Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: "The Next Chapter's" June Trip Report


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 90
Date:
"The Next Chapter's" June Trip Report


The Next Chapter Trip Report

Many thanks to all who provided great suggestions as we planned our trip, and a special thank you to Michele. Your advice and information provided in your book helped contribute to a dream-come-true trip! Just a handful of photos are posted on our band website at www.thenextchapter.net under Ireland Festival but to be honest they are mostly geared towards the musical activities for our fans who are interested in that aspect of our journey plus a few tourist/scenery shots. Our trip was a bit different than most, in that our family band, The Next Chapter, was booked to perform and teach a workshop at the World Bodhran Championship Festival in Milltown, County Kerry (www.worldbodhranchampionships.com), and then we continued on holiday there afterwards.

I apologize for the length of this report, but I know how much folks here like details so I tried to provide as many as possible. ?

Day 1: Flew Continental from Albuquerque to Atlanta, from Atlanta to Newark and from Newark to Shannon. We checked my hammered dulcimer in its new fiberglass case and carried on Shanes guitar and bodhrans.

Day 2: When we arrived in Shannon my dulcimer came down the same chute as the other luggage and arrived unharmed and still in tune! We were relieved that all arrived in one piece and we had absolutely no hassles about carrying the other instruments on board. After collecting luggage/instruments we proceeded to Hertz to rent our vehicle. They took good care of us there and we ended up with a Volvo which we hoped would fit all four band members, luggage and instruments. We immediately headed to the Cliffs of Moher. Our concerns about driving a larger vehicle on Irelands roads were soon put to rest. Shane was much more comfortable driving this time and the roads seemed roomier than they had seemed during our previous visit. Im pretty sure they didnt widen all the roads in Ireland since last year, so I have to chalk it up to our perceptions changing now that our comfort level has improved. We parked and crossed the road to the Cliffs but had to fight a stiff wind, accompanied by driving rain. I tried to use my umbrella as a shield but it didnt help enough to warrant the struggle with it so we resigned ourselves to getting very wet. We had good rain jackets and water proof shoes, so the only thing that ended up wet was our pants and they were completely soaked. Needless to say, we didnt spend much time looking at the Cliffs and that was a bit of a disappointment. I could have stayed out there all day gazing at them, under better weather circumstances. They are truly awesome. After walking up to OBriens Tower for a better view, we hurried back to the new Visitors Center and had a cup of hot tea to warm up and dry out a bit. Then we took a walk through the center and enjoyed it very much. The digital tour of the cliffs from a birds-eye view was pretty amazing but we were so tired from the flight that we were tempted to curl up on the floor in the dark viewing room and take a snooze. We continued on to Doolin where we had an early lunch at OConnors Pub. The Traditional Irish Stew really hit the spot on such a blustery day and helped to warm us up since our pants were still damp from the rain. We shopped a bit and stopped in at Magnetic Music where we had been extended the invitation to play some music. We were the only ones in the shop and very few people were in Doolin that day (not to mention that we were exhausted from our flights) so we made the decision not to pull out our instruments. Instead we headed to O Connors Farmhouse where Joan welcomed us in from the cold into lovely, clean and spacious accommodations. We crashed for a three hour nap, got up and had dinner at McGanns Pub, then went back to the Farmhouse to crash again.

Day 3: After a good nights sleep we awoke and had our first Traditional Irish Breakfast. On our last visit we rented a condo and so we made our own breakfasts. I can now see why everyone talks about this experience. Eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, scones, Irish brown bread, jams and jellies, cereal, fruit, beans (sort of a pork and beans mixture), tomato, juices, teawow! We were stuffed! We realized right away that we were not going to be able to keep up with these huge breakfasts through the whole trip and still fit in an airplane seat on the way back. We loaded up the vehicle and after a visit to the rocky beach where we enjoyed the view of the Cliffs of Moher from a different perspective and a bunch of crazy surfers in the icy water, we headed back south on the same road we had come on. On the way up we had noticed a graveyard up on a hill in Ennistymon with lots of Celtic crosses so we stopped for a photo op along the way. Then we made our way to Craggaunowen. We had some soup in the visitors center before walking through the park. The walk through the forest from site to site was a pleasant way to get exercise, and we especially enjoyed display of the Brendans Boat and voyage, the dolmen (stone table) and the wild boars just a few feet away in their enclosure.(I highly recommend this as a stop during your visit to Ireland). After our visit to Craggaunowen we headed to Bunratty Lodge where Mary welcomed us with hot tea to warm us up. After dinner at the Creamery we headed back to the B&B to turn in early so we could be back at Shannon airport to pick up my son and his new bride (Adam and Sarah) by 6:30am. Mary was kind enough to make arrangements for us to bring the two of them back to the B&B for breakfast with us. She happened to have room for them that morning just because one of the other guests was leaving early. So with that plan in mind we went to sleep.

