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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)

Ireland Day 7: Knock, Turlough, and Westport

overcast 66 °F

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Our day started with breakfast: Catherine's treacle bread was delicious!
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After breakfast, we went to Knock for Mass with Mary Kathleen, and did a little shopping for souvenirs. It was a very pleasant morning. On our way back to Kilkelly we stopped to see Mary Kathleen's husband John's grave. Catherine never met John, but Daniel knew him eleven years ago when he went to college in Ireland.
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The graveyard is named for St. Celsius, who Kilkelly is also named for. There is a monument to Irish people buried far away right next to John's grave.
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We stopped to visit Michelle (Mary Kathleen's daughter-in-law, Ciarán's wife) and their children. Ciarán's house has a nice view of the fields nearby.
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Then we went to a late lunch at Attracta's house, where we saw Attracta's husband Michael and their daughter Ciara. Ciara is planning to be a math teacher, so we had a nice talk with her about teaching. We also watched some Gaelic football, which Catherine had not seen before.
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Old family pictures on Mary Kathleen's table.
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When we put "Achill Island" in our GPS, it took us to this tiny road. The GPS directions voice said "you are on the fastest route" right as we turned here.
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We stopped to see a ruined church and round tower in Turlough. Daniel had been here before with his grandparents and John and Mary Kathleen. It is a beautiful tower, and very impressively preserved. Incidentally, the city of Turlock in California is named after Turlough, Co. Mayo: the founder of Turlock was from Turlough.
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Stopped for a late dinner in Westport and tried a beer called Mescan. Mescan was the name of St. Patrick's personal brewer, and the brewery makes their beer at the foot of Croagh Patrick, Ireland's holy mountain where St. Patrick fasted for forty days and forty nights. The beer was good. We got to Achill Island very late, and almost got lost finding the place with directions telling us to go "past the green boat" and "down the boreen."

Posted by danielcatherine 11:34 Archived in Ireland Tagged tower dinner lunch mary michael michelle kathleen ciaran's knock westport ciara attracta turlough achill mescan croagh_patrick round_tower Comments (1)

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