May 28, 2014

Let's go on a vintage honeymoon to Ireland

Dia dhóibh and top of the morning to you! For this, the third in our exciting four part series of vintage honeymoon destination posts this spring (the first two saw us jetting off to Italy and Hawaii, respectively), we're winding our way back to Europe, for a romantic post-nuptial getaway to none other than the verdant island nation of Ireland.

{As rich in the spirit of romance as it in annual raindrops, Ireland has been seen as a dreamy, beautiful travel destination for ages and continues to make for an ideal honeymoon location. Image source.}

Unlike the other locales that have had the spotlight shone on them here so far, Ireland is not only a country I've visited, but where I actually lived for nearly two years of my life between 2004 and 2006 at the beginning of mine and Tony's life together. My beloved and I met online in early 2004. He was living and working in Dublin, Ireland (having left his homeland of Italy to do so just a few months prior) and I was here in the very same Canadian town we now live together, Penticton, British Columbia. It was, as I like to say, love at first email and before I knew it, I was on a plane to go spend two months with Tony in Ireland.

During that time, he proposed to me in the most endearingly romantic setting one could ever imagine, an Irish castle (Clontarf Castle to be exact), and though I had to return to Canada after that two month stay was up, a mere two and a half months down the line, Tony flew to Canada and we were wed in a very small civil ceremony in front of just a handful of relatives that was held at my mom and step-dad's house.

As, at the time, it was more feasible from an immigration standpoint for me to return to Ireland with Tony and for us to begin our wonderful life as man and wife in Canada, that's precisely what we did about a week after we tied the knot. As I mentioned in first post in this series (about Italy), we did not take an actual honeymoon as the trip to Ireland and the expenses of the wedding on two young kids (I was barely twenty at the time, Tony was twenty-four) was all our budget could allot at the time.

In a way however, looking back now more than eight years after I last left Ireland's shores in 2006, one could - if they wanted to be quite optimistic about it - see our time in Ireland as an extended honeymoon unto itself.

It was not by coincidence that I meet Tony while he was living in Ireland, I had always madly adored this country, as I saw it portrayed though movies, TV shows, books and oral accounts from those who had spent time in the Emerald Isle. I had studied its painfully troubled history, rich culture, scrumptious cuisine and powerful heritage since I was a little girl and prior to doing so, listed visiting or living in Ireland as one of my top life goals. As such, I was involved with a few different social sites that were based out of Ireland, and it was through one of them that I first met my future husband.

Ultimately, once I actually lived there for a while, Ireland proved to be (as so many places are) markedly different than I'd envision and dreamed it would be. I often say that Ireland and I were oil and water, no matter how much I wanted us both to be harmonious Irish spring water in unison. Our time there was laden with ups and downs (so many downs), and not a bed of roses (or would that be clover), by any stretch of the imagination. Still, when I look back on it, I try to focus on the positive points, the elements I loved, and the lessons I learned from living abroad as newly married woman.

{Our time in Ireland was split between two locations: the thriving capitol city of Dublin and the small town of Clonakilty in Country Cork, where we lived before Tony received a terrific chance job offer from a Canadian company set us on the path back to my homeland, and ultimately several years later at long last in 2012, to Tony becoming a full fledged Canadian citizen. Image source.}

Ireland may not turned out to be as I'd envisioned, but it was still beguiling in many ways, incredibly fascinating from a historical standpoint, a beautiful country to call home for a couple of years. Tony and I both feel the same way about our time there, which ultimately, we view as special and very meaningful, as it was where we began our life together.

In honour of that fact, and that Ireland came as close to being a honeymoon as we had, as well as that it is a tremendously romantic country thanks to its plethora of pastoral lands, gently swooping hills, mysterious bays, foggy moors, spirited Celtic music (and culture in general), delicious cuisine (some of the best restaurants I've ever eaten at were on Irish soil), and siren song call to many others just as it once had to me, I felt that it would make for a perfect third edition in our vintage honeymoon series.

Ireland is a country with a powerfully rich history, though it has not, by any stretch of the imagination, always been an easy one. The earliest known settlers to have found their way to this relatively small island country did so around 8000 BC and it has most likely been populated ever since. From the Vikings to the Romans to early English (aka, the Normans), many people have tried to invade and conquer Ireland over the years with varying degrees of success. All however, left their mark on the culture, traditions, language and history of this nation and vestigial elements of these influential invaders remain throughout Ireland and Irish society to this day.