Day 4: Ahhthe best laid plans.we awoke early and headed to Shannon only to learn that my son and daughter-in-laws flight had been delayed in Newark and they wouldnt arrive until 1pm! Darn! We could have slept in late! So we headed back to Bunratty Lodge, dozed a bit more and had breakfast for two instead of four. Mary was very understanding of the change of plans and even called the airport for us to be sure of the time of the planes arrival. After breakfast we checked out and headed back to the airport to wait for the plane. The kids finally made it around 1pm with luggage and instruments in hand. They had to hand check the bass and bouzouki but were able to take the mandolin on board. We packed everything in hard cases knowing that this might happen and all arrived safe and sound. We found that there was one way (and only one) to get all people, luggage and instruments into the vehicle. The kids were hungry so we headed back to the Creamery and after a quick lunch we took them over to Bunratty Folk Park. Although they were tired, they still wanted to do it, and although we didnt stay very long, they enjoyed the visit very much. After a stop for apple pie at the Tea Room we decided to go ahead and get on the road. The kids napped in the back seat while we headed southwest towards Killarney. We were stuck in a huge traffic jam going through Limerick (it was a bank holiday weekend) and didnt break free of the bumper to bumper line of cars until well after Adare. As a result the trip that in the past has taken us two hours ended up taking us three. We arrived in Milltown (ten miles north of Killarney) and checked into the B&B arranged for us by the festival, Riverside B&B. Frances provided us with nice, clean rooms and we were within walking distance of town center. After tea and biscuits at Riverside, we caught the opening ceremonies of the festival (sort of a modified drum circle) and peeked in at several sessions going on. We wanted to give the kids space (it was there honeymoon after all!) and so we separated for dinner and then returned back to the B&B and called it an early evening.

Day 5: With the activity surrounding Adam and Sarahs wedding we didnt have many opportunities to practice our music before we left for Ireland so Frances was kind enough to suggest that we use her living room area for a session after breakfast. It felt good to get a chance to practice our tunes before we would be playing them that evening. After our practice, we went into town for some lunch and then headed over to the schoolhouse to teach my workshop. It was a small cozy little group for the workshop and there were opportunities for lots of hands on experimentation and questions/answers. Two of the participants Shane and I had met last year at the festivalbodhran competitors from Spain and Italy. All were fascinated with the dulcimer and I think we may have a few converts to the instrument. We played a few tunes for them and were told we were brilliant! After the workshop we had dinner and then prepared for our set on the Main Stage. It rained steadily all day and we feared that our set in the rain was doomed. The band before ours, though, included the World Bodhran Champion from last year and we saw that the Irish are not scared off by a little rain. They had a good crowd and we enjoyed listening to traditional music at its highest levelNeill Lyons And Friends were all excellent musicians. I must admit that we were a bit nervous about our performance and whether or not we would be accepted in Ireland since our music is definitely not traditional. After Neill Lyons and Friends finished we waited for them to clear the stage and start our own set up and sound checks. We could see that the crowd was starting to disperse a bit since the rain continued and we feared that wed have no one left by the time we started. As we hit our first note, though, our fears disappeared as we were able to draw the crowd back and even noticed people pouring out of the nearby pubs to come hear us. There was much cheering, whooping and dancing during our whole set and we were made to feel most welcome! They were very intrigued by the hammered dulcimer, Adams hot leads on mandolin and bouzouki and by the vocal harmonies. Our percussive tune, South Australia was a particular crowd favorite. At the end of the evening we thanked the crowd for staying through the cold and rain to hear us, then packed up and headed back to the B&B to warm up and get some sleep. It was a great nighteven with the rain! By the way, it was my birthday, and I couldnt think of a better way to spend it than playing our music in Ireland!

