BEAUTIFUL!!

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On our recent trip to New York City, my older sister and I saw “Beautiful, the Carole King Musical.”  It was a fun walk down memory lane…kind of like a concert with the added back-story.  You won’t believe some of the oldie’s she co-wrote before her own Tapestry album was released in 1971…did you know “One Fine Day…performed by the Chiffons” was one of her songs? I would recommend it if you ever get out to NYC….or catch it on the North American tour in a city near you.  When we came out of the theater, my sister said to me, “You should write about that song, Beautiful.  It’s the way you start your day.”  I thought, wow, that’s such a nice thing to say and, of course, it made me go back and look at the lyrics.

“You’ve got to get up every morning
With a smile on your face
And show the world all the love in your heart….”

How nice for someone to notice something about you that you never really gave a second thought.  I don’t do it consciously, but it is the way I start my day…and it’s definitely not always easy.  Everybody has bad days and there are many times when I’m anxious about what the days meetings, activities, etc… are going to bring my way, but I try to make a concerted effort to orchestrate each day so that it’s pleasant for those around me.  I know this may sound archaic, but I remember from my Catholic elementary school days that a teacher (probably a nun) once told the class to start every morning by thanking God for the day.  It’s not a daily thing, but I still do it when I remember…sometimes it just feels like second nature.  I just look out at the gorgeous sunrise or the blue sky while I’m still in bed and thank God for giving me the day.  I just do it silently to myself (in fact, I’m not sure my ex-husband even knows I did that?) and relish in the feeling of gratitude.  It, obviously, doesn’t change the bad and hard things from happening in your life, but it helps you face them with a little more courage and optimism….and gratitude.  Have a BEAUTIFUL weekend!

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P.S…thanks to my sister and my friends for all the ideas you continue to give me to write about in this blog….keep ’em coming…couldn’t do it without you!

  You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails! 

A Thank You Note to NEW YORK CITY

Thank you Barrie for these warm boots!

Dear New York City,

Thank you for the years of entertainment, culture and excitement you’ve given me!  Thank you for enveloping me in your Broadway shows and diverse population.  Thank you for giving me winter and all that it entails!  …And thank you for taking care of my children, offering them jobs and wonderful relationships as they navigate their early adulthood.  You will always be part of my history and for that I am forever grateful! 

LOVE…Jeanine

I’ve loved NYC for as long as I can remember.  My Dad was born in Manhattan, growing up in the Irish neighborhood known as Inwood, my Mom spent most of her childhood out on Long Island in Breezy Point, and both of my sisters lived there for about 10 years in the 80’s…not to mention the fact that all five of us were born in neighboring New Jersey.  It’s kind of been ingrained in my siblings and I from a young age that NYC was a great place.  Yes, California has amazing weather and I don’t think I’d want to live anywhere else, but there is absolutely nothing like NYC….Paris is a close second!  When we took a family trip back in the late 90’s, Austin said “I’m going to live here some day!”  Right now both of my kid’s, and their fiancés, live on the east coast, working in New York City/Brooklyn (although my daughter is not really a fan of city life).

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bought some much-needed NYC jammies at the airport on my way home

I’ve wanted to write a post about NYC many times, but there is soooo much to say and share about this great city that I’ve just procrastinated, hoping I would find the words to convey the enthusiasm I have and the energy you get when you visit.  I traveled back there last week and have been bursting to share everything NYC!  Because there’s so much to say about the city that never sleeps, I’ll do a mash-up of a few trips and share the things I love most about them….number one being the fact that I get to spend time with my kids and their fiancés!

Before the wheels even touch down at JFK, I crane my neck to catch a glimpse of the city lights through the tiny plane window.  The excitement builds as I take a taxi (…or the cheaper, convenient, A train if I’ve only got carry on luggage) over the bridge and see the lights of the Chrysler and Empire state buildings come into view.  The last couple of times I’ve visited I’ve stayed with the kids, but my sister’s were joining me this past week, so we stayed at a friend’s on Central Park West….amazing location and view!  It’s 11pm, but “it’s really only 8pm, right?” we all say and head over to Empire Szechuan on Columbus for their cold noodles with sesame sauce…my mouth is watering just thinking of them (we used to go back in the 80’s when my sisters lived there).  As we sit and order more delicacies people keep arriving…it’s midnight!…gotta love this city that never sleeps!  We leave around 12:30 am…as people continue to arrive and the delivery guy is heading out with an order (FYI….they’re open until 1:30am if you ever arrive on an evening flight…highly recommend).

