Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ireland 2015

We had visited Ireland in 2007 and now with a new Toohig we thought we needed to go back. We wanted to revisit some places and see some new places.

We flew into Dublin and rented a VolksWagon Caddy.

And we filled it up.

We lunched at Wineport as we drove across Ireland to The Lodge at Ashford Castle.

We explored Ashford Castle and the nearby Cong village.

We stopped at Ennis Friary as we drove to Blarney Castle.

Our next overnight destination was Galley Head Lighthouse just outside Clonakilty.

We took a break on Red Strand Beach.

We stopped at Drombeg Stone Circle on the way to Dingle.

We drove Slea Head Drive and then crossed Conor Pass and stopped at Cloghane on the way to Shores Country House.

We got lost on Castlegregory and discovered Obama's ancestral home at Moneygall.

Our last night was in Dublin's Temple Bar.

Don't think we've made our last trip to Ireland.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Independence Hall, Philadelphia, PA

This is where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted. The lowest chamber of the original wooden steeple was the first home of the Liberty Bell. When that steeple was removed in the 1780s the bell was lowered into the highest chamber of the brick tower, where it remained until the 1850s.

Their web site is here and their wikipedia page is here.

View Larger Map

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Liberty Bell, Philadelphia, PA

The Liberty Bell was initially placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House (now renamed Independence Hall) in 1752. Bells were rung to mark the reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776, and while there is no contemporary account of the Liberty Bell ringing, most historians believe it was one of the bells rung. It acquired its distinctive large crack sometime in the early 19th century - a widespread story claims it cracked while ringing after the death of Chief Justice John Marshall in 1835.

When I visited Philadelphia in the 1980s the Liberty Bell was in an open plaza. Now it is housed in Liberty Bell Center and you can actually get much closer to it now.

Their web site is here and their wikipedia page is here.

View Larger Map

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ben Franklin's Grave, Philadelphia, PA

Ben Franklin's Grave is in Christ Church Burial Ground. This is one of America’s most interesting Colonial and Revolution-era graveyards, with 1,400 markers on two acres right in the heart of Philadelphia. In 1719, Christ Church purchased two acres of land on the outskirts of town at the corner of 5th and Arch Streets.

When Benjamin Franklin died in 1790, he was buried in his family plot in the north west corner of the burial ground along with his wife Deborah and their two children Francis and Sarah. In 1858, Franklin's descendants requested that an opening be placed in the brick wall so the public could see Franklin's grave day or night, and a metal fence was installed. After the opening in the wall it was much easier for Franklin's many fans to show their respect and remembrance of him by tossing a penny onto his grave. "A penny saved is a penny earned."

Their web site is here and their wikipedia page is here.

View Larger Map

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Betsy Ross' House, Philadelphia, PA

This is where Betsy Ross purportedly lived when legend says she made the first American Flag. Although the house is one of the most visited tourist sites in Philadelphia, the claim that Ross once lived there, and that she designed and sewed the first American flag are considered apocryphal. Regardless of the provenance of this site it is worth visiting.

Their web site is here and their wikipedia page is here.

View Larger Map

PS. There's a fringe benefit to visiting Betsy Ross' House. The Real World Philadelphia was filmed next door.