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Post Info TOPIC: Ballyvaughan Accomodations?


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Ballyvaughan Accomodations?


Hi Michele, I notice you have CAPPABHAILE HOUSE in Ballyvaughan as one of your "Quick Picks". Their web-site says they are "located in the heart of the Burren region, just outside Ballyvaughan".

I know your "Quick Picks" are places you inspected but haven't stayed at yet. How far outside Ballyvaughan is Cappabhaile House? What I'm wondering is, if we stayed at Cappabhaile, can we walk to Monk's Pub? Can we walk to anywhere, like a restaurant?

RUSHEEN LODGE, Ballyvaughan is another of your "Quick Picks". Can you walk to any restaurants/pubs from Rusheen Lodge?

You have a nice review of DRUMCREECHY HOUSE, Ballyvaughan, where you have stayed. Same question about walking distance to any pubs/restaurants?

Of the 3 Ballyvaughan accomodations, which one would be easiest to find in the dark, after driving from pubs in Doolin, Lisdoonvarna, or Kinvara? Well, perhaps not in the pitch dark, because in Ireland it gets dark quite late in July I hear. But still, we wouldn't want to be looking for a middle-of-nowhere hotel in the almost-dark after having a beer! (We would never drive drunk.)

Whereas in the day-time we plan to visit The Burren, the Cliffs of Moher, the Dunguaire castle, and maybe even the Aran Islands, at night we would like to visit pubs with traditional music, and also attend the Dunguaire castle medieval banquet one night.

Michele, thanks for all your help. What would I do without you? Anybody else who has stayed in Ballyvaughan, I welcome your opinion.



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Melissa,


Cappabhaile House is about a mile from town. Rusheen Lodge is less than a quarter mile from town. Both of them are more inland and do not overlook the water. Drumcreehy House is maybe 3/4 mile outside town overlooking Galway Bay. Since Drumcreehy is on the main coast road it is very easy to find.


If anyone has stayed at either Cappabhaile or Rusheen, please let Melissa know what you think.


Michele



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Thanks, Michele. It helps to know that Drumcreechy House would be very easy to find in the dark because it's on the main coast road. 3/4 of a mile outside of town is too far to walk at night, I think, but at least it sounds like an easy drive. Drumcreechy House sounds like a good location for us considering that we might end up driving to different villages for nightly entertainment each night, no matter where we stay in County Clare.

My daughters and I are night owls, whereas hubby is a morning person. He will be much more agreeable to venture out at night with us to pubs and Dunguaire castle medieval banquet if he knows that he can easily find our B&B again in the dark! (If you are wondering why there is a cow in this paragraph, that's because I couldn't find a moon, so that's the cow that jumped over the moon.)

It also helps to know that Cappabhaile House is a mile from town. This might be a little too isolated for our needs. Has anybody stayed there and what did you think of the location? I looked at the web site and it sounds well-suited for families with young children who wouldn't be venturing out at night. But maybe not so good for us, with lively young adults to entertain at night.

I appreciate the info, Michele. Sometimes a convenient location can be just as important as nice facilities.


Since Rusheen Lodge is less than a quarter mile to town that would be doable at night, maybe even for walking, although I don't know how easy it is to find in the dark. Anybody stay there and have feedback about finding Rusheen Lodge in the dark?





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Melissa,


You can always take a taxi back to your lodgings after pub crawling. So keep that as an option when making your decisions. A note about Drumcreehy: a very short distance away is a small beach that your husband may enjoy walking to in the morning. If the weather is good there will be nice sunsets over Galway Bay from Drumcreehy.


I can see that the next decision is in the works!


Michele



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Drumcreechy


Michele, Drumcreechy is sounding better and better. There are mosty good reviews of it on tripadvisor.com, but a couple of complainers seemed to feel they didn't get a friendly reception, and that they were stuck in the worst rooms. That's a bit worrisome, but I have come to really trust your judgement. Nobody on your web-site seems to have comments on Drumcreechy in their trip reports...maybe they were lost when that hacker hacked into your old site.

Have you gotten good feedback on Drumcreechy, and do you find a friendly reception there? This seems like a silly question to ask you because that's why you put them in your book, you obviously think it's a good place to stay, silly me! but I always find your answers informative and reassuring.