Invasion wasn't the only hardship in Ireland's past, and undoubtedly one the most famous and profoundly devastating tragedies to ever occur within in its borders was The Great Famine of 1845-52, which came about when a horrible potato blight destroyed countless crops across the country, effectively wiping out the staple food of the poorer members of the population (who made up the bulk of Ireland's population at the time) and causing widespread famine, illness, death, and mass immigration to the UK, America, Canada, and other parts of the world. In fact, when the dust and countless tears of sorrow had finally settled, Ireland had lost a quarter of its entire (pre-famine) population of eight million souls.

{The Great Famine had incredibly far reaching and heartbreakingly horrific effects on the Irish population, including a mass exodus of immigrants who left the country, never to return again. Today many of these families' and individuals' descendants can can be found in countries around the world. Image source.}

For centuries Ireland had been controlled by Great Britain (in a relationship that was typically anything but loving, to put it mildly), however at the dawn of the twentieth century steps began to be taken to ensure Ireland would gain the right to become a self-governing nation. However, this plight was not without hardship and great struggle in the form of civil war and immense political unrest which would ultimately lead to the division of Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland, typically known simply as Ireland or the ROI in the south (this post focuses on the ROI, as that's where I lived and can speak about from a firsthand perspective), which makes up about five-sixths of the total landmass of the island of Ireland.

After a few more decades of politic upheaval and much negotiating, the Irish Free State became a Republic unto itself in 1949 and in doing so finally severed its last remaining ties to the British monarchy. Interestingly while Ireland itself was neutral during WW2, in part because such connections still existed during the war years, many Irish men signed up for military duty and fought with the Allied forces.

In the years since Ireland became a republic, it has joined the UN (in 1955) and the European Economic Community (now known as the European Union) in 1973. In recent decades, Ireland's economy has shifted dramatically from one centered around agriculture to one of commerce and technology, resulting in a great influx of wealth, higher wages, new industrialization, an increase in immigration from other countries. It has even become the world's largest exporter of computer software, all of which contributes to an economy that has been dubbed the Celtic Tiger during its heyday.

Though, like many European nations, Ireland has been hit hard with economic troubles in recent years in no small part thanks to the global recession and unemployment rates have skyrocketed, there are glimmers of hope that things may slowly be on the upturn. While a second Celtic Tiger economy may not appear anytime soon, one cannot sense that Ireland will, as it has for so many centuries, pull through this troubled time and continue to stand strong for countless more years to come.

Travelers planning a visit to Ireland will be delighted to know that it in 2011 and 2013 respectively, Ireland ranked as the seventh most developed country in the world by the United Nations' Human Development Index. It is generally a very safe country, with good health care, a great national railway system called Iarnród Éireann or Irish Rail (which was one of my favourite elements of the country actually, especially since I've always longed for Canada to have an affordable national railway system of the type that are common in so many European nations), and three main international airports (one each located in Dublin, Shannon and Cork).

Measuring 170s miles (275 kilometers) at its widest point and 301 miles (486 kilometers) at its longest point, Ireland is not a particularly large country, but it's smaller size simply ads to its charm and reminds visitors that it is, in fact, an island resting in the North Atlantic ocean. By the same token, don't let the fact that it's not nearly as big as say, America, India, or Australia, lead you to believe that there isn't much to do while in Ireland, because nothing could be further from the truth.

An incredible array of historical sites, numerous big cities, a myriad of smaller towns and villages, many annual events, excellent museums and galleries, a marvelously rich cultural heritage, world class golf courses, restaurants and hotels; a great social life (often centered around local pubs), plenty of fantastic music, a thriving art scene, as well as being the birthplace of some of the world's most reviewed literary figures all contribute greatly to abundance of things to do and places to go while on holiday in Ireland.

Though I didn't get to do each of the following ten exciting things myself while I was in Ireland, they're all ones I would have enjoyed greatly and would happily sign up for if I found myself there again one day. Wherever you go throughout the country, especially if you're visiting during any time of the year other than the summer, remember that Ireland isn't notorious for being rainy and damp for good reason. I speak from experience when I say that it does indeed get it's fare share of wet weather, so remember to pack along an umbrella and/or raingear with you as you embark on your romantic Irish honeymoon.

