Monday, September 28, 2009


Today was such an awesome day. We woke up and went downstairs to breakfast this morning. This time we shared a table with a newly married couple from North Carolina, in Ireland for their honeymoon. They shared with us stories from their wedding, which was football themed. They said that as they were walking into their reception, the DJ played the Monday night football theme song and everyone started to cheer. They said it was very exciting and though I am not a football fan… it really did sound like a lot of fun.

While swapping stories about our stays thus far in Ireland, the subject of driving came up. Ireland roads, as I have said before are extremely narrow and winding. It is not unusual for the speed limit on these roads to be 80 to 100 kilometers per hour, so cars are flying down the road!

The two couples at the other breakfast table heard our stories (they are also from the USA) and joined in on the conversation. It was like a support group therapy session as everyone had the driving-on-the-left-side-of-the-crazy-Irish-roads woes.

We were all laughing and carrying on, when Val and Tom (the B&B owners) came in and asked if we would like to have a sing along.

I kid you not! Tom broke out the accordion and foot drum and passed out song sheets.

Tom the One Man Band

Val and Guest singing

We sang three traditional Irish songs and I only knew one of them, O Danny Boy:

So, much like I sing Karaoke when I don’t know the words - I made up words, hummed and mumbled through the other two songs. This had Ty and I bursting into a fit of giggles.

It was so much fun!!

After breakfast we went to our room to relax. I checked my e-mails and updated my blog. We were going to dinner at 5 that evening to “Aunt” Ginger’s house.

My dear friend Colleen (aka Rayvnn) had always spoke of her Aunt Ginger living in Ireland. When I booked our trip, Colleen’s mother put me in touch with Ginger, who then invited us to dinner. She only lived about thirty minutes from our B&B and we were very excited to meet her and her daughter Maureen.

Since we had some time to kill, Ty and I decided to walk into town. We stopped at a small restaurant and had some soup to hold us over until dinner.

Here we are with our yummy potato soup:

While in town we noticed that this year marked the 400th anniversary of the town of Kilkenny.

Kilkenny is a charming place and we were really starting to feel like we were really getting to know our way around. We noticed little checkered flags hanging around all around town. I assumed they represented a sports team, but we learned later that they were county flags. Each county was represented by a different colored checkered flag, for instance Kilkenny is yellow and black.

I also love how all of the road signs are posted in both English and Irish (once known as Gaelic)

This day (September 24th) was a very important day in Irish history. It was the 250th birthday of Guinness and everyone was gearing up for the big celebration that evening. (Seriously… the Irish DO love their Guinness, that is not just a stereo type)

We were not going to partake in the big celebration so we had one pint of Guinness with our soup just to pay our respects ;-p

We walked back to the B&B to get our car and make our way to Aunt Ginger’s. En route I saw this sign that so amused me. Not every building has both a Daycare center AND a Mortuary:

When we turned on the little side road to Aunt Ginger’s house, the scenery took our breath away. We got out to take a couple of pictures, which again - don’t do the view justice.

Aunt Ginger and her daughter Maureen were wonderful hosts. We were greeted with hugs and warmth as if we were longtime friends. I had always assumed Ginger was a native of Ireland, however she is actually a US citizen. She moved to Ireland 10 years ago due to having personal issues with the socio and political affairs in our country.

She purchased property which held ruins and used the ruins to construct her home. Her home is breathtaking and I was so amazed.

Aunt Ginger and Maureen:

Their dog Higgens

The outside of the main house:

View of driveway from front door:

She kept some of the ruins in their actual state and designed a garden within it:

This is a pic of the entrance to the garden occupied by their cat “Daddledo”. When I asked about the cats unusual name, they told me they got Daddledo after loosing their cat Lulu. Lulu disappeared and they had signs up everywhere looking for her. Someone offered them a little black cat (Lulu was also black) and they took her. Her full name is: “Still searching for Lulu but Daddle-do”

Little nook inside the garden:

Ty and Ginger inside the garden:

Ginger showing us some unfinished work. She wants to make this building a chapel.


She built the house up against the hill, so when you look out the back windows – they are covered with foliage and flowers. It was so unusual and we loved it!

Inside the kitchen/dining area:

Living room fireplace

Gingers bedroom upstairs

Me on the “tour”

Maureen’s bedroom upstairs

Ginger fed us a fabulous dinner and we sat around the table with her and Maureen talking. We discussed philosophy, politics, raising children, food and Ireland for hours and hours. We all had so many similar views and so much in common. We really enjoyed our visit and we are both so grateful to Mrs. Dowd for putting us in touch with Ginger and Maureen!

We left their house after 10pm to find our way back to the B&B in the dark. Ty had yet to try driving in the dark and it didn’t go too bad until we hit Kikenny. We were over confident in thinking we now knew the town so well… as everything looks different in the dark. We got a bit lost but not for long and went to sleep for our last night in Kilkenny.

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