Thursday Doors – Caisleán Bhun Raithe (Bunratty)

I made my first visit to Ireland in June of 1994. I flew from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to Shannon Airport where I met up with my parents and my older brother. We hired two cars at the airport, one for the parents and one for us “kids”. Our pre-planned scheduled itinerary consisted of: Day One – Visit Bunratty Castle and have dinner there, then stay overnight at a B&B where my parents made reservations before we left. Days 2 through 5 -Follow the sun. Days 6 & 7 – Stay at a B&B in Dublin then fly home.

Bunratty2
From left clockwise – My brother, Nik, my Dad, and my Mom invading Bunratty Castle, 1994

We drove to Bunratty Castle, County Clare for a tour & banquet….

Okay, so here is something I just discovered right now (or just remembered after 17 years)… see this sign?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

See the last paragraph where it mentions Admiral Giles Penn, and his son, William? THE William Penn who was founder of the American Colony, Pennsylvania? Well Giles Penn had a sister,  Hannah (William’s aunt). Hannah is my maternal great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandmother… A family connection to Bunratty!!!!

I have one other picture with any sort of door from this trip, and I believe I took it in the  Bunratty Castle Folk Park…

Limerick 1994

Thursday Doors is a weekly challenge for door-seeking souls (some of us sometimes steal door-thunder from the REAL Irish members of this grouping…) in search of group-inclusiveness. It is the blog-child of Norm 2.0. Want to see more doors from around the globe? Go to his site HERE and travel past all his wonderful door pics and click on the blue-rectangle-encased-frog…

Thursday Doors – Kilauea

The Mrs and I were married in September, 2006. For our honeymoon, we chose to travel someplace neither one of us had ever been before – Hawaii. My Thursday Door is from that trip. We were on the island of Kauai and visited the Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge.

Hawaii lighthouse
Long view cuz the lighthouse is just too cool!

hawaii kailauea 3

I assume if you are a woman/girl from Australia, you are allowed beyond the sign…

Thursday Doors is a weekly challenge for door-seeking souls (some of us perpetually on vacation…) in search of group-inclusiveness. It is the blog-child of Norm 2.0. Want to see more doors from around the globe? Go to his site HERE and travel past all his wonderful door pics (9 this week I believe) and click on the blue-rectangle-encased-frog…

 

ROUND??? Yes, really…!!!

It is ALL Tanja’s fault. Tanja blogs about her travels @ “the Red Phone Box Travels” .   In one of her posts, she asked if anyone would be interested in doing a Post Card Exchange. Like with REAL post cards. That require handwriting on and actually putting a real postage stamp on, and actually either putting them in a post box or dropping them off at a Post Office. I said I was interested immediately… I mean, how cool is that?  When I was a boy (as opposed to a chicken? or a goat? Oh wait, I would have been just a kid then….) Any way, as I was saying, when I was just a wee lad in grade school, I had a pen pal in South Korea. Then when I was in high school, I had a couple pen pals in Germany and Austria who I would write back and forth to in German, and they would write to me in English. So we could improve our foreign language skills. I loved having pen pals!

So to me, the post card pal is similar, except instead of working on improving language skills, I guess we are working on improving our world traveler skills!

I digressed…. So, I now have 4 Post Card Pals. 1 in the USA, 1 in Croatia, 1 in the UK, and 1 in New Zealand!!! And today I wrote them all my first post card, and headed out to the post office to purchase the appropriate postage and SEND THEM AROUND THE WORLD!!! 3 of my 4 required International postage of only $1.20. And it requires a SPECIAL stamp. and the SPECIAL stamp is…. like, WOW…. ROUND! A round stamp! I have never seen a round stamp! How can they even MAKE a round stamp? (okay, just kidding about that…) I commented to the Postal Dude, Dennis, about the uniqueness of the round stamp. He said, as far as he was aware, this was the first round US postage stamp… wow…

round stamp

OOOPS… Tanja, SPOILERS! I had wanted the round stamp to be as much a surprise for you as me…. Na schön.

So, what it comes down to, is if Tanja hadn’t started her Post Card Exchange, and if I hadn’t been so excited about it, and if I hadn’t followed through with my post card sending today, I probably would have never ever seen a round US postage stamp in my entire life. Glorious Serendipity!!!