Let your inner gourmand run wild on an 8-day Clodagh's Irish Food Trails Tour

Attend one of the various antiques and/or vintage fairs held throughout the year in Dublin

(See Vintage Ireland and Collect Ireland for more info)


Play few rounds of golf at the Lahinch course in Country Cork

(Which was founded in 1892 and is ranked as one of the top 50 golf courses in the world)

Attend the annual Galway Arts Festival

Spend at least a day in Dublin's lively city centre - and while there, be sure to visit Trinity College

Take a seaside holiday at the Atlantic ocean

(Here's a list of good spots to do this)

Kiss the iconic Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle

Take a scenic walk or drive along The Ring of Kerry

Indulge in a pint or two of Guinness at nearly any pub around the country

{To learn more about a specific image, please click on it to be taken to its respective source.}

Over all, Ireland does not usually get either extremely warm or terribly cold (by Canadian standards), and no matter the season, there is always a decent chance of rain. I found when I moved there, that I ended up wearing at least a couple light layers nearly the whole year round, and that I rarely needed to worry about being too warm or too cold as long as I dressed for the season. Though that said, due to the generally damp atmosphere, it is possibly to feel quite chilly, especially from November to March, so you'll want to pack a coat or jacket with you no matter when you go.

If you're headed off to Ireland in the spring for your honeymoon, depending on which part(s) of the country you'll be visiting, you'll likely encounter temperate in the range of 12-20 degrees Celsius, which are well suited to a variety of wardrobe choices.

Denim, mid-length skirts, button front shirts, long sleeved blouses, cotton day dresses, blazers, cardigans, tights and stockings, and an assortment of closed and open toed shoes, as well as plenty of umbrellas, hats, headscarves, and gloves were all staples of my daily wardrobe when I lived there and are the kinds of things I'd recommend packing for your fun filled Irish getaway.

{Keep the powerful winds that sometimes blow up off the Atlantic ocean from tousling your locks too harshly with the help of a cozy, classic vintage fur hat featuring a velvet bow and feather hatband. Hat has an inner circumference of 22". $58.00 from etsy seller Ginny and Harriot.}

{Endlessly classic, easy to style for day or night, and pretty enough to be a conversation starter, these wonderful 1940s screw back earrings featuring amber hued marquise cut glass stones set in gold toned metal and just as lovely as can be. $18.00 from etsy seller Maejean Vintage.}

{Keep the sheen that can easily build up while staying busy during a trip at bay with a fabulously vintage looking container of Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder. $8.21 for 2.3oz/65g, from Amazon.}

{Lightweight and airy, ensuring it will take up next to no room in your suitcase, while also being an ideal layering piece, this elegant mustard yellow 1940s rayon blouse is the kind of top you'll definitely want to take along on your Irish travels. Fits up to a 46" bust/waist size not stated. $49.00 from etsy seller Mom and Pop Culture Shop.}

{Unquestionably one of the most iconic of Irish fabrics, tweed has been a mainstay in the wardrobes of countless locals throughout the country for many generations now. Stay warm, look smart as a whip, and pay homage to that fact with a beautiful vintage skirt suit like this cinnamon brown hued 1940s stunner. Jacket fits up to a 36" bust, skirt waist fits up to a 26/27". $135.00 from etsy seller Luna Market}

{When packing for a trip to Ireland, make sure to include at least one brolly, such as this charming floral print vintage umbrella, in your suitcase right off the bat. You will, I promise you, use it often in all likelihood. $31.50 from etsy seller Root Seller Sisters.}

{Add a splash of extra glamour to your travel ensembles with a charming vintage rabbit fur collar like this stunner from the 1950s (which measures 34" long x 6" wide). On sale at the time of writing for $40.00 from etsy seller Sassy Sister Vintage.}

{Revive the use of a classic piece of luggage by carrying a great vintage train case such as this lovely patina green-blue 1940s number with you on your Irish honeymoon. $50.00 from etsy seller Touching The Past.}

{Let spring showers and hefty Irish puddles do their worst, your beautiful shoes will stay safe and dry when nestled inside a pair of vintage galoshes (aka, overshoes) like these. Fits an approximate modern size 9/9.5 B width woman's foot. $28.00 from etsy seller Down In The Basement.}

For centuries Ireland has, and continues to, produce a wealth of world renowned, incredibly gifted authors, poets and playwrights, including, but in no way limited to, Jonathan Swift, Maria Edgeworth, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats, Seán O'Casey, C.S. Lewis, James Joyce, and Samuel Beckett, all of whose writing is well worth immersing yourself in before, during, and after a trip to Ireland.

If you're in the mood to learn more about the history, culture, cuisine, and geography of Ireland, instead of or in addition to brushing up on the classics, then the following extensive list will be of wonderful service to you there, as you embark on your splendid honeymoon to the romantic Emerald Isles.

