Ladies Trip to Ireland, April 2006 Ladies Trip to Ireland, April 2006

Ladies Trip to Ireland, April 2006

In April 2006, “the ladies” (Marguerite, Betsy, and their mother, Jessica) toured Ireland together. Although Marguerite and Jessica had been to Ireland before, it was a new experience for Betsy. On October 7, her son, Grant, is marrying Liz Henderson, a young woman of Irish Catholic descent who has many relatives in Ireland.

Ladies on Lake Cruise

Jessica, Betsy, and Marguerite on a cruise around Lough Erne. Jessica looks a bit weary as she just got off the plane. Because of a snafu when she changed her ticket at the last minute to use free miles, she joined the tour a day late. The tour bus left the hotel before her plane landed, so Marguerite met her at the Dublin airport, then went by cab to the town of Kells to meet the bus – a 160 Euro cab ride (about $200)!


Four nights were spent in Bed & Breakfast homes. The hosts provided dinners for us that were quite Irish and delicious. Here we are eating dinner at the B&B in Ballyshannon. Earlier that day we had visited the Belleek China factory but were quite restrained with our shopping!


On Tuesday we visited some sights including the little town of Cong where parts of “The Quiet Man” (John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara) were filmed. Because most businesses are closed on Tuesday in Ireland, we couldn’t eat at “The Quite Man Pub” but had to find another pub for lunch – turned out to be very quaint with good soup! It was chilly and we needed our coats, but very little rain.

Rathbaun Farm

We spent the morning at Rathbaun Farm which is a working sheep ranch. We watched sheep being sheared and the sheep dog rounding them up, then had lovely tea and scones. Later we visited the Cliffs of Moher and spent the PM at a B&B in Killarney with a family with 3 delightful girls who are all into Irish dancing.

Ring of Kerry

On Thursday we drove around the Ring of Kerry – weather was beautiful and we sat in the front seats on the bus! Here we are with Dave from Iowa – a thirty something with a girlfriend at home. He was on the trip with his father and we enjoyed chatting with them.


Thursday evening about 20 of us went to Kate Kearney’s Cottage outside of Killarney. We had dinner and watched a delightful show – two musicians played the uillean pipes – the Irish bag pipes where air is put into the bellows with the elbow (the uillea in Gaelic) – with the haunting sounds used in the movie Titanic. In fact, the San Diego Symphony Pops features the uillean pipes in the Saint Patrick’s Day show – it was very interesting to see them up close -- very complicated instruments!

Blarney Stone

On Friday Betsy “kissed the Blarney stone” to give her the gift of gab!! We did some shopping at the Blarney Woolen Mills store and enjoyed a beautiful day walking on the grounds – we borrowed a wheelchair for Jessica as walking distances is difficult for her.

Waterford Crystal

Of course, we visited the Waterford crystal factory! Again we were quite restrained in our purchases, but Marguerite got a couple of cups for George that say – “Three things real men can’t say -- I’m wrong, I’m lost, I can’t fix it!! We enjoyed seeing how the crystal is made, especially since Marguerite has so much of it already!

Waterford B&B

Friday PM we stayed in Waterford at a B&B with a large sunroom. Here we are waiting for yet another dinner! Each of the B&B evenings also gave us an opportunity to talk with other people on the tour (we were with a different group at each B&B). This time we chatted with a couple who had lived in San Diego for several years.


On Saturday we toured Kilkenny Castle before embarking on the drive back to Dublin. We asked the tour bus to let us off near the town of Naas – about 30 miles from Dublin. In Naas the McCormick Pub is owned by Liz’s relatives – her cousin, Connor, is the 5th generation owner. We went to their home for a glass of wine, then got a cab back to Dublin for a short night in the hotel prior to Sunday AM flights home.

Our Tour Group

The tour group included 42 people and the bus driver/guide, Willie. He and his three brothers all work for Brendan. We crossed paths with their tours several times during the week. We enjoyed the trip – a week with the “40 shades of green” of Ireland – and are already talking about where to go next year!

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