Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cork & Blarney Castle

It seems like long ago we were trekking through Ireland...  Even though it has been merely weeks!   After Doolin we traveled to Cork, quite a long bus ride I must say.   While in Cork we visited Blarney and the Blarney Castle.  Shots above show Chris kissing the famous Blarney Stone!  I was too chicken to bend over backwards over a cliff, while a little old Irish man held my legs!    The grounds to Blarney Castle are simply amazing!  So beautiful, and it seemed we arrived just in time for all of the gorgeous flowers to bloom.   The next morning before we headed back to Dublin, we took a short walk through the Cork English Market.  IF YOU ARE IN CORK, GO THERE!  It's so worth it!   Dare I say, Philadelphia has a similar indoor market to also check out if you're ever there.  

Monday, May 23, 2011

stop and smell the lilacs...

Walking through Highland Park this time of year you must, absolutely must stop to smell and enjoy the Lilacs.   It is hard to miss, as you drive or walk the lilac perfume just punctures your sense of smell.  It's so enjoyable, that every year Rochester has an Annual Lilac Festival.

 It's your typical festival in the way of "fast food", crowds of people, music, and art.  Yet, droves of people come in from all over to walk through the park, see and smell the flowers, and enjoy whatever big name musician they've brought in as free entertainment.   Chris and I were able to get down Friday night after work.  Little Feat was playing and since the festival (for the first time I think ever) was cancelled multiple days in a row due to rain, there were thousands of people!  It was the perfect end to the work week.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

cliffs and matchmaker...

Here are some more shots from the Cliffs.  I didn't really use my 26x zoom very often in these, as you can see we are REALLY close!   I'm also SHOCKED that some of my photos came out at all, as it was so windy we were afraid of being blown off the cliff at times...   

 In this shot we put my camera on a fence post and hoped it didn't blow off before the picture took! 

We spent two days in Doolin.  Both nights we visited the local pub and enjoyed some Irish stew, bangers and mash, and of course, the Guinness.   Steve, our host at the hostel, had told us that McDermott's Pub (where we had eaten) was going to have this awesome man playing the electric pipes with a few other musicians.   It was amazing, they are so talented, and you can see the passion they have for the tradition in the music when they play.   The second day we were there we decided to rent bicycles.  You can visit the hostel down the road and for E7.00 you can rent the bike until dark, with no deposit!  "They are so trusting" we though.   We biked over to Lisdoonvarna, the next town over.  Lisdoonvarna is the home of the annual Matchmaking Festival (as you can see from the shot above).   Now, The Matchmaker is one of mine and my friends FAVORITE movies, so I felt like I had to go!  Well, although the bike ride there was wonderful, there was absolutely nothing going on in Lisdoonvarna on a Tuesday.   I was able to reach a post office and send out my postcards, we also went to the smokehouse there and tasted some delicious smoked salmon.  The salmon was the freshest, most delicious salmon I've every tasted on Earth!  We bought some sandwich mixings at the Spar mart and sat by the flowers enjoying the sunshine!    The bike ride back was not so pleasant, not because it rained or we got lost, no... because my poor bum was hurting SO BAD!  I am definitely not a biker, and it was about a 40 minute ride to Lisdoonvarna, let alone back.    When we got back we made dinner at the hostel.  By this time I'm dying for a salad, vegetables, and something that isn't fried with chips.   So we made some pasta and salad.   A local lady grows butter lettuce in her garden and brought some over to the  hostel for hostel goers to eat and enjoy.    That night we went over to the other pub McGhann's to listen to some more traditional music - I couldn't get enough!!   In the morning we were headed for Cork city and the Blarney Castle!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

the republic of ireland...

Hi all!  As promised here are some of my favorite shots from our trip...

The above photographs are from Galway City.   I loved it there, and despite the near coma we were in due to jet lag, had a lot of fun walking around!   Just to view the buildings, footpaths, stores, people... is just something you don't get in America.  Obviously this being my first time to Europe I noticed more than anything, the differences between there and the US.  I couldn't help it...  It's just scenery we don't have at home.

The above shots were takin in Doolin, on our walk up to hike the Cliffs of Moher.    I LOVED DOOLIN!  It was, what I'd call, your typical small Irish town.  It was just so quiet, peaceful, the people were so friendly!  Of course, they get a lot of tourists.     We stayed in Hostels the entire trip; at first, I was really nervous at this idea.  Dorm like rooms with multiple beds and the potential for really strange people.  However, I only had 1 bad experience and it was mostly targeted around the bathroom facilities...  The shower at the Derry Hostel was TERRIBLE.  I'm happy to say that we were lucky to have excellent accomodations.  

The above shots are from the Cliffs.  It was absolutely breathtaking!  We took the footpath just beyond the sign that states "Stop! Falling Rocks and Steep Cliffs".  OK - so, I'm not positive that that's exactly what it says, but, it's pretty close to that.  And justly so!  We came awfully close to the quickly eroding cliff.   Incredible.  What a fulfilling feeling to make it to the visitor's center.   We did catch a bit of rain on the way, luckily we brought our rain gear.  It was raining so hard for a few minutes that we crouched down behind a large rock!    We laughed for a while after that... haha.

I had such a great time on those first two, three days!  

enjoy the photos

Friday, May 20, 2011


Well Hello there!!! I made it safely back to the States. We had a WONDERFUL time traveling through Ireland. Met some really cool people, saw some really cool places. The biggest thing I noticed, and will eventually describe in more detail, is the differences between Europe and America. Having never been to Europe before my senses were heightened at all the things I deemed "better". For a quick second I even thought, why did our forefathers want to leave?! I snapped out of it. :) I have gazillion photos to sort through. Mostly of scenery or buildings or sometimes I just wanted to photograph what I was seeing. I wish I had the courage to approach someone for a street style shot....

Anyways I am back, alive, rejuvenated, and after a week back to work - ready for the weekend!!! ;)


Saturday, May 7, 2011

off to Ireland....

Be back in a week or so!

Play nice

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Romeo, Oh Romeo...

Close up.

Babe with the new daddy!

 Baby Romeo and Grandma!

Filled with excitement and joy, we welcome my new little nephew.  He's absolutely perfect. 
Grandma and Grandpa (mom and dad) are in "baby-land". 

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Romeo Michael

Born, May 4th at 5:35am
7lbs, 10oz. 22"

Mom and babe are healthy and doing well!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

here we sit...

I'm at Parkridge Hospital, in the waiting area with my mom.  We have been booted from the room because there are already 4 people in there.   We have sandwiches, coffee, free wifi, but no baby...  

We are all anxiously awaiting your arrival Romeo!  Hopefully my next post has an adorable little baby boy's face in it!


Monday, May 2, 2011

new life...

 This is a tree that was blossoming where I park my car. 

Tulips from my mom's garden.

Between the rain fall, there are little glimpses of life popping up all over.  I'd like to get over to Highland Park before we leave this weekend, and take some shots of the gorgeous lilacs coming in!  I ran through there on Sunday and it was so peacefully fragrant with new life.  
Though the rain is quite depressing, when you think of it nourishing the Earth, in order for beautiful life to grow it makes it quite pleasant.   

My sister is at the hospital tonight, she will be induced in the morning.  Finally little Romeo Michael will enter this world, with all the tulips and lilacs.