-A concise history of Ireland by P.W. Joyce

-A History of Ireland in 250 Episodes by Jonathan Bardon

-A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland (Second Edition) by Brian Mitchell

-A Traveller's History of Ireland by Peter Neville

-An Anthology of Modern Irish Poetry by Wes Davis

-An Irish Literature Reader: Poetry, Prose, Drama by by Maureen O'Rourke Murphy and James MacKillop

-Art in Ireland since 1910 by Fionna Barber

-Back Roads Ireland by DK Publishing

-Best of Irish Soups by Eileen O'Driscoll

-Celtic Folklore Cooking by Joanne Asala

-Celtic Knotwork Designs by Sheila Sturrock

-Celtic Quilts: A New Look for Ancient Designs by Beth Ann Williams

-Clodagh's Kitchen Diaries: Delicious Recipes Throughout the Year by Clodagh McKenna

-Compendium of Celtic Crafts by Judy Balchin et al

-Constance: The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs. Oscar Wild by Franny Moyle

-Cork and Southwest Ireland (Step by Step) by Insight Guides

-DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Dublin by DK Publishing and Christina Park

-DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Ireland by DK Publishing

-Draw Your Own Celtic Designs by David James

-Field Guide to the Irish Music Session by Barry Fox

-Flavors of Ireland : Celebrating Grand Places & Glorious Food by Margaret M. Johnson

-For the Love of Ireland: A Literary Companion for Readers and Traveler by Susan Cahill

-Fodor's Ireland 2013 by Fodor's

-Frommer's Ireland Day by Day by Christi Daugherty and Jack Jewers

-Frommer's 25 Great Drives in Ireland by Penny Phenix

-Great Book of Celtic Patterns: The Ultimate Design Sourcebook for Artists and Crafters by Lora S. Irish

-Guinness: Celebrating 250 Remarkable Years by Paul Hartley

-I Never Knew that About Ireland by Christopher Winn

-In Search of Ancient Ireland: The Origins of the Irish from Neolithic Times to the Coming of the English by Carmel McCaffrey and Leo Eaton

-Ireland: A History by Thomas Bartlett

-Ireland: A Photographic Tour by Carol Highsmith by Ted Landphair

-Ireland (Insight Guides) by Hilary Weston and Hilary Staddon

-Ireland: In Word and Image by Jay Ben Adlersberg

-Ireland Unhinged: Encounters With a Wildly Changing Country by David Monagan

-Ireland's Art, Ireland's History: Representing Ireland, 1845 to Present by Síghle Bhreathnach-Lynch

-Irish Art and Architecture from Pre-history to the Present by Peter Harbison et al

-Irish Art Masterpieces Catherine Marshall

-Irish Crochet: Technique and Projects by Priscilla Publishing Co.

-Irish-English/English-Irish Easy Reference Dictionary by The Educational Company of Ireland

-Irish Poems by Matthew McGuire

-Irish Puddings, Tarts, Crumbles, and Fools: 80 Glorious Desserts by Margaret Johnson

-Irish Traditional Cooking: Over 300 Recipes from Ireland's Heritage by Darina Allen

-Irish Writing: An Anthology of Irish Literature in English 1789-1939 by Stephan Regan

-James Joyce: A New Biography by Gordon Bowker

-Last Night's Fun: A Book About Irish Traditional Music by Ciaran Carson

-Lonely Planet Dublin by Fionn Davenport

-Lonely Planet Ireland's Best Trips by Fionn Davenport et al

-Malachy McCourt's History of Ireland by Malachy McCourt

-McCarthy's Bar: A Journey of Discovery In Ireland by Pete McCarthy

-Modern and Contemporary Irish Drama (Second Edition) by John P. Harrington

-Modern Ireland: 1600-1972 by R.F. Foster

-News From A New Republic: Ireland in the 1950s by Tom Garvin

-1916: The Easter Rising by Tim Pat Coogan

-Oscar Wilde's Wit and Wisdom: A Book of Quotations by Oscar Wilde

-Paddy's Lament, Ireland 1846-1847: Prelude to Hatred by Thomas Gallagher

-101 Things You Didn't Know About Irish History: The People, Places, Culture, and Tradition of the Emerald Isle by Ryan Hackney, Amy Hackney Blackwell, and Garland Kimmer (Author)

-1,000 Years of Irish Poetry by Kathleen Hoagland

-Over Nine Waves: A Book of Irish Legends by Marie Heaney

-Rachel's Irish Family Food: 120 classic recipes from my home to yours by Rachel Allen

-Real Irish Food: 150 Classic Recipes from the Old Country by David Bowers

-Researching Your Irish Ancestors at Home and Abroad by David R. Elliott

-Rick Steves' Ireland 2014 by Rick Steves and Pat O'Connor

-Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks

-Southwest Ireland (fifth edition) by Catharina Day

-Spectacular Ireland by Peter Harbison

-Sport and the Irish: Histories, Identities, Issues by Alan Bairner

-The Best Irish Drinks by Ray Foley

-The Best Of Irish Breads & Baking by Georgina Campbell

-The Big Book of Irish Songs by Hal Leonard Corp.

