Kenmare: Palm trees, a pub, and Irish coffee

This is post #12 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,

#7, Galway Girl, Part 2,

#8, Treacherous Corkscrew Hill,

#9, The ferry in Kerry County.

#10, Torc Waterfall, and

#11, Killorglin: flies, a spider, and a moving bed, and a French couple!

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.

The year is wrapping up and I’d like to wrap up this Ireland blog series soon. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series as I’ve shared the amazing journey I had with our precious daughter Leah for our first trip to Ireland. It was so gorgeous (pics don’t do its beauty justice!) and so fun, and I pray we return again soon. We’d both love to go back!

There are two more B & B’s in Ireland, where we stayed that were so peaceful. I’ll share about them and Ladies’ View in the mountains.

The next B & B where we stayed was nestled among the mountains just outside the town of Kenmare. The land also has palm trees, which I love. 

Kenmare mountains
Kenmare mountains

 

beautiful Kenmare mountains and palm trees
beautiful Kenmare mountains and palm trees

 

palm trees
palm trees

It was one of the prettiest B & B’s we stayed at in Ireland. It also had one of the best breakfast meals.

As usual, the flowers outside were gorgeous and the hostess had a crystal vase of lovely yellow ones in her home.

flowers outside
flowers outside

 

The flowers thrive in Ireland due to rain
The flowers thrive in Ireland due to rain

 

vase of flowers
vase of flowers

This is the outside of the B & B in Kenmare. Leah told me that I shouldn’t park on the left side of the parking lot, but I thought it didn’t matter. Well, she was right! The owner asked me to move the car as soon as we stepped inside and met her! Yes, listen to your children! 

Kenmare B & B
Kenmare B & B

The B & B owner also had a bookshelf filled with books. I love books (being an author, of course I do!), and normally I’d read, but I didn’t that night. Instead, Leah and I organized all our stuff because we were getting near the end of our trip. You often go home with more than you brought, from buying souvenirs for family and friends.

bookcase
bookcase

Be sure to not buy large, bulky souvenirs (or extremely fragile ones), because you may have to pay extra for luggage on your flights home. You also have to declare anything you purchased in other countries when you go through U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

I had bought a few postcards for family and friends, and loved the little desk in our B & B room to write on.

Irish postcards for family & friends
Irish postcards for family & friends

 

cute writing desk at B & B
cute writing desk at B & B

The hostess set such a pretty table the next morning, with fresh juice, scones, and biscuits for her guests. There was an abundance of fresh fruit, cereal, different types of teas, coffee, and she offered a full Irish breakfast as well as other items for the menu. Leah tried an egg benedict with smoked salmon and hollondaise and liked it. 

Kenmare B & B table
Kenmare B & B table

 

fresh fruit
fresh fruit

We went shopping in the town of Kenmare before we left for our next B & B in Kilkenny, the last place we stayed before flying home. The towns look similar with the town square, colored buildings (such as pink, green, or yellow), but they are all different. I saw a bistro with the name of our daughter Heather and a shop with our granddaughter Annabelle’s name (although the spelling was different on this one) and I laughed, taking pics of them.

Kenmare town center
Kenmare town center

 

The Purple Heather bistro
The Purple Heather bistro

 

Kenmare store named Annabel
Kenmare store named Annabel

Here we found a post office to mail my postcards, which was interesting. They were about 1.50 pounds each to mail to the U.S. I bought Leah a little sketch book here as a souvenir.

Any time you visit another country, the smallest things can seem intriguing—such as the post office or what gas pumps look like! Gas is called “diesel” or “unleaded petrol” in Ireland. If you ask where a gas station is, people may not know what you are talking about so say “petrol.”

You MUST put the right kind of petrol into your car or it can wreck your engine! Don’t turn on your engine if you do this! You’ll have to get it drained, which is very expensive. Thank God I didn’t do this! Diesel has a black pump and unleaded has green. They are clearly marked, and prices vary. 