I liked the way Drumcrechy looks on their web-site, you have a nice review of it, and it's on the main road so we wouldn't have to worry about getting lost in the dark if we were returning from a day-trip. Now you tell me about the nice beach walk near Drumcreechy. Very enticing.

My only concern is those few negative comments on tripadvisor. However I have consulted tripadvisor for years and have found that some people's complaints are either made up or totally unfair and unfounded. Whereas other times complaints are justified. It is hard to learn the difference. The most reliable info usually comes from travellers who have taken the time to write an entire trip report, and mention various B&Bs in their trip report...this way you can get to know the personality of the writer and take it into account. but the reviews on tripadvisor are just a paragraph, anybody can write that and you can't tell if the person is trustworthy or not. But I trust you, Michele!


I don't expect everyone to have the same outgoing and warm-fuzzy personalities. But I do like to feel welcome when I stay at a B&B.

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RE: Ballyvaughan Accomodations?



Melissa,


I just had a look at the reviews of Drumcreehy on Trip Advisor and there was one negative review out of 11 favorable reviews. I have stayed there twice (the first time anonymously) and always find a warm welcome and nice hosts. Armin is German and Bernadette is Irish so she may be a bit more "fuzzy" than he is. But both are kind and attentive to guests needs. It is a guesthouse and they have staff that help them.






Trip Advisor Review: I am reading between the lines of the negative review on TA. The people were not happy that they received what seems like the last two rooms available. But they don't mention what time they arrived. Last check in time in Ireland is 6pm, unless they have advised the owners otherwise. Many times there are "no shows" that never show up even though they have reserved well ahead of time with a credit card. Sometimes a quick phone call to your accommodation on your day of arrival can go a long way toward receiving your reserved room. I don't know what the case was with this review but there are always two sides to each story.


There is a separate "cottage" with two rooms beside the main house. In the review on TA they mentioned smoking in the cottage. Although smoking is not allowed at Drumcreehy it would be pretty hard to monitor each room. The people with the complaint should have notified the owners or staff immediately so they could have dealt with the problem. I often find that people complain after the fact, when they could have done so on the spot and gotten some satisfaction. They also mentioned no hot water two days in a row. Did they inform management immediately? Could the people in the other room of the cottage have been "hot water hogs"? Could Bernadette and Armin have been away for a couple of days and could their staff have messed up? Could the hot water heater have broken down? I wasn't there so just don't know. I certainly would have been displeased with no hot water and I have removed an establishment from my book from repeatedly not providing it.






I have had nothing but favorable feedback from my readers on Drumcreehy. Any accommodation can mess up on occasion. Imagine doing it 365 a year! The potential for unfavorable comments boggles the mind. But on the whole I think that the places that I recommend have an excellent track record. No place will ever get a 100% satisfaction rating. It just takes one complaint to bring the score down.


For instance I am a volunteer at AllExperts.com: http://www.allexperts.com/getExpert.asp?Category=144 I have been there longer than any of the other "experts" in the Ireland section. Each of the "experts" is rated by the questioner according to the free answers they provide. If you click on the little box near the top of the listing and choose "Knowledge", you will find that I am rated next to last. Choose "Clarity" and I am dead last. Choose other rating categories and many other people are way ahead of me. So how would you interpret my ratings? Maybe look at my profile? Look at the number of questions I have been asked? Look at how long I have been answering questions? Read the questions I have answered, read the questions others have answered and make your decision with that? Realize that if one person gives less than a "10" you start sinking to the bottom and the longer you have been around and the more questions you answer the more options there are for multiple people giving a rating that is not a "10"?


You must take all such things with a grain of salt. They are open to interpretation. Do your research, get opinions and then make the best decision you can given the info available.


Michele



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Hi Michele, good info and good advice on Drumcreechy at Ballyvaughan, and on interpreting tripadvisor.com ratings.

I agree that it makes no sense not to alert your hosts at B&Bs of a problem, and then to go home and complain on the computer about it instead! Part of what makes a good B&B is how they deal with problems, which they can't do if they don't even know you have a problem.

I am glad to hear that you have had favorable feedback on Drumcreechy from your readers. Since your Best LIttle Guide to Ireland is based on your own experience, you are clearly in the position to remove places which repeatedly are not correcting the same problems.