-The Big Little Book of Irish Wit & Wisdom by Mary Dowling Daley et al

-The Complete Guide to Irish Dance by Frank Whelan

-The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook by Parragon Books and Love Food Editors

-The Country Cooking of Ireland by Colman Andrews

-The Course of Irish History by T. W. Moody et al

-The Everything Travel Guide to Ireland by Thomas Hollowell and Katie Kelly Bell

-The Goodness of Guinness: A Loving History of the Brewery, Its People, and the City of Dublin by Tony Corcoran

-The Graves Are Walking: The Great Famine and the Saga of the Irish People by John Kelly

-The Ireland Rugby Miscellany by Ciaran Cronin

-The Irish Americans: A History by J.P. Dolan

-The Irish Pub by Turtle Bunbury and James Fennell

-The Irish Pub Cookbook by Margaret M. Johnson

-The Lost Decade: Ireland in the 1950s by Dermot Keogh

-The Parting Glass : A Toast to the Traditional Pubs of Ireland by Eric Roth

-The Most Beautiful Villages of Ireland by Christopher Fitz-Simon

-The 1950s: Ireland in Pictures by Lensman Photographic Archive

-The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories by William Trevor

-The Story of Ireland: A History of the Irish People by Neil Hegarty

-The Story of Irish Dance by Helen Brennan

-The Very Best of Traditional Irish Cooking: Authentic Irish recipes made simple by Georgina Campbell and Biddy White Lennon

-The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women's Poetry by Peggy O'Brien

-Top 10 Dublin by DK Publishing

-Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide (Fourth Edition) by John Grenham

-Tracing Your Irish & British Roots by W. Daniel Quillen

-Tracing Your Irish Family History by Anthony Adolph

-Vanishing Ireland: Friendship and Community by Turtle Bunbury and James Fennell

-Vanishing Ireland: Further Chronicles of a Disappearing World by Turtle Bunbury and James Fennell

-Vanishing Ireland: Recollections of Our Changing Times by Turtle Bunbury and James Fennell

-Walking Dublin by Pat Liddy

-Waterford Crystal Irish Brilliance by Sharma Krauskopf

-Wise Irish Women by Patricia Connorton Kagerer

{Without a doubt one of the most engaging, witty, brilliant, and insightful minds to ever live, Oscar Wilde, a native son of Ireland, is as quotable as the day is long and rarely is a situation devoid of a passage from his writing that fits it perfectly. I cannot help but think that this particular quotes both eloquently and beautifully applies to all those who may be traveling to Ireland - or anywhere in the world. Limited edition original 8" x 10" art print featuring a quote from the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, $40.00 from etsy seller Three Summer Days.}

I think back to my days in Ireland relatively often. It was, to date, the first and only country other than Canada that I got the opportunity to call home for an extended period. I came to it at a burgeoning time in my adult life, when so many things (including my health, which had taken a drastic nose dive just a couple of years prior) in my world felt incredibly uncertain. Though it bore certain similarities to my homeland, it was - if not quite literally, at least figuratively - a million miles away from the world I'd grown up in and at the time at least, I never felt as though Ireland accepted me as one of its own or had any desire to.

That said however, in that quelling way in which time seems to pacify and smooth rough memories, I think that Ireland is a brilliant, beautiful, industrious, charismatic, high spirited, intelligent, and intriguing country which any traveler would be fortunate to add a stamp to their passport from. If life so dictated I live there again, I could, and I honestly believe that we would spark a new and far better relationship that one we shared all those years ago.

Don't let Ireland's often damp weather fool you. It pulsates with a fiery warmth, incredible culture, breathtaking scenery from shore to shore, and no shortage of fascinating characters past and present, as well as a multitude of engaging places to visit, sights to behold, stores to shop at, restaurants at which to tuck into a scrumptious meal, and many a great sporting match to watch.

{As this vintage travel poster proclaims, Ireland really is a land shrouded in legend, as well as history, beauty, fun, charm, and perhaps even just a wee of magic. It is too special a place to be forgotten once you've set foot on its rich soil, and that, after all, is precisely what one wants in their honeymoon destination. Image source.}

Honeymooners will feel its charms and wit, marvel with wide-eyed wonder at its resplendent scenery and, with a bit of that famous Irish luck, leave with more amazing memories than you could ever pack into a million suitcases.

And should you be curious, though we've not been back yet since we left in 2006, Tony and I both agree that one day we'd very much like to return as tourists to the Emerald Isle, walk old haunts, kiss passionately at Clontarf Castle like we did the night we got engaged, and experience a wealth of the things that various circumstances prevented us from doing when we called Ireland home.

