Little Citizens of the World

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Bonnie Scotland

We’ve spent a short time in Scotland recently and, with the exception of the car breaking down on the motorway, it was lovely!  We took the ferry across from Belfast to Cairnryan.  It was very quiet onboard with hardly any cars.  About 2 hours later, we headed up the coast to our house in Ardrossan.  Our rental was gorgeous with massive 10ft by 15ft windows that looked out over the beach and distant Scottish islands.


Ferry freight deck


One of the seating areas and shop enterance



The view from the sitting room on a rather blustery day


Just gorgeous


Saltcoats village


While we were in Glasgow, we heard one of Sky and Sparrows teammates from their Irish dance class on Cape Cod had made it to Worlds and was in Glasgow that moment!  So I got in touch with the teacher and 3 days later, we were on the 6:30am train to Glasgow to cheer on the girls friend at the 2018 Irish Dance World Championships!



Buchanan Street from the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall



Buchanan Street at 7am is beautifully silent



Of course we had to have lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe!

We had an amazing day out in the city and, although the girls friend didn’t make call backs, she had a fantastic time and it was an amazing experience for everyone.

Back in Ardrossan, we spent most of our remaining time at the beach and driving around locally , checking out Ardrossan Castle, which was practically in our back garden, and walking down to the docks to watch the ferry come in from the Isle of Aran.



Ardrossan Castle ruins


Reflections of sunset on Saltcoats


Goodnight Scotland

And so back to Cork we head, just in time for gorgeous spring weather.  We enjoyed our time in Scotland, and I hope to return there and see more of the country with the kids than just North Ayrshire.  Next time, I’d love to take them to Edinburgh and up into the Highlands a bit.  The viaduct from the Harry Potter films is pretty high on the list as well!


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March Madness

It’s been crazy around here lately!  We’re getting ready for our cruise back to Ireland, getting our house completely packed up so we can rent it, trying to get a rental in Ireland, and preparing for a feis (an Irish dance competition. pronounced – fesh).

I’m pretty OCD about everything, so I’ve been non stop for the last 3 months.  I’m exhausted!

There was a slight problem, when the cruise consultant noticed the girls passports would expire before the ship left.  I knew it was 2017, but that seemed so far away!  So I had to rush both applications because we were requesting special permission from customs to get off the ship in Ireland, rather than complete the cruise and disembark in another country.  We were approved, that was a huge relief.  The cruise terminal is directly across from the Cobh Heritage Center, and only about 20 minutes from Cork City, where we’ll be staying.  It would have been so stressful (and extremely expensive) if we had to disembark elsewhere and travel across other countries to get back to where we had been only days earlier!

As for our house, I had always planned on using it as a summer rental, fully furnished and ready to go.  After thinking about it and going over and over it, I decided it would be too much to monitor from outside the US.  Although I would have used a property manager, who’s to say things wouldn’t be missed or broken and then what do you do?  Especially when the turnover is weekly.  It was too much for me to think about.  So I’ve decided to rent out on a yearly basis, which will be less money, but a lot easier on my nerves.

Year round rentals are unfurnished, so I’ve been furiously trying to get everything packed back up.  We’ve been here less than a year, and  I can’t believe how much crap I have!  Where did it all come from?  I’ve purchased some industrial shelving for the basement, and lots of storage totes.  In fact, I placed an order for what I thought was a reasonable amount of totes back in January.  Then I placed another order for the same amount.  Then another!  Finally, I went to the store and bought 3 times what I had been ordering.  I think I’ll have enough smaller sized totes, but I’m probably going to need at least 5 or 6 more 50 gallon totes for bedding and towels.  We love pillows in our family, so yeah, we’re gonna need more totes!

We’ve just, in the last few days, not only been accepted for a rental house in Ireland, but it’s in the neighbourhood of my dreams!   I can’t tell you how difficult it is to find something in this area.  Openings are very, very rare.  When I was speaking with the letting agent, he mentioned he had spent summers on Martha’s Vineyard, and when he heard it was my home town, he said he wanted to help me out if he could.  Everyone had been so kind to him when he was there, he wanted to give back.  Serendipity.

Sky and Sparrow, who have been Irish dancing for a few years now, are dancing several times a week this month as we celebrate our Irishness with the insanity that is March Madness.  It’s like St. Patrick’s Day every weekend around here!  Lots of pubs, hotels, etc are having celebrations and what’s an Irish party without Irish dancers!

They also had their final American feis this month.  They did great, there were medals all around and I’m so proud of their hard work.  From now on, they’ll be feisin’ in Ireland!