Just as I thought you would, you have reassured my doubts with your good sense.

I like tripadvisor.com user ratings, but there is one trick which one needs to do, but it takes personal discipline...one must discount both the highest and the lowest rating for a particular B&B or hotel. All of the others will then present a more typical picture of the B&B!

However it is tempting to believe the highest rating, and then be set up for disappointment as one then expects perfection. Or, alternately, if one believes the lowest review, it fills you with fears which are often unfounded, as the reviewer may be a chronic complainer, negative person who isn't satisfied no matter where they go. (I have even seen some impossibly negative reviews which I swear are entirely made up for places I have been which were perfectly fine!)

Thanks once again Michele. And thanks for going to the trouble of looking at the tripadvisor reviews in question, and giving your experienced comments on them!

I think I will book rooms at Drumcreechy soon. Very busy coming weekend, niece getting married, family in town! Attended a bridal lingerie shower, lots of fun.



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Melissa,


I'm always happy to add my 2 cents worth. Have fun at the wedding this weekend!


Michele



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Drumcreehy, Ballyvaughan?


Hi Michele, I have to book now! It's almost thanksgiving! I think I'm developing commitment phobia. Probably because my younger daughter, my baby, wants to get married...My niece did get married this weekend, a beautiful wedding, everybody was crying they were so happy...

Okay, I'm going to book Drumceehy now. I mean, I'm going to e-mail them and hope they have rooms for us. (but Cappabhaile looks good too, Michele.)

But the beach walk near Drumcreehy...sigh...how nice...And it sounds so easy to drive from Drumcreehy on the N67 to Kinvara for the Dunguaire castle medieval banquet and then to drive back without getting lost.

Any thoughts on nicest rooms at Drumcreehy which are also quiet at night? Well, first I gotta see what they have available!

But Rusheen Lodge is closer to Ballyvaughan village...And Margaret and Conor at Capabhaile House sound nice too...

But I read Drumcreehy has a cozy fire too...wonder if they light it in July?

Melissa5 is koo-koo and tired.

Michele is the greatest.

Michele, you love Ireland, you must, you have been there more times than anybody I know! I'll write to Drumcreehy tonight. Can you answer me one question, hubby and I are wondering, does Drumcreehy "feel" Irish to you? In other words, do you feel like you're in Ireland? I know this is a silly question, but as Bernadette is Irish and Armin is German, we are wondering if we will "feel" like we are in Ireland or Germany. We haven't been to Germany yet, it's on our wish list, but you know what I mean? While in Ireland we like to feel like it's Ireland? Their web-site is lovely! You have the choice of English or German language on their web-site.

Cappabhaile House has so many good reviews on tripadvisor, but so does Drumcreehy. But there is not much information about whether travellers felt the location of Cappabhaile House was convenient, that is not really mentioned. You sure are on top of things, Michele, nobody else (in any guidebooks) mentions Cappabhaile House except for you, as one of your quick picks. (Well at least not in my pile of maybe about 8 guidebooks!!!)

I had a similar dilemma over a hotel in Costa Rica, wasn't sure if it was "Costa Rican" enough, and it ended up having a fabulous garden, including plants native to Costa Rica, which hubby was just thrilled to his toes over. Ended up being a great choice. Couldn't tell from the web-site but it was a great choice.

Thank you! Anybody else who might have stayed in Ballyvaughan, feel free to chime in.





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RE: Ballyvaughan Accomodations?


Melissa,


Glad to hear the wedding was fun and a success. You know what they say...going to a wedding is the making of another. Maybe your daughter got ideas there. Did she catch the boquet?


I think you will be very happy at Drumcreehy House. It is definitely Irish. As for whether they will have a fire, it will depend on the weather. If they are having a heatwave, probably not. If it is cool and rainy, probably. You can always ask them if they will light it for you.


Now for rooms. They have rooms that overlook the Burren in the back. Those would be the quietest rooms. The rooms overlooking the ocean also overlook the coast road. Not that there is all that much traffic on it once it gets dark (except for you and your family buzzing to the pubs!). The house is set well back from the road so it is not like you are right up close to it. There is a room that overlooks the Burren and has a sideways view of the ocean with a little balcony and French doors. I didn't make note of the room's name but if you were standing out front looking at the guesthouse it would be upstairs all the way on the right. It is an end room.


