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If you ever want a quick break, no fuss, relaxed and something to see, do and buy...along with delicious food...can't vouch for the weather, even though the sun shone mostly for us:)

Bunratty is the place to go.

We stayed with Paula and she made us right at home, the FIL thought he had died and gone to heaven as it turned out it is also a working farm, dairy farm at that with prize bulls no less!

So FIl was kept happy having a look around and recalling the old days when he had his own dairy farm...

Paula is a Sinead O'Connor look a like, younger version and she assured me no relation!:)

We were spoilt by Paula and after all the running around I have been doing, it was nice...she took me in hand the first night and insisted I go out down to Gallagher's restaurant for a bowl of chowder with husband and FIL. I did what I was told for a change and I am glad I took her advice for it was just what I needed. Barry the manager had managed to make room for us in this very busy establishment and treated us like VIP's...It is just one of those places that helps you forget how tired you are as the place was a buzz with people from all around the world. Drinking Guinness and eating the most delicious sea food, one plate of food looked even better than the last if that were possible.

Paula managed also on short notice to use her pull to get us a table for the next night for our celebration of meeting with cousins and toasting FIL's 85th birthday...to be continued

This sounds fantastic. Guinness and seafood....ahhhhhhhh...I want to go NOW...:D

Husbands two sister arrived up from Cork and the FIL was over the moon to see them!

We met with the cousins the next day and we had a great time walking around the Folk park...it is something else, with a real working replica village, with lots of interesting things to see and you can have your photo taken dressed up in old clothes to make it look like the old days and there was old farm machinery that I can remeber in use (think I am getting on) we saw horses and cows and a Roaster that never stopped...I actually thought he might be battery operated as he never shut up...

We sat in a lovely walled garden and caught up on the old days...

Dinner that evening in Gallagher's was something else, I do like food that does not lie on my stomach like lead after I eat it. I had fish cake for starters and sea bass as a main course and just had to have the sticky toffee pud...washed down with two glasses of wine and good company and the craic was mighty as we had about five or six separate topics on the go and inter-weaved them together as only women can do...the FIL removed his hearing aid as the buzz of the back ground noise was too much for him along with the high pitched tones of our voices as we got excited telling tales from the closet...Stephen King eat your heart out...

Full marks to Barry and the staff, we were looked after like royalty.

We said our good byes to the cousins and the following morning to the sisters and husband, FIL and myself headed for Galway via the Cliffs of Moher...

Paula and her family are lovely and I will be back to stay in Riverside in a couple of months time as the FIL would like to see his cousins again and not leave it so long...the journey is not that long from Donegal as it is all new roads and by passes all the way down.

We had no walking stick for the FIL and they had none to buy in the shop and one of the staff asked Chris the manager if he had anything and he went in search and arrived back with a lovely walking stick, I was so impressed with him I said I would mention him on my site, this was after he told me when I had offered to leave the stick in on the way back, he told me to tell the FIL he could keep it as it was forgotten years ago....So Chris O'Brien, manager of the visitor centre of the Cliffs of Moher a Big Thank You once again from Mini ...:) :) :)

Late Afternoon Colors


The FIL climbed right up the hill with the aid of the walking stick to view these cliffs for the first time in his life:)
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Cliffs of Moher continued

photo by Mini

photo by Mini

On our way back down the hill I went over to this lady playing a Concertina
she had two lovely dogs with her and they were fast asleep each side of her. When they heard my voice they came awake and as I was petting one the other was looking for his share of attention.

I asked the lady her name and she said, her name was Cozy or Cosy…seeing how she had two dogs I thought I would chance asking her did she know Jessie from Salmon Poetry as I knew she had a house near here…I knew she would have to know Jessie as Jessie loves dogs. It turned out they were living not far from each other!

Jessie and Zena. Photo for The Irish Independent newspaper. Credit: Mike Mulcaire

I got directions and headed up for a quick visit…feeling guilty that I had not called to see her new house before this even though I have met her on and off at various events. Ten years don’t be long passing…Well here I was at last and as always Jessie greeted me with the ‘Cead Mile Failte’. I could only stay ten minutes as the husband and FIL were out in the car and at this stage hungry from all the fresh air and walking. We parted promising to stay in contact and I hope we do.http://www.salmonpoetry.com/theplace.html

Seeing how this trip was mostly about the FIL’s birthday, I had one more treat in store for him, just a little bit up the road from Jessie’s is Gregans Castle Hotel, so we drove down the avenue and it opened up with a lovely view of the Burren, the hotel itself looked very nice. We were not hungry enough for a full lunch and settled instead for some home made Broccoli soup and brown bread finished with tea and some home made biscuits…delicious.

It was very relaxing and I can see why a break here with do wonders to re charge the old batteries.

I asked to be shown what the rooms were like and I got to see the room they called “Minas” room, I swear, I thought she said Mini first… one with a six and half foot bed in it…I thought, now that would have been very comfortable when I was at my heaviest! Disappointed they did not have a walk in shower, or perhaps I missed it, don’t think I did? The ensuite bathroom was extra large and lovely and it had a lovely view of the grounds and country side as well as the bed room…a room with a view.http://www.gregans.ie/

Feeling full and relaxed we headed off along the coast road back to Galway and got through the traffic no bother this time
Husband and FIL had more tea athe FIL took a nap in the chair, he was worn out from all the excitement over the couple of days. Husband and FIL headed back to Donegal leaving me behind to get on with some work with Pierce…doggie is here too
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Oh my lord, Mins - that sounds like a glorious few days! I do hope that FIL appreciated all you did for him - I'm sure he did - you're a fantastic DIL!

It's really made me yearn to go to Ireland - but not camping LMTO!

Hi Isis, D_Q and Isobel,

The FIL had a ball and it gives him another chapter in his 'one story'...

I think Bunratty would be a great place for a booth camp...those who are on SSing could shop and sight see and those back eating could be spoilt for choice on delicious healthy food...of course it is also packed with tourists who are in search of Guinness and the craíc...

I have never done the banquet

I am looking forward to going back there in a couple of months time...:) No camping next time Isobel...little bit of style:rolleyes: :D

Love Mini xxx

They are building this new visitors centre there and it will blend into the hill side and it will be lovely when it is finished.

The morning we were there it was packed with visitors from all over the world, it was amazing all the people coming and going...in the distance they looked like a long line of army ants, but more colourful...winding there way around the cliffs.

I am definitely making time to walk all around there the next time, it looked awesome.

Love Mini xxx
I love the Cliffs of Moher and have been a few times.

Seems like ages since I went to Ireland .... :(