It was an exciting day when this arrived a few weeks before our departure!

Two sets of very rare pins; Carol's a happy collector!

Wednesday August 24, 2022


We drove to Toronto in the afternoon and caught a WestJet 'red-eye' flight to Ireland.  By the time we landed in Dublin it was already Thursday morning.

A Disney bag packed for adventure!

'Getting my Irish on' in the Toronto airport!

Thursday August 25, 2022


Our room was ready when we arrived at the Westin Hotel in Dublin before noon.  We rested a bit and then began to orient ourselves in this new environment.

We hopped aboard a double-decker bus, climbed to the upper deck and started taking pictures!

The River Liffey cuts the city in half.

Our hotel was in the heart of the downtown area.

Trinity College is directly across the street.


We did the complete city circuit on the hop-on hop-off bus but we didn't get off at any of the 24 stops.  We spotted several places we want to check out the tomorrow!


We had dinner at The Bank, a wonderful old banking hall that has been transformed into a restaurant.

After dinner we walked a few blocks and found 'The Tart With The Cart'

Miss Molly Malone

♫♪♫ Cockles And Mussels, Alive Alive-O ♫♪♫

Friday August 26, 2022


We rode the Big Bus to St. Patrick's Cathedral first thing in the morning and began our exploration of Dublin.  Wow!  It's quite a place!  It's also very old. construction began in 1220 and was completed in 1259.

The high arches were designed to draw your eyes toward heaven and God.

No, she's not preaching . . . she's reading!

We wore audio headsets so we could listen to pre-recorded

stories at many locations in the cathedral.

Discovered in 1901, this stone slab bearing a Celtic cross is believed to have once

covered Saint Patrick’s Well, the well used by Saint Patrick to baptize converts.

Sir Benjamin Guinness donated a huge sum of money to help restore

St. Patrick's Cathedral.  Some of the beer profits went to a very good use!

On the left Carol waits at the St. Patrick's bus stop for a lift

to our next stop - the Guinness Storehouse.

Guinness had some unique ad campaigns over the years . . . like the one on the right!


'A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.'

We walked through the Grafton Street pedestrian mall so Carol could get a 'Disney fix'.

Then we walked to Trinity College to see The Book of Kells

and the magnificent college library.

The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript of the four gospels of the New Testament.

It was produced by monks over 1,200 years ago, in about 800 AD.

We were able to view the actual book which is made of calfskin vellum.

It is stored in a sealed glass vault in a special low-light room to preserve it.

I copied this picture from the Internet.

Photography is not allowed near the glass vault but there are plenty

of large photos and descriptions on display in the museum area.

It's incredibly detailed and ornate.  A masterpiece of antiquity!

The college library is absolutely breathtaking.  We sat for

about a half-hour just soaking in it's stunning beauty.

Back at the hotel we met with our Adventures By Disney hosts Stephen and Gabby who

led us to our private dining room.  We enjoyed a short reception and had a chance to meet

our fellow adventurers.  There are only 16 in our group and all the rest are from the USA.

A very talented harpist played for us throughout the evening.

Saturday August 27, 2022

Our first stop on our adventure was at Epic - the Irish Emigration Museum.

These ghastly statues stand beside the River Liffey, in front of

the Epic museum.  They represent the millions of Irish who faced

starvation during the potato famine in 1845 - 49.


Over a million Irish died during the famine and more than 1.5

million emigrated to North America in those few short years.

Canada thanks the Irish famine immigrants who helped found our country.

Our second stop of the morning was the Teeling Distillery.

Our ABD hosts Stephen and Gabby.

Carol liked the aroma at the fermentation vats!

The tasting room; my favourite place!

Pam and Pinky from Ohio enjoyed the whiskey too!

But caution is advised; it's not for the faint-of-heart!

This pair entertained us throughout lunch in a wonderful local pub.

Sunday August 28, 2022

At Kilkenny we tried our hand at Ireland's national sport - hurling.

It's a fast-paced game!

The ladies teamed up to represent Kilkenny.

The men played for Tipperary!

The ladies eked out a slim win in the shoot-out competition!

The winners and the losers all posed with the

coveted Adventures By Disney Cup!

Kilkenny Castle

Our hurling instructors joined us for lunch at a pub in Kilkenny.

The Rock of Cashel towers over 200 feet above the village of Cashel.

It was the home of many ancient Irish kings.

Two of the most famous people of Irish legend and history associated with the Rock of Cashel are St. Patrick and Brian Boru.  St. Patrick, according to legend, arrived in Cashel in 432 AD and baptized King Aengus who became Ireland's first Christian ruler.  Brian Boru was crowned High King of Ireland here in 990 AD.  King Brian Boru was the founder of the O'Brien clan.

After a wonderful afternoon at Cashel we continued on to Killarney where we settled in at the Killarney Park Hotel.

Monday August 29, 2022

We visited nearby Ross Castle on the shore of Lake Leane.

Just behind Ross Castle we boarded boats and

crossed Lake Leane to Innisfallen Island.

The ruins of Innisfallen Abbey were magnificent!

It was a very peaceful place to spend some quiet time together!

The view from the dock at Ross Castle.

