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Scotland Day 8: A Fresno Girl Perhaps?

sunny 47 °F

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We started our day by splitting the "full Scottish breakfast" at Kincraig Castle, where we were staying. It included scrambled eggs, a tomato, black pudding, haggis, a "tattie scone" (very much like a pancake), and a mushroom. It was not bad.
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Some pictures around the castle in the morning. After breakfast we drove into Inverness to attend the Ordinariate mass: groups of Anglicans who converted to Catholicism were allowed to use a modified form of the Anglican church service. Their liturgy is very interesting and it was a nice opportunity to attend one in Inverness.
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The drive to Inverness.
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The chapel where the Ordinariate mass is held. According to the priest the chapel was built as an ecumenical chapel originally at the hospital, with three separate front areas for Presbyterians, Anglicans, and Catholics. The ordinariate mass uses the Catholic section.

During the after-mass conversation, the very small group of members came over and talked to us. Catherine said that we were from California, and one of the people said "a Fresno girl perhaps?" and then refused to say how he had known that. Catherine admitted to having been born and raised in Fresno, but the person who asked would not reveal how he knew that. Catherine thinks he somehow guessed, but Daniel thinks that we must have met this man in passing somewhere in our lives and forgotten about it.

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Some views of the River Ness. Catherine very much wanted to find Nessie, and it was here on the river (and not the loch) that St. Columba is said to have first seen the "water creature" that may have given rise to the legend of the Loch Ness Monster.
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After that we drove to Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness.
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Some pictures around the castle showing the defensive structures. St. Columba came here to baptize a Pictish chieftain, and the castle was part of a variety of wars that occurred, as well as constant raids by the MacDonald clan, eventually being blown up by its own holders during the Jacobite wars.
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Looking for Nessie.
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Some more pictures around the castle.
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A strange object in the water. Probably not Nessie.
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Some more pictures of the castle.
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Daniel in a window, and a random person in the door.
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A bird's nest in a corner of the castle.
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The trebuchet.

After exploring the castle, and hearing a very fascinating talk about the defensive structures of the ditch and the windows, we headed into the village to buy some souvenirs and then to Inverness for dinner.
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We went to a Turkish restaurant which was delicious. We ordered the two-person meal, which included appetizers and a main meal for each of us. The appetizers were delicious and filling. We got the chicken kebab and the vegetarian moussaka, which were both delicious.
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There was a pub across the street from the Turkish restaurant that was having a "trad session," so we walked over and listened to some music. It was a wonderful end to our night before returning to the castle.
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Sitting by the fire at the castle after our day of exploring the loch.

Posted by danielcatherine 19:54 Archived in Scotland Tagged church river music castle fire mass inverness loch_ness urquhart fresno nessie ordinariate trad_session Comments (0)

Maui and Kaua’i Day 9: I Spy

With My Little Eye

overcast 85 °F

We started our day by going to mass at St. Raphael’s with Daniel’s grandma. St. Raphael’s is the oldest Catholic church on Kaua’i, but both times we’ve been there we’ve gone to mass in the new church building. It was nice but very hot and humid, to the point that Daniel and his grandma’s glasses fogged up when we got out of the car. After mass we bought some mango bread and some flowers from a fundraiser.
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We then went to Pizzetta in Koloa Town. Catherine got a slice of pizza and Daniel got penne pesto pasta. Daniel’s grandma had the caprese. It was a great lunch. We split a chocolate lava cake for dessert.
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A picture of the spaghetti harvest on the wall of the restaurant. Daniel has used this joke with his students for April Fool’s Day (that spaghetti grows on trees). We took a picture of this image that seems to support the joke.

After lunch we joined Daniel’s parents, his sister Hilary, and her kids Aubrey and Dalton who were having dessert and shopping at a nearby shopping center.
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Catherine and Aubrey playing “I Spy with my Little Eye.”6FD45D98-23F8-4246-B21F-F4A8CE404A56.jpeg
Aubrey leading the way while we play “I Spy.”
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Aubrey’s look of disbelief at our inability to spot the thing that she claimed to have spotted (a quarter mile away, completely invisible to her from where she was, and matching none of the description she gave us.)
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Daniel’s dad, Ed, with Dalton.
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Daniel with Aubrey.

