Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lucky Irish

St. Patrick's Day is almost upon us and I thought you might enjoy a little field trip... 
Years ago when the offspring were wee, Mr. Grand and I packed them up 
and whisked them over to the "homeland" for a Grand Tour.

Ireland was as lush and verdant as we had imagined and the people were friendly and warm. 
 The weather was fairly typical for August - cloudy and cool, but it never did rain on us. 
 We visited some Irish friends we had made years ago and we explored for days.  

One of our favorite stops was Blarney Castle.

This is the view from the top of Blarney Castle,
 built in 1446 on the site of several even earlier medieval structures:

We kissed the Blarney Stone but the magical gift of blarney has eluded us...  
As you can see, it did take some courage...

You had to lay down and lean over backwards 
and stretch your head even farther back 
to kiss the bottom of the stone.
The green grass you see in the opening above is about 100 feet down
and there was no safety net... 

After that thrilling feat, we practically skipped away to our next destination

We hiked up green hills that were soggy even at the top
and it was often windy...

Very, very windy!

Southern Ireland reminded me of Hawaii -without the volcanoes, but just as lush.
These two had fun exploring the rain forest.
Irish Gothic, maybe?

There were scenic overlooks around every turn...

 Connemara was dramatic and bucolic and enchanting...

The smell of burning peat was often present 
and sort of pleasant...

Fishing villages and water everywhere...

The Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula 
are famous for the cliffs and rocks and pounding surf...

The Transatlantic cable was laid here
in County Kerry at Telegraph Field in 1857, 
creating the first permanent communications link between Europe and America.
Just think of the advances in communication since then...

There were colors and flowers galore.

There were Cottages...

  and Castles...

And Cliffs...

The Irish eyes were certainly smiling!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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  1. Thanks for the tour of Ireland Erin.
    Fun to see the kids at a earlier time.
    You and Chris look the same today of course!

  2. In all the pictures I've seen of the Blarney stone, I've never seen that you are hanging over an open drop! Thanks for the pics. ~ Maureen

  3. Oh! how beautiful. I've never been to Ireland and no doubt never will so I have had a wonderful travel-log - enjoyed it so much - it was my sister's favorite European country to visit. Now I can see why!!!

  4. The pictures of the kids are absolutely adorable. What a fabulous vacation and you all look so happy! What fun!

  5. Hey, we're the lucky ones to get to go with you on this trip! Thanks.

  6. I would love to visit Ireland, and I would especially love to visit Blarney Castle. I've heard it is quite a feat to kiss the stone, but I've never seen pictures of folks trying before.

    Talk about bending over backward!

  7. What a great trip and such lovely memories. You wouldn't catch me kissing the stone, I'm terrified of heights!

  8. That was grand! What a wonderful trip. Thanks for linking up to the blog crawl!

  9. I have always dreamed of going to Ireland to experience my roots. Your blog is a special travel log that really gives me a feeling of being there.Thanks . I love your writing.

  10. What a fantastic experience for your family. I've always wanted to go to Ireland. Perhaps I'll get there one day. Your images are great. Thanks for taking us along. ~ Sarah

  11. Oh, so beautiful. What a glorious place.

    Great to have your be a part of the premier of "Oh, the places I've been!"

    - The Tablescaper

  12. The thing that I will always remember about Ireland is how many shades of green are there! Loved your photos - how nice that your whole family could travel there together.

  13. Beautiful family pictures and beautiful Ireland! I have never been there and I would like to visit someone. A HS friend has a home there and has been inviting me. I don't think I will attempt to kiss the stone though cause I am terrified of heights.....Christine

  14. What a fun time you had! Love all the whacky photos and the picturesque ones, too!!
    Ireland is on my bucket list. Thanks for the tour...


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