Introspective Adventurer

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Tag: Ireland

Amazing Grace by John P. Gavin

When John went back home to get me clean clothes after my accident, he gathered my things and sat outside for a few moments. He told me he was so proud of me and how gracefully I handled the situation and that he sang, “Amazing Grace” for me.

That is how he came to the title of this post.

Amazing Grace

When I was 10, my Aunt came to live with us.

That may not seem like a big deal; but since my family is from Ireland, it meant she had to travel about five thousand miles to do so.

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Weekend off – Lazy Days of Summer

It’s been a busy summer!

In April and May, John and I vacationed in Europe for a few weeks. We traipsed all over Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland. We had a grand time and I am still basking in the memories.

As soon as we got back it was time for my birthday and Mother’s Day festivities. Turning 59 was a delight surrounded by my husband and kids.

June started out with John’s birthday celebration, and rolled right into one busy weekend after another.

We rode up the coast to San Simeon and looked for Moonstones, hiked a few local trails and went to the beach a lot.

A trip up to San Francisco was necessary for John’s work and we even got to see his brother on his birthday. That was fun.

By the end of the month we were still in birthday mode with my granddaughter’s and son’s back to back birthdays I think I had my share of cake that month.

July started off with a bang, and not the fireworks kind. We helped my oldest son pack up his belongings and move up to Oregon. We got to stay on the Rogue River and enjoy the views and quiet time, between unpacking and setting up.

It was a fun trip, but we had to rush back to help out another son. So I ended up heading North again soon after. I spent a week away from home seeing my girlfriend, and helping my son settle into his new home.

I drove home through thick smoke with half of Oregon and California on fire, getting back home just in time to have our granddaughters for 10 days of fun.

Last weekend we spent a little time reconnecting with a bike trip up to Avila Beach. We had a great time on that big beamer and hiking around Pirates Cove.

So this weekend… it’s time to just be lazy before summer is gone.

I hope you take time to enjoy these last lazy days of summer.

Home for a visit

John’s family in Northern Ireland loves it when he comes home. They don’t say he’s come to visit, to them John is home.

After our hike up to see Cloughmore Stone, and a bit of breakfast, we packed up and headed to Poyntzpass in County Armagh. I’ve been there once before, for John’s Uncle’s funeral service, and to lay some flowers on a grave.

When John and I were married, his sister told me of an Irish tradition of the bride placing her bouquet on the grave of a relative instead of throwing it to the single ladies.

Knowing we were going to Ireland a few months after our wedding, I saved part of my bouquet to lay upon John’s Father’s headstone in Poyntzpass. So we headed back to the little church and graveyard to pay our respects. Continue reading

Tales of giants and rain

Sometimes too much information is well, too much. I had been following the weather forecast for the last few weeks and two words came up each time I looked:

Cold and Rain.

Each day’s forecast was for rain, with Wednesday being the worst. So the plan was to rest and relax that day, until it was time to leave for Rostrevor.

We had spotted what we thought was an Abby ruin from the window in our room, and decided to go check it out before breakfast. It’s not that we wanted to wait to have a late breakfast; it was more out of necessity.

The breakfast place we wanted to try in Donegal didn’t open until 9am.

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The road less taken

Saying goodbye to family, we navigated our way to Donegal Town in County Donegal, Ireland. I’ll admit I did remind John to stay on the left side of the road a few times, even though he was doing a fine job following the rules of the road.

As navigator I was probably more turned around than he was. At one point (okay more like two or three points) I told him to turn left when it was supposed to be right, and we ended up taking a new route.

But I can tell you, that is not a bad thing in Ireland. Honestly, anywhere and everywhere you look you will find some treasure to see. Continue reading

The Road to Birr

Eager to leave our hotel in Dublin, we set out Sunday morning for Birr. John’s family lives in County Offaly and we were excited to be going back for a visit. But in Ireland, it’s easy to get distracted while meandering the countryside.

We had a little time to kill, and John mentioned he’d like to take me to this little town at the end of Lough Derg, on the River Shannon. As he was driving, he told me to put Port Laoise into our GPS. Oh, and it’s pronounced “Leash”. Continue reading

Come fly with me

I have a love hate relationship with flying. I love that I can jet across the world in relatively little time. But I’m not fond of the actual flying experience.

Walking past the business class section on our Aer Lingus flight I got a painful reminder we were in the cheap seats. Our seats wouldn’t be 22” wide and fully recline into a bed.

We had two normal seats with the rest of the passengers who spent a good portion of their savings to fly to Ireland. The layout of the Boeing 757 is good, because we had our two seats together without having a stranger in a third seat next to us. Continue reading

Weekend – Vacation!!

It’s vacation time!

By the time this post is published, we should be landing in Dublin, Ireland for the start of our vacation!

Landing in Dublin, Ireland for the beginning of our vacation!

View from our trip in 2013

I’ve always enjoyed journaling when traveling, so I hope to be able to share my journal here with you during our trip. Of course, I will be enjoying the views, time with John’s family, and exploring lots of castles and pubs.

Have a wonderful weekend, and may you have an amazing view!

How to pack for a trip

I hope you aren’t expecting any advice here, because I hate packing for a trip.

I agonize over what to bring and not bring. I try on all of my clothes to see how I feel in each outfit, and a bunch end up on the floor. I’ve tried to pick outfits that will mix and match with each other, but I’m not very good at it.

Do you go shopping for new clothes before a trip?

Shopping before the trip – exhausting!

It seems that I inevitably bring either way too much or not enough clothes. And don’t even get me started on shoes. How do I decide which ones to bring?

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How to go on vacation, even if you don’t have a lot of money

I used to tell myself I couldn’t afford to go on a vacation abroad. And you know what? I was right.

Whatever we tell ourselves, it’s true.

Well, at least to the point of believing limitations should stop one from going on a dream vacation. So, I decided to change my thinking.

I now believe I can go anywhere in the world.

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Did you go on vacations growing up?

Growing up in a small town in Michigan, we didn’t go on vacation as a family. I don’t remember one single time we vacationed anywhere. I don’t even recall my parents leaving us kids home so they could go.

Summers were for working, either on our farm or in the cherry orchards.

We all worked together to bring enough income in for the year. And when we weren’t picking cherries, my dad had us working on our farm helping tend to the crops or raise our farm animals. Continue reading

Where do you come from?

If you are like me, that question can be a strange one to answer. Are you asking where I was born? Or maybe where I grew up? Perhaps where I live now?

Or are you asking about my heritage?

Some people are lucky enough to know exactly where they come from; like my husband, for instance. His family is from Ireland, and he is first generation American.

He knows for generations back where grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and second cousins and distant cousins are all “from”. And he also sort of takes it for granted. Continue reading

What every you think, You’re right

My husband and I get to travel around a fair amount. He has a job on the road now, so every once in a while I tag along and we end up in interesting places, like Long Beach, California. Right now I’m on The Queen Mary writing this. It no longer sets sail, but resides dockside as a hotel.

Fun place to stay while in Long Beach
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