Afterwards we went back to the house and finished watching the Mayo vs. Donegal match via GAAGo. We had tried to watch it yesterday but not been able to finish it. Mayo won and is going into the semi-finals against Dublin next week!

Then we went to Daniel’s Aunt Jackie and Uncle Peter’s house for their party. Each family on this trip is hosting a party night during the time we are here. Their theme was Asian fusion, and we had rice, noodles, teriyaki beef skewers, pineapple, watermelon, and pineapple upside down cake for dessert. It was a delicious meal. We spent time talking to Daniel’s family and enjoyed the first party.

Posted by danielcatherine 01:30 Archived in USA Tagged church party mango match bread mayo asian_fusion mass aubrey dalton i_spy_with_my_little_eye Comments (0)

Kauai Day 6: Malasadas, Shave Ice, and Mai Tais

semi-overcast 84 °F

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Today we went to mass at the oldest parish on Kauai, St. Raphael's. Unfortunately the mass time we attended was in the very modern new church rather than the old one. After mass we went to a bakery to get malasadas. Malasadas are, essentially, doughnuts. The word comes from Portuguese, and literally means "badly roasted" or incompletely cooked. We got one that was plain, one that was chocolate filled, and one that had a surprisingly good-tasting black bean paste.
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Afterwards we went to lunch in Koloa with Daniel's parents, Hilary, Aubrey, and Daniel's grandma. We had a very nice lunch together, and talked about the idea of going to Kauai again next year.
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After that, we went to get shave ice. Aubrey was trying it for the first time, and really liked it!
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After lunch and dessert we went to Kalapaki beach, where Duke's is located. We decided to rent a standing paddle board to try what that was like. Catherine preferred to swim, but Daniel went out for a bit on the board.
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It was fun, but a bit stressful learning to balance and stay up. It does feel very majestic to skid along the top of the waves.
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Mai tais and a light dinner at Duke's.
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Catherine has had at least one plumeria for her hair every day of this trip.
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When we got back to the house we went for a walk to Shipwreck Beach, which was beautiful. Tomorrow we have to leave, but we hope that we can come back soon!

Posted by danielcatherine 00:36 Archived in USA Tagged church mass aubrey mai_tai duke's shave_ice koloa paddleboard malasadas st._raphael's kalapaki Comments (0)

Portugal Day 14: To Donny!

all seasons in one day 69 °F

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Today we flew from São Miguel to Terceira, then from Terceira to Faial. We booked our flight along with Katie and Anthony, but when we got there they had a direct flight and we had a separate flight. We got on a plane that was bound for São Jorge, which was stopping in Terceira, and then had to get a different one that was heading to Faial. Katie and Anthony had to get on one bound for Faial, which was stopping in Terceira. They had to get off the plane on Terceira, go upstairs, then get back on the same plane. We all got to Faial nonetheless. It was an emotional experience for Catherine to see Faial, the island where her ancestors lived for hundreds of years.
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Some pictures of Horta and our house.
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Michael said that he was going to go to mass at a nearby church. He invited us to come with him to the 6 PM mass, and then set off. We followed and got to the extremely beautiful church.
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Michael ended up getting to concelebrate the mass. The priest from the parish, also young and newly ordained, is visiting California soon for a festa, but couldn’t remember where he is going.
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Afterwards, we went to the house where Catherine’s Aunt Marie (Sis) and Uncle Bob, and her Uncle John and Aunt Terri are staying. It has a weirdly placed oven, but also a nice pool. We got pizza delivered by a company called California Pizza (not California Pizza Kitchen), which is owned by a man from the Azores who used to live in Fremont. It was a very nice evening.
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After dinner we walked down to the waterfront. Horta is a major stopping point for yachts going across the Atlantic, and people often paint murals to celebrate their arrival here.
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A castle near the waterfront.
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We went to Peter’s Cafe Sport, famous for their Gin and Tonics and for being a popular spot for anyone who visits Faial, especially on ships. It was Don Santos’s birthday, and we had planned to meet him there and celebrate. We toasted a few times “to Donny!” before he arrived. Then, he arrived. When he walked in, we all raised our glasses and yelled “to Donny!” The customers at the other tables joined in (probably thinking that Donny had sailed here). Donny was so happy (his nephew Dominic told us that this had been his best birthday ever). We were sure that being in the land of his people and being toasted and proclaimed in the bar were very memorable experiences.
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Us with Anthony and Donny.
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The moon over Horta and Pico.

