Thursday, July 7, 2016

We Aren't in Kansas Anymore

Remember that post I wrote several posts back about Bucket Lists? Well if you haven't read it yet go back and read it here on this site. I'm talking about checking off a bucket list item and you should be up to speed.
 My husband John has been dreaming of a trip to Ireland, Scotland and England for quite a while now. It alllllllll started when the movie  Braveheart came out in mid 1995. We had the privilege  of sitting in the front row of the movie theater and getting to know Mel Gibson up close and personal for several bloody hours all for "Freedom!!!!!" Epic film but that was when John started all this talk about Scotland. Fast forward to 2 years ago when we decided we were really going to go there and chose to travel with as many fun friends who wanted to travel with us. So with a total of 6 fun friends married couples who were willing to take the plunge with us we took a 3 week adventure to the British Isles.
It began with a land tour of Ireland for 5 days to the Cliffs of Moher, through the Irish countryside with lambs on every hillside, exploring the delightful Irish towns and Ring of Kerry, and we fell in love with this lovely place. In Ireland you experience a new meaning to the color GREEN. I suppose living in drought ravaged California made us desire this 40 Shades of Green as sung, by Johnny Cash ( We then boarded a ship in London that took us to memorable places for a 12 day cruise. Castles, gardens, lakes and memories we will hold in our hearts forever. Much laughter and adventure with our Fun Friends Forever gang.We ended our trip in London for 4 days and were even there for the famous" Brexit "vote! We will have to return again as we simply could not do everything the city held out for us.
Some favorite memories for me:
~chatting with some 13 yrs old Irish girls at the parliament building in Belfast. They loved Justin Beiber and took selfies with me.Their fair skin tone and freckles made me realize I had found my people! (love)
~pony trap or jaunting cart ride in the park in Killarney, Ireland. An old castle was a surprise ending to the delightful ride.
~seeing how peat moss is made from huge bogs in fields and having Irish coffee at 11 am. yummmm
~purchasing my special keepsake necklace that has my name engraved in an ancient Celtic alphabet called Ogham.
~dinner and whiskey in a real Irish pub.
~the green green green countryside with stone walls and fields of lambs and cattle.
~ witnessing the locals who came out to wave the ship farewell in Cork, Ireland, and Liverpool England, and Greenock Scotland! Pipe bands, waving crowds, period costumes and big fanfare for us.
~visiting Monet's garden and spending one day in France. Also visiting the city of Rouen where Monet lived for a time and  remembering Joan of Arc who was burned at the the church ruins here.
~visiting Hillsborough Castle just two days after the royals William and Kate were there. This is the family home to Queen Elizabeth.
~ Visiting St Andrews golf course and walking on the beach there where they filmed Chariots of Fire!
~playing croquette  at Dunrobin Castle gardens.
~visiting Glamis Castle which was home to the Queen mum.
~actually singing the famous Scottish song"you take the high road and I'll take the low road" on the bonny bonny banks of Loch Lomond with our tour guide!
~exploring Powerscourt garden and waterfalls not far from Dublin.
~touring a Titanic museum in the last port of call for that fateful voyage in Cork, Ireland.
~eating potatoes at EVERY meal...haha
~Learning the local slang lingo. Example-fairy fingers(foxglove flowers), the necessary (potty break)
~ Having dinner with our fun friends...every ...night!!!
~Seeing the play "Wicked" on the West End in wow.
~Tea at Harrods and Selfridges with John and the Camerons & Kennedys.
~That spaghetti we had at that restaurant our last night in London, and the waitress gave me the recipe! WIN!
~having the courage to ride the London Eye!
~not kissing the Blarney Stone but loved the Castle. Apparently if you kiss someone who did then the gift of eloquence in speech passes to you too. Thanks Roger and Cathy!

I could ramble on about this fabulous vacation, but then you would hate me more then you already do so I will stop and just say this: Go follow after and begin today to implement your dreams no matter what they are! My brother has a goal and dream of visiting every state park in the state of Montana! How cool is that!? He's already crossing them off his list this summer.  I have another friend who wanted to see the Grand Canyon and I had the privilege of standing there with her last October to see it! Go and choose life.

My deep love to my traveling companions Mark & Laurie Cameron, Roger and Cathy Williams, Ed and Michele McDonald, Duane Schwega and Delene Waltrip, and Pam and Jim Kennedy. I love you all so much for helping us check this dream vacation off the bucket list. Fun Friends Forever!!!!

love and blessings,