So, last week we got away for an early Valentine’s night away to the “Royal County” of Co. Meath, just down the road from, Dublin. It was our first night away with Benji, Charlie’s little doggy. So, we were delighted to find that Bellinter House Hotel near Navan is dog-friendly.
We had been advised that Benji could stay with us in a Courtyard Room. These rooms are converted stables which are ideal for doggies as they open straight onto the outside. Benji was also allowed into the reception, bar and study (for dining).
Getting out of the car, Charlie dropped Benji's lead and the latter took off up across the beautiful grounds like a bat out of hell. Charlie took after him but Benji thought it was a chase and thought
IOM TT 2009
As a child, I loved sending away for brochures and catalogues; my favourites being holiday brochures. Before the internet was a thing, you had to fill in and cut out a request coupon from the newspaper, send it by post and wait a week or two for the brochure/ catalogue to arrive with the postman. That’s how I first saw pictures of the Isle of Man, that beautiful self-governed British protectorate in the Irish Sea hallway between Ireland and the UK. I learned about the picturesque towns of Douglas (the main town), Peel and Port Erin … the Great Laxey Wheel and Castle
Now, the above is not an invitation….but the words of one of the most famous songs from the place I went to celebrate my birthday recently – Carlow. Actually, Tullow’s fabulous Mount Wolseley Hotel and Spa to be exact.
One of my favourite Irish cities is Kilkenny in our neighbouring county. It’s a great pint-sized city to socialise in and many a Friday evening did I want to get off the bus as I passed through the thronged streets on the way home to Carrick from Dublin. It’s known as the marble city as the black Kilkenny marble was used from the 17th to the 19th century.
But for most Irish people over 50 like me, Co. Kilkenny …as well as being famous for hurling……will be forever tied to that well-loved fictional family from the fictional townland of Leestown in County Kilkenny, the Riordans!!
I got a Facebook reminder that this time ten year’s ago I was on holidays at the Riu Nautilus Hotel in Torremolinos. This particular holiday is special to me as it was the last one I took abroad with my Mammy Peggy as she passed away six months later. In 2013, this was a return trip to this hotel for both of us as we had spent a great week there in August of 2008.
Although I’m originally from South Tipperary, I have to admit that I haven’t seen a lot of the county. So, this week I jumped at the chance when I was invited to stay with my lovely cousin Rose near Thurles. We got to see the famous Rock of Cashel, enjoy Afternoon Tea in the Cashel Palace Hotel, be entertained at a great Irish-night at the Brú Ború Cultural Centre, travel down to Coolishal, Kilsheelan (Co. Waterford) where my great grandparents lived for a time before having a snack at the Horse & Jockey Hotel. This week’s blog tells how I got on.
12 Things To See & Do in Co. Waterford
So, from my Facebook page you will see that I’ve spent the last two week’s catching up with family and friends in my hometown of Carrick-on-Suir in South Tipperary. It was a great opportunity to explore the neighbouring county, Co. Waterford – the home county of both my parents, my parents’ parents and even THEIR parents’ parents. So, you see why I have a real affinity for County Waterford!
County Waterford (Irish: Contae Phort Láirge) is in the province of Munster. The population of the county at large, including the city of Waterford, was 127,085 according to the 2022 census. The county is based on the historic Gaelic territory of the Déise, hence my blog title. 😊
Over the two weeks visiting Co. Waterford, I’ve seen some great places and met some great people. This week’s blog is therefore on “My Déise Dozen - 12 Things to See & Do in Co. Waterford”. There are a few places I visited which I have omitted from this post that I actually think are “Must Sees” in my opinion e.g., the Waterford Greenway, the Nire Valley, Melleray Abbey and Mount Congreve. But I reckon that they are so popular that you may have heard of or seen them already. So, my Déise Dozen are the less well-known sights. Enjoy! (And apologies to those who’ve seen my Facebook posts over the last two weeks! 😊)
NYC - April 7 to 11, 2006
I was looking with envy at all of the great photos shared on Facebook recently of the Carrick-on-Suir Musical Society’s run of The Phantom of the Opera. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it down to experience it in person. Knowing the amazing musical talent that exists in my little hometown, I wasn’t at all surprised to hear the rave reviews and that there were standing ovations every night. I would expect nothing less knowing the wonderful people involved. “Phantom” is one of my favourite shows ever. I was lucky enough to see the Broadway production in April 2006 at the Majestic Theatre on West 44th Street in New York. It was truly spectacular. That whole trip with Charlie, being his first time in New York and my second, was so memorable. In this week’s blog post I share a little of what we did and saw. Enjoy!