Posted by danielcatherine 08:11 Archived in Portugal Tagged church sao michael anthony katie miguel mass homeland gin faial donny to_donny peter’s gin_and_tonic Comments (1)

Portugal Day 3: Adventures and Resting

sunny 80 °F

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A welcome sight: our room in Lisbon after our long journey! Before we could get there, we had to wait in a very long customs line. Then, when we finally got through the line, we couldn’t find our bags on any of the carousels. Eventually, another passenger from our flight (actually the family that had sat behind us) found theirs: it had been on the first carousel, but had been removed to allow the bags for a flight from Luanda. We got the shuttle to our hotel, and checked in and enjoyed the free breakfast.
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The very steep street that our hotel is on. This little barrier slides down to allow drivers with the right card to get through, then slides back up.
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We went to mass right down the street at the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Encarnação.
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It is a beautiful church. The mass was rather quick and simple, but the surroundings were so beautiful that it enhanced the entire experience.
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Another beautiful church, right down the street from the one we went to. There are several right in this area.
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We visited the oldest continuously-operating bookstore in the world, Bertrand. It has been in operation since 1732. Most of the books are in Portuguese (understandably enough). There is a little cafe in the back of the rather cavernous bookstore.
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An exterior view of the bookstore, with blue tile walls.
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We bought one book, and plan to learn enough Portuguese to read it to our children one day.

It was nice to browse the store, but we were very tired already. We stopped by a little bakery and bought some pastel de nata and some whole wheat rolls (pão integral in Portuguese. Catherine says she agrees that it is integral for daily life) and then went back to the hotel and rested for a few hours.

We got up at around 8PM, and then went out for dinner. The man at the hotel told us about the Time Out Mercado, essentially a gigantic food court with a wide variety of options. It is located in the old fish market near the river. We decided to walk down there and see what looked good.
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Lisbon is a very hilly city. A lot of people say it is similar to San Francisco, although it feels somewhat different.
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A tiny door along the way.
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The Mercado. There are tons of restaurant stands around a center area. In the center are bars selling drinks and tables for customers.
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A spicy diavola pizza and two Super Bock beers, the other major Portuguese beer maker.
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Dessert: Catherine got salted caramel with peanut and honeydew ice cream, and Daniel got passionfruit.
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The streets in Lisbon.
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A monument.
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They seem to have very large insects here.
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The Bica hill, home of the famous Bica tram.
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The construction of some of the buildings.
After dinner we grabbed a drink right near our hotel, and then headed back to get some rest before
heading out to explore more of the country tomorrow.

Posted by danielcatherine 17:33 Archived in Portugal Tagged church ice cream books nata sleep dinner pizza bookstore mercado bakery mass bica pastel_de_ Comments (4)

