My Favorite Irish Town…

…..has got to be a tie between two.  Doolin and Portmagee.

Doolin, Ireland

Doolin, Ireland

Doolin has wonderful a wonderful music shop, pubs, music, and the roar of the ocean at its doorstep.

The ocean in all its beauty, Doolin

The ocean in all its beauty, Doolin

Portmagee has the Skelligs right offshore, puffins about, towering hills behind the village, fishing boats in the harbor, and great pubs also.

The village of Portmagee

The village of Portmagee

Gazing towards Portmagee from Valentia Island

Gazing towards Portmagee from Valentia Island

Yet I know my favorite Irish village is also the ones I haven’t discovered yet…the ones that are waiting for the next trip and the one thereafter.  🙂   Slainte, Lisa

Coming ‘Round the Bend

IMG_3348One of my favorite things about traveling in Ireland is the wonderful towns and villages.  You come around the bend, and presto!  A whole town of brightly painted buildings with shops, pubs and groceries to explore.  This is Portmagee, a great little town in Kerry that we used as our home base for 3 weeks.  Portmagee is the place to catch a boat tour out to the Skelligs, has some great little pubs/cafes, and a tiny but efficiently stocked grocery.

IMG_3347We would walk down to the village some days, buy some groceries, and the kids would undoubtedly get a “99”, a delectable soft ice cream cone with a Flake bar stuck in the top for the walk home.  By the end of the three weeks, we felt like it was a home away from home, and we were sad to see it fade in our rear-view mirrors.

Enjoy your little village today; big or small.  Slainte, Lisa

My Tribute to a Great Writer

Maeve Binchy, born 1940 and passed from this world two days ago in 2012, was my favorite Irish writer.  She wrote fiction set in rural Irish villages, and filled that fiction to the brim with characters of all types, realistic daily happenings that somehow never seemed boring, and some of the best dialogue writing I have ever read.  When you read her books, you felt as if you were transported to that Irish town, and had suddenly become close personal friends with the characters by the intimate writing voice she used.

I didn’t always like her characters or the choices they made…sometimes they made bad decisions that I didn’t agree with.  But they were always real.  Binchy’s characters weren’t flimsy, stereotypical fabrications; they seemed like people you run into everyday.  People making good and bad decisions, people making decisions that affect the rest of their lives one way or the other.

So thank you, Maeve Binchy, for giving me so many wonderful reading hours beside your stories.  I enjoyed every one of them, and will enjoy many more when I re-read them.  Slainte, Lisa