Wednesday Wanderings: Ireland and the UK

We took a big trip last year. We had big reasons. A niece who lives in Ireland we wanted to visit. A 40th anniversary to celebrate. History to learn about.

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In front of the manor house at the Museum of Country Life in Turlough Village, near Castlebar, Ireland. Sept. 7.

We didn’t go without some serious planning and talking. Stud Muffin, being former law enforcement, was concerned about terrorist activity abroad. I understood, but thought it was a small risk in proportion to the potential payoff.

We checked our budget, contacted the fantastic Cheryl at Hey Wanna Go, and renewed out passports. We left our home September 4, visited family on the way to LA, and flew out September 6. Stud Muffin had traveled overseas before, but this was my first time. I was unsure how I’d handle the long flight, but it wasn’t too bad. It helped that we had a layover in Chicago, so what could be a twelve-hour flight was divided up into a five-hour and an eight-hour. Not bad at all. We won’t mention the layover was supposed to be about 90 minutes but ended up at four hours. So we were tired when we boarded the second flight. And tired when we arrived in Ireland.

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A quote from a display inside the museum.

I’ll be blogging some about the trip, posting pictures, and sharing memories for the next few months. This will help me get my thoughts and memories in order so I can compile our scrapbook.

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A better view of the manor house.
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Woe! It’s Wednesday: Vacations and Birthdays and Weddings

I’m writing this before we head to Maui for a week. While there, we’ll be celebrating a daughter’s wedding, a grand-daughter’s birthday, Saint Patrick’s Day, and try to cram in some relaxing.

The view from the church yard where Charles Lindbergh is buried.
The view from the church yard where Charles Lindbergh is buried.

We love being on the water. We love watching whales at this time of year. We love hanging by the pool. We love trying new restaurants. We love just driving around the island. We love being tourists. But we love knowing some of the local hangouts and secrets for life on the island.

It took a couple of trips, but when we were last on Maui in 2013, I finally found and visited Charles Lindbergh’s final resting place near Hana.

Each trip has seemed to focus on something. Finding the Seven Sacred Pools. Finding the graveyard. Whales. Turtles.

This may be the first trip with no “must do” or “must see.”

Other than getting a daughter married. That’s the primary focus of this trip. That and then we’ll concentrate on relaxing.

We’ve had some hard news in our family recently and we’re ready for a brief respite from real life.

Where do you like to go to escape from real life?

Woe! It’s Wednesday: Life in Paradise

When this posts, I should be over midway through our dream vacation in Maui. It’s the longest I’ve been away from home. The longest I’ve slept on a strange bed and a new pillow. The longest I’ve spent without a dog or cat curled up my feet. The longest I’ve gone without vacuuming, dusting, or scrubbing toilets.

DSCN4551Part of me is really looking forward to the time away. Another part of me is dreading it. I don’t know how much I’ll miss my pillow. It will help that our kids and grandkids are coming with us for the first two weeks, so it’ll be less time that we’re separated from them and less time to miss them.

It’s strange that something that should be fun and relaxing can also induce feelings of uncertainty and unease. It’s the fear of the unknown. Another fear. Yes, I see the irony. This is the year I’m facing fears and conquering them. And another one is about to clobber me.

Well, there’s only cure. Pack my bag and step on that plane.

God willing, that’s what I’ll be doing in a few days. By the time you read this, I’ll be in paradise. But who knows if I’ll be having just enough fun and dreading the time to come home or if I’ll be counting the days till I get to hug my dog and cat.