Next month, in our final installment in this fun filled post series, we'll be heading off to a destination that is amongst the most famous in all the world when it comes to honeymooning. Hint, hint, it's one that's closer to home for me than any other we've covered so far and that you're bound to fall head-over-heels in love with!

*PS* Dia dhóibh is the plural form of saying hello in Gaelic Irish.


  1. We took a family vacation to Ireland in August 2010 and I adored it there. I'm part Irish myself, and it was so lovely to finally be in a place where I "recognized" myself. My mom's side of the family is Dutch, and I could never see myself in their tall willowy blond selves. But oh, Ireland. There I was. People mistook me for a native constantly, and the Irish accent I cultivated while working at a specialty Irish gift shop in the States came roaring back. It was so lovely. I would be quite happy in a cottage in Kilkenny, or Kildare, or the western coast (which we did not get to see, but I'm told is fabulous).

  2. What an incredibly fabulous and super well researched post!!! I love Ireleland and I particularly love the idea of a vintage voyage there. We also think alike today I did a virtual Hawaiian vacation on my blog

    retro rover

  3. This is somewhere I have never visited, even though it is right on our doorstep. I am sure we will get there eventually, it looks wonderful.
    Lovely pictures to accompany this post. I really like the one of the two young ladies in the gallery.

  4. WHAT could I possibly say to this absolutely complete post? 'Cause, there's nothing missing! Not even the Luck of the Leprechaun. :)
    I can only give you a verce or two from a poem that matches your amazing post:
    'I am of Ireland,
    And the Holy Land of Ireland,
    And time runs on,' cried she.
    'Come out of charity,
    Come dance with me in Ireland.'
    from "I am of Ireland" by William Butler Yeats


  5. I was just in Ireland last year (visited Dublin and Cork), and I was so in love with the place by the time I left. I don't know how you made it back to Canada! It really is a beautiful country, and I would love to go back there sometime in the near future, perhaps even for a honeymoon, as you suggest.

  6. Loved this post. Ireland is very dear to my heart~

    1. How wonderful, Susan. I'm delighted to know that this (admittedly rather lengthy) post struck a personal chord with you.

      Many thanks for your lovely comment,
      ♥ Jessica

  7. Hurrah for Ireland, my second (or first?) ancestral home! One must carry a pocketbook of Yeats poetry when travelling in the Irish countryside - he is an absolute favourite of mine, and the Irish countryside makes so much sense with him, and vice versa. And, oh, my parents offered to buy a Donegal tweed suit for my 30th birthday when I was there last year but none of the skirts were cut for my figure, and the jackets weren't quite right either. I was so disappointed that there were no traditional cuts - just these silly modern things that pretend girls have no hips and waist! Well, maybe for my 40th I will get some tweed and have a suit tailormade!

    Looking forward to seeing where the fourth and final honeymoon will be... I'm guessing somewhere exotic like India or the far East? Or Morocco or Istanbul? We've not had anywhere along those lines yet. Maybe, maybe? I'm sure it will be fun, whatever it is!

  8. Ireland is one of my dream places to visit. You've done a wonderful job in telling about it. I especially love the travel poster. The Ireland Beach is my fave. I want to be her! Look at how thin the women is in the black and white picture. 1940s? WOW!

    I am working on a sequel to my vintage (fiction) novel and my character goes swing dancing in Ireland and kisses the blarney stone! I hope I can do it in real life some day! Thanks for taking me there :)

    ~ Tam Francis ~

  9. I have a chronic love affair with Ireland and the Irish people (kind, friendly, easygoing, helpful). My last holidays on my own were spent in Dublin, County Wicklow and Kilkenny. I was so sad I had to come back to Portugal. I can't wait to go back there, really. In fact, I'd gladly move for good. It felt like home, you know?

  10. The love you have for Ireland is very touching - I'm glad it was such a special place to you! Just to note for anyone else reading this (I see it's resonated with a few people) - Dia dhóibh can also be spelled as Dia daoibh, and literally translates as 'God be with you'. In case anyone is interested :)

    1. Thank you very much for the wonderful comment and further information. I don't profess to speak more than a few words of Gaelic Irish, so I very much appreciate the additional translation help. Are you from the Emerald Isle yourself?

      ♥ Jessica

    2. I am indeed, I live in Dublin :) I'm not fluent by any means whatsoever (we just call it 'Irish' here, Gaelic gets into a whole different mess!), but thought a few others might like to know in case they see it spelled differently. It's lovely to see all the nice comments from everyone here!

