a work of art.       

Jane and Ben

Jake at the keyboard

Ben's Mom, Anna Marie

Jake with his cousins Michelle and Natalie

Natalie, Ben's niece

Michelle, Ben's niece

Nick and Lisa

Ben's brother Pete and his wife Doreen