e woke up to the smell of rich morning coffee. It was to be part of
our breakfast on this first trip to Ireland,
a dream in itself. It has been said that all Irish homes become a bed
and breakfast during the summer, and this cottage with one spare room
was no exception. The owners fussed over us at the table as we enjoyed
eggs, bacon, sausages, black pudding, fried potatoes and home made rolls
with marmalade. They told us of the areas attractions and educated
us on famine history. We followed their instructions and found a genuine
famine pot in the middle of a forest, where locals placed food for the
Photo: Elyssa Davalos
We headed down the road to County Sligo for a pilgrimage
to the gravesite of WB Yeats, and soon found ourselves stuck in the
car, avoiding a heavy downpour. We didnt mind---we read Yeats
and gazed in awe at the green green surroundings. We stumbled upon a
Neolithic burial site, complete with massive stone markers. To this
day no one knows who these people were and how they were able to move
such mammoth rocks. We both could feel the power of the setting and
something came over us---before we knew it we were renewing our wedding
vows. After a Sunday pub meal of lamb, potatoes and Guinness
we found another B&B where (once again) we were the only
guests. We wanted to take the owner home with us, and to this day remain
Photo: Deb Roskamp
The next day, it was a drive through the sweeping
Connemara a place that Dickens described as a place of 'terrible
beauty.' We pulled off the road to study a famine trail a
site where 80 or so famine victims trekked to a manors house
in the hopes of food, only to be turned away. As we departed down
the road, we both commented that we had not seen a single car for
over half an hour. A second later there was a rumbling on the road.
We had a flat not unusual on these rock-strewn Irish roads.
Faced with having to unpack our little rental just to find the spare
tire and equipment was a daunting thought. Before we knew it, two
cars, each arriving from the opposite direction, appeared out of
nowhere. The drivers both hopped out and quickly changed our tire.
They barely stuck around for a handshake. It was dark when we arrived
at our next B&B. We awoke the next morning to find ourselves
in the middle of a fjord. It was the town of Liane , where the film
The Field was made.
Photo: Elyssa Davalos
Eventually we made it down to the musical town of Doolin.
This for us was an adult Disneyland. Three pubs specialized in Irish
session music each night. We hung with locals and like-minded tourists,
had big pub meals of lamb and potatoes or bacon and cabbage, then nursed
glorious pint after pint of Guinness as we listened to reels, jigs and
haunting ballads. Our daytimes were spent on trips to the Aran
Islands, the Cliffs of Moher, a Dolomite burial site and local castles.
We carry the memories with us wherever we go. Erin Go Bragh!
Photo: Elyssa Davalos
For further information about the Republic
of Ireland and Northern Ireland, log-on to TourismIreland.com.
My Irish roots understand terrible beauty. So do my
human roots. The concept has such a ring of truth to it, doesn't it?
Great article, Ringo. I hope to get to Ireland eventually, and thanks
for blazing the trail!
Sandeee Bleu, Seattle, WA
* * * *
No wonder I've been hearing all these wonderful stories
about Ireland. I used to think that it was just for Irish Americans
seeking their ancestral roots but your article seems to call out to
the non-Irish like me. Fascinating and intriguing.
Peter Paul, Pasadena, CA
Thanks for this great post wow... it's very wonderful.
Key Logger, New York
* * * *
Lets not forget that the Marriot Harbor Beach is within
walking distance to the world famous Elbo Room - Fort Lauderdale's oldest
Jeff, Fort Lauderdale, FL
* * * *
Thanks for taking the time
for the message and reminder. Indeed, I had a quick drink at the Elbo
Room. My trip to Ft. Lauderdale would not have been complete without
a visit to this historic institution.I have been reading about it for
years, and was not disappointed. It felt like a real local's hangout.
thoroughly enjoyed your article about Dick and Liz. I remember seeing
that article back in the heyday of Life Magazine.
To remember the "behind-the-scenes" stories
like that makes you genuine fan of the 60's. The famous couple's turbulent
relationship was just a precursor of today's headline-grabbing media
stars like Britney Spears and her colleagues. Life was simpler then.
The paparazzis still had some sense of decency. You "coulda"
been a good paparazzi. I say "coulda" because you kept this
to yourself all these many years.
Looking forward to other media trivia you can remember.
Peter Paul, South Pasadena, CA
Enjoyed your article on Antarctica --- cool photos,
too. One thing, you mentioned that Ushuaia in Argentina is considered
the most southern city in the world. I read that Chile lays claim to
that distinction, with Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in the world.
