Friday, June 26, 2009


Hello friends!!

So I got to Ireland on Friday evening. Got to my hostel & was with a group of 9 American lacrosse students over here for schooling. Yikes! They were party party party, but they were actually pretty nice girls & invited me out to O'Shea's where we watched a live band, had a pint of Guiness & some pretty good conversation. At around 2 am a couple of them came back to the room HAMMERED & giggly tho. Oh the hostel fun. ;)
Keith was due to get in early Saturday morning. That did not happen, he wasn't able to make his flight & so didn't get in until Sunday morning. So Saturday - Michelle wandered around Dublin on her own AGAIN! I am getting a little tired of wandering around cities alone! :) But it was fine, uneventful. I went back to my room, took some goofy pics, read a little, wrote in my journal, and then went out again. When I came back around 6:30 - I met some more Americans ( I had moved rooms b/c I had only planned to be there for the one night), so these nice Americans - who had just spent some time in Greece!, invited me out to go on a hunt for the pub in PS I Love You. Naturally - people & a movie that I loved, I was in! So we went for a walk. Found the pub, but it was blasting out hard rock, not nice Irish folk music. So we went elsewhere for dinner. And then ended up back at O'Shea's. The same band was there & the Irish folk songs were a'blarin! :)
Early Sunday Keith showed up. We hit the road right away! Belfast, we went thru it. Stopped at The Crown Saloon for lunch. Survived all the bombs at The Europa (most bombed hotel in Ireland), just across the street, and The Crown was very ornate!! Took some pics. Then we went thru the Hill of Tara - a pagan burial site that was pretty neat. And then Carrickfergus. It is pretty much the beginning of the  Causeway Coast route, saw the castle from the outside & did a walk along the pier. Then we went on to Larne. Stayed in a B&B called Inverbann. It was nice, had an Irish brekky in the morning.
Monday we did the Causeway Coast drive. We started in Carrick-a-rede, a suspension bridge between the big island & a little tiny one. It was a short bridge compared to Capilano, but the scenery was excellent! After that we stopped at the side of the road to take pics of a sandy beach, and then moved on to Bushmills. To the Bushmills Whiskey Distillery - the oldest whiskey distillery still in operation in..Europe!? Definitley Ireland! Did the tour, took some pics & drank some whiskey :) After that tour we headed to the Giants Causeway. Several natural geological formations on the coast of Northern Ireland. BEAUTIFUL! Definitely one of the most beautiful things we saw...then a short trip to Dunseverick Castle ( one wall in ruin-a waste of time) and then Dunluce - a pretty cool seaside castle ruin. Lots of it still remains. Lastly we went to Limavady. Got a little turned around & lost track of time so no FOOD was open. We stopped in at a Tesco's & had a sandwich. And then met an amazing woman who drove us from place to place until we found an open B&B! Amazing. The B&B was Foyle View - pretty nice place.
Tuesday - We went to Enniskillen (last stop in Northern Ireland) and we went to the Marble Arch Caves b/c I had been told that the caving in Ireland in pretty awesome. It was my first caving experience & I did enjoy it!! :) After that we went thru Tuam & then on the way to the Cliffs of Moher we stopped outside of Burren at the Poulnabrone Dolmen Portal Tomb, a tomb from the Stone or Bronze Age. VERY OLD! VERY COOL! Pics will be posted eventually !! After that we headed for the Cliffs of Moher. Did the cliffs at sunset, wandered into the ' do not go here' area, got some great pics. Had fun! Then stopped at the Moher View B&B. :)
Wednesday - Thru Limerick, checked out the King John castle from the outside & then  a tourist info place. Off to Lough Gur - the biggest stone circle in Ireland. It was INCREDIBLE! I could have spent all day there just breathing. Lots of cool pics, there was an altar where people put money & jewel things. Very moving for me. I loved it. After that we had lunch in Killarny at a pub. Then did the drive around the Ring of Kerry. I think I would miss that. Some coastal views are great, but mostly you're just driving & a fair amount of the scenery is very BC. So meh. We both wouldn't do it again. Then we went out to Blarney. Checked out the town, got a B&B, Tourist Joy, GREAT, and then back into town for a pint or two in the pub.
Thursday(yesterday) morning - went to Blarney Castle, checked it all out, kissed the stone, now I'm so chatty ;) hahahaha Then we went to the Blarney Woolen Mills where I was disapointed with the woollen options & PRICES! Next stop Waterford, home of the Waterford Crystal. We saw the home of - but they stopped manufacturing in January, so no tour. Then we went out Kells, a couple of monastic site from way back 
Kell's Priory, Kilree Tower. Very cool, we could wander them at will. Then to Wicklow. beautiful mountains, tons of coniferous trees - definitely felt like BC - saw a bunch of old religious buildings. St. Kevin's Church, Tower of Glendalough, etc etc. It was really cool. Then off to find a B&B, Silver Sands in Wicklow. It was great.
Today we came into Dublin. We wandered around Trinity College, had an excellent tour guide & saw the Book of Kells & companions, very amazing. The Long Room tour thru their library...OMIGOD. I just wanted to grab one of these 1,000 year old books & lie on the floor smelling it's pages. I learned a lot & was wowed by the beauty & quantity of books in that library. *le sigh* After that we headed to the Guiness Brewery. For a totally different experience!! Very modern, lots of technologically advanced stuff thru the tour, very cool, had quite a bit of Guiness. 3.5 pints. mmm. Loving it! It was great! Now I stopped in here to say hello, before we head off to another pub, and tomorrow I'm back in London for a couple days!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Well here we go!!!