Miami Beach is one of those places I always wanted to visit ever since I got hooked on watching Crockett and Tubbs on TV 40 years ago. So, in 2019, at the end of a Caribbean cruise, we added on an extra 4 nights in Miami. It happened to be in the middle of Spring Break, that time when college kids in the US go crazy. I thought I’d seen it all, having worked in Temple Bar for 18 years; the stag/ hen (bachelor/ bachelorette) party capital of Ireland. Not a week went by but I’d hear the partying going on outside my office window with the singing, dancing and frolicking starting in the early afternoons. But Miami at Spring Break was a whole other level of crazy!
Our 2019 Western Caribbean Cruise
In April 2019 we cruised the Western Caribbean onboard Harmony of the Seas out of Fort Lauderdale. We had a lovely few days staying near Fort Lauderdale beforehand where we had enjoyed exploring the Everglades and were looking forward to taking things very easy on-board. Over the week we docked in Labadee (Haiti), Falmouth (Jamaica) and Cozumel (Mexico) as well as having three “At-Sea” days. It was bliss. This week’s blog tells how we got on. Enjoy!
I hope you all enjoyed a great St. Patrick’s weekend. It was lovely here in Dublin…as my mother used to say “March many weathers”. It was great to see so many visitors to the city for the festivities and the Big Parade. This week’s blog is about a different Parade that I saw in Chicago, Illinois on 13 March 2004 (in Chicago the Parade is held on the Saturday before March 17th).
Portimao with Peggy June 2005
I have mentioned before in this blog that one of my Mam Peggy’s favourite songs was Faraway Places. The song tells of longing to see places "with strange sounding names faraway over the seas". It was a bit of a joke between Peggy and me that I would one day bring her to Faro-way Portugal!! We had briefly visited Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city, on our very first cruise in 1999. We loved it so much that we said we’d definitely come back.
So, in 2005, I booked a week’s holiday for the two of us with Stein Travel for Portimão, Portugal in June of that year. And we did indeed fly into Faro! We were blessed with amazing sunny weather for the whole week. We had such a lazy week strolling around the Portimão Marina, basking in the sun, popping in for morning coffee and cake and dipping our toes in the water at the Praia da Rocha beach. Mostly I remember the great chats we had as we sat with a glass of wine at the hotel’s riverside restaurant eating delicious meals looking at the boats sailing back up the Arade river each evening.
So this week’s blog post tells about that break away and how we got on. Enjoy!
So last weekend I got to spend some time in The K Club with my Valentine! This blog is about St. Valentine and gives a flavour of what it’s like in our favourite Kildare hotel! Enjoy!
21 years ago, Peggy and I took a cruise with My Travel/ Airtours/ Sun Cruises on the M.S. Sunbird. It was our 4th cruise together and our 2nd on the Sunbird. Although that 7-day trip wasn’t on the biggest or fanciest ship we ever sailed on, to this day it remains one of the most enjoyable. It had just over 700 cabins with about 1,600 onboard and we thought it was huge!! The staff onboard were just great and genuinely couldn’t do enough for us to make our holiday memorable. We spent a week out of Palma (Majorca, Spain) visiting Naples (Italy), Messina and Taormina (Sicily), Bugibba and Marsaxlokk (Malta), La Goulette and Carthage (Tunisia) before sailing back to Palma in Majorca. This is how we got on. Enjoy!
Our Florida & Bahamas Cruise 2016
So this is the second part of the cruise blog from our trip in 2016 on the Anthem of the Seas (first part here). This covers Days 5 to 8 in the Bahamas and onboard, our return to New York for Easter 2016 and our flight home to Dublin. Enjoy!
My name is Mary and this is my bucket list blog ...having survived a near-death experience. I hope it encourages you to "live your best life". See how I'm completing my own bucket list items. And let me know how you're getting on with yours!