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Our  stunning morning view from the apartment

Wandering!…I’ve said it about Paris, but my love for wandering started in NYC.  There are so many unique neighborhoods, with their own distinct feeling and story, that you can be in Italy one minute, China in another, the 70’s in another…with a mix of poverty and opulence within blocks of one another.  There’s theater and museums to keep you occupied for months on end and if someone said they were “bored” in NYC I might have to slap them!  I was there last January for a week and I could have stayed a month….the train to adorable, very Mayberry-like, Cranford, NJ to stay with Taylor & Dan; seeing the incomparable Savion Glover at the intimate Joyce Theater was a treat; the train to Connecticut to stay with my childhood friend Kelley, & Justin; a few days with Austin and Kate in the very hip Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, including a fun cooking class and a Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum; the MET; strolling through Central Park; window shopping on Madison Avenue (’cause it’s too damn expensive to buy anything there); The Mackenzie Child’s store on 57th….and so many amazing restaurants that it’s hard to pinpoint just one…although I’ll give a shout out to The Waverly Inn & Roberta’s…YUMMY!

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Adorable Cranford Westfield

Adorable Cranford & Westfield

Fairfield, CT

Fairfield, CT

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Jean Paul Gautier at the Brooklyn Museum (2014)

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Fairfield Beach, CT

I started planning this past trip much the same as last year’s…just visiting the kids (I made the reservations the Tuesday after they left from their Thanksgiving visit out here).  I’ve gone in February the past few years because the flights are cheaper and I get a bit of much-needed winter weather…with coats, scarves, sweaters and boots!  It was quickly, and gratefully, transformed into so much more!  My two sister’s and my niece would join me and some neighbors would, coincidentally, be in NYC too.  Sounds like a party waiting to happen!  We, my sister’s and I, took the train out to Long Island and spent a long-overdue visit with our wonderful Aunt, my mother’s sister.  A large group of us invaded my neighbors stunning rental apartment and enjoyed cocktails and hors-d’oeuvres in the shadow of the Empire State Building.  We took in a few Broadway shows and threw a fun bridal shower for Kate, meeting more of her friends and extended family.  I didn’t get to wander much this trip because it was so f-ing cold, but it was a magical trip, just the same…as only NYC can offer!!  If you ever go, please contact me…I have a five page word document that I try to update periodically with  “Everything NYC!”

Here’s a visual storyboard of my favorite city & some special events…..

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My sisters, niece and I

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Kate’s Bridal Shower

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greatest gift….customized corn-hole game…and the beautiful bride

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the bridal shower

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A gift from my sister…LOVE!!!

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A Valentines Day toast!

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Cherche Midi…french bistro…recommend!

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It was cooooold!

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Bryant Park fountain…did I mention it was cold?!

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Bright lights, big city

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Ice skating in Bryant Park

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Welcome to Bryant Park Grill…who is that greeter in the doorway?

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love this Central Park gazebo near Strawberry Fields memorial

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amazing architectural stairways

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Joe Allen…where Broadway stars go after their show

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Washington Square Park…near NYU

Go see this musical!

Go see this musical!

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Our last morning together…cozy on the couch
(Austin is taking the pic….& we missed Dan too)

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Bryant Park merry-go-round

I can’t wait to go back!  So many more pictures I could share…but this post would be even longer than it already is….so, I’ll end it with this serendipitous fortune!

I got this last week...the day after I wrote my "Hope" post

I got this last week…the day after I wrote my “Hope” post…SO TRUE!!

    You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails! 

HOPE….fully!

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Very early in the New Year I was thinking of what my “word” would be for 2015.  As I was wandering in and out of shops in Quebec City I came across some “wish” bracelets, each with various glass beads and their corresponding meaning.  Each color signified something different…Red=Passion, Pink=Love, Orange=Strength, Yellow=Peace, Green=Hope, Blue=Healing, Dark Purple=Spirituality, and Multi Color = Resolutions.  The idea is that you make a wish as you’re tying it on and when it falls off your wish will come true.  Well, I’m not much for the whole “wish will come true” idea, but I liked the idea of a daily reminder to strive for something.  The weird thing is that I had already been leaning towards the word “HOPE” and this just seemed to be a sign that cemented the idea in my mind.  My friend, Maggie, who gave me the word a year idea and some angel cards, says that the word chooses you…and I believe that to be true.  I bought the bracelet, the shopkeeper tied it on my wrist, and I have been wearing it ever since.

