Treacherous Corkscrew Hill

This is post #8 of a blog series I’m writing including pictures of the recent amazing trip I took with our precious, beautiful daughter Leah. Here are posts:

#1, My daughter Leah and I went to Ireland,

#2, Ireland: Dreams Come True,

#3, We visited Bunratty Castle in Ireland,

#4, Bunratty Folk Park: the waterfall, the lamb, and the fairy village,

#5, The Gorgeous Cliffs of Moher,

#6, Galway Girl, and

#7, Galway Girl, Part 2.

We took so many pictures with our phones that I need to break up the posts, to make it easier for you to read, as I know you live a busy, hectic life like mine and you don’t have lots of spare time!

I hope these blogs inspire and bless you. I thank my Lord Jesus Christ, who made this amazing opportunity and prayer possible.

“I find that romance is for readers. I want adventures; they are for the living.” –Moryah DeMott, Timeless

Doolin Clare Hills
Doolin Clare Hills

Any time you step out and do something new and different, you’ll face anxiety or fear. Some of my fears about going to Ireland was about mine and our daughter Leah’s physical safety: terrorism or being the victim of a crime; getting sick from some disease; one of the planes crashing (I actually love flying, but this is always possible); and my biggest fear was me learning to drive on the left side of the road, in the right front seat–and possibly having to drive in hard rain, because it rains a LOT in Ireland! (I dislike driving in rain or bad weather!)

I conquered all these fears traveling to Ireland, but one of the scariest times we had there was driving up Corkscrew Hill to our B & B near Doolin.

Although they are called “Clare Hills,” they are really more like mountains. And even worst, it began to rain as we drove up the steep, treacherous hills!

Driving through mountains in Ireland
Driving through mountains in Ireland

When we arrived at our B & B later, the owner Mary told me that they do have “driving rains” in the hills, so bad that you can hardly see out the windshield as you’re driving. I was thankful that it was not raining hard like that, although it was still stressful driving on the winding roads in the rain.

Doolin fields
Doolin fields

The speed limit often read 100 km ( about 62 mph). There was NO way I was driving that fast in the mountains! Cars were whipping fast around the curves, appearing suddenly and freaking me out. I gripped the steering wheel tightly and prayed.

Leah was telling me to not drive TOO slow, as that was dangerous, too (especially for cars behind us). But I kept my speed between 40 to 60 km! I was being extra careful, as I did not want to wreck our rental car!

When the GPS showed that we were within five miles of the B & B, I stopped in a little town for us to use the restroom–and for us to enjoy an ice cream cone. I’d watched videos of Ireland before traveling over there, and had heard that the ice cream cones were delicious–and they are! They have square pieces of chocolate in them.

Ireland's delicious ice cream cone
Ireland’s delicious ice cream cone

Leah wanted to know how I could “spot” stores so fast that had ice cream. I told her about the big, plastic ice cream cone signs outside the stores.

plastic cone sign
plastic cone sign

I was stressed out from having to drive in the rain up the winding mountain roads, and just wanted to get to the safe B & B, so I hurriedly ate my ice cream cone (the word “gobble” comes to mind!). To my chagrin, Leah seemed to be taking her sweet time, slowly licking her ice cream cone. When I urged her to hurry, she told me she was not going to rush through eating it.

Looking back now, this is extremely funny to me and I laugh about it. When Leah said this, I immediately felt convicted by God for trying to hurry her. I needed to just slow down and savor this surreal moment of being in Ireland with our precious daughter as she enjoyed her ice cream. I calmed down and waited, as we sat on a bench outside the store and she ate her cone.

When we arrived at the B & B, we saw that the owner had two beautiful, brown horses in a pasture. Leah is an animal lover and one of them came to her right away.

Beautiful horse that came right away to Leah
Beautiful horse that came right away to Leah

 

Leah and the horse near Doolin
Leah and the horse near Doolin

All the hostesses of the B & B’s in Ireland were so nice, but this B & B’s owner, Mary, was mine and Leah’s favorite. (Riverdale Farmhouse near Doolin) She had a true gift of hospitality and made us feel so welcome to Ireland. As usual, there were gorgeous roses outside. Roses, flowers, trees, and grass thrive in Ireland due to how often it rains.