I'm heading out this evening on a Ryan Air flight to Dublin. I'm bussing it to my hostel & meeting Keith in the morning when he gets off his plane in Dublin. Im very excited to be seeing another country & to be able to tour around with a friend who is seeing it all for the first time too!


I booked my Contiki Tour today! So on June 30th I leave from London on a 46 day camping tour of Europe. We will see parts of: France, Spain, Monaco, Italy, the Vatican City, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Montenagro, Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerlan, Netherlands & Belgium. **whew** and I'll be with a tour group of people & will have lots of people to talk to & take pics with ;) So I will be safe. My credit card feels a little warm now tho ;) hahaha


So today I'm cleaning up my room here at the Lewis's. Saying my goodbye's - altho I will be back after the Contiki Tour. I am weighing my bag again to check & make sure that I am within the requirements :) And then I'm off. So my internet usage will not be quite so prolific - but I will still try to get on once a week or so to update everyone on where I have been & what I have seen.  It will be strange, I've gotten quite used to the little routine we have going here :) Mary & Tony feel like family! I just keep adopting people wherever I go LOL


Bye for now!


Love Shelle

Saturday, June 13, 2009

An English summer...


Still in England. Still having a good time. Lovely hosts...amazing people.


Been a slow week touristy-wise. But lots of visitors, people over for dinner, learning about England & everywhere else anyone has been to. I've met lots of people that have travelled around quite a bit & had many a conversation about places to go & it certainly fuels my gusto for wanting to get out & about. Altho some of these people went travelling 15-20 years ago!! Back when they were able to just hitch hike & meet random people without so much worry about the crazies ;)


It was an  up & down week weather-wise. Sunny mornings, torrential downpours in the afternoon, flooding in some towns, and then nice days later. Not super hot - but alright. It was supposed to be a rainy yuck weekend - but today was lovely! The weather guys here NEVER get it right - they make our weather people look like genius's!


Today I went out for a ride for the first time since my fall. It was good. I fell off of Grace about 3 weeks ago now? Yowza! The weekend after I fell, Tony fell off of Spitfire, but he was fine. We all joked that they are keeping a tally inside their stables of how many people they have eached knocked off - since a week or two before I came to England a friend of Mary's had fallen off of Grace (only in that instance Grace was just standing there & the friend lost her stirrup & balance). Today - I was ok! :) It was fairly seamless for me except that Grace is a piggy & can't help but try to eat EVERYTHING she walks by - worse than  Finn! But Mary fell off Spitfire today because he nearly stepped on a rabbit & when it ran it spooked him. She's OK too, apparently I'm the only one not smart enough to tuck & roll ;) So now they are even in dumps - maybe it will be smooth sailing from here on out! hahaha


I'm heading to Ireland on Friday! Exciting!! Can't wait to meet up with Keith & head out to see what there is to see on the island! It will be so awesome to tour around with another tourist :) After that??? To London for a few days & then we will see. Nothing booked yet! But will keep you updated!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My life this past week or so...

What has been going on lately??


An old friend of mine, Luke was in Europe for the last 40 days or so. He was on a Contiki tour & ended up in London. We got in touch, but weren't able to meet up.  That was a little disapointing, would have been cool to do some sightseeing in London with a friend - especially one who is pretty knowledgable in politics & history! He's home now - so I guess we will catch up when I get home.


I booked my Ireland tickets! I head over to Dublin Friday June 19th & come back to England on the 27th. Keith is meeting me there on the 20th, I'm excited to be able to tour around Ireland with a friend!!!


I'm planning to do a Contiki June 30th - but haven't booked it just yet. Will keep you all updated!!


I started working on my knitting a bit. Trying to do socks on a set of 4 needles. Very fine yarn, but I think the needles are too long! LOL It is definitely a bit complicated to work with 4 needles, especially with it's all flimsy! Oh well - I will keep at it & one day I will be able to do it blindfolded


My mom, & my dad have both had birthdays & celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary in the last couple weeks! What a busy month I missed out on - bad daughter!!! I'll make it up to them when I get home - promise!


On Saturday I spent the day wandering around Nottingham. That's right - Robin Hood, Maid Marian, all of that stuff! It's alive & real there! I went to the castle, lots of plaques & info about things to do with Robin Hood etc. There were dancers too. The castle wasn't too big - but the grounds were GORGEOUS! And within the castle it was a museum! Art, textiles, the history of Nottingham, everytime I turned a corner there was more to look at it was crazy!!! And it was a gorgeous day too. Spent lots of time just soaking up the sun & enjoying the vitamin D!!!  I still have to check out Sherwood forest, as the two aren't really withing walking distance .


Went to a BBQ on Sunday. A friend of Tony's & Martyn's. Great place, great food, lovely people. 4 big newfoundlander doggies that were great! And a giant land tortoise names Tiger. Ace!!!! Got pretty sunburned that day though. Yikes! I didn't think I would need sunscreen in England!! I did get some now! And some aloe. So I'm taking care! I wasn't WANTING to get sunburned. But I'm still happy for all of the sun. It was 4 days straight - but now it's getting a bit less summerlike. But It was phenomenal while it lasted. The green looked even more green in the sunlight!


Monday night a friend of Tony's came over after work. Had a BBQ, some wine & listened to some AC/DC in the setting sun. It was a pretty super night too!!


I think that pretty much updates anyone who cares on what has been going on!


Love you all!!