Category Archives: Travel

Forget Hotels – Stay in an Irish Castle!

Skip the cozy Irish Bed-and-Breakfasts. Skip the Maldron and Jury’s Inn hotels.  Spend a night in a castle instead! During our three weeks in Ireland, my search for a reasonably-priced hotel in Sligo brought up an unexpected surprise: the Markree Castle Hotel. It’s more a large manor house than a true castle and it hasn’t been turned into a 5-star spa resort, but it was delightful. (And we couldn’t afford a 5-star resort anyway.)  The long entrance drive made me feel like I was coming up to Pemberly, or Netherfield at least. Stained glass windows in the great hall show the family’s genealogy and connections to royalty – that’s King John, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I along the top. Fireplaces abound in the main areas, and the staircases put you smack into Downton Abbey. The other downstairs rooms have been restored to Victorian times, if not earlier. Upstairs, bedrooms are … Continue reading

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Dreaming of a Time Travel Agent!

For the second stop on my Shimmer of Time blog tour,  I’m talking to a time travel agent about the possibilities of booking a trip to the when of my dreams! So many choices – where and when do I want to go?  And where would YOU want to go? Hop on over to The Perils of Pauline to discover my favorite time travel trips, and to tell us about your own.  Or come back here and leave your dream trip in my comments! And in the meantime, great news!  Through the Shimmer of Time popped up to #6 in one of its Kindle categories yesterday, and even made the top 100 in ALL time travel books, including umpteen versions of Stephen King’s 11/22/63 and all the Magic Tree House books.  

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Magic in the Oregon Cascades

With Dad being fairly stable and Mom not needing to go anywhere, I took the car last Saturday and visited my brother.  Mick is a forester who lives near Oakridge, up the slope of the Cascades from Eugene.  And, oh have I found something to dream of besides Ireland. We had a delightful lunch in Mick’s favorite pub, stopped at the bakery to enjoy the local sculptures and jewelry for sale, and then drove up the road looking for the turn-off to a trail Mick wanted to show me.  There’s not much snow-pack (which bodes ill for Oregon this summer), but January had a good chunk of rain, especially compared to December.  And when you combine rain with a windstorm, you get occasional trees down.  And then you hope that someone has come along and cleared the road.  We were lucky. We drove by memory – Mick hadn’t checked map … Continue reading

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Being Stuck at Home can be Good

My at-home college son started a job on Monday – Hurray! Same son taking my car because his was in the shop, leaving me stuck at home – Boo! I don’t like being stuck at home.  It cramps my style.  Can’t buy groceries, go to the gym, pop out for a last-minute errand.   I feel . . . um . . . tied down. On the other hand, I get a tremendous amount of work done. This trip to my parents’ isn’t just a quickie, and I not only had to figure out what I was taking, but tie up a lot of loose ends as well.  And, being the ever so brilliant procrastinator that I am, I had a lot of loose ends to tie up! My to-do list in the last week included such things as: Plant daffodils & tulips (Hey, I was busy in October! And even … Continue reading

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Genealogy trip to England

Wow.  Utterly exhausted after 4-1/2 days in England, but oh, was it worth it! I visited the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich (visited the Royal Observatory and stood on the Prime Meridian, too), spent a full day at the National Archives in Kew, a day and a half in the London Society of Genealogist’s library, plus a quick trip to the Guildhall museum a few blocks away, all to search for my two Scots merchant captains.  Found what I was looking for on Alexander Chalmers – his mate’s certificate number (now I can send for the actual certificate and hope his application is attached), and the ships he’d been on, including one that was wrecked off the northeast coast of England. Gave up on his father-in-law, James Murray, who was early enough (1840s & 1850s) to likely never have gotten a certificate.  And I have no ship’s name to go … Continue reading

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