Former TravelPod Member: mbednarek

Joined: March 15th, 2010
From: Buffalo, New York USA lives in Salem,Oregon USA,United States
Favorite Book: Rick Steves' book for our next trip
Favorite Movie: Sleepless in Seattle, Big Fish, Waking Ned Devine, American President, Annie Hall, Bull Durham, Groundhog Day
Favorite Music: Celtic, KINK FM 102, Dave Matthews, Bruce Springsteen, Mumford and Sons
Hobbies: Clowning, concertina (wannabe), travel, volunteer service
Languages: English (somewhat), clown
Bucket List: Help make one more person laugh, take one more trip. and truly know God.
Profession: Clown, planning consultant, retired public educator
Amazing Event: Every day, being married to Sharon.
Every day of our most recent trip.
Standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon.
Surviving cancer.
Description: a real clown

All you can do is all you can do.

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland October 11th 2018

Woke at 2:00am Dublin time, left our B&B at 3:00am in order to drop off the rental car. At the gate for our flight to Amsterdam all checked in. Now breathe. Ended up with lots of room on this flight, too. When looking at seating charts last night, only the last row — the VERY last row by the bathrooms and the galley — was available. Thought we were going to be sardined for the 10-hour flight, the two middle seats of the middle section of four. But no! The two seats to the outside of us never did fill, so we moved out and both of us have an aisle and lots of personal space. Woo hoo! Simple pleasures and reasons to rejoice at the end of a long 12-day vacation. Just watched an HBO ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Westmeath » Athlone October 10th 2018

What a day for our last full day in Ireland! Left Galway this morning under sunny skies for the drive across Ireland to Dublin, where we planned to stay at a B&B close to the airport and leave in the morning Thursday. Stopped in Athlone in County Westmeath halfway there to see if we could find some of Sharon’s ancestral roots. Visited the castle, then headed to the library, where they did a little research and seemed to find lots of Glennons. She'll have to Google the national archives of Ireland to dig further. Before leaving, we found the oldest pub in Ireland, Sean’s. As soon as we checked into our Dublin B&B, we realized that Atlanta, our connecting city, was right in the path of Hurricane Michael. Freak! So, after over an hour on the ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Galway » Galway October 9th 2018

Went for a long city walk in Galway today. Still a bit breezy, but no rain, so a good day to walk. Took in all the important historical sites like the Spanish Arch, Galway Harbor, St. Nicholas Collegiate Church (built in 1320, hosted Christopher Columbus once), Lynch’s Castle, the Browne Doorway, and Eyre Square, where JFK spoke in 1963. Circled back past the Cathedral to make sure our car was still there and it was OK. Then back to our place to get ready for dinner. Restaurant Dela for dinner. Farm to table, and they grow all their own produce. Delish! Pot of chocolate for dessert; looked like a pot of dirt, tasted like heaven.... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Galway » Galway October 8th 2018

After last night’s gale force winds in Doolin, we woke to just a windy day. Decided it was worth another try to go see the Cliffs. This time, after checking out and double checking maps and directions, we made it! The majestic Cliffs of Moher. What an amazing sight! Sheer cliffs plunging 700 feet into the Atlantic Ocean. Then, off to Galway, taking a somewhat longer but totally not-winding route through Ennis. It’s an Airbnb two-floor apartment right next to the university and the cathedral in the city center. Parked the car next to the Galway Cathedral and spent some time inside. Beautiful place. Fish and chips at the famous McDonagh's for dinner (serendipitously sat next to a young woman from Snyder, NY outside of Buffalo, so talked about the Bills), gelato for dessert, a little ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Clare » Doolin October 7th 2018