Day 6: We knew we had most of the day to ourselves, so we headed to Muckross House after breakfast. Again trying to give the kids some time to themselves on their honeymoon, we arranged for them to take the house tour, and a pony & trap ride up to Torc Waterfall while Shane and I walked the grounds and took the hike out to the Abbey. On the way to the Abbey we saw a sign with an arrow that said 1 kilometer, then walked for about ten minutes and came to another sign with an arrow that said 1 kilometer. We thought we might walk forever with each sign promising just one more kilometer! The walk was well worth it, whatever the length actually turned out to be and when we returned we met Adam and Sarah for lunch in the very crowded Visitors Center. Then we headed to Killarney for some quick shopping and a stop at the internet café. When we returned to Milltown we took a short rest at the B&B before heading to Sheehans Pub for a performance there. Before our pub session I had the opportunity to meet Sandeep Raval, a world famous percussionist (www.sandeepraval.com). He had been trying to meet me as he was very intrigued with the hammered dulcimer and wanted to learn more about it. He was unable to take my workshop since he was scheduled elsewhere at that time but wanted to learn some techniques. I was thrilled that such an outstanding musician was interested in the HD! Sandeep asked me to contact him to continue our discussion so I plan to do that now that Im back in the states. Soback to our music performance--Sheehans Pub had a small sound system set up so we were able to get more volume than just an acoustic session. Once again, our music went over well, and the pub owner said that we were welcome to play there anytime we pleased. We were well supplied with pints of Guinness during our session, and happily agreed to return some day! We left feeling very good that our music, though not strictly traditional, was well received in Ireland. After our pub performance we headed immediately to the main stage where the 7 finalists for the World Bodhran Championship were already on stage. We missed the first competitor, Connor Lyons, (the brother of last years winner), but we had seen him last year and knew that he would be a strong contender. We joined the crowd in cheering for each one and marveled at the level of expertise displayed. We felt the bar was definitely raised this year. Each competitor had his own style. One was very subtle with a gentle, graceful and classy approach coupled with complex rhythms, another was aggressive in his style and played to the crowd winning them over with his mischievous grin and pure joy in playing the drum. We especially cheered for Martin, a blind player who was a finalist also last year. Martin stayed at the Riverside B&B along with us so we had a chance to get to know him well during our short stay and we wanted to encourage him as we knew he was quite nervous about the whole thing. It was great fun to watch this competition again and the results were that last years champ took second place and his brother (the one we missed) took the top spot. So these two brothers are dominating the championships so far and just traded spots this year. After the finals, it was back to the B&B for some rest.

Day 7: After breakfast we said our goodbyes to Frances and headed back to Shannon Airport to drop off Adam and Sarah. They caught a flight back to New York and then on to Aruba for the rest of their honeymoon (without their parents!). Shane and I traded the larger vehicle for a smaller Peugeot and headed up to Cliffden. We took the road to Roundstone so we could stop at Malachy Kearns shop and buy Shane a new bodhran bag. He particularly likes the tweed ones made by Kearns (and his is getting a bit frayed) so we stopped and did some browsing there. Even though we had seen a lot of sheep already on the trip, we were surprised by the fact that they were running wild through this area of Ireland instead of being fenced in. We drove a little slower knowing that we might come around the bend and find one crossing the road in front of us. This day was a lot of driving for Shane so when we reached Cliffden we made our way to Byrnes Mal Dua House (which was lovely, roomy, and very classy), and just caught up on rest.