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Wikipedia describes Hope as “an optimistic attitude of mind based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large.”  Hope resonated with me because there’s going to be a lot of big events in my life this year….an anticipated, memorable move and my two children’s weddings…and my hope is that they will all be awesome!  By acknowledging my expectation, there is a greater chance that these events will happen as I envision them and that I will work towards those goals!  Shane J. Lopez, PH.d is a world renowned expert on the psychology of hope and author of the book “Making Hope Happen.”  He says that some people confuse wishing with hoping.  Wishing is a passive occupation, whereas hope is an active one.  How you see your future helps you nurture hope, it pulls you forward and makes you believe that your expectations will be fulfilled…wishing is just a thought, without actions to back it up.

So, 2015 is my year of Hope…and I will HOPE..fully!!  Have you picked a word for 2015?

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Got this tonight….my HOPE for the year!! (maybe I should buy a lottery ticket with those numbers!)

 You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails! 

Motivational Mondays…it’s all about you!

on the pier

“The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself.  It is not in your environment; it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.”… Orison Swett Marden

(I really like this quote…but “the help of others” & the support they give, is immeasurable…reach out, ask for it!)

  You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails! 

A Happy, Wacky Childhood

“One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood”..Agatha Christie

I grew up with two parents and four siblings…one younger, three older.  I used to take for granted that I had a happy, idyllic childhood.  As you are entrenched in your self-centered youth and adolescence you assume that others have it just as good (or bad if that’s the case)…and that your upbringing is nothing special.  It is only when I’ve looked back as an adult and reflect on my childhood….and examined other children’s realities…that I am truly grateful for the gift my parents and siblings have given me.

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I love this family picture…yes, I’m the one making the face on the right

Is it nature or nurture?  Well, that’s a completely different post that I’ll get to at some point, but let me share a few things that made my childhood so much fun.

My parents loved road trips (either that or it was just cheaper with all those kids!) and we embarked on one almost every summer to someplace new.  When we were really young and lived in New Jersey, we drove to Vermont and “The Tyler Place on Lake Champlain.  After moving to Calfornia, one of our car trips was out to Monument Valley where my dad was filming a movie…another year was to see Apollo 11 launch from Cape Canaveral (okay, we flew across the country, but then meandered the south from Florida to Houston in a wood-sided station wagon.)  I know my older siblings have many more memories than I or my younger sister, but these stick out for me….as does the “trains, planes & automobile” trip up to Vancouver that we took as a family, which was epic!  I know that nowadays (wow, I sound old) there are video games, movie screens, etc.. to distract kids while on long road trips, but it was fun singing “boom, boom ain’t it great to be crazy…,” “100 bottles of beer on the wall,” or just playing “20 questions” to pass the time.  Oh, sure there was plenty of “don’t touch me!!” between my siblings and me, but we knew there was a fun destination at the end waiting for us and this was just part of the journey to getting there.  “Stuckey’s” was one of my personal favorite stops along the way!  When my own children were young we made the 5-6 hour trek every year up to Mammoth to ski.  I love the memory of playing “I spy” and “geography” games with them, as well as singing our share of Raffi songs (dang, now I can’t get that Baby Beluga song out of my head!)  It wasn’t too painful, was it, kids?

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Yeah, we pretty much looked like this, only I don’t think our car was green.

Another fun memory was my parent’s nutty parties with their somewhat eccentric friends. My Dad was in the entertainment industry and my mom was a stay-at-home mom until I was in high school, which I realized later in life was not always the norm.  Being in “the industry,” as they call it, made for some really wacky parties.  I think my favorite was when they, and their friends, decided to have a “prom.”  At one of their parties they put names in a hat (I’m assuming they put the wive’s names in a hat) and the men then picked someone from said hat. That would be their prom date.  It would have still been fun, and easy, if my parents and all the other adults just drove themselves to the party house…but, no..this was PROM!  Mr. Smith* came to the door in a tux, corsage in hand.  My Mom left with him in what looked like a borrowed/rented bridesmaid dress.  My dad, and Mrs. Jones* were the chaperones, so they were dressed as a priest and nun, respectively.  They all arrived at the William’s* home, where I’m sure a night of laughs and frivolity ensued.  There was a full band and a photographer to take the prom pictures.  Oh to get my hands on those pics!! Too funny!