BTW, the breakfast at Drumcreehy is fabulous. You will be waddling away from the table (if you can walk by that time). Tell Bernadette and Armin hello from me if you decide to book there.


Michele


 



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Wedding Bells and Drumcreehy, Ballyvaughan


THE WEDDING:
Hi Michele, my daughter didn't catch the bouquet at the wedding, as the bride rightfully threw it directly to her older sister! Good job!

But my baby (in college) is in love...and hearing wedding bells! Hubby is panicking , and I am giving my daughter wise counsel about being patient and waiting and staying in school, and meanwhile I have already asked my favorite gourmet sweets shop if they make wedding cakes!!! Just checking, you know, didn't order one yet!

I am SO GLAD I talked my daughter into going to Ireland with us. It might be our last family trip maybe, who knows. (No, wait...I see visions of future trips which include son-in-law! And then even bigger ones which include my grandchildren! This trip-planner will never give up.)

I'm glad my niece's wedding was a magnificent one, as I think the vision of that will at least prevent my impulsive daughter from running off and eloping! OH, it was so romantic. The wedding ceremony was beautifully planned so that we could all see the profile of the tender-hearted groom holding up the ring and placing it on the glowing bride's finger. And now they are off on their honeymoon. Michele, what are these people doing, I have always wanted to know: Anybody have a clue?

DRUMCREEHY HOUSE, BALLYVAUGHAN:
Michele, I did e-mail Drumcreehy and inquire about rooms, and am waiting for their reply. And of course I mentioned that you recommended them. I'll tell them you said hello next time when I reply to their e-mail.

Thank you for reassuring me that Drumcreehy is "Irish". Your word is as good as the word of St. Patrick himself. Well I don't know that he was originally Irish but the Irish seem to have adopted him!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity of chatting with you on-line, it gives us all a chance to see your style and to know how well your recommendations will fit into our personal vacation styles.

Do you really think I should ask Bernadette and Armin to "light my fire"?

Here's an odd wish...I wish for a day of bad weather in Ireland so I can sit by the fire! (But I want some sunny days too!)

I appreciate your description of the types of rooms and which way they face. It sounds like even the ocean view rooms will be fairly quiet. That end room with the little balcony and french doors, where you can see both the Burren and a sideways view of the ocean, sounds quite nice actually. I will see what they offer me. Usually with B&Bs I ask for "a romantic room with a nice view, that is also quiet at night" for my hubby and I. I am sometimes offered a choice and always well-advised this way, and very content with my room. (Daughters are less picky, they just want their own bed!)

Well I hope we are waddling away from the bountiful table of Bernadette and Armin in July! We will waddle off to walk on The Burren or on the beach, and work off a few calories.

Thank you Michele and other kind travellers for helping me plan this trip! Making good progress! Also contacted my favorite AAA travel agent about getting my airline tickets. It's such a long flight, I was very happy with our flights to Italy in June 2004 which she booked for me. sometimes I book flights myself if they are short and simple, but Europe is such a long flight from San Diego, I appreciate the experience of my friendly AAA travel agent, and her cheerful smile makes this nervous flyer feel like it's going to be great fun instead of a catastrophe!

Off to the next Irish challenge...

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RE: Ballyvaughan Accomodations?


Michele, I have received a reply from Bernadette and Armin at Drumcreehy with an offer of rooms with either a Burren view or a sea view. You have already kindly given me much information about Drumcreehy and rooms. I just need to decide which rooms to accept! They have kindly explained that although the sea view rooms are on the road side they are fairly quiet but not as quiet as the Burren side rooms.

Michele! Which rooms should I pick! Do you think the corner room with the seaview and the Burren view and the french doors and balcony that you mentioned is maybe the one to request? I am really torn and you somehow always manage to settle my mind and I feel more peaceful about decisions after your replies!