Riverdale B & B, Doolin
Riverdale B & B, Doolin

When we arrived, Mary had hot tea and cookies ready for us, which was such a blessing after the long, stressful drive there. The B & B owners serve the tea in fine china cups. Many of them also had these beautiful, antique glass bottles to keep drinking water in for their guests.

Tea and cookies
Tea and cookies

Later that evening, Leah and I also tried her chai that she bought at a pharmacy in Galway, when I purchased a natural sleep aid there similar to Melatonin (I had trouble sleeping in Galway). I had saved my Biscott cookies from our international plane flight, so we ate those with the chai. Leah and I decided that we would keep the relaxing habit of afternoon tea when we flew back home to the states.

I was so proud of Leah for doing her college homework each night while we traveled in Ireland! She made an A in this class, and is now taking her third course in her graphic arts college program. The natural sleep aid knocked me right out, and I slept great here!

Enjoying Leah's chai
Enjoying Leah’s chai

One of the things I was very impressed about with the B & B’s in Ireland is how neat and spotlessly clean they are. While I no longer have old-fashioned taste (Victorian, antique furniture), the B & B’s are pretty and the beds are comfortable. I booked one room with two single beds at each B & B, although this room had a queen-size bed and a single bed. I feel the advantage to B & B’s versus hotels is that there is generally more privacy and they are less expensive. 

The B & B's in Ireland are neat and very clean
The B & B’s in Ireland are neat and very clean

 

Mirrored dresser
Mirrored dresser

 

Pretty floral light at B & B--I thought our daughter Heather would like this.
Pretty floral light at B & B–I thought our daughter Heather would like this. She loves flowers, and her name is that of a purple-blue flower.

I was very tired that night and really didn’t even want supper, nor did I want to face driving in the mountains in the rain, but Leah did want something to eat. Mary told us about pubs in Doolin, only about 2 km, so we went to one. Leah ordered a sweet potato soup that came with soda bread, and I ordered a tuna salad, that came with a different type of bread. The portions were huge!

I was disappointed that Leah and I never heard a live band playing at one of the Irish pubs…maybe next time we go! The pub looked typical: a group of men sitting around talking, watching sports on TV, and drinking a Guinness beer. (Guinness beer is made in Ireland and you can tour the famous factory in Dublin. Leah and I never tried one while there.) The men gave us some odd looks when we came in and just ordered food! Guess we weren’t their typical pub crowd!

Leah's sweet potato soup
Leah’s sweet potato soup

 

bread at the Doolin Pub
bread at the Doolin Pub

 

tuna salad at pub
tuna salad at pub

Mary made an amazing full Irish breakfast for us the next morning, but Leah requested just fresh fruit and yogurt (she feels the full breakfast is a little much!). A full Irish breakfast generally consists of an egg, bacon (which is really more like the US version of ham), sausage, fresh fruit and yogurt, baked tomatoes, mushrooms, and some type of bread and/or scones with jam. The fresh orange and grapefruit juice were delicious!

fresh fruit juice
fresh fruit juice

I really enjoyed our stay at this B & B. Mary gave us directions to reduce a lot of driving time to the Killarney National Park, by us taking the ferry. This was the first time that Leah had ever gone on a ferry and she thought it was interesting. In my next post in this Ireland Blog Series, I’ll share pics with you of the ferry ride–and the beautiful Torc Waterfall in the national park, which was one of the things I really wanted to see in Ireland!

Doolin stone bridge
Doolin stone bridge
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The gorgeous Cliffs of Moher

This is post #5 of a blog series I’m writing including pictures of the recent amazing trip I took with our precious, beautiful daughter Leah. Here are posts #1, My daughter Leah and I went to Ireland,  #2, Ireland: Dreams Come True#3, We visited Bunratty Castle in Ireland, and #4, Bunratty Folk Park: the waterfall, the lamb, and the fairy village.

We took so many pictures with our phones that I need to break up the posts, to make it easier for you to read, as I know you live a busy, hectic life like mine and you don’t have lots of spare time!

I hope these blogs inspire and bless you. I thank my Lord Jesus Christ, who made this amazing opportunity and prayer possible.