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There are some simple things that made my childhood idyllic, such as… the love that I felt when I walked in the door and our home enveloped me…the security of knowing my parents would be there and my siblings had my back (..and still do!)…selling oranges on the corner with my little sis’ (we had 13 orange trees…& we were entrepreneurial!)…re-building the “fort” in the backyard every summer and insisting we wouldn’t let it fall apart this time…riding our bikes until it was dark, not a care in the world…the camaraderie of team sports…our annual Christmas tree cutting parties (yes, even in Southern California we went, with a bunch of other families, to a tree farm, picked out the “perfect” tree and sawed it down)….dancing around & singing to the soundtrack album from “Sound of Music” or Christmas Carols (I actually don’t remember this much, but my mom swore we did…and I definitely danced and sang around the house with my kids, so something sunk in!)

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Let me re-iterate that I have four siblings and they may (probably would) dispute at least some of the “idyllic” childhood that I’m conveying, but I guess that’s where the “nature vs. nurture” concept comes in and the perception it entails.  Stay tuned for that post!

*names have been changed to protect the innocent
egan kids reenactment

2013 re-enactment of the original…you can’t even see that we’re sitting on the same love-seat from the 60s (no tree available for the background)

  You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails! 

Get thee to the Getty

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This past weekend I had the pleasure of seeing a fun new play Serrano, The Musical up in L.A. (my cousin Beth is one of the backers!)  It has catchy tunes, fun choreography and beautiful singing voices….everything your looking for in a musical theater production.  See it before it closes in March! The theater is on Melrose….go early and enjoy the funky shopping and yummy restaurants in the area too!

So…since I was going to be driving up to L.A. and spending the night at my sister’s home, I thought I’d make an adventure of the day and stop at the Getty Museum too.  I haven’t been in over 10 years….it was time to go back.  In addition to their amazing permanent collection, they also had a current exhibition of black and white photography titled Josef Koudelka: Nationality Doubtful and In Focus: Play.  Aside from dance, black and white photography is my favorite art form, so I was excited!!  You have to pay $15 for parking at the Getty, but then the rest of it…the museum and grounds…are free.  Getting to the top of the Santa Monica mountains, where The Getty is situated, entails a 15 minute steep walk…or the more desired option, the tram. The Richard Meier designed Getty Center is a wonder of architecture, but the tram, in and of itself, is also a modern day marvel.  The tram was designed to quietly transport 1200 people per hour from the very large parking structure up to the center without disrupting the neighboring homes, while at the same time offering sweeping views of the city.  It accomplishes both.

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On a clear day you can see forever…from the tram

It was a grey day, with a slight drizzle in the air, but that did not detract from the beauty of the grounds.  Okay, on a clear day you have a view of downtown and the ocean, which is probably more desirable, but it’s still gorgeous in the rain.  The Getty website describes the central garden best”….an evolving work of art, with tree-lined walkways that lead visitors through extraordinary sights, sounds, and scents.”  It is a feast for the eyes and the senses….just as much as the architectural beauty of the museum itself.

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This is the sculpture as you get off the tram….it reminded me of a basket on a lacrosse stick. The buildings in the background are the campus of Mt. St. Mary’s College, where my mom worked for over 25 years.

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this captures the grandeur of the space…this is just the cafe

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there’s symmetrical beauty in this row of trees…even without their leaves

Josef Koudelka, although an engineer by trade, made the switch to photography in his mid 20’s.  He started by photographing local theater in his Czech homeland, but his fame came while photographing the Warsaw Pact invasion in Czechoslovakia in 1968, smuggling those images to the West, and ultimately being exiled in 1970.  Because he had no proof of his birth in Czechoslovakia, he obtained the legal status “Nationality Doubtful”  hence the name of the exhibit.  While some of the photographs from around the world were at times haunting, some were also quite poignant.  No photographs were allowed in the actual exhibit, so you’ll have to see them and judge for yourself.

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Although quite small, I really enjoyed the variety in the exhibit In Focus: Play.  It was a diverse grouping of pictures, ranging from the serious to the whimsical by different photographers.