At one convenience store, I had to enter a code to use the public restroom, located in another building outside the store! I guess they use codes instead of keys, like U.S. public restrooms at stores have.

Leah inside Irish post office
Leah inside Irish post office

 

mailing my postcards at the post office in Kenmare
mailing my postcards at the post office in Kenmare

 

Kenmare gas pump
Kenmare gas pump

 

code to use public restroom
You need a code to use public restrooms

The other thing I found strange and funny was that there are often little laundry mats in the parking lots at convenience stores!

Kenmare laundry mat in parking lot
Kenmare laundry mat in parking lot

One shop’s window display had little musicians statues and a miniature drum set, which I thought were cute and pointed out to Leah since she plays the violin.

store window display of musician statues
store window display of musician statues

 

miniature drum set in store window
miniature drum set in store window

Our granddaughter Annabelle wants to learn to play the harp. I took a pic of one in a store for her.

harp in store
harp in store

In Kenmare, Leah and I ate lunch in a pub, since they are often less expensive than restaurants. She tried an Irish coffee with Bailey’s Irish cream instead of whiskey. She liked it. It looked so good, but I knew I would be driving so I waited until we were at the airport to try one!

pub in Kenmare
pub in Kenmare

 

Leah's Irish coffee
Leah’s Irish coffee

We found a cozy corner to sit in for more privacy where we could chat and eat. The pub had a beautiful stained glass picture by our table. Here is Leah playing a game on her phone as we waited on our sandwiches. She downloaded new games in Ireland, that she thought were a lot of fun. She ordered a tuna panini and I got a chicken/red pepper/cheese panini and we shared “chips” (french fries). It was tasty! The french fries in Ireland are SO good!

stained glass pic at our table
stained glass pic at our table

 

Leah playing game on her phone at pub
Leah playing game on her phone at pub

 

our panini sandwiches and "chips" (french fries)
our panini sandwiches and “chips” (french fries)

 

me in Kenmare pub
me in Kenmare pub

There were a couple of men who came in and sat at the bar, drinking beer (probably Guinness!) and watching sports on TV while we ate. I took a pic for my sister Maria, which embarrassed Leah that I was taking pics of random people. I later joked to to Maria that I’d found her some Irish men and she needed to be there! Next time I go to Ireland, maybe she will go with me and find her Mr. Right!

Irish men for my sister Maria, drinking beer at pub
Irish men for my sister Maria, drinking beer at pub

The Irish cuss. Like, a LOT! Before going there, I’d watched a travel video on Ireland, where the guy warned you about this and other cultural differences from America (although this seems to be common in the US, too, though not as frequently as in Ireland). Men, women, teens, and kids cuss constantly. You hear it everywhere, especially the “F” word. In one store window display, I saw this hoodie with what seems to be the Irish motto. I took a pic of it too for my sister’s amusement. Ireland was indeed GRAND! I can’t wait to go BACK!

The Irish cuss a LOT! Hoodie inscription
The Irish cuss a LOT! Hoodie inscription

I saw this book in a store window display and thought the title was funny: I’m Dead. Now What?

funny book title
funny book title

These cute heart dress and rain boots in a store window display would look cute on our granddaughters Annabelle, Violet, Piper, and Willow.

cute heart dress & rain boots
cute heart dress & rain boots

Irish white lace is beautiful, such as this slip or night gown. I saw quite a bit of lace in stores. It is not cheap, but very well made.

beautiful white Irish lace gown
beautiful white Irish lace gown

In my next post in this Ireland blog series, I’ll share pics with you of Ladies’ View in the mountains and the cute cafe there, where Leah and I stopped for chocolate and coffee (actually before we arrived in Kenmare, driving through treacherous curves in the mountains)! A much needed treat and place to relax!

hyacinths in Ireland
hyacinths in Ireland
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Killorglin: flies, a spider, a moving bed, and a French couple!