Our next stop was an old schoolhouse where we stepped back in time

to the 1920's and heard a bit about Irish history and culture.


We even learned how to churn butter on a rotary churn.

While we enjoyed a light lunch we were treated to Irish music and dance!

We had the afternoon to ourselves so we wandered the streets of Killarney until we

bumped into fellow adventurers Mike and Mary from Virginia.  The four of us hired a

horse-drawn carriage (the Irish call it a jaunty) and rode all around Killarney National Park.

Dennis provided an interesting commentary while Sam pulled the jaunty.

Thanks Sam!

We had dinner in a nice Italian restaurant a few blocks from our hotel

and enjoyed a relaxing evening.

Tuesday August 30, 2022

Tuesday we travelled through some beautiful countryside on our way to Adare.

Our guide helped us understand the history of the magnificent

ruins of Adare Desmond Castle.


We had lunch at Aunty Lena's Pub in Adare.

After lunch we wandered around Adare admiring the thatched roofs and the many ancient stone buildings.

Then we boarded the coach again and headed to Dromoland Castle near Shannon.

It will be our home for the next three nights.

As we approached the Dromoland Castle the driver slowed down and

the music from Downton Abbey filled the coach.  The staff of this

magnificent hotel lined the sidewalk to welcome us!

Our room was simply amazing!

Even the bathroom was elegant!

Donough O'Brien, a son of Brian Boru originally built on this site in 1014 and for the

next 900 years a branch of the O'Briens lived and ruled from Dromoland Castle.

Dr. Jane O'Brien, a descendant of Brian Boru, gave us a tour of the grounds

and gardens while she explained how and why her ancestors built the castle.

We joined our fellow adventurers and everyone enjoyed an elegant dinner in a private dining room beside the Walled Garden.

Wednesday August 31, 2022

Carol stands in the shadows in front of our wing of the castle.

The lobby, dining rooms and cocktail lounges are behind her.

A nice place to have breakfast!

I told Carol, 'There's a wing-back chair in the men's room!'

'I saw fresh-cut flowers too.

I can't pee in there . . . it's much too posh!

The lobby is stunning!

Dave, a falconry expert, led us from the castle to the

mews where the Dromoland birds of prey are housed.

Dave and Michael gave us all a chance to hold an owl.

After the birds of prey demonstration we signed out a golf cart

and toured all around the castle property.  It's a huge place!

That's a big cedar tree!

A bee house.

A temple honouring one of the O'Brien family's favourite horses.

Zorro was pulling the jaunty for a family from South Africa.

The cocktail lounge at Dromoland Castle.

Carol came back from the ladies room with pictures.

It's pretty regal too!

She said that she had no problem using the throne for it's intended purpose!

We joined Mike and Mary from Virginia again and Michael

led the four of us around the grounds on a private 'hawk walk'.

Late in the afternoon we boarded the coach and headed to Rathbaun Farm.

After a light snack we were led to a huge kitchen where

we were instructed in the ancient art of baking scones!

Everyone got a chance to pour, stir and mix.

Once our scones were ready for the oven we headed to

the barn to meet some sheep and a pair of border collies.

Bailey is a young pup who is replacing Ted

(with Carol on the left) who is due to retire soon.

Carol had to do some chores before dinner!

My oh my . . . the scones were delicious!

Our entertainment included a few Irish folk songs and almost

everything ever recorded by Billy Joel and Elton John!

All too soon it was time to head back to Dromoland.

Thursday September 1, 2022

The visitor's centre at The Cliffs of Moher looks like a Hobbit house.

I cheated and rode to the top of the cliffs so

I'd have enough energy left for the trek down.

Carol's made of tougher stuff!  She walked up.

This Norman tower at the top was built in the 1830's by a

wealthy politician to entertain his friends and supporters.

The view from the top is impressive!

There was plenty of musical entertainment as

we slowly made our way back down.

After our scenic trip to the cliffs we stopped at nearby

Doolin and had lunch at McDermott's Bar.

We spent the afternoon enjoying the grounds at Dromoland one last time.

We left the walled garden behind when it was time for our

Farewell Dinner.  Our adventure was coming to an end!

A piper met our group in the lobby and piped us

through the castle to our private dining room.

A very talented Irish family entertained us with music and singing.

Then three highly acclaimed Irish dancers took the stage.

They have all placed in the top 20 in world-wide competitions.

The dancers tried to teach some of us how to dance . . . with mixed results!

After an outstanding dinner it was time to say goodbye to our ABD hosts and

some new-found friends.  We hope to cross paths with a few of them again!

Friday September 2, 2022

It was a sad Friday morning - it's time to go home.  We lingered as long

as we could, watching the grounds crew prepare the golf course for

the LPGA Irish Open which will be held there in a couple of weeks.

Our limo picked us up at 11:00 a.m for the three and a half hour drive from Shannon to Dublin.  We spent the night at the Clayton Hotel near the Dublin airport and caught our WestJet flight home at 10:30 Saturday morning.  Carol was picked for a random Covid-19 test so we didn't get home until nearly 6:00 p.m.  The dogs were sure happy to see us and before long we were settling in to our normal routine.


But . . . can you imagine how it feels to know that we're not living in a castle anymore?