Yesterday, as I drove along Richmond Road (I know, it’s shocking because I’m usually on my bike or walking), I thought I would look sadly at the “Closed” sign where Expedition Shoppe used to be, across from Mountain Equipment Coop.

I was shocked to see a new store in its location. On my drive out to pick up my niece, I only noticed it had already been leased. And on the way back, I looked again, only to discover it was another outdoorsy store. I tried to remember the name, but what with driving and catching up with my niece, it was gone. Read the rest of this entry »

Today, I walked around Wellington West, partly because I knew I’d be posting about the upcoming Tastes of Wellington. But also because a neighbour had shared an interesting piece of gossip about a new brewpub opening in the hood. Read the rest of this entry »

So, now that I’ve finally visited Ireland, was it what I expected? Yes and no. I did expect the initial confusion caused by driving on the left side of the road. That awkward moment where as the passenger you try to get in the driver’s side. I did expect the rain, but more sunshine would have been nice, especially in Derry. Read the rest of this entry »

Ross Castle isn’t far from Swords, but it was far enough from Dublin Airport that we felt we needed another night close to the airport. So with some recommendations from Jackie, our B&B host, we set off to explore the area around Ross and on our way to Swords.

First up was the Fore Abbey. Unfortunately our app delivered us to a private address. It was a nice house, but we didn’t think they’d invite us in for tea. We continued on and eventually saw a sign pointing us to Fore Abbey, but it was sending us back the way we came. So we continued on. Read the rest of this entry »

When we were planning our trip to Ireland, I told NosyNeighbour I’d really like to spend a night in a castle. He researched online and found us not just any castle, but a haunted one!

Okay, it wasn’t actually haunted, but it is supposed to have a happy spirit called Sabina living in it. Which coincidentally was also the name of the wifi network. Wifi was only available in the common areas, which is to be expected with an old castle with thick stone walls. Read the rest of this entry »

Our hotel in Kilkenny was meant to be a spa on the outskirts of town. Unfortunately for us the experience was rather less than expected due to the high volume of unattended children shrieking and running and bouncing off furniture in the lobby. We had booked into a hotel with an indoor pool on the week before school started. Every family in the middle of Ireland seemed to have had the same great idea! Read the rest of this entry »

Although our morning began with a spectacular sunrise and few clouds, it is Ireland. So by the time we arrived at Blarney Castle, the rain had joined us.

Fortunately Irish rain isn’t constant. The rain would peter to a mist, then the sun would break through for 15 minutes, then a 2-minute downpour, and then some cloud. Weathermen in Ireland have the easiest jobs! Read the rest of this entry »

The next morning we drove the Dingle loop. I’d forgotten to save all the web pages to my phone, so I was only able to annotate the first five kilometres It didn’t really matter because it rained the entire time. It made it a quicker drive because you just couldn’t see any of the spectacular views everyone had raved about.

From there we drove through Cork and still it rained. Finally the clouds parted and we were on our way to Ballycotton, a true small fishing village unspoiled by the masses of tourists. The anticipation was allowed to build even more as we encountered a detour after Cork that took us along winding farm roads. Read the rest of this entry »


Because it was Heritage Ireland week, many castles and grounds were free or had special activities. Unfortunately, we never were able to time our visit to a particular place with a freebie.

On our way to Dingle, we stopped first at Athenry Castle. NosyNeighbour particularly liked seeing the “old-style” plumbing arrangements. It was an interesting castle and the staff was very helpful. Read the rest of this entry »

When we did our research about visiting the Aran Islands, I learned that a lot of people get motion sickness on the 40-minute ferry ride to Inis Mór. The port for the ferry is farther away and parking is not free. The airport is closer with free parking and wifi and early morning flights. So it was a no-brainer … the extra money would be worth it because we would beat the crowds to the island. Read the rest of this entry »


November 2015
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