This is post #11 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,

#7, Galway Girl, Part 2,

#8, Treacherous Corkscrew Hill, and

#9, The ferry in Kerry County.

#10, Torc Waterfall

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.

The recent trip I made to Ireland with my precious daughter Leah for the first time in our lives was incredible. I had booked our trip through Great Value Vacations, choosing their B & B’s package, which I believe was the right choice. It allowed us to travel throughout the southwest of Ireland at different Bed & Breakfast places.

I read lots of reviews to decide which ones to stay at as we traveled in a direction that resembled a Shepherd’s Hook. Every one of them was immaculately clean, with a full Irish breakfast served in the morning and tea/coffee and cookies in the afternoon to welcome us there.

Road in Killorglin
Road in Killorglin

There was only one B & B that we stayed at where I couldn’t wait to leave! It was in the town of Killorglin, which is located in County Kerry, located on the famous Ring of Kerry and The Wild Atlantic Way. It is founded on the River Laune, known for its salmon and trout fishing, and the Reeks District is renown for outdoor activities, mountain walks, and sports activities.

I loved the canopy of green trees driving to this B & B, pictured above, as well as the unusually beautiful roses in the driveway. It was beautiful.

gorgeous roses
gorgeous roses

 

yellow roses
yellow roses

There were palm trees and beautiful, majestic, blue-purple mountains in the background. It was one of the prettiest places we visited.

mountains
mountains

The owners of this B & B near Killorglin had a sheep farm; they had a sheep dog, a breed of dog that Leah loves. To my amusement, they also had a cat that looked just like my black cat Natalya. She even had green eyes and the little tuft of white hair on her chest like Natalya’s!

sheepdog
sheepdog

 

The cat in Ireland that looks just like my black cat Natalya!
The cat in Ireland that looks just like my black cat Natalya!

 

black cat in Ireland
black cat in Ireland

I noticed a pretty topiary plant at the entrance of the front door, which are plants pruned or shaped into certain forms. To me, this was a symbol of the entire house’s decor: elegant.

topiary plant
topiary plant

As soon as we knocked on the door of this B & B and entered the house, though, I noticed right away one disturbing thing: flies. HUGE flies–everywhere! Maybe it’s because this was a sheep farm. Leah said it was because they had the front door open when we first arrived. I assume this was to let in fresh, cooler air; most places in Ireland don’t have central air and heat.

Even though there are flies in the United States, LOL, and we have had flies in our house at times if the door is left open (especially in summer), the flies left a really bad first impression in my mind. I tried to just ignore them and be gracious, mindful that I was leaving an impression too–as a guest and an American.

The hostess was wonderful and so welcoming. She had tea and cookies for our arrival, as did the other B & B hostesses. However, she didn’t have enough tea and sugar set out for us. I wondered about this, as she knew we were coming (along with other guests there).

The room she gave us was beautiful: two single beds, as I had requested. It had large windows letting in the sunlight, and the decor was in beautiful, lacy white.

Killorglin B & B
Killorglin B & B

In fact, the room was so beautiful and clean and WHITE that I was afraid to touch anything. I didn’t want to dirty it with our muddy boots!

white lace
white lace

 

white satchel with lavender
white satchel with lavender

Leah was intrigued with the pretty lamp with faux glass on our table beside the beds, that resembled a chandelier.

"chandelier" lamp
“chandelier” lamp

We brought in our luggage and settled into our room, and then decided to go into the town of Kilorglin, which was only a few kilometers away. Leah really liked the fine dining restaurant that we went to there. They were so polite to us and seemed to go out of their way to serve us well. It also had a very nice atmosphere.

Restaurant in the town of Killorglin
Restaurant in the town of Killorglin

 

Killorglin restaurant table lamp
Killorglin restaurant table lamp

They had HUGE cheeseburgers, which we both got. As usual, it was served with some type of potato, so we chose French fries. We noticed that a small, fresh salad is often served with any entree in Ireland, which I enjoyed.