Day 8: I must point out about our breakfast, that Bynes Mal Dua House was the only place where we were offered Irish Whiskey to add to our porridge in the morning. We play an old-time tune in our band called Whiskey Before Breakfast, but this was the first time we had the opportunity to have whiskey with our breakfast! Knowing that we were getting on the road again, we declined the offer and headed to the Connemara National Park where we had a nice hike and saw some of the world famous Connemara Ponies. The views on this hike made every step worth it. We continued on our way stopping occasionally to take photos of the Hills of Connemara (the name of another Irish tune that we play!). Against Shanes wishes I have to tell you that during one photo op I had to just plop down on the side of the road because I was laughing so hard. You see, Shane had a never ending battle with our car doors. They were sliding van type doors operated by remote control, but Shane never quite figured out how to make them do what he wanted them to. At this particular stop he spent a full five minutes pushing buttons and watching the wrong doors open and close. He tried to close his, but opened mine instead. Then when he tried to close mine, his closed and opened again. Open and close, open and close, open and closehe pushed buttons and pushed buttons, while I laughed and laughed. While this episode was a particularly long one, I must tell you that this unintended running gag continued throughout our entire Ireland stay. Anyway, with the photo taken and the two of us finally seated back in the car with both doors firmly closed, we continued on our way to Kylemore Abbey. We took the shuttle to the walled garden, walked through the castle and down to the church, but the best part of our stay was sitting next to the lake under some trees gazing at the beautiful scenery. We sat there for the better part of an hour and could have stayed even longer. It was the most peaceful, tranquil rest in a serene and awesome place! It was Shanes favorite and most memorable stop during the whole trip. I highly recommend a stop at Kylemore Abbey. This was one of the highlights of our trip. After the Abbey we continued on our way to Westport where we checked into Cillcomon Lodge (another great B&B recommended by Michele) and made a mandatory stop at Matt Malloys Pub. We were too early to hear any music, and too tired to stay up late for sessions, but it was great to actually walk through and see all the photos of the Chieftains and musical friends posted. Weve actually met Matt Malloy and jammed on stage with the Chieftains a couple of times when theyve visited our area so it wasnt a total disappointment that he wasnt therebut fun to sit in the spot where so many great sessions have occurred. ? We had some pizza and then sat in a local park and had some ice cream. Great day!

Day 9: After another great breakfast, we were on the road again and made a stop in Castlebar for the Museum of Country Life. We learned a lot and enjoyed this stop very much, especially the film with excellent footage of basket making and other crafts practiced in earlier years by the Irish. Afterwards we continued on to Donegal where we stayed at the Island View B&B. We didnt have a B&B recommendation from Michele for Donegal so we took the suggestion from one of the posts on this B&B and were not disappointed. Island View reminded me a great deal of Cillcomon Lodge and Id certainly recommend it to others. We visited ODonnells Castle in the middle of Donegal Town and enjoyed a nice long chat with one of the tour guides there. She was one of our favorites of people we met in Ireland.

Day 10: From Donegal we headed to Northern Ireland and knew that wed have to start thinking in terms of Pounds instead of Euros. We stopped at the Grianan of Aileach Fort just before entering Derry and though the road sign was small (and we missed it the first time requiring us to stop and ask directions) we finally found our way. This is another highlight of the trip. The views from the fort in all directions is nothing short of amazing. You can see why the fort was such a great defense because you can see the whole area from there. Truly breathtaking scenery! After our stop at the fort we continued on to Limavady and found a laundry to leave our clothes. We were planning to find our B&B but were misled by a sign that took us on a long, lonely road. It was apparently a shortcut/bypass but we were a little nervous being in the middle of nowhere and seeing absolutely no one else on the road. Since we were so close, we decided to stop at the Giants Causeway. Especially since it was a beautiful day and we werent sure that the good weather would hold out for another day. Needless to say, it was one of our highlights. Just too unique and special for words. As a side note we decided to take the shuttle up and down from the Causeway after watching red faced travelers climb that hill back to the top. One man passed the sign that indicates it is a ½ mile walk and exclaimed, Half a milethe lying swines! ? After a good long time climbing among the rocks we headed back to find our B&B, The Ballycarton House. The delightful owner, Patricia, made us tea and we sat on lounges in the garden enjoying the respite. Patricia has wireless internet available for a small fee so we took advantage to check email. She also recommended the Point Bar for dinner, and after eating there, we took a long walk on the beach, watching the ferry come in and out.

