Things I learned traveling internationally:
Bring a laptop (make sure it is duel-voltage… my Macbook Pro happened to be). I used it while boarding my connecting flight to email Mark and let him know I made it to Ireland on time, when realized Verizon did not correctly activate my phone for overseas use. Also, I then used it to Skype Verizon to fix my phone. It also of course served its purpose for internet access and doubled as a DVD player when the primary stations on TV were German.
Speaking of –bring lots of DVDs of movies you’ve always wanted to watch but never have. There’s plenty of down time/ delays/ travel time/ waiting time/ layover time for that.
Print out a list of all the contacts in your phone incase it doesn’t work overseas… (maybe I just sealed my own fate?)
Turn cell phone on silent at night when you finally get it to work… When everyone is 5 hours behind you, they love to call when it’s 2am your time.
Earplugs are vital.
When all the petty stuff in under control, relax and enjoy yourself.
Try all sorts of different food.
Embrace the culture and customs of the people.
Take lots n lots of pictures
My turn! I’ve found that it is always safest if I write or comment after Katelyn
I really do not even know where to start, so many little stories, so many things seen, this trip was incredible from the moment we landed in Shannon til the sad moment when we boarded our plane in Dublin to return home eight days later. The scenery, the food, the music and the culture was just fantastic! I had no idea that I would come home from Ireland having had such a wonderful experience. You may have already seen the post that Katelyn made about the wedding that we photographed while we were there, you can read more about it here: Mary + Steve All I can say about it (the wedding), an incredible experience! Would I love to do it again, absolutely and we hope to! Below are some of the highlights of our trip aside from the wedding, this is just a small sampling from all the photos that we took. These personal photos taken by either my wife Susan, my assistant Katelyn or myself. In the caption of each photo will be designated with the initials of the person who took the photo. SR-Susan Rome, KT-Katelyn, MR-Mark.
This link is to the post about castles: Castles, Abbeys, Oratorys and Graveyears
One thing that you instantly notice about Ireland immediately upon getting off your plane, flowers, flowers and more flowers everywhere. With the cool summer temps running from 55 degrees at night to 65 in the day time along with plenty of rain, flowers flourish. One of the things that was most amazing to me was the color and plant hieght of their hydrangea. Some of them were 7-8 feet high! No kidding! The photo below was taken at a private residence in city of Adare, Co Limerick as we walked by on the sidewalk.
Adare Manor, built by Lord Dunraven construction started in 1832
Our first full day in Ireland we did a driving tour of the Dingle peninsula.
The fuschia plant grows everywhere in West Central Ireland.
Part of Katelyn’s nightmare at O’Hare, plane problems with an American Airlines flight. Plane is at the end of the runway when they decide that the plane needs to be towed back in to the terminal for repairs. The tow truck that comes out to the end of the runway to get them catches on fire. Tow truck has to be replaced. Whole ordeal, five hours of lost time.
Once Katelyn joined us we spent the next three nights here at the Drumcreehy Guest House, Ballyvaughan, Co Clare, Ireland. This served as our central location from which we worked and travel throughout the Burren.
Ballyvaughan, what a quaint little village. Early every morning there were two women who came downtown and watered all the flowers. They would draw water from the community water spigot in the middle of town and then climb up ladders to water the flowers hanging from light posts.
One of Katelyn’s personal favs, the outside patio at Drumcreehy Guest House, Co Clare, Ireland
This is one of the tiny negatives about West central Ireland, highway signage and trying to figure out where you are and where you are trying to go. Rather frustrating at times but I guess it adds to all the charm of this beautiful country. Image trying to read this while driving and while having another car behind you.
On Sunday we spent the entire day touring the Burren. The Burren lies south of Galway in County Clare, Ireland. The name Burren is from the Irish – bhoireann meaning a stony place. Its formation has lain unspoiled since the ice-age and is composed of karstic limestone, the largest area of such in western Europe. We went rummaging through 5-6 castle’s that day, countless Abbeys, and grave yards. Below are a just a few of our favs from the Burren. I will be making a completely separate post just about the castles. We got off the beaten path, drove down one lane roads and hiked through cow pastures to see all these ancient edifices.
First stop the Poulnabrone Portal Tomb, Co Clare, Ireland.
Of course it is well known that Ireland is known for it’s world famous pubs and pub food. On Saturday evening after I finished photographing the pub crawl for Mary and Steve, my wife and I decided to have dinner at the world famous Gus O’Corrnor’s Irish pub. This pub is also known for hosting traditional Irish music. Musicians come and go all night and they sit and essentially jam with each other around a table with pints of Guinness. Well after having to wait about 20 minutes to get a table Susan and I were unbelievably seated literally within arms length of the musicians that were playing that night. What a cultural experience! I love traditional Irish music and I even listen to it streamed on my computer from time to time. Each song starts with one musician starting solo and then others just join in with each song lasting 8-10 minutes. Below is a video that I shot with my iPhone it’s only about 30 seconds long but it will give you an idea of the experience that we enjoyed that evening. The whole place was just rockin. Don’t you just want to dance?
How can you not love Ireland!?
Last stop before flying from Dublin back to Chicago. We were so not ready to leave, argh! We want more Ireland!
Lastly, a couple of my favorites of Ms K on our work day. Thanks for all your help it would not been anywhere near as successful without you!