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

50

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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Bunratty Folk Park: the waterfall, the lamb, & the fairy village

This is post #4 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, and #3, We visited Bunratty Castle in Ireland.

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.

“Ireland was a place for the renewal of hope and I still see it like that.”–Daniel Day-Lewis

Me at Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Me at Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

My heart is aching to go back to Ireland! My and our daughter Leah’s vacation there was just too short! I believe I’ll go back again one day and am already praying about this!

Bunratty Folk Park tea shop
Bunratty Folk Park Tea Room

Before Leah and I visited Bunratty Castle in Ireland, we walked around Bunratty Folk Park, which is right by it. It’s a quaint little village filled with rural, primitive homes and shops, reminiscent of the 19th Century.

The first place we saw was the Tea Room, where visitors were drinking tea and enjoying scones. The scones in Ireland are delicious! They are light, fluffy, and sweet, reminding me of a combination between a biscuit and a little cake. They’re often served with butter and jams.

scones
scones

The houses and buildings in Bunratty Folk Park are recreated and furnished as they would have appeared at that time according to their social standing, from the poorest one-room house to Bunratty House, a Georgian residence of the last family who occupied Bunratty Castle. Leah seemed especially interested in the poor one-room house, which had a sign hanging on it outside that the servant worked for 80 days for the landlord on the land, renting the house, and after that he owned the house. Most of the houses were simple and plain, with a thatched roof. 

Leah reading sign at One-room house in village
Leah reading sign at one-room house in village

Several of the houses had chickens or other animals in the yard or nearby, such as goat, pigs, and chickens. Each family had to provide for their own needs in food, clothing, and supplies. I took a pic of the pig for our red-headed granddaughter Violet, who adores pigs!

Our beautiful red-headed granddaughter Violet
Our beautiful red-headed granddaughter Violet

I love sheep and was happy to get a pic of this one lone lamb grazing in a pasture. It reminded me of how Jesus is the Good Shepherd who loves His sheep and takes care of them, something God has been speaking to me much about the last several years. Jesus talked about the Good Shepherd leaving the 99 to go after the one lost lamb. (Matthew 18:12) My song for this year which has this theme is Reckless Love by Cory Asbury

Leah liked the two Irish wolfhounds, although they were sleeping when we looked at them. Historically, the wolfhound was a dog that only nobles could own and was taken up by the British during their rule in Ireland. It’s been adopted as a symbol by the national rugby league team and the Irish Rugby Football Union.

I took a pic of these pigs for Violet!
I took a pic of these pigs for Violet!

 

a lamb grazing in a pasture
a lamb grazing in a pasture

 

Irish wolfhounds
Irish wolfhounds

 

Black chicken and duck in village
Black chicken and duck in village

Although I couldn’t wait to drive to the Cliffs of Moher (one of the main reasons I wanted to see Ireland), I’m so happy that Leah and I walked around this village in the cool, peaceful outdoors. Leah loves nature like me, and I felt this time ministered to her soul.

Bunratty Folk Park
The path in the village at Bunratty Folk Park

The houses were quite primitive, decorated with old furniture like tables, beds, and hope chests and a few kitchen items.

bed & hope chest
bed & hope chest

 

kitchen cupboard with dishes
kitchen cupboard with dishes

 

house table & pitcher
house table & pitcher

I could hardly believe we were walking around in Ireland; it felt surreal! It is so green, just like you’ve heard and imagined. One of the first things we saw in the village was a small but beautiful waterfall. I love waterfalls, so this really blessed me!

village waterfall
village waterfall

 

me by village waterfall
me by village waterfall

Another cool thing we saw in the village was a water mill, which is a mill that uses hydropower. It is a structure that uses a water wheel or water turbine to drive a mechanical process such as milling (grinding), rolling, or hammering.

village windmill
village windmill

 

windmill wheel
windmill wheel

 

windmill water
windmill water

At one house, there was a marble scuplture that was so pretty of the Virgin Mary and child Jesus.

