Beautiful Desolation

Well, it's taken me long enough, hasn't it? I know! So, on the second-last day of our tour, we were supposed to take a boat trip to Innis Mor, but the weather was so blustery that it wouldn't have been safe. Our guides dropped back to Plan B. They promised us that Plan B would be great. They were right. (Alas, Joe was damn sick. Right after breakfast I went down the street to Dunne's... Read more →

Bunratty Castle

No visit to Ireland would be complete without a visit to a castle! So, we stopped at Bunratty Castle on our way back to Ennis from Kinsale. It's impressive! It sits at one end of a folk park, which replicates village life in the Regency era (around 1795-1837). Bunratty Castle, So It Is The entrance brings you to the Main Guard, a great hall that the soldiers and retainers hung out in. Our guide told... Read more →

Rainy Day at Charles Fort

The only completely rainy day occurred on the day we visited Charles Fort, a star-shaped fortification opposite Kinsale Harbor. It dates from the 17th century and was used as a British Army barracks until 1921. The Brits left after the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. It wasn't pouring when we left the hotel, but the heavens opened on the short ride to the village of Summer Cove. But we soldiered on (heh) and gathered around a... Read more →


Our second full day found us in Cobh (pronounced "Cove"), the harbor town where the Irish boarded ships to America. Just in front of the Cobh Heritage Center is this statue of Annie Moore and her brothers. Annie was the first immigrant to pass through US federal inspection at Ellis Island. Eileen played a haunting version of "Nearer My God to Thee" in front of Annie, which got us ready to learn more about the... Read more →

Sweet Killarney and on to Kinsale

Monday was a travel day from Ennis to Kinsale, with a stop in Killarney National Park for a meal, a mansion, and music! Breakfast at the Old Ground Hotel was grand - lots of yummy scones, croissants, breads, cereals, juices, yogurts, you name it. Not only that, there were hot breakfast choices too! I grabbed some goodies and ordered some porridge for good measure. The coffee was good and strong; I immediately poured a big... Read more →

Shortbread and a Swiss Kiss

Another sweet heart is the Day 18 shortbread! I’m also doing the 10 days, 10 photos that bring me joy meme. Today I posted this photo: The meme says you must post without explanation, so I shall explain this photo here! In 2001, I went to Zurich, Switzerland to attend a meeting of technical communication folks. After the meeting, Joe and I explored the city. As we walked along, I glanced up and saw this... Read more →

I Miss the Beach

We did not go to Ocean City this year. We didn't want to risk it - we knew people would not be diligent about masking and social distancing. I miss it. My first memory is of turning down the long driveway to the oceanfront cottage we rented on 48th Steet. I think I was four or thereabouts. My parents rented the bottom floor of a larger house; the owners lived upstairs. At this point, Ocean... Read more →

In the Beginning

Today is our Ruby wedding anniversary - 40 whole years! How did we get here? Well, our first date was in August, 1979, at a pizza joint on Capitol Hill in DC. More dates followed quickly. Early in the fall, I invited Joe to accompany me on a canoe trip down the Mullica River in New Jersey. This event was hosted by one of the programmers where I worked; many of my fellow employees attended.... Read more →

September Came and Went

So, September is pretty much gone. It was a good month. Here are 10 things about it. We started off the month with a trip to Ocean City! It's been over a year since we spent more than a weekend at the beach - this year we managed most of a week. We ate, we lazed about, we went to the beach. I stuck my feet in the ocean, but didn't go swimming or lie... Read more →


I drove down to the beach Saturday - the first time I've driven that far alone in years, and the first time I've taken Rinaldo on a long drive. I confess that I was a little nervous, but I reminded myself that I used to drive long distances alone all the damn time and I would be fine. Besides, unlike in my circus days, I had a phone. I'd be able to summon help with... Read more →