This started for us to blog about India in 2008 and has been used several times since. Sue went to China in 2011 and helped the girls move around the Southeast in 2012. We'll keep using it to capture pictures and travels!
Then: Ireland and the Isle of Man, summer 2017, bicycling in NYC with Road Scholars in Sept 2018, the Panama Canal, again with Road Scholars, March 2019!
Then: Since we survived Covid-19 and Mike’s lymphoma, and Sue retired, we returned to Ireland and the Isle of Man in April/May 2023!

Europe » Isle of Man » Douglas May 18th 2023

Our plane back to Dublin wasn't scheduled until about 4 p.m. and we were able to leave our luggage in the lounge at the Edelweiss and wander the city a bit more, walking along the Promenade, which we'd said all week we'd like to do! Rode the bus to the airport (said goodbye to the Fairy Bridge), flew to Dublin, found the shuttle to the Hilton, had dinner and a great shower. In the morning, caught an early shuttle to the airport so I'd have time to retrieve our checked luggage from Terminal One, move some stuff around for weight/space, check the luggage, and get through security. We stopped at the Duty Free shop to fulfill a friend's request. The great thing about flying out of Dublin is that American Customs has space there (the only ... read more
Last full day!

Europe » Isle of Man » Douglas May 17th 2023

Before we left, we had contacted the King Edward Bay Golf Course about a tee time, asking for an early tee time so Mike could golf on his own since it's been so long since he golfed much. The pro was very helpful, said he'd arrange clubs to rent and a buggy and I could ride along even if I didn't golf. So, we reserved a 7:20 tee time for this morning, got up at 6:30 and got a cab. No one there, no one arriving, no sign of life. A bit after 7:20, a grounds worker-type arrived and asked if he could help us; we replied that we had a 7:20 tee time. He didn't know anything about tee times. Finally, we gave up, called the cab again and headed back to the hotel. At ... read more
View from the Golf Course
Manx Electric Railway poster

Europe » Isle of Man » Douglas May 16th 2023

We had signed up for an Isle of Man Trike Tour. We chose the East Coast tour which went north, up the east coast to Ramsey, with a couple stops, then returned via part of the TT course. The Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) is the ultimate 'must see it' event for motorsport fans across the globe. Every May and June the Isle, a tiny country between England and Ireland, turns into motorcycle nirvana as the world's greatest road racers gather to test themselves against the incredible 37.73 mile 'Mountain Course' (https://www.iomtt.com/tt-info). We were NOT there to see the race but were interested in it because it's such a big event for the island. There were several cycle enthusiasts staying at our hotel earlier in the week, just come over to ride the course before ... read more
Google Maps helped us find the correct street
and there was the Trike Ride shop!
And the red one would be ours

Europe » Isle of Man » Castletown May 15th 2023

So, on our first day in Douglas, we took the bus to Castletown because Sue wanted to go to Castle Rushen again and see a bit of the town. Mike went in to the Castle, too, this time but not up the scary spiral staircase. Smart guy! The displays and information about the castle through time are really interesting. Mike stayed in the Banquet Room for a while, blending in to the display, and scaring folks when he answered their questions. We wandered around a bit, heading 'towards' the train station and caught the train to Port Erin, the end of the line. Stopped for lunch and then wandered around a bit. The wind off the water was VERY strong. After tea and cake at the little tea house at the station, we took the train ... read more
Morning view of Irish Sea
Castle Rushen--one-handed clock
Castle Rushen--back view

Europe » Isle of Man » Douglas May 14th 2023

As we were flying to Isle of Man (which meant no free luggage) and staying only for four days, we didn't need three weeks worth of clothes (nor any of the souvenirs we'd already gotten) so we reorganized so we could take only the smaller suitcase and stored the larger suitcase. We had done that in 2017 so Sue had a vague idea of where the desk was and was able to walk/roll the big one over to Terminal 1. It's a forever walk (so it seems) and a shuttle ride to the smaller plane for Isle of Man. Happily, you can't get on the shuttle till the plane is landed and ready to go again. The flight was delayed about an hour but it stays light so late that there was no worry. The flight ... read more
Leaving Ireland 2
Leaving Ireland 3
Seeing Isle of Man 1

Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin May 13th 2023

The suitcases were getting rather full so we got a wine case from the neighborhood wine shop, filled it with souvenirs and some clothes we weren't going to wear, took it to the post office bright and early, and mailed it home. Who knows when we'll see it! We walked down the road a few shop fronts to Fothergill's Cafe for breakfast. Lovely little place, great breakfast. St. Patrick's and maybe a distillery was on our list for the day. We got a taxi in to the Cathedral but there was a funeral and it was closed until 1 p.m. So, we got back on the Hop On Hop Off bus from yesterday and rode around, getting back to St. Patrick's just after the funeral ended! We visited/toured around and headed back to the unit for ... read more
Isle of Man symbol
Floor tiles at St. Patrick's

Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin May 12th 2023

Since I blew a fuse the evening before, I began the day by fessing up (by What's App) to the host who replied that it was not unusual for North American electrical items to cause that problem and she would 'pop up and check' during the day. Had a reservation for 9:30 for the Book of Kells in Trinity College. Got up early, took a taxi in to Trinity. Certainly looked different from our last visit--not the College but the streets around the College. In 2017, there was a massive Roads Project and it was a mess. Some of the entrances to Trinity were closed by it even. This time, we easily walked across the street and in, had a great visit with the Book of Kells and went up to the Long Room. A LOT ... read more
Book of Kells introduction
Book of Kells page
Another page

Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin May 11th 2023

Got up, had one last breakfast at the B&B, settled our bill (they had laundry service and we now have clean clothes!!), and took a taxi down the hill to the train station. A smaller station than Dublin and not near as much walking they did have a Starbucks so Mike got a cup while we waited. Another nice train ride across the country and we were in Dublin. Rainy but we found a taxi to the Airbnb we had reserved. It is in a suburb called Rathmines and we spent the rest of the day settling in, wandering, and having dinner. working with my very old little travel laptop that evening, I blew a fuse which the host fixed the next day but I fear I may have fried the laptop’s battery or ability to ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Galway » Spidéal May 10th 2023

One of our guides in Northern Ireland, Brandon, told us about taking a basket making class in Spiddal, a craft village near Galway. We had seen it from the road when returning both from Inishmore and from Connemara and went out today. it was raining off and on but the village was designed to be walked around. The glass artist was closed but the potter, basket weaver, a couple painters, and the leather and Celtic coin jeweler were open. Had a great time in the jeweler’s shop, Eric Byrne. Got some Connemara marble earrings, a claddagh ring, And a couple old Irish coins from in Mikes birth year. We had a walking food tour scheduled for mid-afternoon and, after a rest, headed off to that. Great host, good food and drink, including a Guinness. Also nice ... read more
Lots of Willow
Back in Galway

Europe » Ireland » County Galway » Galway May 9th 2023

We attended a cooking class at a private home out in the County. Katy had run her own shop in Galway for 15 years and 'sort of' retired. Sort of as in then started teaching classes out of her home and is busy most days. She and her helper, Valentina, organized us, told us how much to put in, how to mix the ingredients, then how to cut scones. After they went in, we chose the type of bread to make and did that. We got to taste the scones while the bread baked: hot, soft, tasty, perfect. We had taken a taxi out but the other folks who baked with us, a mother/daughter from Connecticut (the daughter had been a student here) gave us a ride back into town which was very generous of them. ... read more
First Step to Scones
crumbly is the goal

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