“I love Ireland. I feel very at peace there. It’s just magical and beautiful.”–Eva Green

My precious daughter Leah & I at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Dreams DO come true!

Dreams DO come true! I’d been praying for years to go to Ireland, and one of the reasons I wanted to go to Ireland was to see the Cliffs of Moher. They are GORGEOUS! The cliffs were the highlight of the trip for Leah and me both.

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

 

Leah at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Leah at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

 

My precious beautiful daughter Leah & me at the Cliffs of Moher. A lady offered to take our pic together.
My precious beautiful daughter Leah & me at the Cliffs of Moher. A lady offered to take our pic together.

You often see the Cliffs of Moher in pictures of Ireland. The Cliffs of Moher are breathtakingly beautiful sea cliffs located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare, Ireland by the Atlantic Ocean. They run for about 14 kilometres. It’s a rare example of sedimentary basin, rock formations that are normally only visible under the sea.

The Cliffs of Moher have a rare rock formation that's usually only visible under the sea.
The Cliffs of Moher have a rare rock formation that’s usually only visible under the sea.

At their southern end, they rise 390 feet above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head, and, eight kilometres to the north, reach their maximum height of 702 feet just north of O’Brien’s Tower. The closest settlements are Liscannor and Doolin.

Leah and I stayed in a B & B near Doolin one night, but we went to the cliffs the second day of our trip, after staying in Galway (our fave city there!).

The Cliffs of Moher--God is good!
The Cliffs of Moher–God is good!

Movies have been made near the Cliffs of Moher, such as The Princess Bride, Leap Year, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (just FYI, I don’t watch Harry Potter movies. I have seen The Princess Bride, but not Leap Year. It looks good, though, so I’ll have to check it out!)

Tears filled my eyes as I looked out at the cliffs. God answers prayer!

cave in Cliffs of Moher
cave in Cliffs of Moher

 

me at the Cliffs of Moher
me at the Cliffs of Moher

There’s LOTS of steps at the Cliffs of Moher. Before we flew to Ireland, I bought Leah and me some good, hiking/walking boots. They were expensive, but one of the best investments I made for our trip as we did lots of walking.

You’ll want good hiking/walking boots or shoes for your trip wherever you go, because you don’t want your feet hurting being on vacation. We needed them this day at the Cliffs of Moher. We got the same kind at an athletic store in Belton, MO for about $75. They were extremely comfortable and waterproof (get the waterproof kind!). 

Leah's hiking boots
Leah’s hiking boots

Hag’s Head is the name of the most southerly point of the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, where the cliffs form an unusual rock formation that resembles a woman’s head looking out at the sea. It is associated with a legend, as many places do in Ireland. The story is that an old hag or sea-witch, Mal of Malbay, fell in love with the Irish hero, Cu Chulainn, and chased him across Ireland.  He escaped by hopping across sea stacks. Mal, not being as nimble, lost her footing and she was dashed against the cliff.

Hag's Head at Cliffs of Moher
Hag’s Head at Cliffs of Moher

 

Hag's Head
Hag’s Head
Hag’s Head, County Clare

O’Brien’s Tower marks the highest point of the cliffs. It was built on the cliffs in 1835 by Sir Cornellius O’Brien as an observation tower for the Victorian visitors to the cliffs. It’s said to have initially served as a teahouse with a round table. Another version says he built it to impress the women he was courting. You can pay a fee to climb the stairs to go up the tower for an incredible view. Neither Leah or I wanted to do that.

There was a man playing an instrument at the cliffs, with a dog beside him. Street musicians are commonly seen all over Ireland, which Leah loved (she plays the violin beautifully).

O'Brien's Tower at Cliffs of Moher
O’Brien’s Tower at Cliffs of Moher

 

musician at Cliffs of Moher & O’Brien’s Tower

 

Visitors at Cliffs of Moher
Visitors at Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher Visitors Center was built into the cliffs and opened in February 2007. This includes exhibits with interactive media covering the geology, history, flora and fauna of the cliffs. A large multimedia screen displays a bird’s-eye view from the cliffs, as well as video from the underwater caves below the cliffs. There are also two cafés and several shops. Leah and I ate lunch in one of the cafes. 