Leah ordered a drink called a “Double Dutch,” consisting of gin and watermelon flavor. She liked it. I love the pretty glass bottles which water is served in and the little table lamp, pictured above.

huge burgers in Killorglin
huge burgers in Killorglin

The older couple in the picture below chatted with us, with all of us laughing over how big the cheeseburgers were!

Leah at restaurant in Killorglin
Leah at restaurant in Killorglin

 

Quaint town of Killorglin
Quaint town of Killorglin

We sat awhile in this restaurant. Leah seemed to relax here. Then we went back to the B & B, and as Leah was doing her college homework, suddenly a giant spider fell on her bed and then ran under it. We both screamed. I tried to kill it with a shoe, but to no avail. We couldn’t find it. I think it came through the window, which we had opened to cool off the room. I prayed the Irish spider wouldn’t crawl on or bite one of us during the night!

Then I went into the bathroom, which–oddly for a B & B–was across the hall. I got locked into the bathroom! Leah and the owner had to help me out. The owner tried to tell me that I just wasn’t unlocking it correctly, but Leah told her she had trouble with the lock, too, when she tried to come out. This is definitely something they need to fix if they are going to have a B & B for guests!

As I tried to lay down to sleep, each time I rolled over, the little single bed squeaked and moved, bumping into the wall! There was a couple in the room next to ours, with a little child. I was afraid the noise was going to wake them. I felt frustrated. Despite the spider, Leah liked this place. This was the one B & B that I could not wait to leave!

Killorglin bed
Killorglin bed

There was another full Irish breakfast the next morning (you could also order other items of your choice). We met other guests staying there, among which there was a young French couple. To my delight, I was able to speak to them briefly in French as we were leaving. It blessed me to be able to show Leah that if you study a foreign language, even a little bit, you can converse with foreigners. I need to brush up on my French again—and maybe learn Gaelic, too! (And Spanish!)

I apologized for our noise to the couple who were in the room next to us, and explained about the squeaking bed and then the couple. They said I didn’t wake them or their child, and laughed about the spider. Then they shared their own horror story of having a flying roach in their hotel when they traveled to Hawaii.

The hostess came into the room then to serve us more hot coffee, smiling and pleased that her guests were laughing and obviously enjoying themselves, but having no clue what we were laughing about. After my incident with the locked bathroom, I didn’t have the heart to tell her about the spider!

 As I looked later at the key that was supposed to unlock the bathroom, I thought how Jesus is the key to everything in our lives! After we left there, Leah and I laughed about the things that happened at this B & B, but at the time it wasn’t funny! But this place stands out as one of our vivid memories in Ireland!

Jesus is the key
Jesus is the key

I decided that the next morning we’d retrace our steps and go back to the town of Killarney to shop, which was only about 25 kilometers from Killorglin. In my next post on this Ireland Blog series, I’ll blog about the town of Killarney which I loved and share pictures of beautiful Saint Mary’s Cathedral with incredible stained glass windows.

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Torc Waterfall

This is post #10 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,

#7, Galway Girl, Part 2,

#8, Treacherous Corkscrew Hill, and

#9, The ferry in Kerry County.

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.

Torc Waterfalls, Killarney National Park
Torc Waterfalls, Killarney National Park

The two main things I wanted to see in Ireland were the breathtakingly gorgeous Cliffs of Moher and Torc Waterfall in Killarney National Park. The park is south and west of the town of Killarney and it has 26,000 acres. You could spend several days there and never see it all! It is an expanse of rugged mountainous country, which includes the McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland rising to a height of over 1000 metres. At the foot of these mountains are the world famous lakes of Killarney.