Hawaii Day 6: Exploring the Island

semi-overcast 84 °F

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We started our Sunday by going to the Traditional Latin Mass in Waihe'e, which was a little bit of a drive away from where we're staying. It was nice to see a different part of the island, and the people we talked to afterwards were very friendly. It is an extremely small community. Across the street, there was a warning about some rather dangerous dogs, but thankfully we didn't encounter them.
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After we left, we went to Tasty Crust, a diner in Wailuku. It was an interesting, small place. The clientele seemed to be almost all local, and most people obviously already knew each other. Nevertheless, the service was friendly and the food was delicious.
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We had banana pancakes, linguiça, and a biscuit. Katie and Anthony got omelettes, and we all split a piece of macadamia nut pie for dessert. Everything was excellent.
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We then went on a hike to see some ancient petroglyphs. We parked near the general store, and then hiked along the trail until we got to the cliffs where they were. It was very hot as we hiked, but we persisted until we reached our destination.
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The petroglyphs. These were close to the road, and may have been faked, but looked a lot like the ones we saw at the actual site.90_C1AB3D1A-4..B9B8381F500.jpg90_E6A8980C-B..61EDDB31976.jpg90_F8974F8D-1..2926D207933.jpg90_5EBF7DA0-0..4CDDF41ADE2.jpg
The definite petroglyphs. These apparently tell a story, and we were able to identify several human figures holding various objects, as well as what appeared to be a canoe. The information card explained the glyphs but didn't say what the story was.
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More of the area around the glyphs.
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We had a great time hiking!
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Found this by the side of the road. The perfect souvenir? But it probably would be hard to bring it home...we left it by the side of the road.
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Post-hike shave ice!
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We then sat at a table downstairs overlooking the ocean and played cards for a while.
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We ended the evening at Mulligan's, an Irish pub in Wailea. There was live music, which was vaguely Irish (they played a couple Pogues songs amid mainstream pop and rock). The food was very good, and we had a great time.
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Posted by danielcatherine 02:04 Archived in USA Tagged church music hike pie irish brunch petroglyphs latin cards pancakes bread wailea tasty mass waihe'e wailuku crust Comments (0)

Ireland Day 14: Cork, Youghal, Cashel

overcast 64 °F

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The view from the kitchen of the house where we stayed. A beautiful north Co. Cork landscape.
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We drove through Bweeng again on our way to Cork. This is the pub.
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St. Peter and Paul's Church, Cork. This was an absolutely beautiful church. We went to a Traditional Latin Mass here. It was a low mass, and not very long, but it was beautiful and the building was so incredible. We also got an excellent parking space right in front of the church, and went to lunch right nearby. Cork City is a little bit crowded and hard to navigate, but it was pretty and we were glad to see it during our trip.
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The outside of the church.
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After leaving Cork we drove to the town of Youghal. Daniel's parents went there and highly recommended it to us. We went to the museum and drove around the town a little.
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So is the group called Batty and they're playing tonight? Or is it called Batty Tonight?
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More pictures of Youghal. It was once one of the most important harbors in Ireland. It reminded us a lot of New England, mostly because it had an intriguingly similar history involving puritans, witch trials, etc.
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More of Youghal.
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Some sights along the road to the Rock of Cashel.
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We arrived at the Rock of Cashel just before it closed. The staff seemed eager to lock the doors, so we were lucky to get in. We went to the museum first.
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Cashel was both an ecclesiastical and political site. It was the capital used by Brian Boru, and before him, by the Eoghanacht rulers. It was also the site of a cathedral (to is day the diocese is called The Diocese of Cashel and Emly, even though the cathedral is in Thurles.) There is thus a great variety of buildings and artifacts here.
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The saddest thing about these ruins is that they don't have to be ruins. If history had gone differently, this could still be a thriving cathedral, with masses being said and people traveling to see the historic church. It lasted for centuries being used that way, and churches just as old are still in use in other countries. These were part of a patrimony that was sadly stolen from the people.
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More pictures from the Rock.
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And some more. It's a beautiful place.
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Some pictures of us at the Rock of Cashel.
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It was extremely windy there that day. It was very difficult to walk around without being blown off-course, and it made Daniel's allergies really bad. Still, it was a nice day to see the ruins with no rain.
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This monument is visible for miles around. It is only when you walk behind it that you realize...
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...that it used to be a cross! It would have been incredibly huge as a cross. Unfortunately, without a guide we don't know if it was wind or human action that blew it down.
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In the gift shop, Catherine tried on this cloak. She said she wishes that cloaks were a more socially acceptable thing to wear. Unfortunately, the €500 price tag prevented her from doing her part to bring back the cloak. (Also, she wondered if daggers were a necessary accessory with cloaks.)

We went to dinner at a pub called Brian Boru's, where people were watching a darts competition, and the Italian waiter kept promising the owner that he would bring in Italians, then delivering on his promise (he must have brought in at least four Italians while we were eating there.) Only after we finished eating did we find out there was another side, which was a restaurant with live music. It was a nice dinner. We then set off on our drive to our next AirBnB, which was near Athlone and especially close to the ruins at Clonmacnoise, which we were very excited to see.
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Some pictures of the sunset along our way. We arrived at our AirBnB on the Pilgrims' Road, and met our hosts who also had large dogs, had a farm, and the husband was named Joseph. We had a nice conversation with them, then went to our room and went to sleep.

