Farewell, Little Bits
Sweet Killarney and on to Kinsale

The Adventure Begins

We went to Ireland and it was wonderful! 

I will not speak of the clusterfuck that was our trip to Shannon Airport, except to say that we will not fly United Airlines in the foreseeable future. Or ever. So there.

Wild Atlantic Music Tours is the company that organized our tour. Their tours do not just go to cool places. Oh no. Each tour features a musician or group that travels with the group and plays traditional Irish music every day. Every. Single. Day. Sometimes more than once!

The tour kicked off at the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis, County Clare. We were really lucky that our room was ready when we arrived at 6:30 in the morning, so we were able to shower, have breakfast, and sleep for a few hours before the Meet and Greet.

The Old Ground Hotel

At the Meet and Greet, we met and gret (okay, greeted) the tour organizers, Eddie and Robert, and picked up the excellent swag. Then we met Eileen Ivers, the amazingly talented fiddle player. She was so gracious and friendly! After some mixing and mingling with the rest of the group - about 40 folks in all - we were treated to a great session with members of the Kilfenora Ceili Band.

Eileen Ivers

After a few tunes from Kilfenora, Eileen joined them. Wow.

Eileen and the Kilfenora Ceili Band

What a great start!

After the session, we went in search of dinner. The hotel bar/restaurant was really crowded, so we headed down the street.

O'Connell Street in Ennis

We ran into one of the group, who was going to Brogan's, so we did too. Susan was going to meet some other folks, so we thought we wouldn't horn in because we are nice like that, but the restaurant could seat six people immediately and so Susan graciously invited us to join her and her friends, who were delightful, because everyone in our group was delightful!

Dinner was great, and Brogan's had thoughtfully suspended a bunch of umbrellas in the alley to protect us from the gentle Irish raindrops.

Brogan's Umbrellas

So even though we got to Ireland a day late (no thanks to United; many thanks to Aer Lingus), our tour started off just wonderfully!

Stay (ahem) tuned.