    3. How wonderful! A warm and very friendly hello to you from British Columbia then, my dear. Perhaps if I ever do have the pleasure of being in Dublin again we could meet up and say hi in person.

      ♥ Jessica

    4. Thank you :) And yes, hopefully you'll make it back here eventually. Then we'll say hi, and go shopping! Enjoy your weekend xx

  11. Hello Jessica,

    You certainly have me wondering what the number one honeymoon destination is.

    I more than LOVE that tweed suit! That would be the way I would choose to dress while in Ireland. I love wearing layers as well.

    The railway system sounds like a wonderfully charming way to see Ireland.

    How absolutely romantic that you became engaged in a castle. Just how many people in the world could say that!

    Some people do not believe in short engagements, and although my husband and I were engaged for 11 months, I would have easily married him much sooner; actually, he had a potential job offer at the time, and if he had taken it, he would have asked me to marry him much, much sooner because he would have move a considerable distance away and would have wanted me to go with him.

    I can't wait to find out where our last destination will take us.


  12. I loved to know this. I'm from Brazil and now I've been living in Dublin, so I identified.

  13. Ireland sounds so delightful; Scotland is my second heart-home country, but l have always wanted to visit Ireland and Wales! And what a lot of interesting information. Thank you dear Jessica, these posts must take *such* a lot time to put together.

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

    1. Thank you very much, darling gal. I would flat out adore the chance to see Scotland as well. I have some UK blood in my veins (one of my ancestral lines is that of the Walkers of Scotland and England) and have felt a kinship to that part of the world for my whole life because of it. Fingers crossed we're both able to make it there some day.

      Aww, that's very sweet and caring of you. Yes, they do take a lot of time to put together. Each has averaged five to eight hours of work (writing, research, finding images, etc) over the course of five to seven days. I've enjoyed the process immensely though, don't get me wrong, but am glad that June's will be the last (for now at least, who knows maybe this series will resurface again in the future) - time to shift my blogging attention to other topics for the summer and beyond.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

    2. I should clarify there, I mean five to eight hours per day for five to seven days, so 40+ hours per honeymoon post. Wow, that's a workweek when viewed like that. I hadn't thought of it like that before.

      ♥ Jessica

  14. My goodness, yet another lovely honeymoon post! What a beautiful love story you and Tony have and what a special place Ireland must be to you. I love the selections you've made for the honeymoon, that tweed suit is amazing and would look so amazing against the Irish landscape, or anywhere for that matter, it's fabulous.

  15. I ce been visiting Eire few years ago and you know What it was during summer and still ... It was a bit cold ! Doesnt matter to me cause I think Im more elegant With winter clothes than summer but yeah you right pack a coat if you go!
    Thanks for the lovely comment Jessica always great Words.
    I enjoyed reading this post, it makes me think of travelling... What I cant deny to think a lot about these Days!
    Love From Paris,


  16. Oh Ireland! Its on my to do list. My husbands ancestors are from there and it would be fun to dive into his heritage. ( luckily I've grown up knowing mine)
    If I'm correct( with the aid of your clues) your last destination is a mere 3 hour jaunt from my home, and where my own parents took their honeymoon. Now I shall wait and see if I am

  17. Oh Jessica this post makes me miss Ireland so much! I went in 2010 just a few short months after my now husband and I got engaged to attend a wedding in Scotland. We spent our relatively short trip in Dublin, Belfast and Galway with Galway stealing my heart for forever and ever. I adored the people, the sights and of course the beer :) I would go back in a second! there is actually a Lindy Hop Exchange happening in Galway in August and I'm trying to convince my husband to go (not that he needs much convincing). We will see!

    Sigh...and your love story with romantic!! Love :)


  18. wonderful!
    ireland was not on my travel wish list - but you changed this! and if i ever go i will look back at you outfit suggestions because this is right me alley (as you might know already)


    1. How very cool that I've helped give you a new travel destination to aspire to seeing, dear Beate. Please let me know right away if you are planning to visit one day. I will share with you every bit of inside info I can remember and answer any questions about Ireland that you may have (if I know the answers, that is :)). I suspect you would love it there!

      ♥ Jessica

    2. jess - you are the best :-)

  19. I do want to go to Ireland so badly! It's on my bucket list. Hopefully when I go I'll have as cute an outfit as the one you put together in this post! Gorgeous!
    And engaged in a castle?! Shoot, it doesn't get much better than that!

    1. I could see you rocking this outfit completely, and so beautifully, my dear. I really hope you're able to go. I think you would, as I did/do, find that the endlessly rich and diverse history of the land and its people proves to me one of our favourite elements of Ireland (the food, too, it must be said is often often - I still crave Irish butter and dishes made with it sometimes).