marble statue in village
marble statue in village

The village also had a pretty church. 

village church
village church

 

church in village
church in village

 

ornate wooden pews in church
ornate wooden pews in church

 

stone floor in church
stone floor in church

 

church door
church door

 

church baptismal
church baptismal

 

podium where the priest stands
podium where the priest stands

Bunratty Folk Park also had a quaint fairy village for children. Ireland is well known for “lucky” four-leaf clovers, a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, leprechauns, fairies, ghost stories, and other folklore. While I believe much of this is demonic in nature, Leah and I both thought the fairy door in a tree was cute.

At the big mushroom park, a mom was taking pics of her children. Afterward she said to them, “Fabulous pic! Wow!” Her little boy ran off saying like a parrot, “Oh wow, wow, wow!” Both Leah and I laughed.

sign for fairy village
sign for fairy village

 

fairy door in a tree

 

cute play area where little boy said, "Oh wow, wow, wow!"
cute play area where little boy said, “Oh wow, wow, wow!”

There was also a pretty flower garden in the village. This reminded me a little of The Secret Garden, a book and a movie that we read and watched when I homeschooled Leah when she was younger, that she enjoyed. Homeschooling our kids has given me some of my most precious, sweetest memories, especially when we went on fun field trips.

I’m so glad I was able to go on this trip to Ireland with Leah and make more good memories!

garden in the village
garden in the village

 

village garden flowers
village garden flowers

I don’t know what these red flowers are named, but Leah and I both thought they were unique and beautiful. The garden also had sunflowers, some of my favorite flowers. Each time I see flowers, I think of my beautiful daughter Heather. Heather’s name comes from a beautiful, purple-blue flower that covers hills and is found widely in Europe.

unique red flowers
unique red flowers

 

red flowers
red flowers

 

I love sunflowers!
I love sunflowers!

In my next post in this Ireland Blog Series, I’ll share about our visit to the Cliffs of Moher–the highlight of the trip for Leah and me both. Be sure to check out the beautiful pics!

Leah at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Leah at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
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The rains of life

rain
rain. Image source: Google

“Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.” (John Updike)

Today has been another rainy day in Butler, Missouri (a suburb of Kansas City).

As I got my hair cut and highlighted at my hairdresser Yvette’s salon, The Y Factor Hair and Nail Salon, I looked out her store’s big, front window with the twinkling, colored lights at the rain pouring down. It’s been raining a lot lately here in Missouri. 

In the Bible, rain is often associated with God’s blessing. A few verses about rain are:

“You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the LORD, have created it.” (Isaiah 45:8)

“He provides rain for the earth; he sends water on the countryside.” (Job 5:10)

“Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.” (Joel 2:23)

Too much rain can be a curse, though, such as when the great flood came, killing everyone and everything on earth, except for faithful Noah and his family.

 For forty days the roaring floods prevailed, covering the ground and lifting the boat high above the earth. As the water rose higher and higher above the ground, the boat floated safely upon it;  until finally the water covered all the high mountains under the whole heaven, standing twenty-two feet and more above the highest peaks.  And all living things upon the earth perished—birds, domestic and wild animals, and reptiles and all mankind— everything that breathed and lived upon dry land.  All existence on the earth was blotted out—man and animals alike, and reptiles and birds. God destroyed them all, leaving only Noah alive, and those with him in the boat.  And the water covered the earth 150 days. God didn’t forget about Noah and all the animals in the boat.” (Genesis 7:17-24 – 8:1, TLB)

Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “Into each life some rain must fall.”

In this life we face troubles.

  • Marriage problems;
  • Relationship conflicts;
  • Disobedient children;
  • Financial crises;
  • Problems at work;
  • Health issues;
  • Ministry struggles;
  • and much more. 

But through it all, the “rains of life,” God never leaves us or forsakes us. The sun (the SON) will shine again. 

Jesus Christ oil painting
Jesus Christ oil painting

 

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4, NASB)

 

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