Waaay too much traveling going on the last few weeks! After Bob and I returned from Ireland I only had a few days before Tina and I took off for Stitches Midwest. After a couple of days in my office, sustained with many cups of coffee, I am caught up enough to be able to enjoy some blogging time!
The joke at the office is that it sounds as though Bob and I went on two completely different vacations. Bob's focus was golf and he experienced all the weather challenges Ireland had to offer! His first course was in Connemara, just outside Clifden at the Connemara Golf Course. Here is a shot from the website -
And, here are the shots I took. Now please understand that I absolutely loved every minute of our trip! I'm just sharing Bob's experience. The guy really needs to take up knitting, study of history and classic novel reading. Then he would have had as much fun as me!
I had intended to do a lot of horseback riding on this trip. In fact, that was one of the reasons we chose to visit Ireland. But, we ran into a couple of problems. The first was logistical. Most of the riding stables were at least an hour's drive in the opposite direction of the more than an hour's drive to each golf course. The second, as you will see, was the weather.
But, on our first day out in the country, Connemara, we had very nice weather. A bit windy for Bob but perfect for riding! And, The Point Equestrian Centre was just a mile away from the golf course! See all that beach in the background of the golf course shots? That's where I went riding. The best part was that the owner of the stables took a young French girl and I out on our own because we both knew how to ride well. That meant an hour of trotting and cantering along the beach and up in the fields. Now, knowing how to ride and being in shape to ride are two COMPLETELY different things! By the end of the hour my legs were shaking like crazy! (That's not me riding! It's a shot from the stable's website just to give you an idea of how beautiful it was to be on the beach.)
After the ride, I began what was to become my golfing wife routine. I had someone give me a ride to the golf club, my shaky legs certainly weren't up for the walk, and I settled in for a nice long knitting/audio book session. Let's talk about scones! Scones with strawberry jam! Scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream!! Scones, strawberry jam, clotted cream and a pot a super hot, super strong tea!!! Then, when I got really hungry, a plate of tea sandwiches with fresh pot of tea! The view of the Connemara Golf course was spectacular as was the view of the other two courses Bob played.
Since the courses were all quite a long drive from our hotels, I decided that I would go with Bob, enjoy the scenery, sit in the warm clubhouses, knit and eat. That turned out to be a very good plan because the weather deteriorated over the course of our visit. In Connemara, Bob only had to contend with strong winds. By the time we got to the Ring of Kerry, he had wind and a little bit of rain.
After we left County Galway we went around a bit of the Ring of Kerry to the town of Kenmare in County Kerry. From our base in Kenmare we went to the Waterville Golf Links.
I spent several pleasant hours in the clubhouse. The Christmas tree is a give-away that I used one of their brochure shots. But, you can see that it was a nice place.
The day after Waterville, Saturday, it was absolutely pouring down rain so we hung around the hotel. Then, even with threats of wind and rain, that came true, Bob insisted on heading out to Tralee. I couldn't find any photos of the clubhouse so I will give you a few extra course shots.
Now, I realize that this all sounds a bit negative but Bob did find solace in the absolutely fantastic food we found in Ireland. I know, you don't usually equate Irish food with high cuisine but there have been several new developments. First, Ireland has been experiencing an economic boom the last twenty years. More money to spend on good food.
The new no-smoking bans and extremely strict drinking and driving laws have effected many pubs. They have changed to gourmet restaurants in order to stay in business. All to the good as far as Bob was concerned. Our hotel in Clifden included dinner but the rest of our stay was a treasure hunt for ideal meals. One of Bob's favorite activities.
So, even though he had weather challenges on the golf courses, he had wonderful food and we were able to spend a lot of time together enjoying Ireland.