Music to my ears

As I am sitting here, comfy on the couch & sorting Saturday's wedding photos, I am being serenaded by my husbands amazing banjo playing skills.  (He actually purchased the banjo in Ireland.) I am not sure if I have ever mentioned how TJ is the best musician. LoL.  No, seriously, he is!  Before photography, there was music.  He actually went to school and got his degree in it.  I should definitely post a video or song of his soon.  He plays with a band and does some solo projects as well.  You won't hear it from him, but he really is awesome at the guitar, bass, banjo, & mandolin.

Here is a photo of some of the musicians in Ireland playing at the local pub.  It was such a great night!


Ireland Adventures: Part 2

Giants Causeway is quite possibly one of the coolest places I have ever been.  It is a natural made wonder consisting of many columns. Every column is at different levels and form stepping stones like stairs.  Most of the columns are also hexagon shaped.  It is such an adventure to walk across these stones, climb to the highest point, and watch the waves of the ocean come crashing onto the rocks.  There are many legends of how this was created.  But, when you are standing there, it definitely feels supernatural.  We probably spend almost 2 hours walking around, taking photos, sitting and soaking it all in, and hiking.  All the students loved it!

On the same day that we explored Giants Causeway, we also went to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.  This suspension bridge connects the mainland to the tiny Island of Carrick.  It was a gorgeous hike leading up the the rope bridge, and then on the other side was the beauty of the ocean and greenery.  However the bridge was one of the coolest parts of this trip.  While standing in line and watching others walk across, with the rocks and water saying hello below, I had the feelings of standing in line for a roller coaster.  My heart started beating as I got closer the the stairs that led down to the rope bridge.  TJ was taking up the rear so he could get photos of everyone walking across.  When it was my turn to walk, I got really excited.  Halfway across I made sure to turn around so TJ could take my picture.  At one point I remember yelling one of the students names because they were purposely bouncing across the bridge to make it shake for everyone.  Cool but not cool at the same time. LoL.

Anyway, below are photos of both Giants Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.  I hope you enjoy them!
Giants Causweay
Unfortunately I was not in this photo as I had walked back to the bus to let our bus driver know we were going to be another 30-45 min. 

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

If you ever have a chance to visit Ireland, make sure these two wonders are on your to do list.  You will definitely not be disappointed. :-)  I also must give all this photo credit to TJ.  I cannot take credit when the photos are so amazing. lol.  


Baby Bird Eggs Update

While checking in on my little birdie eggs, I was surprised to find one more egg was added to the nest!  How cool is that?  Anyway, each time I walk out front, the momma bird fly's away.  When I walk back inside, she fly's back to the hanging flower plant, sits for about 10 seconds and scopes out the surroundings and then nestles herself back into the flowers and onto her nest.  It is the sweetest thing.  I was able to get a photo of her on top of the planter.  I hope that all of these eggs hatch and that they are healthy.  

Ireland Adventures: Part 1

Out of 10 days in Ireland, there are literally so many stories I could tell.  It would almost be easier to do video blogs rather than written due to the fact that I could ramble on and on.  But, I'm not going to do that. ha!  Instead I will choose some highlights of the trip and focus on each one with a posting.  So, what shall I write about first?  I might as well start with one of the coolest Castles, which we actually saw on the first day that we landed.  Oh, and btw, we flew into Dublin, immediately met up with our coach driver (yes I said coach driver....it was heaven) and made our way to Belfast.  On the way to Belfast we stopped at quite a few sites, one being Trim Castle.  Before posting Trim Castle photos, I will also post photos of our journey there. :-)

So, for those of you who are not familiar with Trim Castle, it was actually a double for York Castle in Braveheart.  It was hard to really visualize where the scenes took place, but the Castle Tour Guide pointed out the areas that were used, and then when we returned home we watched the movie.  It is the remains of Ireland's largest Anglo-Norman castle and was built in in three stages, beginning in 1174 and completed in 1204.  To stand in a castle from the 12th century is completely mind blowing.  It is very frustrating in my mind, because I SO want to be able to visually see what it was like back then in person.  When I say that, I don't mean I want to live back then...I just want a glimpse.  It was very hard to live in those days.  Bathing was very scarce, and they would hang their clothes in an area where the fumes from (pardon my bluntness) their poop would get the bugs out of their clothes and prevent future bugs.  Yes, this is what the Royal people would do....it was not all fine linens and beautiful clothes....it was dirty.  But, nevertheless, it was an amazing castle with the most beautiful views of the surrounding countryside land.  The greens are SOOO green in Ireland.  

 This was our awesome bus driver, Don, with Paddy Wagon!

Trim Castle
 Notice how bundled up I was?  It was cold...don't be fooled by the guy in shorts. ha!
The views from the Castle were breathtaking!
They built the bridges so that we could experience what it was like on each level nowadays.
 Remember in Braveheart, when the King throws the Prince's lover out the window?  Yep, this was the room it was filmed in.  The window looks different in the movie...it is much narrower. 

That is Trim Castle!  It was amazing and I hope to visit again in the future.  I don't see how anyone could get tired of the history and scenery of the countryside.  Stay tuned for more photos and stories.  I am having fun reliving it, even after being their 2 weeks ago!

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