Leah and I took several hours to visit the park. We were amazed by the canopy of tall trees, the lakes, and the blue-purple mountains. We had a very peaceful time here.

trees in Killarney National Park
trees in Killarney National Park

 

Killarney National Park trees
Killarney National Park trees

 

Killarney Lake
Killarney Lake

 

Killarney National Park mountains
Killarney National Park mountains

 

beautiful park mountains
beautiful park mountains

You can either walk, rent a bike, or ride (for what seemed to be an expensive fee) in what is called a “jaunting cart” with a horse and buggy to Torc Waterfall. The horses were pretty.

jaunting cart
jaunting cart

The falls are about 2.5 kilometres from the car entrance to Muckross House, which is a huge, Tudor-style mansion built in 1843 by the British architect William Burn for Henry Author Herbert and his wife, the watercolourist, Mary Balfour Herbert. It has 65 rooms and in 1932, latter owners William Bourn and his wife, their daughter Victoria and her husband Arthur Rose Vincent presented it and its 11,000 acres estate to Ireland.

Muckross House
Muckross House

 

Tudor-style Muckross House
Tudor-style Muckross House

There’s lots of trails for easy walking or even difficult hiking trails in the park. There are also shuttle buses servicing the area and boat trips/tours.

Leah walking on a trail in Killarney National Park
Leah walking on a trail in Killarney National Park

Leah thought it looked fun to ride a bike, but it’s been years since I’ve ridden one and I didn’t want to take a chance on falling and hurting myself (or her hurting herself!). So we walked, which is good exercise anyway.

Initially, as we approached the area of Torc Waterfall, we saw a sign which read “Torc Waterfall” by a huge rock and a bridge. I thought it looked small, but it was still beautiful and we took pics by it. 

rock & bridge
rock & bridge

 

Leah by waterfall
Leah by waterfall

 

me by waterfall
me by waterfall

 

small waterfall
small waterfall

 

small waterfall in Killarney National Park
small waterfall in Killarney National Park

 

waterfall stream
waterfall stream over rocks

 

waterfall stream
waterfall stream

By the small waterfall, there is a restroom facility and I went in, while Leah stayed outdoors by the small falls. As she waited, suddenly she heard the sound of a violin playing! Leah plays the violin and, intrigued, she walked around the corner to see where the sound was coming from. There was a pretty, red-headed woman in a long gown playing the violin by the waterfall–how quaint! Leah gave her a tip for playing.

pretty, red-headed violinist by Torc Waterfall
pretty, red-headed violinist by Torc Waterfall

Leah looked ahead and saw much bigger falls–the REAL Torc Waterfalls! As I came out of the restroom, she motioned for me to come and see her discovery. As she saw my happy face looking at the beautiful falls, she asked, “Aren’t you glad we didn’t go back yet?” (I had told her after I used the restroom, we should turn back.) I said yes, smiling big.

We both stood and admired the waterfalls for awhile and took pics. I love waterfalls!

The waterfalls are about 20 meters high, and at their best after rainfall.

“And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps.”–Revelation 14:2

The real Torc Waterfalls
The real Torc Waterfalls

 

Torc Waterfalls, Killarney National Park
Torc Waterfalls, Killarney National Park

 

Leah by Torc Waterfalls
Leah by Torc Waterfalls

 

me by Torc Waterfalls
me by Torc Waterfalls

 

beautiful Torc Waterfalls, Killarney National Park
beautiful Torc Waterfalls, Killarney National Park

 

On the way walking back from the waterfalls, Leah and I saw a pretty, lone deer in a field. We stood and watched it a few minutes.

The Killarney National Park is home to Red Deer, Japanese sika deer, Irish hare, fox, otter, mink, badgers, Bank voles, Pine marten, Lesser horseshoe bats, fish and lamphrey, many species of birds including the Greenland white-fronted goose, reptiles, the rare Northern Emerald dragonfly, the purple hairstreak butterfly, and many other types of fauna.

deer in field
deer in field

“He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, And sets me on my high places.”–2 Samuel 22:34

In my next post in this Ireland Blog series, I’ll share about seeing the fun town of Killarney, and the beautiful, pristine white B & B which was the only place I did NOT want to stay in Ireland, so stay tuned!

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