Versatile Style by Tracey

Ireland Trip Part 1…

Posted on: October 27, 2014

Dear Readers, there is so much to say and over 300 photos to go through….

I can not talk about this trip without first beginning with my husband, Tom’s second cousin Martin and his hospitality…

This man was amazing and welcomed us with open arms and we felt right at home immediately…

He cooked for us , even hung our laundry out on the line one day while we were out picking up a GPS …

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This is my husband standing in front of his cousin’s  6 bedroom  2 bath house in the west of Ireland in a small tight knit community…

It is on several acres and is farmland… he has two horses that just roam the property, geese and  chickens (we had fresh eggs daily) and sheep, not to mention two dogs and a cat… 

He talked about living a solitary life , and not going out much….He doesn’t have to, every morning beginning at 7am his friends start to arrive for a cup of tea and a chat… This went on all day long into the evening…. We must have met 10 of his friends, but he told us the day we left that so many didn’t come knowing we were there and not wanting to intrude…. I wish my life was so solitary…LOL>>.

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This was one night at the kitchen table, where all the socializing happens with cousins in from England who stayed there with us…

Tom’s uncle and Godfather , the one responsible for us going on this trip, is the one with his head down laughing…

He met the cousin John in the pink shirt a few years ago and they’ve been fast friends ever since…In fact John has been coming to this house  a few times a year to visit ever since meeting his cousin Martin…. I think we have to go back as well…

DH didn’t get any good photos of our Host , but he is in the back ground…

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This is the view out of the bedroom we stayed in, and that house belonged to our host’s mother who passed away a few years ago…

It is now owned by his brother who lives in England and has just finished remodeling it….

That rainbow was one of many we saw on our trip..and that is the Atlantic Ocean…. funny since I live in Virginia Beach off the Atlantic as well…

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These are the two horses and I am standing in the driveway right outside the kitchen window…

Can you picture seeing this out your kitchen window daily?   

They are coming for treats of apples…

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This is more of his cousins property .  

The rock walls are such a part of this country and it’s history to pen in the farm animals…

In other parts of the country the rock walls disappear and were replaced with hedges and trees that  blocked off the livestock…

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This is the beach area in the neighborhood where my husband and I had a ball climbing on rocks and discovering a waterfall…

We went on a four hour walk around the neighborhood that day… The roads are very thin and we had to get out of the ways of cars as they passed..

Every single car that passed waved to us… it was quite endearing…

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This is the ruin of the old church in the neighborhood that sits atop a hill, a very prominent landmark…

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This is the only thatch house left in the neighborhood….

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And where we encountered this character…

His first question to DH was “Are you Irsih?”

And it was the first time we realized that Tom’s cousin who introduced himself as Martin had an Irish version that other’s called him by..

which sounded like… Marsheen…

We saw this guy every time we went out walking in his fields…

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This is a shrine on the property originally put up by Martin’s mother after losing her daughter to Leukemia at the tender age of 5…

We actually went through the property climbing over a rock wall to get there…

We left via the path and the road and discovered a brown sign (the color they use for tourist info) with the words, “Holy Well” and an arrow pointing in to it’s direction…

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People come and leave statues, rosary beads and saint metals..they were all over the area including hanging off bushes… 

It was a beautiful area with water on three sides and so peaceful with just the sound of the ocean..

I didn’t want to leave…

We said prayers here and all over Ireland for a friend my husband saw in the hospital right before leaving on our trip…

He’d been diagnosed with stage four cancer and begun chemo… We got word on  our trip that the chemo was killing him and he opted to stop treatment and go home… Within one hour of returning home we got the news that he had passed away… His funeral should be in the next day or so…

Michael Shaffer

Here he is, Mike ,with the iconic smile….

I worked with him and he was amazing in giving me training info and teaching me about marketing terminology for the industry…

He greatly admired my husband and appreciated his management style, giving DH credit for helping him to earn a trip for himself and girlfriend…

I think my husband was merely a mirror, reflecting and reminding him of his strengths and encouraging him… (an admirable trait indeed for a manager) 

I loved listening to him with his team before they went out everyday… I loved how he would be hard when he had to, calling them on their mistakes, but never let them walk out the door until he had built them back up, making them believe they would be successful.

He really was a very special , giving and kind person whose left an incredible legacy in the hearts of all who knew him and will be greatly missed… 

Dear Readers,  I had to start my trip with this part and just say everything you hear about the Irish and their hosptitality is so true…

From the minute we landed and asked for directions we were so impressed with how detailed they were and how everyone stepped outside or even the bus driver who  took us through the bus station to point us in the right direction…. We spent 3 nights in Galway and arrived at our hotel at 10:30 am fully expecting to drop our bags and get our room at the 3pm mark stated on the website as check in time… Nope, we were not only given our room, but asked if we had breakfast and invited to at least have tea and a scone….  I will cherish this trip and can’t wait to return to Ireland again….There will be more to come about the trip… just had to stop here for now…

Gratitude

I am grateful to have known Mike and that my husband had at least seen him prior to our trip (he had plans to see him the day after we got home)

I am grateful that our trip was perfect in every way and that my husband and I has such amazing quality time together.

I am grateful for the new family that my husband met and how they embraced us both..

I am grateful that my daughter came into town for a wedding and got to visit for awhile.  ( she really loves home and with her being in Boston didn’t get her normal home visit every 6 weeks that she so cherished with her Bachelor’s program)  

I am grateful for skype  and how we were able to keep in touch with all our children while away…

I am grateful that my oldest was so gracious in moving home to care for our youngest and even cleaned the bathrooms and kitchen before I returned…

I am grateful that my husband went back to work and sold on his first day back and that he did so well before leaving that we are still relaxed and not worried about money… That peace during the trip allowed him the luxury of really relaxing, more so than I’ve seen him in years!!!!!

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4 Responses to "Ireland Trip Part 1…"

So interesting and the photos tell the story well. Looking forward to more of your trip. I have always wanted to go to Ireland.

Your trip sounds lovely and was a real blessing! Can’t wait to see and hear more of your adventures! Glad you are back with your family! God bless you!

What wonderful photos and stories! I have to say that one guy *in rubber boots and cap) might scare the living daylights out of me if I crossed paths with him. haha
Very touching words about Mike. I lost my boss in March to cancer and it’s a difficult thing. He was so vibrant and full of life. Makes it hard to comprehend someone like that could be gone so quickly.
So glad you and your DH had such a great time in Ireland and I look forward to hearing more about it in future posts.

What a wonderful update. The pics are lovely (the one with the horses is my favorite!) My condolences to Mike’s family & friends. He did have a lovely smile.
Thank you for sharing your highlights & thoughts. Great pictures!

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