Day 11: After a lovely breakfast and a nice chat with a couple from Belfast, we took a quick drive to Limavady to pick up our clean clothes. Then we headed back to the Coastal Causeway. We decided to start at the Carrick-a-Reed Rope Bridge and work our way back. It was a long walk to the bridge with lots of stairs and my knees were giving me problems so we took it slow. Shane crossed the bridge just ahead of me and stopped in the middle to take pictures. I kept telling him: Now is not the time! Now is not the time! I just wanted to keep moving and make it across as quickly as I could. I made him promise not to do that on the way back or I would freak! After the rope bridge we headed to Dunluce Castle. What an amazing place! This was my favorite castle stop, I guess because I can see how C.S. Lewis might have been inspired by it for his Narnian Castle, Cair Paravel. After Dunluce we made a quick stop in Port Stewart before heading to Bishops Gate. Another long walk out to the Donnel Mansion and the Mussenden Temple. The whole day was full of gorgeous views of the North Ireland Coast! But after all that walking we were wiped and went back to the B&B to relax. We knew wed be playing some music the next day so Shane and I found a secluded little corner in the front yard of the B&B to practice a few tunes. Patricia and her husband invited us to come back to the garden to play for them and some other guests from Holland. We had a little impromptu concert and drank cold beer afterwards. I must say that Patricia made us feel like we were old friends, and we enjoyed hanging out with her and her husband very much. It was one of our favorite B&B stays. By the way, we had originally planned to meet with a fellow dulcimer player in Portrush for a session on one of these nights, but the drive from our B&B turned out to be longer than we thought, and we were also exhausted from all of the walking and climbing. I emailed the player and let him know that we werent going to make it after all. Maybe next time!

Day 12: After breakfast we said our goodbyes and thank-yous to Patricia and headed to the Ulster American Folk Museum. We loved this place. After spending some time in the museum, we headed to the outdoor portion. The first part is set up with little huts and houses typical of early Irish living. About halfway through the park you climb aboard an example of one of the coffin ships that delivered so many immigrants to America. You exit the ship on the other side and find yourself in America. There you visit log cabins, Pennsylvania Barns, etc. After walking through the park we went back to the visitors center for a quick bite for lunch, then unloaded our instruments from the car. We were taken back to the Pennsylvania Barn where we performed our music for about 3 hours for the guests of the park. We had so many wonderful encounters, met some delightful people, demonstrated how to play the dulcimer, let them give it a try, and all in all had a grand time! We didnt want to stop. When the number of folks passing through slowed down we packed up and headed to Enniskellen where we had a dinner at the Village Inn. Then it was a short jaunt to the Abocurrough Farm Guest House. What a beautiful B&B! And again, Bernie, made us feel so welcome!

Day 13: What a cool breakfast we had in the little glass enclosure overlooking the garden, and the best fruit salad Id had there with so many fresh blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc. Yum! Once we started on the road again, I was ready for my OCarolan adventure. Since I play the harp, I am greatly indebted to Irelands bard, Turlough OCarolan for all of his musical contributions, and have even included some of his tunes in my published books. Being in the heart of OCarolan country I just had to make some important stops. We took an R road down to the tiny town of Keadue. This is where the OCarolan Harp Festival happens every year. We stopped by the OCarolan Heritage Park where a statue with the bronze copy of his harp stands as a monument. A small gazebo has a copy of the first tune he composed, Si Beag, Si Mor in it. From the park we went on the search for Alderford House where the McDermott Roe family lived. It is there that Carolan grew up, became blind, was taught the harp, and sent on his way. The McDermott family were supporters of Carolan his whole life and he died in their home. They say that his wealthy patrons and musicians from all over Ireland came to his wake there and set up tents in the huge field around the house, and that harp music could be heard in every direction. We did find Alderford House, but only because we had some clues about where it could be. I was in awe to stand in that historic place, but saddened by the state of disrepair. Junk was everywhere, and I kept thinking, dont these people realize how important this place is? If I had a bunch of money Id try to restore it and maintain it. Oh well. It was still amazing to stand there and imagine young Turlough playing harp there and an aging Turlough breathing his last. I could almost see the field covered by tents and hear harp music wafting on the breeze. Sigh. Next we headed to Kilronan Abbey and found Carolans grave. Some had left coins around the stone and even one left a small empty bottle of whiskey! Knowing what I know about Turlough, he would have enjoyed thata true tribute to Irelands bard! Next we headed to Boyle where we were scheduled to stay. It was too early to go to our B&B so instead we went to Lough Key where we found a shady spot and stretched out to enjoy the lake, the castle on an island, a temple and a church/picnic ground. Since it was Sunday the whole town of Boyle must have been there. It felt like a Fourth of July celebration here in the states. This was an unexpected pleasure and I encourage people to make a stop here. There is also a great visitor center with lots of stuff for kids. After a couple of hours at the lake we headed to Rosdarrig House. We highly recommend this B&B! Since Michele didnt have a recommendation for Boyle we found this one on our own, and it turned out to be one of our favorite spots. Brenda was a delightful host. One of our favorite musicians, Tommy Emmanuel, stays with her when he is in Ireland and she had many recommendations for us. She encouraged us to have dinner at The Moving Stairs, which is a haven for musicians. We did, met the owner Barry, and he invited us back to play at the pub that night. We did, and had one of the best times of our stay there. Along with Tommy Emmanuel, Alison Brown, and Fog Horn String Band have all played theremore of our favorites!