Shoulda had a PB&J

Spring break, late 70’s. My college roommate, Brian, and I had planned to drive to New Orleans for spring break, provided my 1959 VW Bug would start. I had thrown a valve in cylinder #3 of the 1300cc horizontally opposed 4-cylinder motor one very cold night the previous December driving back to school after visiting my parents over Christmas break. I had spent the following 3 months rebuilding the motor in the basement of the house I was living in. On the night before Brian and I were targeted to leave for NOLA, I finished reinstalling the now rebuilt motor, got all the wires hooked up, but did not start the motor that night. Brian & I agreed that night if the motor started the following motor, we would go south. If the motor didn’t start, well, we would stay…

Early the next morning, we packed our stuff for the trip, sat in the Bug, and I turned the key. All 40 horses rumbled to life from the back of the Bug. Brian & I looked at each other, shook hands, and with $39 between us, and a couple loaves of bread and jars of peanut butter and grape jelly, we headed south on US 51.

We had one small issue with a disconnected oil line outside of Carbondale, Illinois, but the repair for that had to wait until daylight the following morning. We got back on the road by mid-morning that second day (after spending about 39¢ for oil) and made it into Memphis, Tennessee mid-to-late afternoon. We parked on the street across the road from Graceland, but when we saw the price of admission ($2 I believe), we decided we couldn’t afford it. We sat on the curb, and each ate a PB&J (peanut butter & jelly) to honor Elvis…

Brian 1978
Brian doing morning push-ups at a rest stop south of Memphis where we slept overnite in the Bug….

4 decades later, just this past week, The Mrs & I were on our way home from vacationing in Orange Beach, AL and New Orleans, LA. We spent the night in Memphis, TN, at a DaysInn hotel a half block from Graceland. We decided to take the basic tour for $40 a piece. Suffice it to say that between the very poor directional information on where to go to get to the new visitor center, and the crowds of people, and the limited number of seats on the limited number of transport buses which were inadequate for the numbers of people touring the mansion, a good time was NOT had by all. IMHO, we shoulda sat on the curb and had a PB&J…

Graceland ticket

 

 

Thursday Doors… NOLA

The Mrs & I just returned home yesterday evening after almost 2 weeks on holiday in coastal Alabama and Louisiana. We packed up the van with all sorts of travel and vacation stuff. Pretty much anything we imagined we could want, need, use. Well, everything except my FujiXP digital camera with full charged battery and totally empty 32GB memory card. I dutifully left it sitting next to my computer as we left the house. So, my Thursday Doors photos were taken with my old-dumb-flip fone “camera function”. I think the image quality is measured in Crayola-MessyBits…

All these photos were taken in the Garden District of New Orleans on Tuesday, March 14th. We walked just about 10 miles this days…whew…

NOLA glass doorwayNOLA round window door

NOLA moss steps
I confess I noticed the ivy growing on the steps before I noted the door…. (sorry Norm)

NOLA corncob house

This last doorway, as well as the attached house/mansion AND metal corncob fence, is for sale, FYI…

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Visit Norm 2.0 for more doors and details. When you get to Norm’s site, look for The Blue Frog rectangular box thingie and click-it.

 

Thursday Doors – Alabama

This week I am featuring the Oceanside face of a “beach house” in Orange Beach, Alabama. The Mrs &I saw this house on a morning run while vacationing, and I pointed it out to her, saying I was going to return with my iPad to photograph it. I would have used my digital camera, but it was safely back in Illinois where it would not get too hot!

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Visit Norm 2.0 (   https://miscellaneousmusingsofamiddleagedmind.wordpress.com/2017/03/09/thursday-doors-march-9-2017/)for more doors and details. When you get to Norm’s site, look for The Blue Frog.

 

 

Thursday Doors – Estero, Florida (& the Bathtub Messiah)

On December 29, 2014 at 7:13 am on a chilly midwestern morning, The Mrs & I pulled out of our driveway in our old mini-van, pulling our old pop-up Dutchmen Duck camper. We were headed south to the Fort Myers, Florida area for a few days of sunshine and inviting beaches. This was a rare opportunity for us, to leave town over New Years… In the past, one or the other of us would usually have a NY Eve commitment – I either had a band gig, or The Mrs was doing her one woman comedy show for First Night. But not this year!

We took a couple days to drive to Florida, and camped at the Koreshan State Historic Site in Estero, FL. We were 9 days in the warm sunshine of Florida! You can read about our escapades from the perspective of The Mrs starting HERE… I’m here to post a door picture. This is a picture of our little camper which we set up in the dark once we got to KSHS…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And here, note the four doors on just one side of the historic Koreshan Planetary Court building. We were camped just a short walk from the grouping of old historic buildings that comprise the Koreshan compound.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You can read more about the Koreshans and “The Bathtub Messiah”, starting with this interesting article.

And for some door pictures from the frozen Great White North, visit the website of the Door Sensei (先生) , Norm 2.0 … if you click on the blue frog towards the bottom of his posting, you will be magically transported to a page of portals to doors from AROUND THE WORLD!!!! WooHoo!!!