There are glass windows where you can look outside the cafe at the beautiful cliffs. I saw that many visitors just bought a sandwich or something and ate it outside in the sunshine, having a little picnic.

Eating lunch at the cafe was very relaxing for Leah and me. She had tried the sweet potato soup on our first night in Ireland at Bunratty Castle hotel’s pub, and liked it so she ordered this. I simply had “chips” (French fries), haha! They are so good!

Cliffs of Moher cafe where Leah & I ate lunch
Cliffs of Moher cafe where Leah & I ate lunch

 

Leah's sweet potato soup & my "chips" for lunch
Leah’s sweet potato soup & my “chips” for lunch

We talked about getting the rich-looking chocolate cake or another dessert, but decided to wait. I had told Leah that I’d seen videos on YouTube of people talking about Ireland’s delicious ice cream cones. Leah said it was making her want one, so we found several stores along the way on our trip where they sold it.

Leah wanted to know how I was able to so quickly identify the stores where the ice cream cones were sold. They have giant, plastic ice cream cones outside. The ice cream is amazing! They put a chunk of chocolate inside the ice cream—yum!

plastic cone sign
plastic cone sign

 

Ireland's delicious ice cream cone
Ireland’s delicious ice cream cone

However, we did get coffee and took it outside with us to go look at the Cliffs of Moher again. I thought these pics of Leah and me with our coffee were great! This time, we walked further along the cliffs.

Leah with her coffee at the Cliffs of Moher
Leah with her coffee at the Cliffs of Moher

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me with my coffee at the Cliffs of Moher
me with my coffee at the Cliffs of Moher

There’s a sign on a fence that warns visitors of danger as they are now leaving the visitor center’s grounds. 

Warning sign
Warning sign

Near this sign was a couple who were vendors, selling jewelry. Leah bought her souvenir there–a unique necklace. The couple was a little strange, but I was happy that Leah got her souvenir! She wore the necklace throughout her trip. I think it looks great on her!

Leah's souvenir necklace
Leah’s souvenir necklace

We climbed over a fence like many people did to get closer to the edge of the cliffs–but not too close! Some people were walking or SITTING on the very edge of the cliffs, which made me a little nervous. I didn’t want them to fall off. I was proud of Leah for going over the fence, as she has a fear of heights and conquered it.

In fact, she conquered many fears going on this trip, having never flown on an international plane or going out of the US before. What fear do you need to overcome through faith in Jesus Christ?

Ferry, boat, and plane trips allow visitors to get closer to the cliffs for a fee. The Cliffs of Moher charge 8 Euros, unless you buy discount tickets online. It has ample parking space just outside the cliffs. 

Looking over the edge of the cliffs is a little scary!
Looking over the edge of the cliffs is a little scary!

One unique rock formation is Branaunmore, standing 67 metres high. Once part of the Cliffs, it was separated by erosion.

Cliffs of Moher rock formation
Cliffs of Moher rock formation

The cliffs consist mostly of shale and sandstone, with the oldest rocks at the bottom of the cliffs.  At peak season, there are an estimated 30,000 pairs of birds living on the cliffs, which include Atlantic puffins. Leah and I never saw any puffins, but did see lots of white birds flying around the cliffs, likely sea gulls. You can also possibly see grey seals, porpoises, dolphins, whales, sharks, and sunfish near the cliffs. 

Atlantic puffin
Atlantic puffin

Visiting the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland was a big dream come true, one of the most important items on my bucket list. I’m so happy that God answered my prayers and that Leah and I were able to go to Ireland together! We both had fun and loved it, and want to go back!

I could have stayed hours longer there, but it was getting cloudy and I wanted to get to our B & B before it possibly rained. I highly recommend visiting the Cliffs of Moher if you go to Ireland, and to plan several hours’ stay there.

me at Cliffs of Moher
me at Cliffs of Moher

 

My precious beautiful daughter Leah & me at the Cliffs of Moher. A lady offered to take our pic together.
So thankful–My precious beautiful daughter Leah & me at the Cliffs of Moher. A huge answered prayer!

 

Cliffs of Moher
The awesome Cliffs of Moher

In my next post in this Ireland Blog Series, I’ll share about us going to Galway, our favorite city in Ireland–it’s so fun! Stay tuned!