I have also considered just telling Bernadette and Armine to pick the nicest room for me, hubby says to pick the room that is nicest on the inside because we tend to go go all day and won't be seeing out the window too much anyway so the inside of the room matters to him.
Thank you for putting up with my picky little questions. It just comes out of anxiety, I'm not actually a picky guest when I arrive, I'm always a very happy guest (after all I pave the way for my happiness by considering all the angles before I arrive! I don't just leave everything to chance!) You would notice if you read my trip reports on fodors or tripadvisor that everyplace I stay is very nice and the people are so helpful! That's because of research and great people like you...

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Melissa,


Since you have already told Bernadette and Armin exactly what you want, why not let them choose the right room for you? Or if you want a bit of Burren plus a bit of ocean go for the room I mentioned (although it has two beds & I don't know if you want that). All the rooms are nicely done and I doubt if you will be disappointed with what ever one you get.


Michele



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Thank you Michele. Yes, I like your advice. I'll tell Bernadette and Armin what I basically want (already have) and then let them surprise me!

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Melissa,


If you check in early afternoon (as opposed to 6pm) you will most likely have a choice of rooms. Bernadette may well show you a few and let you choose what you want. Just a thought.


Michele



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Michele, thanks for the advice, good plan. We'll be driving up from Dingle to Ballyvaughan. Will try to time it to arrive in afternoon. Actually that's good advice for checking in anywhere. Late arrivals will of course get the leftover rooms and there won't be any way to change. Happy thanksgiving.

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Melissa,


You might want to pick up a phone card on your arrival in Ireland. Then you can phone ahead to let your accommodations know you are in the country and confirm that you will definitely be there. Unless you plan on doing lots of other calling the 5 euro card should be fine.


Michele



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Drumcreehy House and Route Planning Service


DRUMCREEHY HOUSE:
Michele, I like your idea of getting the phone card and assuring our hosts that we are indeed in Ireland so they won't have to be wondering if we will be "no-shows"! (If I ever need to cancel for some reason, I always give them notice right away. It's just really unfair especially to family-owned smaller B&Bs to just leave them wondering, when they could have re-booked the room for somebody else!)

I received a booking confirmation from Drumcreehy House, a nice warm e-mail.
I did exactly what you suggested, I told them what our needs were, and relied on them to assign the rooms which would best meet those needs. They have assigned us to rooms in "our lovely Lodge beside the Main House."

I didn't realize they had a Lodge beside the main house. Perhaps you are familiar with it? We have one double room for hubby and I, and one twin/triple room for my daughters in the Lodge beside the main house. (It is a twin room which can become a triple room if my son is able to get the time off from work to accompany us.) What I requested was a nice, romantic room for hubby and I which is quiet at night; and my request for the daughters was simple...I just requested 2 beds! (They aren't picky but don't like to share a bed.) Plus I requested a twin room for them which could become a triple if necessary.

I have asked Bernadette and Armin if they have a photo of the room in the lovely Lodge which my hubby and I will share. (I love photos, it makes everything real, and you can look forward to something that is concrete in your imagination.)

So what do you think, Michele? did you happen to stay in the Lodge next to the main house, or have a chance to see the rooms? What are your favorite rooms at Drumcreehy?

I know I can trust your advice, and the only reason I even hesitate about these rooms in the Lodge that is separate from the main house, is I need the assurance of someone who has been there. (If you recall the only negative review of Drumcreehy on tripadvisor happened to come from somebody who stayed in what they called a "separate cottage". Have no idea if these are the same rooms we are getting, but I will happily take your word for it if you do recall seeing this Lodge beside the main house, and you recommend it. ) As you and I have discussed before, an isolated instance of a bad review on tripadvisor should be discounted, if all the other reviews are favorable, which they are for Drumcreehy!

Many thanks for your advice and support on this trip planning and B&B selection process. You have been so great, and even hubby is saying today, you're lucky to have Michele to consult!

ROUTE PLANNING SERVICE:
I know you offer a route planning service with maps for a fee. I was wondering...When I get my trip all planned, I did already buy the Complete Road Atlas of Ireland put out by the "OSI, Ordnance Survey Ireland". It does have place names in English and Gaelic. It has many pages and is spiral bound with an index. Here's what I was wondering. Is it redundant to already have this road atlas, and yet still pay for your route planning service? I am a bit confused about if I will end up with duplicate maps.

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RE: Ballyvaughan Accomodations?