Day 14: After breakfast we headed to Castlerea for our last OCarolan stop. We finally found Clonalis House and had a private tour. This is where OCarolans harp is housed. I gazed at that instrument for so long, and finally Shane had to pull me away from it. To actually see his harp, was like seeing Mozarts piano. Wow. A very cool moment for me, and made my whole trip to Ireland. As it turns out Clonalis House is a historical landmark for the OConnor family (Shanes relatives!) so he especially enjoyed the tour. After the tour we headed to Galway.

Day 14: We found Lawndale fairly quickly and were welcomed heartily by the owner, Margaret. She laughed at all of Shanes jokes so she became one of his favorites. ? In town we stopped at the first session and ran into one of the competitors from the World Bodhran Championships. He placed third in the competition last year, and has a very unique style of playing. We sat and spent a good hour or more chatting with him. It was great to have time to hear all about his perspectives on drumming in general and the competition specifically.

Day 15: We were starting to run out of steam, and I think I let myself get dehydrated (since I had worries about the drinking waterand yes, you still have to boil it or drink bottled water there) so we did some shopping in Galway and took it easy for most of the day. I should mention, though, that we had a lively breakfast chatting with some folks from the states and some others from South Africa. They were interested in the bodhran so Shane ran up to the room to get his, then proceeded to give an impromptu lesson. All but one gave it a try and each decided that they needed to purchase one on the trip (and not just to hang on the wallthey want to play it now!). It was a really fun breakfast.

Day 16: After another lively breakfast chatting with some newlyweds and an English couple getting ready to travel on a gypsy caravan we headed out of Galway and down to Cashel. We stopped at the Bro Boru Heritage Center first and (as musicians) really enjoyed the visitespecially the replica of the Brian Boru harp. We had a bit to eat hoping the rain would stop, but since it didnt we headed on up to the Rock of Cashel for a wet tour. It wasnt raining hard enough to be a real bother, so we were able to spend quite a bit of time there. One more amazing view to remember in Ireland! From there we headed out to our B&B, the gorgeous Dualla House. Staying in this old Georgian Manor House was a real treat! Thanks, Michele, for this recommendation. Shane couldnt stop taking pictures!

Day 17: We were finally starting to slow down towards the end of the trip, so our visit in Ennis was pretty laid back. We visited Custys Music Shop (a must stop for musicians) and enjoyed the session down in the lobby of the Old Grand Hotel where we stayed.

Day 18: We walked the grounds of Knappogue Castle taking photos, but other than that we just headed back to Bunratty Lodge for one more stay with Mary before heading back home.

Day 19: As an amusing end to our trip, when we woke up and went out to our car, the door was wide open and apparently had been all night. At first we thought someone had broken in, but after inspection realized that the car was just having one last laugh at us. None of the little personal items (a jacket, a pen, a book or two) were gone and luckily it had not rained. Apparently the door opened without our realizing it (remember Shane with his open and close dance?) as we headed into the B&B. One more humorous side notewhen we went to return the car the lad who was trying to write down the mileage tried to pop his head in to take a look but the door started to close on him. Shane just laughed and said good luck! The flight back to the US took longer than expected. We flew Continental and ended up sitting on the ground for an hour and a half while they worked out a luggage discrepancy. We could hear them banging around in the hold beneath us and I think they probably unloaded and reloaded the entire plane. Didnt leave us with warm and fuzzy feelings. When we arrived at Newark we had to circle for a half hour because of weather issues, then were finally diverted to an air force base to re-fuel because the airport shut down. We sat on the ground at the air force base for an hour before we finally headed to Newark. When we arrived there it was bedlam finding our luggage, and although we had originally allowed five hours between our flights, we actually made it to our gate just ten minutes before we were supposed to board. We finally pulled into Albuquerque at 11ish that night.

