Day #166 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…The Blarney Castle… fees…

We wandered through this cute chocolate store, but Tom didn’t buy anything.

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The photos in today’s post are from this date in 2014 when we visited the Blarney Castle in Blarney, Ireland during a port of call on a cruise at that time. Please click here for the link.

The Blarney Castle.

We’re hearing some news from some of our family members in Minnesota. The grandchildren are going to or have already gone back to school with many excellent protocols in place to ensure their safety from COVID-19. We pray for their safety. Three of our grandchildren are going to charter schools, while the others attend public schools, with fewer students in each classroom, which may aid in their safety from contracting the virus.

We entered caves on the property walking to the end requiring we turn around, going back the same way we entered.

In addition, our dear daughter-in-law Camille is slowly recovering from her recent cancer treatment and surgeries and is going back to work after Labor Day weekend. We pray for a safe transition for her with continuing health and well-being after a long and arduous battle with this dreadful disease. No doubt many of our readers’ lives have been touched not only by cancer and other diseases but also COVID-19 during these trying past almost eight months since the virus hit.

Alternate view of the Blarney Castle.

My younger sister is still suffering from the effects of COVID-19, after over two weeks since she was stricken. We stay in close touch by text every day, but of course, it’s hard not to worry. She hasn’t been hospitalized, although she’s been to the emergency room a few times due to the horrific symptoms. We can only hope and pray she recovers soon and can avoid the necessity of hospitalization. This has been a big blow since losing our dear sister Susan only a few weeks ago.

One would have to climb to the top of the castle, lay on their back, and hyper-extend their neck to kiss the Blarney Stone.  After the stories we heard, we decided to forgo this event.

As we review our photos from our port of call tours in Ireland in 2014, we’re reminded of how much we enjoyed Ireland again for the three months we spent in Connemara in August 2019. Tom particularly enjoyed Ireland based on his Irish ancestry, verified by DNA testing before we left to begin our travels, which indicated he is in fact 100% Irish.

Us, in front of the Blarney Castle.

Many of us show mixed variations in our DNA as I experienced when having the same tests in 2012. Of course, Tom has entered our histories in detail at for which he pays an annual fee of US $389, INR 28,493, per year. However, with the time he spends almost daily on continuing to research both his and my ancestry, and his level of enjoyment, it’s a fee well-spent.

Tom had visited the Blarney Castle on two separate trips to Ireland. He was excited to visit the woolen mills store to see the Irish sweaters, one of which he’d purchased years ago. He didn’t bring it with him in his suitcase.

Not everyone is interested in their ancestry, like me, so I spent no time at all on the site. However, he shares tidbits he discovers along the way on both his and my ancestors, which certainly piques my interest from time to time.

This wool sweater is similar to Tom’s old Irish sweater. I always told him he looked like an old man wearing this. Now it was priced at US $189, EU $139.  He paid approximately US $49, EU $36 back in the late 1980’s.

While in Cobh, the port of call in Ireland, we toured with a group of three other couples, in our age group with whom we had an excellent time. The conversations were lively, filled with humor and whimsy, especially considering our surroundings when we had lunch and beer in a traditional Irish pub as shown in today’s photos.

Here are the boys!
Here are the girls!

The day’s experiences were a plethora of many traditional Irish landmarks and events, particularly highlighted at the end, when we re-boarded the ships and the Irish ladies were dressed in garb similar to that on the Titanic. As it turned out, the last port of call the Titanic made in its fateful journey was the quaint village of Cobh. We felt fortunate to see considerable commemorations throughout the village, of the historic sinking of the doomed ship.

Tom’s peculiar lunch was called “tacos.” Actually, it was ground meat and melted cheese atop a bed of fries. He said it was good. I cringed.

We didn’t “kiss the Blarney stone” as is a typical activity for many tourists, especially when we’d heard that teenagers would go up the steps to the stone and pee on it as a joke. Hum, that turned us off! Tom had kissed the stone on two past visits to Ireland before he knew me, but at that time social media wasn’t available and he had no idea about this awful prank.

Tom’s Irish beer.

It’s fun to look back at the photos from those special days. I often wonder when and if we’ll ever be able to go sightseeing as we had back then. Time will tell.

The ladies of Cobh dress in clothing typical of the days of the Titanic.

Be well.


Photo from one year ago today, September 5, 2019:

Our holiday home is located in this colorful grouping in the center of this photo of attached yet individual homes. We captured this shot from across the harbor. For more photos, please click here.







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