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One of my favorites…1937 Lower East Side, Weegee (Arthur Fellig)

Here are a few iconic paintings also on display…. (isn’t it interesting/weird that you can take pics of some of the paintings, but not others?)

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Irises by Van Gogh 1889

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Wheatstacks by Monet 1891

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Sunrise by Monet 1873….no surprise that I like this one!

I love to travel and explore new places, restaurants, views, etc.  This day made me realize that I don’t have to go that far..it’s in my own backyard.  Los Angeles is about an hour drive from my home, but seemed like such an adventure (…and I grew up in the San Fernando Valley..go figure!)  If you find yourself with a free day, make it a day in L.A. with The Getty, shopping, eating and Serrano, The Musical (I have a few discount tickets for those interested.)

 You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails! 

Motivational Mondays…the birds still sing

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Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn’t people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them?….Rose Kennedy (she had a lot of heartache in her lifetime)

(it’s okay to find some joy after the dust settles!)

Click here for a great song to get you through some tough times…listen to the lyrics..the video is a bit “20-something angst,” but I like the message and I love singing it in my car at the top of my lungs!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails! 

Beautiful, Quaint, Galway

IMAG0883IMAG0835_1Gina, my Dublin friend, dropped me off at the train station and I settled in for the 3 hour ride through the Irish countryside to Galway.  Stunning scenery!!  My hotel was perfectly situated, close to The Spanish Arch, The Latin Quarter and the Long Walk.  I dropped my bags and headed over to the Latin Quarter to just stroll the cobblestone streets and check out some of the shops.  It started raining so I slipped into a pub for a pint and some chips (french fries here in the U.S.) and enjoyed a wonderful, relaxing hour of people watching.  When the rain let up I ventured back out, looking to purchase my first (…and maybe only?) Claddagh ring…..and then just wandered the quaint streets of Galway.  I went back to my room to freshen up, walked over to Cactus Jack’s for a yummy, simple dinner of tapas and then relaxed in my room…resting up for the day ahead.

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The Latin Quarter…so quaint!

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A beautiful side street

Day two was my walking and wandering day!….

I strolled The Long Walk on the River Corrib, past the Spanish Arch around to Claddagh Quay, along Galway Harbor, through South Park (yes, there’s a “South Park” in Galway…dang, forgot to include Mutton Island Lighthouse in my lighthouse post), and over to Salt Hill, before circling back around to Galway Cathedral and over the Salmon Weir bridge.  I passed the Galway rowing club and caught the Corrib Princess for a 90 minute cruise up the river to Lough Corrib, Ireland’s second largest lake.  Here’s my journey in pictures…

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The Long Walk

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The Spanish Arch

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Mutton Island Lighthouse

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Beautiful view of Galway Bay

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Galway Rowing Club..established1908, rebuilt 1969

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Galway Cathedral…although it looks really old, it is the most recently built stone cathedral in Europe (dedicated in 1965)

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Views from the Corrib Princess cruise

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views from the Corrib Princess cruise

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Lough Corrib….aboard the Corrib Princess

Day three was a bus tour out to Connemara, Kylemore Abbey and Cong (where they filmed “The Quiet Man” with Maureen O’hara & John Wayne).  The most beautiful, green rolling hills, with sheep everywhere…quintessential Ireland!  I spent the evening on the green in front of The Spanish Arch with some wine & cheese enjoying the parade of swans and the late night sunset.   More pics….

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Kylemore Abbey

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View from Kylemore Abbey

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Irish Countryside

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Cong…quaint village..site of The Quiet Man

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town cemetary…Cong…quaint village..site of The Quiet Man

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…more Ireland beauty

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Doesn’t this look like an Andrew Wyeth painting? I love this picture!

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This was at 9:30 pm!

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Just two of the many swans parading in front of the green, waiting for some scraps to be thrown their way…such elegant creatures.

I got back a bit late to my hotel, but had to have one more evening of Irish music and some craic…so I headed over to An Pucan Pub, which I’d heard was a good spot for dinner, people watching and Irish music.  I was not disappointed.

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An Pucan Pub

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The Claddagh

 The perfect end to a perfect trip!!  I’ll be back!!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails! 