Posted by danielcatherine 12:53 Archived in Ireland Tagged history ruins church museum cathedral dogs farm cross latin wind athlone joseph cork mass cashel clonmacnoise rock_of_cashel bweeng dromohane youghal Comments (0)

Ireland Day 4: O'Donnell Abu!

(the title is also the name of a great song. And, our day started at Donegal Castle and ended at a Middle Eastern restaurant 😀)

storm 55 °F

We had a wonderful night's sleep at our B&B in Mountcharles. It was extremely comfortable and restful. When we got up, there was a delicious breakfast ready for us: brown bread and toast and tea. We had a very nice chat with our host, ranging from Irish history to modern politics to her surprise that the Americans staying in her house all seem to prefer tea to coffee. She gave us a detailed route to follow, along the "wild and rocky hills" (another lyric from another great Donegal-focused song) up the Wild Atlantic Way. We began by going to Donegal Town.
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We found a place to park in Donegal Town. It overlooked this harbor, where the boat in the picture was blasting Meatloaf's "I'd Do Anything For Love." It proceeded to blast other songs of like nature. The machine did not take cards so we had to get cash. The tourist office had a sign that prominently displayed that they do not change money for the parking lot. So, Daniel walked to a bank (AIB) on the Diamond, or main square of Donegal.
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Donegal Castle is really an amazing thing to see.
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According to the cashier at the castle, the Choctaw Nation donated to the Irish during the Famine. This led to connections between them and the Irish.
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Some more images of the Castle. The empty manor house area was built by the Brookes family after the Flight of Earls.
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The Diamond in Donegal. It is sort of a roundabout, sort of a death trap.
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The Catholic Church in Donegal. It has a replica Irish Round Tower.
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Killybegs Harbor. Killybegs is one of the major commercial fishing ports in Ireland. The ships are really impressive to see.
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Outside Killybegs is St. Catherine's well, one of Ireland's many holy wells. These have small sources of water and involve specific prayers that should be said. Catherine had not seen a holy well before, and she was especially interested because this one was St. Catherine's.
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For some reason, there are stuffed animals tied to many signposts and fences throughout Co. Donegal.
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The Wild Atlantic Way: the beautiful coast of Donegal.
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Sheep in the road.
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While driving through the small village of Glencolmcille, we saw signs for St. Colmcille (Columba)'s well. We decided to take the hike up to see it. We left our car near a farmhouse and began walking up the path. It was lightly misting and the sun was high in the sky. We continued up from a gate that had signs pointing towards then well. We never found the well. The hike was quite long and went through empty, desolate bogland. The storm begin to get worse, soaking us and blowing rain in our faces. We kept going. We would walk to the next trail marker and see the next on up another ridge. Eventually, Daniel said he thought it wasn't safe to continue and we started to turn back. However, we decided to go to one more marker. Daniel got there before Catherine: there was a castle up ahead. Catherine caught up and we looked at the castle together. It was beautiful but slightly creepy. The storm was so bad we had to turn back. We wish we could have seen the well, but we had a great time nonetheless. Side note: while Catherine was hiking to catch up with Daniel who had gone slightly ahead she jumped over a little patch of mud. The grassy area she landed on was more mud than grass and she found herself knee deep in a bog. She barely escaped with her shoes. We thought this accidental adventure led to one of the best days of our lives. Just the two of us on a desolate hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with unbelievable views.
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Some pictures of the hike. Can you believe we were all the way up there?
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It's a whole different muscle group going down.
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"Climb to Colmcille's Well they said. It will be fun they said."
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We were so happy to find our cozy car again and get the heater working. We had a wonderful adventure.

We wanted to stop and eat at a pub in Glencolmcille. Unfortunately, they all look were closed. We tried the next village, Carrick, and they were also closed. In Killybegs most places were closed as well. We ended up getting a pizza to go from a small Middle Eastern restaurant, then going back to eat in the parking lot of St. Catherine's well. We had a wonderful day, and we can't wait until tomorrow when we go to Kilkelly to see Daniel's cousins.