Mick, Greenbay, WI
* * * *
Now that football season is
over --- Ive often wondered what you Packer fans did in the off
season ---- its great that you took the time to visit TravelingBoy.
Great question, unlike my older brother, I adore all lamb products,
and Patagonian Lamb --- cooked in a restricted area at the restaurant
in an opened wood-fueled fire pit --- is amazing. The chef actually
uses an ax to carve it. Frankly, I found it superior to Norwegian fjord
lamb, Irish Burren lamb and even those much esteemed creatures down
in New Zealand. The crab in Ushuaia is the other thing to eat. Wait
a sec, you asked about Punta Arenas vs. Ushuaia as the furthermost city
in the world. Well, they both have little disclaimers re populations
--- you know, whats a city, which one is a town, ect so
better let Chile and Argentina brass it out. They seem to be able to
argue about any subject.
Three Musical Pilgrimages: Mozart, Grieg and Hendrix
Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
could read and compose music, plus play the violin and piano, when he was
five years old. Born into a musical family in Salzburg, Austria (then the
Holy Roman Empire), he had a unique ability for imitating music, which first
became evident when he recited a musical piece by simply observing his father
conducting a lesson to his older sister. This led to a childhood on the
road, where the young prodigy performed before many of the royal courts
Treasures of Ireland: The Irish Goodbye (Dispatch
The Palladian Traveler brings to a close his 20-part
series on the Emerald Isle from an upscale restaurant in downtown Dublin
where he files his final dispatch and then quietly slips away.
Two "MUST SEE" Truly Spectacular Places
in Europe. Here's Why.
The Han Grotto and Culzean Castle. As the name
of my Traveling Boy feature is "Travel With a Difference," it's
important to me to always bring you offbeat and unusual tourist places around
the world you may not know about. These two fit that category to a T, and
they're absolutely worth a visit. One's in Scotland and one's in Belgium.
Culzean (pronounced CULLANE) Castle is located near Maybole, Carrick, on
the Ayrshire coast of Scotland.
Highway 49 Revisited: Exploring California's
In the 1840s, the population of California was only
14,000, but by 1850 more than 100,000 settlers and adventurers had arrived
from all over the world and they came for one reason: gold. James
Marshall had discovered the first gold nugget at Sutters Mill in El
Dorado County, creating the largest gold rush in history.
Lake Charles Family-Size Low-Key Mardi Gras
The Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras in Lake Charles,
the second largest in Louisiana, does not need parents there to avert their
childrens eyes. This is family entertainment and children are very
much part of it. The main office of the Lake Charles CVB has costumes from
last years Mardi Gras but it also has figures to fascinate little
ones from country boys fishing for their dinner to alligators who have already
fed and are rubbing their stomachs.
Puerto Vallarta: Magic and Mayhem on the Malecon
So I heard that you could spend from dawn to dusk on
the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and never get bored and I thought,
"Okay, I'm up for that challenge." Well, maybe not the dawn part
I'm not a morning person so I had no problem leaving those
early hours to the joggers and those seeking an early start to catch their
red snapper for dinner.
Relaxing at The Inn at Laguna Beach
There is nothing like sleeping in an ocean-front room
and awakening to the sounds of waves crashing against the sand. It is
one of the finer things in life. And it is exactly what I experienced
recently on a memorable getaway to The Inn at Laguna Beach. The adventure
began when a friend I pulled off the 5 Freeway in Orange County and took
SR 133 south nine miles through winding lush hills and wilderness areas
to the ocean.
Tim Robbins On His Road To Stardom
Award-winning Tim Robbins began his career on episodic
television. Robbins' film work, however, is what catapulted him into becoming
a major movie star including "Bull Durham" and "Mystic
River" for which he won multiple awards. Equally at home behind the
camera, he directed the riveting "Dead Man Walking." He is Founder
and Artistic Director of The Actors' Gang, which he formed thirty-five
years ago and has directed multiple provocative productions.
Tahiti and Her Islands
Just their names (pronounce each vowel!) conjure up romantic
images: Tahiti Nui, Moorea, Bora Bora, Huahine, Ra'iatea, Taha'a. Her
people are gentle; the air, tiare-perfumed. Warm lagoons, majestic peaks,
tropical fruits from the land and bounty from the sea all tantalize the
senses. Paradise! As near as can be found on planet earth. And, in my
experience, the finest way to explore her is on a ship designed for that
Leviticus 20:13 Sent by Tom of Pasadena,
It all makes sense now. Gay marriage and marijuana
was legalized in the last election. Leviticus 20:13 states
"If a man lays with another man, he should be stoned..." We've
been interpreting it wrong all these years!