Maurice and I are doing a home exchange in Ireland. I was here many years ago and Maurice has never been so we are excited to be here. We are disappointed in our house here. Not only is it very isolated adding a good thrifty minutes to any trip, it is a very plain place with just the basic furniture and very little decoration. There is a TV but no reception to the English stations I was looking forward to and, worst of all, NO wifi! We were told we could get wifi at nearby bars and restaurants which we had to do. Very little reception for our phone either. See, these are the things you should research before you go to a place. Live and learn-but, hey, we are in Ireland so there is a silver lining.

We drove around the Ring of Kerry of course. It was lovely. This is a photo of the Tora waterfall found along the way.

Pretty views of lakes there.

On another peninsula we visited the village of Dingle full of shops like this.

Sheep with lambs were often seen.

Stunning cliffs, this one off Brandon Point where I almost got blown off my feet.

I ended my time in the States in Dallas where my oldest son and daughter and their families live. It’s always amazing to see how much children have grown.

My daughter in law had these cactus in a pot that bloomed beautifully while I was there.

We went to a Tex Mex place for dinner one night at Chuy’s, first founded in Austin. They had a help yourself to chips and salsa place set up in the trunk of a car type display. The whole place is funky and fun with one room having hubcaps all over the ceiling.

I saw a grandson play baseball which was a lot of fun.

For a Mother’s Day treat I had my first every pedicure. Just not something I’ve ever done which, I guess, tells you a lot about me. Same with manicures and massages, although I have to say, my first massage made me wonder what I had waited for. By the way, look up Tippi Hedren and see how see started the whole movement of Vietnamese women coming to the States and doing manicures. Who knew?

I had lunch with my grandson at his school, St Marks which, as you can see, has a great campus. You can tell what sort of school it is when my grandson and his friend sat down and said, “We had so much fun in math!” Not something you hear kids say everyday.

Terminal 4 at the DFW airport where I spent a few hours due to a huge thunderstorm that cancelled many flights. I finally made it home though.

While I was in Arizona, I took a weekend to visit an old friend in Los Angeles. We always have a lot of fun together.

She introduced me to the Cosmopolitan cocktail when they first appeared. Very good and pretty potent. Pretty to look at too.

Here she is looking like a movie star in a lovely hotel in Santa Monica.

We had mimosas with lunch one day at a place overlooking the water.

There was shopping on the famous Abbott Kinney in Venice.

We came out of a restaurant one evening to this sunset.

I tried this drink called a Moscow Mule which is always served in a copper cup. My friend stuck to her Cosmo.

Then I was on yet another plane headed back to Arizona, my liver wondering what had happened.

After Austin, I headed to Arizona to see my Mom. I am not a fan of the desert as I find it bleak but there are flashes of beauty, especially in Spring.

A few of the cacti were blooming.

The palo verde were spectacular.

These tall palm trees always amaze me.

Let me try this one more time. I have been trying to write a post on my IPhone and just found out that it doesn’t downsize my photos so I have had enormous photos on my postings so I am going to try again.
I have been in the States seeing friends and family. I first went to Austin, Texas to see my son and his family.

The blue bonnets were in bloom.

Mexican food is available everywhere.

I walked around the university of Texas one day too.

Ah, the Palais Royal. One of my favourite places. They finally took down the awful wooden structure that was there for about two years and you can see it in all of its glory.

Right before you enter.

See! The view isn’t obstructed.

I was there before the tulip trees dropped all of their flowers. There had been rain and wind the night before and they weren’t looking their best.

The fountain there.

You can see the petals on the ground and the benches for sitting and just taking it all in. I have a friend whose son proposed to his girlfriend here. The marriage didn’t last but the romance of the place does.

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