Melissa,


Glad to hear you have your reservations at Drumcreehy. You are moving right along! I agree completely about canceling a place if you are not going to stay there. But not all people are as considerate as you are. You would be surprised by the amount of "no shows". And you are right. It's not like these places are huge hotels with a thousand rooms. When someone doesn't show it really hurts the bottom line at small Mom & Pop accommodations. They obviously have the option to put the charge for the room on the credit card of the "no shows" but many times those cards have become invalid, been canceled or the people dispute the charge and get it reversed. As you can see there is a lot going on behind the scenes at B&Bs.


The Lodge (as they are calling it) is a separate building beside Drumcreehy House. It has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. That means your family would have it all to yourselves. I had a very quick look at it when I was last there, so my memory of it is not written in stone at this point. I believe there was a hall between the two bedrooms. Everything is on the ground floor and would provide a private and quiet place to stay. You will have to tell your daughters to tone down the giggling and talking till 2 am if you want to get some sleep! If you look at the house photo on this page http://www.drumcreehyhouse.com/media/hausgross.jpg the Lodge is just on the left of the house. I believe you can see a tiny corner of it near the lamp post. Probably the only downside is that you have to go outside and into the main house for breakfast or to use the sitting room, etc.


BTW, this is the room with the little balcony. I see it currently has one bed (a queen I believe): http://www.drumcreehyhouse.com/pages/Drumcreehouse/D_l.jpg  Good idea to ask for photos. That way you can have a good look and make your decision.


As for the Route Planning, you have an excellent Atlas of Ireland. The map that I provide is exactly the same as the Tourist Board  and car companies gives out. The one you have has much greater detail. At this point (much as I could use another 20 bucks)  I think you are competent to do your own routing.


Michele


 



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Drumcreehy, Ballyvaughan


Happy Thanksgiving Michele! Thanks for all your great help. I just had a lovely e-mail from Bernadette and she is very helpful in trying to explain the rooms at Drumcreehy to me. The lovely room with the french doors is called the Fuchsia room and I am requesting that one, with the understanding that what room you get depends on what is available when you arrive (some people stay-over longer than planned, etc.) The separate Lodge sounds nice too, she said it was not less luxurius, just as nice as the rooms in the main house. So I left it like this...Fuchsia room in main house first choice, if not available Bernadette will give us nice rooms according to our requests. (I requested a quiet, romantic room for hubby and I. Daughters not picky, just like their own beds.)

Well I must have come a long way if I am now competent to route our own travels on the roads! Thanks for the mighty fine compliment!

Daughters planning and cooking thanksgiving this year. I am watching the fireworks, with the arguing over recipes, now we're off to shop!

Feeling very happy at the moment and thnks for helping me bring my Ireland dream trip closer to reality! Getting excited! And hungry.
Melissa






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RE: Ballyvaughan Accomodations?


Melissa,


You never did tell us how dinner turned out. How did it go? Was it delicious?


Michele



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Michele, thanks for asking, my 2 young adult daughters' first efforts to make thanksgiving dinner turned out fantastic, absolutely gourmet! We were so impressed. For a whole week or 2 after nothing else I ate ever tasted the same again, in comparison to that dinner.

I should add they have always helped make thanksgiving and other dinners, but they have never actually completely been in charge of it, from planning to shopping to cooking...I was just a helper, mostly doing dishes. I'm so proud of them!

How was your thanksgiving?


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Melissa,


Sounds like a great time and a fantastic meal. It is making me hungry! We had a very nice day, on the quiet side. It sounds like you have lovely children.


Michele



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Thanks for the compliment, Michele, I do have lovely lively daughters. They fill us daily with joy and terror!

"I wish I was in Carrick Fergus"... (from a song by the McKrells)

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Melissa5 wrote:

Thanks for the compliment, Michele, I do have lovely lively daughters. They fill us daily with joy and terror!

"I wish I was in Carrick Fergus"... (from a song by the McKrells)




Or Loreena McKennitt, or Van Morrison...or on and on and on.

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Slán go fóill, Judy


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Oh but Dude, I heard it first by the McKrells! Can you suggest any other great Irish folk songs for me to listen to? Love that sad, longing quality of the song...Makes me wish I was back in Carrick Fergus, even though I haven't even been to Ireland yet.

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