Ireland…the homeland

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Dublin Castle

In the Spring of 2013 my friend, Gina, who lives in Dublin, emailed me and said it was time to return to Ireland for a much needed break.  I didn’t hesitate and made reservations to visit that Summer.  I was at rowing practice one day and casually said, “Who wants to go to Ireland with me?” and my friend, Marsha, instantly said, “I do!!”  Flights were booked and plans were set in motion.

I have to interject here (yes, I’m interrupting my own story, which I tend to do.)  On the flight to Chicago, our stop along the way, I met the nicest woman.  I’m usually cordial to my seat neighbors when I fly, but usually at some point I like to read, but this woman and I conversed almost the entire way to Chicago.  Her husband had passed away 13 yrs. prior and she was on her way to Chicago for a large family reunion with her 10 siblings…10!!  I told her a little bit about my recent history and she said the most positive thing.  She told me, “it is our time…” to live our adventures, be single for the time being, and enjoy the rest of our time in this amazing life we’ve been given.  What a great way to start the trip!

We landed in Dublin and were greeted at Gina’s home with warm scones and coffee.  Again, what a great start to our trip.  We hopped in the car and made the trip down to County Cork, where she and her cousin, Evelyn, were seeing Bruce Springsteen, and where Marsha
and I were staying at a friend’s home in Ballycotton.  (another side note…read A Moment in Connemara by Annie Quinn, the owner of the home in Ballycotton where we were staying…lovely story!)  We stopped along the way in Gina’s hometown of Cahir, where we met and had lunch with her adorable parents!!  We continued on to Cork City where we roamed a bit before heading to Ballycotton and collapsing after our long day.

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Gina, in dark blue, her parents, Marsha and me

Ballycotton is an adorable seaside resort in Southwest Cork County. The view from Annie’s home was spectacular.  I woke to a beautiful sunrise on the water, with our resident white steed grazing in the meadow across the road.

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Our Ballycotton view

Day 2…We had a full day of sightseeing planned…with visits to the Irish National Rowing Championships, Kinsale and Cobh.  Best to show this day in pictures….

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Kinsale harbor

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Irish National Rowing Championships

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Bright, Colorful Kinsale

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Ballymaloe Cookery School…quick stop here

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Cobh, a tourist seaport town, notably the last stop for the Titanic before setting out on it’s fateful journey.  The Lusitania was also sunk off the coast of Cobh by a German U-boat in 1915.

St. Colmans Cathedral..Cobh

St. Colman’s Cathedral..Cobh

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Old dingy in Ballycotton Harbor…I love the way it looks kind of like a watercolor.

Sunrise in Ballycotton

The next day it was back to Dublin by train, a really yummy dinner at Matt the Thresher (where Michelle Obama had dined with her daughters a few weeks before us) and then over to Merrion Square.  With the full moon rising, we enjoyed an evening of music, Riverdance on the big screen, and the beautiful voice of Brian Kennedy.  We followed that up with a visit to famous O’Donoghue’s pub near St. Stephen’s Green for some traditional Irish music and a bit of the craic.

...with a few close friends in Merrion Square

…with a few close friends in Merrion Square

Look for our dollar bill on the wall at ODonoghues

Look for our  signed dollar bill up on the wall at O’Donoghue’s

One of the highlights of the next day was seeing a world record performance of Riverdance on the River Liffey…check out this youtube video…gives me goose bumps every time I watch it.  It was spectacular!!

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…had to take a picture of this little Irish dancer

We even hooked up with the Phoenix Rowing Club and took out a double for a quick row on the Liffey….

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Its a good thing Marsha was doing the steering…Trinity boat house is in the background

We stayed up until 1 a.m. (very late for us rowers..we were so proud of ourselves) two nights in a row just enjoying Gina & Andy’s cooking and hospitality.  We were joined by neighbors Trevor & Sharon and cousin, Evelyn one night.  Liz, another neighbor, joined us the following evening. The Irish are the most warm, inviting, friendly group of people.

the gang

dinner in the backyard with l to r Trevor, Evelyn, Gina, Andy, me, Sharon

….photo credit: Marsha Teaford

On our last day together on the Emerald Isle, Gina drove us down to Powerscourt House and Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains….gorgeous!!  We had our final meal at Fade St. Social in Dublin…one of he best meals I’ve ever had…amazing!

Glendalough

Glendalough

Powerscourt House

Powerscourt House

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Cheers to the end of an amazing trip!

 ….Marsha went back to the U.S. to rowing camp and I continued on to Galway…stay tuned!

  You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!