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Distant Lands

Sunday, 26 October 2008

The Blur of Kells

This post has taken me a long time to write, because it was a point of high expectation, that turned out quite differently than planned. You see, dear reader, prior to becoming a parent, years before I became a traveler, I was a book-hound. I love looking at bindings, papers, and inks; I revel in font choices; I soak up the typography. The rarer the book, the longer I want to stand near it and gaze.  (I know, silly.  But there it is.)

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A few words from Ulysses, embedded in a Dublin sidewalk.
So, this summer I took my family to Dublin for a short climb in part of


Monday, 29 September 2008

Tips for Teens Traveling in France

As we mark our first anniversary in October (go team!), new guest poster Jennifer L. brings a different, and very welcome, perspective to Travels With Child.  Call it a young-person's-eye view.  Call it important information for parents and teens to have.  Or, do like we do, and call it awesome. Welcome Jennifer! ~ Fran W.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Like a Toddler in a Crystal Shop

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The Ireland package we found online (7 days accomodation, rental car/GPS, airfare for 3, etc. - for less than the price of competing airfares) included tickets to Blarney Castle and Waterford Crystal.   There were some other places in the Waterford area we wanted to see, so we daytripped to Waterford from Cork one particularly rainy day, stopping in Ardmore on the way back to look at a 9th-century frieze and soak up some of the glow from the HBO series "The Tudors."  (More about Ardmore and Gaeltacht areas later.)


Saturday, 06 September 2008

How to get crayon off of a rental car

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The artist, at rest.
So while we were driving the Ring of Beara in Ireland, we exceeded the standard 3-hour window of in-the-car time by a lot.  We knew we what we were doing.  We'd broken the drive up with a walk in the woods, a visit to a tearoom, and an after-lunch romp in the local playground at Castletownbury.

We figured we were good to go. 

Yeah.  Ok, so then, while waiting for one of us to come out of a restroom that happened to be attached to a craft gallery (oh [...]More

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Ireland's Rings - small and large

So, ok.  We went all the way to Ireland and didn't see the famed Ring of Kerry.  There.  I said it. 

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Kilcatherine Cemetery, Ring of Beara
Kilcatherine Cemetery, Ring of Beara
That statement wins amazement from Irish hosts.  And disbelief from one's own parents.  But it's true.  We opted instead for another beautiful coastal circuit - the Beara Peninsula, with some side-trips.  Kerry, Beara, Dingle, and Sheepshead hold the surname "Ring" because of the circular routes you trace along the coasts of each peninsula.  They are all spectacular in their own ways.  But if you are travelling on toddler-time, you need to choose.  Too much time in the car is the way of all badness, and each of these rings takes at least a day to drive… much, much more if you really want to investigate the coastline and small towns that line the roads and cliffs.

And you're still doing a lot of driving, no matter what.  On roads lined with mile-high, feral hedges, and lots of blind curves. Who needs coffee to wake you up when you have that?  It's not as bad as some places make out, of course, but we were still glad to return our rental with both its side mirrors.
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