The Adventures of BJ and Tony Morris

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Shannon, Ireland
November 2002

"The Gift of Gab"

It was my niece's turn to travel with us for our Thanksgiving trip this year.  We picked Budapest as our first choice, but as the time neared for the trip, it became obvious that we would not be able to get on the flights, so we chose an alternate destination of Ireland.  Lauren seemed to be happy with either destination.  Our friend and her teenage son traveled with us.  Lauren was thrilled to get to sit in business class on the trip over.  You can tell that Tony is very fond of her because he let her have the window seat! 

02b25001 SNN BJ Lauren Ables.jpg (50297 bytes) 02b25002 SNN David ORoark Tony.jpg (57050 bytes)

The main thing Lauren wanted to do in Ireland was kiss the Blarney Stone, so when we left the airport, we struck out for the Blarney Castle.  It was only a short distance, but took us a couple of hours because of the roads.  Our friend, whose nickname is "Prissy" gets carsick so she had to have the front seat, leaving me the middle of the back seat between the two children.  It was raining when we reached the Blarney Castle.  Despite our best advice, Lauren had chosen her wardrobe for fashion over function so her blue jeans quickly became wet and heavy and her clogs let her socks get soaking wet.

02b26001 SNN Lauren Ables Blarney Castle.jpg (51139 bytes)

Lauren was the first to kiss the Blarney Stone and I was second.  The others declined the opportunity.  They would be sorry about this, since Lauren and I would use our gift of gab and they would have no defense.  The Blarney Stone is part of the wall of the Blarney Castle tower.  The stone is between the main castle wall and the parapet.  Kissers have to lie on their back and bend backward and downward, holding the iron bars for support.

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From Blarney, we decided to head toward the west coast, but we were too tired (and wet), so we stopped for the night in Macroom.  The kids were happy to be out of the car (and so were we)!

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At the hotel, our room was rather plain, but our travel companions had a bathtub right in the middle of their room!  Lauren was jealous, but we thought it would be awfully inconvenient!

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The next morning, Lauren got her first FIB (Full Irish Breakfast).   She wasn't too excited about the unusual sausages, but she ate her egg.

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The next stop on our tour was in Dingle.  We found a B&B above a pub, dropped our bags and headed out for the aquarium.  Our favorite exhibit was the ray pool.

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We strolled around Dingle until we got back to our room above the Dingle Pub.  A very convenient location!

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The adults sat by the fire while the kids made up their own rules for billiards.

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After dinner, we found a pub where traditional Irish music and dancing was being performed.  None of the group would dance with me, so after we listened for a while, we headed back to the room where the kids taught us to play BS.   This is a hillarious game to play with kids who just can't lie with a straight face!

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The next morning after our FIB, we decided to continue the drive around the Dingle Peninsula.  I read aloud from Rick Steve's tour guide while David slept, Lauren listened to music, and the adults in the front seat chatted.  I was trying to make this educational, but only succeeded in getting annoyed with my audience.

02b28001 SNN Tony Dingle Peninsula.jpg (50381 bytes)

We stopped at Dunmore Head for a photo of the beautiful scenery with the Aran Islands in the distance.  We took a shot for the local newpaper in my hometown where they feature people who travel with their newspaper.

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As one might expect, the weather was pretty dismal during our drive, but as we rounded one curve, a rainbow was peeking out from behind the hill.  We decided to keep driving to look for the pot of gold at the end.

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We stopped in Listowel for lunch and met Ollie, the black labrador retriever that seemed to think she was entitled to some of our lunch.  She was so cute, we just had to share!

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Our last tourist activity was to visit Bunratty Castle.  We wanted to go to a mideval feast, but it was off season, so we just toured the castle and grounds.

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All too soon, it was time to go to the airport and head back home.

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We look forward to Lauren's next turn to travel with us!

BJ and Tony Morris