Posted by: ritagone | July 26, 2017

I’m Baacckkk!!!

If you’re like me, you think that when you go on a memorable trip, you will never forget any aspect of it because it is indelibly etched into your brain, a part of your life forever.

Then a few years pass and you realize that many of the details of that particular trip – where you stayed, who you visited with, what you saw, what you ate and where – are lost to you, unless someone points them out, and even then those fragments may not come back.  Several years ago Michael and I were checking into a hotel in Budapest and were welcomed “back” by the front desk clerk.  We said no, we had never been there before, she must be mistaken, but she insisted we had been, in 2009; we were right there in her computer.  It was scary.  We laughed and were embarrassed, and we’re still laughing about it today, with a little edge of fright.  An entire hotel stay, hey, an entire city visit was gone for both of us, as if we had never been there. Wow!!

That’s why I’ve decided that close on the heels of returning from my two weeks in Ireland, sandwiched in between two short stays in New York City coming and going, I’m going to sit down at my computer and create a travel journal for posterity – mine!!!  I probably should have been doing this on my laptop all along during this current trip, because already details are getting sketchy: did we take the carriage ride in Killarney or at Ashford Castle…or both?  (It was Killarney.)  But better late than never.  While I don’t think I can reconstruct each and every day’s activity in Dublin, Killarney, Ashford Castle and New York, I think I can capture enough of the details to keep the trip fresh and the highlights available for myself and for anyone who might want to know about my travels in years to come.

But today I just wanted to share with you, my friends, what was the highlight of each place we stayed so that you would know what was going on while I wasn’t writing this blog.  (I had intended to drop a friend’s wonderful blog in place of mine for the two weeks I was gone, but of course the technology goofed me up: without my desktop computer and only my laptop, I didn’t have the links I needed to make it happen.  And then I figured the world wouldn’t end if you didn’t hear from me, and most of you knew that I was gone, a lot of you followed me on Facebook, so it wasn’t earth-shattering to experience my absence for two Wednesdays.  If anyone has been traumatized, please let me know, and I’ll help pay for therapy!!!)  So, back to today:  I’d like to share a highlight of each place we stayed.  For example, on our outbound stay in New York, we saw a play called “The Play That Goes Wrong” that is best described as a Carol Burnett skit on steroids.  It is a British farce where everything goes wrong, everything breaks, the actors do pratfalls and get hit in the face with doors flying open and things falling apart and are asked to do physical comedy that has the audience laughing until it hurts, I swear.  One of the funniest evenings I’ve ever spent in the theater.  See it if you ever have the opportunity, and you won’t regret it.

In Dublin, for me one highlight was certainly the tour Michael and I took of Trinity College, founded in 1592 and still a revered learning site.  It’s always amazing to me when there is a beautiful center of learning in the midst of a bustling, busy city, a campus that is both busy and stately, a place where you think to yourself: “I could study and learn here.  I’d like to come back and be a student!”  I have a T-shirt from Trinity College that I will wear proudly and pretend that I’m a graduate.

In Killarney, Ireland, as we ventured westward from Dublin by train, we took a jaunting cart ride in Killarney Park, next door to where we were staying at the Killarney Park Hotel.  Beautiful scenery, a gorgeous day, stopping to walk around and savor what we were seeing: it made for a lovely and memorable afternoon.  And in Killarney Michael and I discovered lattés, which we drank for the rest of our stay in Ireland and our two days in New York.  (Ireland’s are better.)

At Ashford Castle, there is so much to remember.  It’s still my favorite place on earth for beauty, serenity, service, class, sheer luxury.  We took the riverboat cruise, one hour out amongst the 377 islands on Lough Corrib, the largest lake in Ireland, which Ashford Castle sits on the edge of, and we heard the history of the area and the castle building and saw the incredibly stunning creation around us that is untouched because man hasn’t been able to build houses on these islands by law for several hundred years.  As a result, it’s some of the best fishing in the world and one of the cleanest lakes on the planet.  Michael commented on the difference between Lake Corrib, pristine in its cleanliness because of these laws protecting its waters, and Lake Victoria in Africa, which he has also seen, one of the most polluted in the world because man has not bothered to protect it.  Yes, that sticks with you, for sure.

Back at the castle, just wandering around inside and discovering all over again since our last visit a few years ago the bar, the billiards room, the lobby with the two Irish wolfhounds who come to visit with their trainer every morning at 10 a.m., the tea room (where we had afternoon tea), the King George V dining hall, each place more luxurious and fascinating than the last, each experience more wonderful.

Back in New York before flying home, we got to spend a whole day with our dear friends Rita and Rich, staying in the city from their home in Rochester, a rare treat indeed to see them, and a great way to end our trip.

No mishaps, no illnesses, nothing lost or damaged, only good memories and great joy to be able to see these amazing places.  I am so thankful for the privilege of travel, for a husband who wants to go with me and, more importantly, wants to continue living with me after the trip is over!  He’s a trooper!!!

Now we settle back down to life at home, which ain’t half bad either!!!  We are truly blessed by God and thankful beyond measure for health and privilege and safety and all those things we so often take for granted.  When you travel and you return safe and sound, you realize you can’t take your health and safety for granted.

Thank you for waiting for me.  Now that you know where I’ve been and a bit about what I’ve been up to, let’s get back to the business of blogging!!!  See you again next week!!


(The three pictures I’m showing you: the tree on the left is a four hundred year old maple from Oregon planted in one of the squares of Trinity College for drainage and shelter from the (rare) sun appearances in Dublin, the top right is a beautiful shot of a creek in Killarney Park where boats are docked, and the bottom right is Ashford Castle as seen from the riverboat cruise on the lake.  All the photos are taken from my iPhone and by me, of course!)


  1. Welcome home, latte traveling friend! You were indeed missed.
    Karen H

  2. Welcome back, adventurer!

    Enviado desde mi iPhone

    > El 26 jul 2017, a las 12:24, Home // Rita’s Ramblings escribió: > > >

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