Posted by danielcatherine 16:50 Archived in Ireland Tagged church towers castle pizza round glencolmcille colmcille. columba killybegs donegall o'domnell holy_wells Comments (2)

Day 16 - Quilts, Jam, and Margaritas

sunny 76 °F

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Three very generous gifts from Daniel's Aunt Barb: jam (hot pepper, sour cherry, and huckleberry), some books, and a beautiful handmade quilt! We were given our pick of a number of quilts, and chose this star patterned one.

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We then went to Manito Park and toured the beautiful rose garden. It was interesting to hear about all the different types of roses, especially the "old roses" that are more open and more fragrant than more familiar roses.

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A beautiful blue-green tree in Manito Park.

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The Japanese Garden at Manito Park is also beautiful and very serene.

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Us in the Japanese Garden.

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The sunken Duncan Garden, which is more formal and is very warm, due to the shelter from the wind.

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The perennial garden has some amazingly strange flowers and plants, all of which are very intriguing and seem like they would be interesting to plant.

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Flowering onion in the perennial garden. It was incredibly weird looking but also very pretty and interesting.

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The clock tower in Riverfront Park, which inspired the clock tower in the game Myst, which was one of Daniel's favorite computer games and which was made in Mead, just north of Spokane.

Correction: this is the county courthouse. The clock tower is also beautiful, but we didn't get any good pictures of it.

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Some views of the falls on the Spokane River. The restaurant where we ate lunch overlooked the river.

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Margaritas at Clinkerdagger Restaurant. We split one margarita, but they gave us two glasses. We had never really had margaritas before, and they were enjoyable.

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Oil, oil, oil...vinegar, vinegar, vinegar.

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The beautiful Davenport Hotel, which is really an incredible thing to see. It is amazing how similar it looks to the photographs of its early days, but it has certainly been restored and renovated over the years, keeping the original beauty.

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Inside the church at Gonzaga University. Gonzaga has a beautiful campus, and the church is incredibly beautiful. We both felt like the interiors of the buildings were very similar to those of Santa Clara, though of course the exteriors were all grey and gothic as opposed to beige and Mission-style. Daniel was wearing his Santa Clara shirt today, but no one at Gonzaga said anything about it.

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Another building at Gonzaga.

After touring Gonzaga, we finished our tour of Spokane and went back to the house. We had a nice dinner and conversation. Tomorrow we make for Hood River for Catherine's cousin Elise's wedding on Saturday!

Posted by danielcatherine 00:05 Archived in USA Tagged church river books quilts margaritas jam conversation must spokane gonzaga Comments (0)

Day 12 - It Isn't Manageable

rain 60 °F

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Started off the day with a Traditional Latin Mass in Victoria. It was very nice, and the church was simple but pretty.

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After that we walked along the beach, at a spot suggested by our host. It was beautiful.

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One of the many horse-drawn carriage tours in Victoria going by.

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Eat More: an interesting toffee candy.

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Some views from the ferry. There are a lot of bald eagles in the islands between Vancouver Island and the mainland. At one point, we saw about ten of them flying around near one tree.

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Our last ferry ride for this trip!

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Driving in to Vancouver.

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Our studio in Vancouver. It is yet another great place found through Airbnb.

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View of the city from our room. This is our first real "city center" accommodation, as our other places have all been rural or suburban.

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Nando's Chicken. Apparently this is a chain, but we don't have them in California so it is a "new thing" to try. It is a Portuguese-African restaurant. When we asked about the spicy rice to determine how spicy it is, the waitress said it is "not manageable." We managed just fine.

The mashed potatoes are very authentically Portuguese, exactly what you would get at a traditional Portuguese Thanksgiving dinner in Hollister.

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The beautiful city of Vancouver at night. We walked around a bit after dinner, and it is very pleasant, though much more urban than Victoria was.

Note to Readers: with this entry, we are now caught up to the current day. Expect an entry about tomorrow tomorrow, and, assuming we have internet, we should be able to blog almost every night.

Posted by danielcatherine 01:00 Archived in Canada Tagged victoria traditional church urban city vancouver chicken studio african ferry latin management portuguese mass nando's Comments (1)

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