Page 6 of D MJ Binkley Travel Blog Posts



For those of you who have been following along on our explorations of the D.C area, you’ve learned that we frequented many of the political bars, explored museums and monuments….but you might be asking yourself what else there is to do in the area. The answer is….plenty. Mount Vernon and Monticello The northern Virginia area was once home to two of America’s earliest and most famous presidents, and their estates are worthy of a look if you’re a historian or just merely want a glimpse of what colonial life was like for wealthy land owners who were also politicians. Short day trips from Washington D.C. will have you enjoying the estates of President Washington and President Jefferson. More often than not, they are referred to as plantations. Washington as most people know, was our first President ... read more
Monticello
Lovely homes
Zephaniah Farm Vineyards


Living near one of the storied cities of the world provides endless diversions. We last lived near D.C. in 1996 and then, only for a short while. Just when we were getting in the rythym of this happening place, we had to leave and always told one another that there was “unfinished business,” as there were so many sights to take in. Fast forward some 18 years (really?) and we were back and this time hell bent to take in as much as the city had to offer, not wanting to be a similar position. Now, we want you to know that we really enjoy visiting museums and monuments. Fortunately our approach to visiting them is insanely similar, or maybe that is sanely similar. It would be inappropriate to describe ourselves as museum geeks that can ... read more
Portrait Gallery
Museum of Natural History
Chantilly Virginia

North America » United States » Virginia » Virginia Beach August 10th 2014

After a time, you find yourself longing for it. You know its not that far away, but it seems that way. You’re all caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but in quieter moments, you think about it. Its call cannot be ignored. You have to go to once again listen to that magical and calming sound. You form a plan, and then on the appointed day, there you are, where you always love to be, standing at lands end, staring at it and listening to the constant and endless crashing of waves on the shore…..nirvana to us. The journey was a little more than three hours, and while not to the prettiest or most well known American beach, but nonetheless, a good beach which we would share with about 50,000 of our ... read more
Glistening beginning of the day
Paddle boarding
Brutus Beach Bum


Political intrigue….back room deals…..off the record discussions…..research for newspaper articles that quote, “unnamed sources.” In Washington D.C., this is most likely business as usual for the past 150 plus years in this town of politicos, lobbyists, elected officials, congressional staff members and the like. The question becomes, “where does all this occur?” When in the District of Columbia and in search of an adult beverage you might find some fun in exploring political bars and pubs, as this is most likely where quite a bit of this sort of activity occurs. Being the intrepid travelers that we are, along with a twisted curiosity, we set out over several weekends to discover these “dens of political dealings” using the cover of tourists exploring museums and monuments in our nation’s capital. As a bit of a disclaimer, these ... read more
Hawk 'n' Dove
1964 Aston Martin DB5
Pork Tacos

Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin April 7th 2014

Ah Dublin….Dublin…..what to say about Dublin? If asked to describe it in one word? Dave says alive Merry Jo says joyful. One may or may not come to Dublin to pub crawl—not that there’s anything wrong with that…….. We have found however to properly immerse yourself into local culture you’ll end up in a few pubs. Our intent was to listen to some good Irish music and indeed that goal has been accomplished. Our goal may have been enhanced by a few pints of the local brew. And so our story unfolds…… Before our arrival— And so the conversation began like this…..where do we want to go this spring? Several countries in Europe, South America and the Middle East were in contention originally, but since our wedding anniversary would fall during the trip, we realized that ... read more
St. Patrick's Cathedral
The River Liffey
Well preserved

Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Killarney April 4th 2014

In a country where we quickly determined there was more scenic diversity than advertised we began our journey to the southwest and southern part of this fascinating land. Our trip was already two weeks old and we’d seen and experienced so much, it was almost difficult to imagine what we could find next that would match what we had already experienced. But we found it…..and more. Dingle First….a little background. When we were in Dublin at a pub called the Brazen Head for an evening of story telling and music (to be described in our future Dublin blog), we had the good fortune of striking up a conversation with Johnny, who was the storyteller. He was extremely proud of his land and when we told him we would be in Ireland for the better part of ... read more
Headed out of Killarney
Azure waters of Sheepshead Peninsula
Connor Pass

Europe » Ireland » County Clare » Ennis March 27th 2014

County Donegal Exiting Derry (or Londonderry depending on your point of view) meant the time had come to really get out into the Irish countryside. We suspect that not many Americans venture into the northwest part of Ireland, mainly because it’s a bit off the beaten tourist path created by the many travel companies that bring Yankees here by the planeload. The locals we have encountered are extremely friendly and always willing to chat it up and provide useful information. But back to the point….. Dave is an excellent driver even on the wrong side of the road (that’s what all Americans say) and as we ventured out of Derry for the countryside we were filled with excitement and expectations. We’d booked “The Best Irish Cottage” through airbnb in County Donegal near the town of Croaghacullion. ... read more
Dromoland Castle
Famous Cliffs of Moher
The long & winding road


It was time to flee the larger city of Belfast and begin in earnest to immerse ourselves in what we picture (and perhaps most people as well) as one of the true experience of these two nations, coastal driving. It is after all an island, the third largest in Europe, and 20th largest in the world. Okay, enough geography. We jumped in the “Jukemobile” (we rented a gray Nissan Juke) and navigated our way out of Belfast in search of the coast. We are always drawn to the coast. It is almost as if we don’t get near water, we are just not as happy as we can be. And we want to be happy! Mr. Weather (Dave) has been providing updates on the likelihood of our changing weather twice a day for the past few ... read more
Londonderry at night
Follow that rainbow
Scenic road & tunnel


When we were growing up, Northern Ireland was not a travel destination but a land of conflict. What little grainy color images we saw courtesy of the BBC showed British troops battling the locals. The streets looked like war zones and frankly, there was a lot of bombing going on. While not always fair to generalize, most Americans our age grew up blissfully unaware regarding world politics and strife in other countries. As a nation, we are terribly self-absorbed at times and the national media had quite a bit to do with this. The internet-age has changed this. The conflict in Northern Ireland was called “The Troubles.” Fortunately, most of this is all behind them. Belfast is a city reborn with a positive energy. And we were the happy recipients of this energy. Once a city ... read more
He's a cool cat
A parade for all ages
Inside St. Patrick's Cathedral

Europe » Isle of Man » Douglas March 14th 2014

And of course, there will be those of you who wonder, “Why did they go to the Isle of Man?” The simple answer is because it was in the neighborhood of Ireland, which we have set out to explore for the next few weeks. A longer answer is that MJ has wondered about the isle for a couple of decades due to its relationship with the banking industry and those who invest. At any rate, we were, already going to Ireland, so why not pop over for a few days? When we began to plan our trip to the Isle of Man (IOM) we had contacted a B&B on the far north part of the island as it looked quite cute, but the lady wrote back and apologized for not being able to take our booking, ... read more
Isle of Man
Local architecture
Waterfront Hotel




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