Thanks again to Michele and all of our fellow IrelandYes! BB posters for your great advice. Im sure it wont be long before we find ourselves longing to return to the Emerald Isle!
Jeanne

__________________
Jeanne Page


Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 504
Date:

What a great report, Jeanne! It was of especial interest to me since my September trip will include the middle part of your trip and we will be staying at at least three of the same B&Bs. Good to know that Michele makes good recommendations! Hee hee.

__________________
Slán go fóill, Judy


Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 1382
Date:
RE: "The Next Chapter's" June Trip Report


Jeanne,

What a fabulous trip report! I am so tickled to see that you were able to fed your Harp lust. Clonalis is a special place for me, as Hugo O'Connor was the Red Captain who founded the Presidio de Tucson.

I am glad to note that you were allowed to carry on some of your instruments. Casey has not been allowed to carry on his guitar since 9/11, which is why we bought the airline case.

I will be sending you an email off the board, as I have some questions for you.

Slan Beo,

Bit

__________________

www.rinconcreekstudios.zenfolio.com



Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 195
Date:
"The Next Chapter's" June Trip Report


Jeanne,

I enjoyed your report and you took me places I haven't been. You covered a lot of ground but it didn't seem to be a green blur. I hope you are going to have some photo's for us.

Thanks so much, Joan

__________________
joan chatham


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 73
Date:

Jeanne, sounds like you had a memorable time. I really liked the detail in your report. In our planned trip for October we too will be driving from Galway to Cashel. What route did you take and how much time was spent driving? I'm still trying to get the time issue solved and to know this would be a great help. Thanks much, O'Malley

__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 134
Date:

Jeanne,
I loved your report. I'm not a muscian but I thoroughly enjoyed your report. I too am heading to Donegal & Northern Ireland in September and can't wait. Thanks for the detailed report.

Merlene

__________________
Merlene M Black


Host

Status: Offline
Posts: 10694
Date:
RE: "The Next Chapter's" June Trip Report


Jeanne,

What a delightful trip report. Thanks for all the details. I'm glad to hear all the instruments made it okay. It seems that you had a ball especially performing and meeting other muscians. We all appreciated the B&B recommendations. Isn't Dualla House special?

For everyone that wants to view a few photos:  www.thenextchapter.net under Ireland Festival. You are a braver woman than I am, crossing Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge! biggrin

Michele

__________________

"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 90
Date:
"The Next Chapter's" June Trip Report


Hi Dude!
Glad to confirm that Michele's has great picks! :)

Bit, I can never feed my Harp Lust enough! I, too, was interested in the Tucson connection at Clonalis House.

Joan, as Michele mentioned, I just put up a hand full of photos on our band website and they are more geared towards the music end of our trip. Our fans really want to see a picture of Neill Lyons and of O'Carolan's home, etc. so that's mostly what I posted.

O'Malley, I think the drive from Galway to Cashel took us about three hours--longer than we hoped. I wish there was a way to avoid Limerick because that always slows us down. We pretty much took the obvious way through Limerick to Tipperary and over to Cashel.

Have a great time in September, Merlene!

Michele, thanks again for all of your help. We did have a wonderful time and the musical aspect is always icing on the cake for us. We LOVED Dualla House! By the way, I just sent a bunch of people your way who are all asking about how to plan a trip to Ireland (from a hammered dulcimer list I belong to). I told them to get your book and come spend some time here on the forum. It sure made the difference for us.

Jeanne


__________________
Jeanne Page


Host

Status: Offline
Posts: 10694
Date:

Jeanne,

Thanks for the referral! The more the merrier.

Michele

__________________

"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 44
Date:

It's fantastic that you were able to pack everything safely in hard cases and that the instruments arrived without any issues. Exploring Bunratty Folk Park, despite the tiredness, must have been a memorable experience for everyone, especially with a stop for apple pie at the Tea Room!



__________________


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 44
Date:

It sounds like your journey had its ups and downs, but you made the best of it!

Despite the early wake-up and the unexpected flight delay, it's great to hear that Mary at Bunratty Lodge was understanding and accommodating. It's always a relief when travel plans work out in the end, especially when instruments are involved!



__________________
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us


Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard