Just arrived home last night from Ireland so I'm bursting to share all about it!! First and foremost I was able to meet dear friend Heather and her family. Then I was introduced to an amazingly beautiful country to which I can't wait to return!
Where to begin? I guess I'll start in 2009 when I was new to the Hero Arts Flickr group. Many people were so welcoming but I became good friends with Heather Maria. We bonded over cardmaking and baking; I think it was a recipe exchange on the group that started us Flickr mailing back and forth. Then in 2011 we became Hero Hostesses together (along with Sally, Anita and Sharon) and began hoping we'd meet someday.
Knowing me, that "someday" would've stayed just that, a future non-plan. But with Heather's help, the "someday" became "2014" and we had a firm plan with both Heather and I taking off a week of work. My idea was for me to stay at a little B&B near her town so we could run around together but Heather wouldn't hear of it. She invited me to stay with her and her family! We had never met in person until I arrived at Dublin airport on May 17th but immediately I felt so comfortable with the entire family, including sweet Toby the dog. The Irish are known for their hospitality (fáilteachais in Irish) and I got plenty of it at the Doran's home. Here are the two of us - I'll let Heather share the family photo if she wants.
After settling in - sorry, the crafty space had to make way for my suitcases - we Scrambled on the Hero Arts Flickr group with Barb G. as the hostess. Here's the card I made after traveling over 12 hrs:
Barb's theme was a one-layer with no embellies which was difficult! All the materials were from Heather's stash - I used a new Hero Arts clear set CL756 OWH Missing You and a branch from a woodblock set LP140 Just a Note Bird. I must've been tired as, even with a clear stamp, I managed to stamp my owl a bit above the branch. Oh well, I just filled the space in with a bit of green marker. It was fun to Scramble with Heather in the same room - I felt bad though because she had to find things for me instead of working on her own card. But we both managed to get done and have fun doing it!!
Next day, it was off to one of Heather's favorite places - Wicklow Mountains National Park with Glendalough, the gorgeous valley of two lakes. I didn't realize how rainy the weather in Ireland is. Well, it rained plenty on us at the park but we managed to walk all around the easy trails. There are many other more strenuous hikes in the park - Heather has been on many of them but I'm not much of an outdoor gal. I thought I was doing pretty well keeping up with Heather who's 10 years younger than I am!
Here's one of my favorite photos of this area, taken from a scenic overlook above:
Notice the yellow flowers which are Gorse - the bushes are very thorny and you see them all over, sometimes in long hedges bordering farm fields. We won't tell how I ended up being punctured by barbed wire - luckily it was pretty new wire and not too deep a cut on my finger. I had plenty of first aid stuff in my purse (must be the old Girl Scout training) so I cleaned it up right away.
Besides the beautiful scenery, there is a monastic city from the 6th century with a round tower, ruins of a church and abbey. Here's a photo taken as we walked toward the round tower; it blends in a bit with the trees behind it but hopefully you can spot it:
I will share more of my amazing week later. Right now, my body thinks it's 6 hrs later than MN time and I still have things to do to get ready for the week ahead. Thanks for stopping by!