Ardmore Ireland

cliffwalkThis morning I was thinking about our trip to Ireland back in…well, several years ago now I guess. I was tossing a comforter in the dryer and on the window ledge in the laundry room was a little card from the Ardmore Pottery & Gallery. We happened on it quite by accident, but it was a very big highlight of our trip and the only place we bought something besides food during our trip.

In our travels we spotted Ardmore on the map. Noticing it was coastal we decided to detour off the main road and check it out. We thought it was going to be a 10 minute look-see. It was such a beautiful place though, we decided to walk up the hill a little and stumbled upon the shop. We popped in and were instantly charmed and it turned out we lucked into finding the gift-shop that won an award for being the best all-Irish-made shop in all of Ireland. The shop certainly earned its award. It was not only quaint and lovely with a fireplace and windows that overlooked the sea through the riot of flowers in the front of the shop, but everything inside the shop was so beautiful and so finely made it was an absolute treat to experience.

Having just come from Italy, where some of my fondest memories were of my hosts teaching me to make espresso in the little pot Ive always wanted to know how to use, the whimsical clay espresso cups caught my eye. Once I was home, I thought, I could make espresso and serve it in these little cups and be reminded of both places at once. Mike bought a lovely green wool scarf with orange trim; being the caring man he is he generously wrapped it around my neck when the weather turned chilly. Another wonderful memory I took home with me.

As we were paying for our purchases, and chatting with the lovely woman manning the shop, she asked if we were there to experience the cliff-walk. “Cliff-walk?” we asked. Turns out there is a looped cliff walk that leads to St. Delcan’s Well, a pilgrimage site where people journeyed to drink and be healed, that starts just steps from the shop’s front door. So we decided to give it a try. It was lovely, and because of the timing me mostly had the path and the well to ourselves. We maybe saw one other couple in the distance. The views were spectacular and it is one of my favorite days spent with my favorite person to date.

If you are ever near Ardmore in Ireland I can’t recommend tracing our footsteps enough.

What an awesome memory to revisit on this wet, cold, and rainy Tuesday in Portland, OR.

Travel

I finally had a weekend at home after five straight weekends being away. It was glorious. By coincidence my friends, and Mike, were traveling so I had the very rare weekend with no obligations and no one to consider except myself. I miss Mike (he is on a business trip to Guadalajara). He is due back tomorrow and I can’t wait, but the time by myself has been good. I’ve been moving so much I haven’t had time to process anything. I’m still dealing with the death of my friend. It hits me unexpectedly at times. Such loss. Such grief. I’ve needed the time alone. I’ve been so disappointed in the general populace around me. The things people fight over and the way they can treat each other can be intensely disappointing sometimes.

Anyway, I’m trying to figure out next steps in life, but the immediate plan is to take a real vacation with Mike and let the travel experience happen and see how I am changed by it. First stop will be Amsterdam, then on to visit a dear friend in Italy in his house by a lake, then on to Dublin and various parts of Ireland. I’m excited to see new things, interact with different people and cultures, spend time with a dear friend, and have these experiences with my favorite person in the world. I feel so grateful that we are able to do this.

In the meantime I’ll be cleaning my house to prepare for the dog/house sitters, shopping for the perfect gift for our friends in Italy, finishing up the final details for the Ireland leg of the trip, and making a small gift to send to a friend who recently mailed me some of the cards he made using some of his photography of Hawaii, Alaska, and Europe.

The picture in this post is from the gorge I visited in Watkins Glenn, NY a few weekends ago.

Oh, and did I mention I turned 44 this month? No? Well, I did. Yup. Indeed. Here is how I’m wearing 44. Not bad for an old broad with no make-up on 😉