John & Max Kennedy

John and Max

John & Max Kennedy

Another genealogy road trip to England and Ireland, with a short excursion to Paris museums (2013)

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris July 2nd 2013

Our new room in the hotel--the one that has lights--looks down onto the street, onto the very wet, rained on street. It rains on the average of 19 days in May in Paris, so we are happy that we had glorious sun yesterday. By the end of the day we will be a bit more soggy and pessimistic, but I get ahead of myself. Back we go to the cellar breakfast room. The beautiful Nigerian lady who keeps everything going always has a beautiful smile for us and lets me practice my emerging French skills while trying to keep a straight face, but she is not afraid to laugh heartily and then help me along. A croissant, a soft-boiled egg, a latte, and a brief lesson in conversational French- what could be better? We put on ... read more
A Typical French Hotel Room
The Breakfast Room

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris July 1st 2013

It is morning, it is sunny, and we are in Paris! We decide to eat in the hotel breakfast room- a lovely subterranean cave with a dandy machine that makes lattes- to help us get an earlier start on the day. John has already been down to the front desk to assure that we are moving out of the light-less room. Getting ready for the day in the interior, no-window bathroom has been a challenge. Luckily the hotel hair dryer is hardwired in so that worked, however I am not quite sure if my make-up is on my face, at all. "Oui, oui. We will move you, just pack up your luggage and we will take care of it." Pack up. oh. The room is 10x10 with a European king bed; we have unpacked everything so ... read more
Approaching the Louvre
Who Invited All These People?

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris June 30th 2013

Zut Alors! The alarm clock has gone off and we are packing up to go to Paris, France! We are really, really going to Paris and really, really going to see all those museums and cathedrals and cafes, and---EGAD!--I am going to try to speak French to real, real French persons. I am officially terrified. I have spent the past six months with Rosetta Stone trying to re-learn the four or five years I spent butchering the French language in high school and college. As the days have gotten closer and closer to actually attempting this feat of humiliation I have become more and more intimidated by the whole prospect. Then, dear Niamh comes to my rescue telling me that she is fluent in French and that I should just say this, "Pardon, je ne parle ... read more
Look! Look!
Le Russillon

Europe » Ireland » County Louth » Drogheda June 28th 2013

Well hello again! Yes, we have been bad bloggers for quite a while now and to answer the question "where have you been?" the answer is simple. We have been home since May 31st--sort of. It seems that we have terminal jetlag and really do not exist in any known time zone. However, we do seem to be functioning a little bit better the past few days, so hold onto your ales, we are travelling across Ireland today! After yet another lovely breakfast in the sunroom at Lawcus Farm, we pack up and, amidst a trail of hugs, kisses, and promises to return soon, we are on the move. Today we are heading north from County Kilkenny to Drogheda in County Louth. Our friends Niamh and Pierce, along with their fine family of little boys, are ... read more
Mellifont Abbey
St. Peter's Church, Drogheda

Europe » Ireland » County Tipperary June 2nd 2013

We have an 11 o'clock appointment at St. Nicholas Church in Carrick-en-Suir, County Tipperary, but it may be difficult to make it; my back and hip are in total spasm and every movement sends pain down my left leg. At breakfast, (I wouldn't miss that would I?) Ann-Marie gives us the name and location of her physiotherapist and we make a small detour to see if I can get an appointment. The receptionist is wonderfully kind and takes our phone number in case she has any cancellations or can fit me in. We are now going to be a bit late and John is doing his level best to make good time on the twisty and narrow road when we run into 1) roadwork, 2) an accident blocking the road, and 3) a train gate down ... read more
Searching for Kennedys

Europe » Ireland » County Kilkenny June 1st 2013

It is sunny, windy, and cold. We are traveling to Gowran (pronounced Goran) and I am slathered down with extract of green-lipped mussels. Don't ask me how or what they extract because I really don't want to know, however my back is thoroughly trashed from our ring fort climbing and this stuff seems to be providing some relief. By this morning I could barely walk down the stairs and down the path to the breakfast room but somehow I forced myself to make the effort :-) We arrived at Father Donley's residence for our morning appointment and he showed us into the front room where he presented us with the computerized list of all the information that is recorded (actually it is only a brief summary and not complete) and then, he began bringing out these ... read more
The Church at Dungarven
Dungarven Churchyard
Dungarven Churchyard

Europe » France » Île-de-France May 26th 2013

Well, we made it to Paris today and are preparing for showers by candle light, if we had any candles. The lights are activated by a card key reader in the room, unfortunately, our reader isn't working very well. Even with my bright red gaffer's tape holding it to the wall. Moving to another room in the morning. We'll catch up on our Ireland travels as soon as we can... John & Max... read more
Life is good.

Europe » Ireland » County Kilkenny May 22nd 2013

We appear to be in a muddle as to which day we are in of our trip--but as John says, "Does it matter?" I guess it doesn't as long as we are able to make connecting flights and train trips on time. We are still here at Lawcus Farms in County Kilkenny, Ireland, mainly for the purpose of digging up records on John's family, but also to spend a bit of time with Ann-Marie and Mark who run this wonderful rambling establishment. We were here 18 months ago so we are feeling fairly comfortable with our surroundings. This makes the days much easier. You could translate that to "we don't get lost nearly as often as we used to. We arrived here with almost all of our clothes dirty, so we spent the morning doing laundry- ... read more
Ceramicist's Nirvana

Europe » Ireland » County Kilkenny May 20th 2013

If John would have asked me if I wanted to get up at 6AM, catch a ferry to cross the North Atlantic, drive halfway across Ireland stopping to climb around and through two castle ruins, and then drive the rest of the way across Ireland to visit friends, I probably would have said no. However, this is vacation and travelling time--it is a time warp. But, I am getting ahead of myself. Day 11 Sunday: We were up early and organized for departure from Cappa Veagh in Salthill, Galway. Catherine and Pat made sure that we would not miss the ferry and we arrived in time to board and settle for the 40 minute crossing to Inish More. I was only uneasy because the bulk of the travelers were 18 to 30ish years old and carrying ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Galway » Salthill May 18th 2013

It is so nice to be nice and have others be nice to you. If you share this thought, come to Ireland! This has been such a wonderful day and one much needed. When we came to Galway, we had no plans--we weren't even sure why we were here except that everyone who has travelled in Ireland said, "You must go to Galway!" So we did and never have we been so glad for random advice. First of all, the B&B we are staying in, Cappa Veagh." was written up everywhere as having two of the nicest Inn keepers in the world. Now, I haven't been around the world, but Catherine and Patrick bend themselves into pretzels to accommodate their guests. So, until I see and hear differently, I nominate them into our personal Innkeepers I ... read more

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