Friday, November 5, 2010

Ireland Wrap up

Okay it's been two days, I was busy.

I had a terrific time in Ireland, I got tired and homesick for my kids and there were places I would have stayed longer (Galway and Donegal), things that weren't really my bag but I learned from anyway but overall the experience was amazing.  Road Scholar puts on a great tour in Ireland and I got to do things outside the norm and things I would never have known to do on my own.

I will never see another rainbow without thinking of Ireland.  I saw so many, so perfectly clear (one even followed alongside our bus for miles) that it brings tears to my eyes just thinking of it. 

I will miss the Irish people.  So open, so friendly, so interested.  Everywhere we went we met with wonderful people, willing at a moments notice to open a conversation with the Yanks.  Children in Dublin waved to the old people from their bus or as they walked by us on the street with huge smiles on their faces.  Strangers on the street would offer to take our photo.  I can not imagine a warmer, more welcoming people and I will miss them.  One more thing, Mark's family has extended an open invitation to all 24 of us, if we ever return to Ireland we can stay with them or on their boat, how cool is that?

Things I learned about traveling:
1.  Always make my own travel arrangements!  Go a couple of days before the tour begins to let my body begin to acclimate to the time change-it's a real beast.  Try to book a 767 aircraft.
2.  Pay the up-charge to have my own room, then if I can't sleep I won't disturb anyone else.
3.  Never travel without my laptop or a netbook,  and possibly an internet card,  Internet was available everywhere I went but there was not always a computer available.
4.  Never travel without an international phone plan!  That way I can talk to the kids when I need to, and they can talk to me.
5.  Pack less.  I wore nearly everything I took and did laundry once, but the suitcase was almost to heavy to begin with. But take spare tips for the Trekking pole!
6.  Learn a bit more about the places I'm going and what I'm going to see before I go.

My goodies!
First, a  lovey wool and alpaca scarf.  So very warm and soft, I'm sure to enjoy it this winter and for many winters to come.
 Next, patches for my memory quilt and a couple for the boys quilts.  A lovely and very delicate tree ornament, snowflake like in design.  I doesn't show very well in this photo, sorry, but I don't want to take it out of the box yet.
 This is my lace and linen tablecloth, it is already on my bedside table although it will eventually have a colored cloth under it and glass on the top.
 I looked and looked at sweaters, Ireland is famous for Aran knit sweaters and I really wanted one.  It wasn't until I saw this cardigan with it's collar that I found one I liked, it has the added benefit of having arms that are not too long!  I'm short, the Irish are short, yippee!  Made of 100% wool (very hard to find in the States) it is wonderfully warm.

Last, but maybe my favorite is this knit wrap also made of wool.  I found it in the same shop as the sweater and for about 2 minutes I tried to decide between them then I thought "Well, just buy them both!"  so I did.  I keep it on the back of the rocking chair in my bedroom and can slip it on when I get chilly.  It also looks great when I wear it out.

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