      Big hugs & many thanks for your lovely comment,
      ♥ Jessica

  20. What a beautiful post! I cannot wait to someday visit Erin's Isle. It is full of magic and mystery to me, and having a bit of Irish blood in me, it is rather close to my heart. I hope you return someday soon and that you will make wonderful new memories as well as revisit old ones, and form a stronger bond with this beautiful land.

  21. What an amazingly comprehensive list of books! I should think there's something to interest everybody in there. Although one could say I am quite close to Ireland geographically speaking, I've never been there (although my parents have). I think sometimes I think more about places further away (like Canade!) and fantasise more about visiting there, than I do the gems on my own doorstep. I'm quite curious to know where our next destination will be!

  22. The story of you and Tony is so romantic! Thank you for sharing, it was lovely to read. I have visited Dublin a couple of times and really loved it but I haven't been anywhere else in Ireland yet. I want to go and visit all the beautiful countryside and coastline and hope to do so one day.

    1. Thank you very much, dear Kate. It does have a rather charming fairy tale quality to it, I agree. While certainly not every day that I spent in Ireland magical by any means, that one (when we got engaged) was beyond any measure and it shall always stand out as one of the true highlights of our time there for me.

      I really hope you're able to explore Ireland more as well. If we ever make it back, I plan to see a lot more than we did when living there, too (I've heard Galways is fantastic and really want to get there).

      Big hugs & happy weekend wishes,
      ♥ Jessica

  23. Jessica, I am absolutely green with envy that you got 2 years to live there and yet I do know the feeling of being an outsider when yearning to be inside. I did manage to spend a much needed 3 month sabbatical there when my life was in much turmoil and found Ireland to be very healing. I stayed mostly in the Sligo area and found climbing Knocknarea (Queen Maeve's cairn) to be a joy. Then 4 years later I climbed Knocknarea with my beloved, and we were handfasted at the top by a Druid friend of mine. What an experience. Ireland is the home of my ancestors and of my soul and I hope to end my days there. Your bibliography was amazing... only one other suggestion would be : Sacred Ireland by Cary Meehan. A good book for those interested in the cairns, sacred stone circles as well as ancient churches and abbeys. Thanks for including Ireland in your series and most of all giving us an "unvarnished" version of your stay there.
    Celtic Lass
    Morning Waters

    1. My dear friend, I had long wondered based on your chosen moniker (Celtic Lass) if you'd lived in, loved, or otherwise had strong ties to Ireland and/or the UK. I appreciate your comment and the fact that you can relate to some of the emotions I experienced while living on the Emerald Isle. I'm very happy to know that your own experiences there were ones of healing and happiness (and unity with your beloved). Many thanks for the addition to this reading list. It sounds like a truly wonderful book.

      Many hugs & the happies of weekend wishes,
      ♥ Jessica

  24. Seeing that photo of the lady getting ready to kiss the lucky Blarney stone reminds me of when my Dad said he did that in the 70s. He had the opportunity to visit the Emerald Isle {as well as Scotland, Wales, England, and Calais}. I also did not know that about you and Tony. What a wonderful war to meet and get engaged.

  25. Despite living in England for 5 years when I was younger, and visiting the UK again a handful of times since, I have never visited Ireland. The closest I have come is squinting to spot the dim shadow of it on the horizon from the South of Kintyre!

    One thing Ireland has recently become a centre for is millinery! The Hat Magazine recently focused on Ireland and interviewed a number of milliners. Many of those newer to the artform had found it while looking for a new career after losing their jobs in the economic downturn. It's interesting to see how these major changes in a country can just create a new richness in other fields.

  26. I've never thought about visiting Ireland, but your blog sure makes it tempting to add it to my wish list!

    And...that train case made my heart skip a beat..the colour is so beautiful!


  27. Hello Jessica!
    I thought fantastic and very complete your post about Ireland, I have a Brazilian friend who lives there Daise Blog Mind Float Retro, always always talk the country's culture. Jessica found wonderful images and product selection.
    A big hug from Cris Cris Retro Mix blog.

  28. Jessica i had no idea that you and Tony had met on line, I loved reading about it :)
    Although I have been in Europe several times, never has it crossed my mind to visit Ireland - however to read about it has actually made me want to know more.

  29. Niagara! :) I guessed it, I guessed it. :) I loved reading your love story (I adore real life love stories), and I would also love going to Ireland, since my great grandfather was Irish, hence my surname (Green). But there are so many places in the world I would to visit, so I have to choose. This summer we go to Austria, again, because it is my favourite country. I hope you have a splendid time in Vancouver, I cannot wait to hear about it. :)