Me at Cliffs of Moher--so happy! <br/>Thank You, Jesus!
Me at Cliffs of Moher–so happy!
Thank You, Jesus!

 

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My speaking event to preschool teachers: This year, PRAY!

Me & event planner, Kathy Moxley
Me & event planner, Kathy Moxley

Recently I had the honor of being asked to speak to a group of preschool teachers in Independence, Missouri.

While usually I give my personal testimony or share about the fairy tale of Cinderella and her unique glass slippers, as I prayed about this event, I felt led by God to speak on the power of prayer and faith in Jesus Christ for this coming school year. 

stained glass windows
stained glass windows

Kathy was amazing and the ladies were so sweet! The event was in a quaint, lovely chapel at Christ United Methodist Church with beautiful stained glass windows. I love stained glass windows, and my book about our turbulent, 25-year marriage has a cover with a picture of stained glass on it here. Making stained glass windows is becoming a lost art.

What I love about them, besides their colorful beauty, is that each one tells a story, usually about Jesus or other figures of the Bible. The practice of stained glass for decorative purposes dates back to ancient Rome. Evidence of stained glass windows in churches and monasteries in Britain can be found as early as the 7th century.

Augsburg Cathedral stained glass window
Augsburg Cathedral stained glass window

The oldest known stained glass window is the Romanesque church in Augsburg, Germany, in the heart of Bavaria. It has portraits of Moses, Daniel, and other Biblical figures. Medieval churches began to commission windows with religious figures and the royalty of the period would request for windows bearing their coat of arms

I loved this stained glass window at the church where I spoke about prayer and how precious children are to God. It is of Jesus and the children, so it was quite fitting for my presentation!

Jesus & the children
Jesus & the children

This was so cool and confirmation to me from God that I was supposed to be there. I usually have visual aids when I speak, and I brought a statue I’d bought earlier this year of Jesus the Shepherd with two lambs, one in His arms and one right beside Him at His feet. It is a visual reminder to me to pray often for our children and that Jesus has them in His loving care. To my surprise and delight, the chapel had a picture very similar to this!

Jesus the Shepherd & His lambs
Jesus the Shepherd & His lambs

The beautiful glass was moved from prior Methodist churches in the area.

I often request a table beside the podium, when I speak, on which to place my water bottle and the visual aids. The chapel and this little, white, pretty table were just perfect for this event! I also placed a few of my books on the table. 

table
table

I emphasized to the preschool teachers how precious the children were, and also themselves (and to take time out for self-care!), and how important it is to pray every day, setting aside a few minutes at least to spend time with God: praying, reading the Bible, and in worship and praise. I based the teaching on my book on prayer, Walking With God, available for sale here for just 99 cents at Amazon.

Hopefully I encouraged them to choose “the best part” of their day, that Mary did, sitting at Jesus’ feet. (Luke 10:42)

chips and salsa
chips and salsa

Afterward, of course, I treated myself to Mexican food to get my chips and salsa fix!

God's Glory Box came!
God’s Glory Box came!

Then when I arrived home, I had a wonderful surprise: the August 2018 subscription box from God’s Glory Box, with my book Walking With God in it, had arrived! I loved the other goodies in it, too: the green T-shirt, cross bracelet, stickers, and pretty mountain note cards.

Each month these subscription boxes have different Christian items in them, and they donate 5 meals per box! (Yes, I just signed up for this subscription box! I loved my first box and can’t wait to get more!)

August 2018 box with my book, Walking With God!
August 2018 box with my book, Walking With God!

I’m so honored and thankful to God that God’s Glory Box just shipped out 7,700 of my book across America. To Jesus Christ be all the glory, amen!

Dear friend, I want to encourage you this year to pray. God hears your prayers and answers. There is POWER in your prayers and faith in Jesus Christ! One attendee came up to me afterward to talk to me about her friend, who is a writer, wanting to publish her book. She told me and Kathy that at times, she felt as if God was speaking straight through me to hers and the other attendees’ hearts. I pray that this event bears much fruit for Christ, and leads the women into a deeper relationship with Jesus this year!

 “In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”–Psalm 5:3

*******If you’d like me to speak at your women’s conference, retreat, or event, please contact me here at BethJones. I love encouraging others!

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