A lot — ok, a LOT — of driving today from Kenmare to Doolin because of GPS misguides. Was fine up to crossing the River Shannon by ferry, but then the gypsy (GPS) took us a good 50 miles off target, the Cliffs of Moher. Then took us equally off course into the middle of farmers’ fields. Then so late to our destination that we bagged it and headed for Doolin. THEN, I tried going the 6 miles myself while Sharon tried to recover from the trauma of tiny-laned, hairpin-turned, tour bus hogging roads, and got lost twice. I needed a beer, and found a nice local Irish red ale to sooth my frayed nerves. We settled into our very nice B&B and headed out for dinner and live music at the pub up the street. ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Caherdaniel October 6th 2018

Heading out to dinner shortly. Maybe time for a quick note. Spent the day out in the Ring of Kerry on the Iveragh Peninsula at Derrynane National Historical Park and Derrynane Beach near Caherdaniel, an hour's drive from Kenmare. It’s the family home of one of the most prominent statesmen in Irish history, Daniel O’Connell. Beautiful family home, grounds, forested walkways, and access to one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve ever seen. One of the sweet features of the forest was a Fairy Walk, a maze of trails full of tiny fairy homes. Took quite a few pictures to show the grandkids; here are a few. And an archway under an uprooted tree. But the beach, oh my goodness! One of the most beautiful we've ever seen, anywhere! We walked a long way out on ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Kenmare October 5th 2018

Long winding challenging drive from Kinsale in County Cork to Kenmare, County Kerry today along the Wild Atlantic Way. Wild is right! Skinny roads, blind curves, no shoulders except for brush or stone walls. And 100 km/hr speed limits posted. All the while driving on the left side of the road, sitting on the right in the car. Ha! Stopped in Bantry to stretch our legs and visit the Bantry House and grounds and eat a simple lunch in the car. And get out of the car! Staying at a B&B above a pub right on the main street in Kenmare. This ought to be interesting. Done driving. Too bad we’re four hours from Dublin, plus still have a 3-hour drive to Galway ahead of us, too. Have vowed no more driving vacations in Europe. Will ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Cork » Kinsale October 4th 2018

Headed out this morning on a brilliant walking tour of historic Kinsale by local Barry Moloney. Amusing, delightful, and highly informative. Points of interest included the Lusitania graveyard in this quaint historic town. After the tour, took a long walk around Compass Hill, with a breathtaking view of the harbor and James Fort and Charles Fort. Walked back around the harbor to our place for refreshment before heading out tonight for dinner and some music Great seafood for dinner at Jim Edwards — oven roasted salmon and pan seared hake — followed by a couple of stops at pubs for some traditional music sessions.... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Cork » Kinsale October 3rd 2018

After checking out of our Cork B&B this morning, we drove south to Kinsale, a town on a beautiful harbor that opens up to the Atlantic Ocean. We arrived about two hours early at our recently renovated vintage cottage — originally dates back to about 1840 — so we decided to take a long walk out to the historic Charles Fort. Toured the fort, strategically built to protect the harbor, then headed back and stopped for lunch at a cool neighborhood pub, Bulman's. Sharon’s cream of butternut squash soup was heavenly. Checked, moved, and settled in at our place high on a bluff in the Scilly neighborhood — yes, indeed, it’s pronounced Silly — then walked around town to get oriented, check out restaurants and pubs, and pick up a few breakfast and lunch groceries. Had ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Cork » Cork October 2nd 2018

First full day in Ireland! Did a long, enjoyable walking tour of the city of Cork that ended with a great dinner out. Started our walk on the University College Cork campus, right next to the neighborhood where we are staying in a B&B. Beautiful and historic place, including the Main Quad, the student chapel, and a museum of ancient stones etched with the first records of the Irish language. Walked toward the city center and saw St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, the River Lee that runs through Cork and around the island that’s the old town area, and the famous English Market. Wonderful place! Especially the fish market part! Heavenly aromas! Many of the good restaurants in Cork source their foods, especially the fish and seafood, from the market. Browsed a great bookstore for an hour, ... read more

Tot: 0.303s; Tpl: 0.007s; cc: 16; qc: 78; dbt: 0.0708s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.2mb