A Visit to the Famine Ship, Jeanie Johnston, in Dublin

Dublin Jeanie Johnston 2016.jpg

Today turned out to be a nice, sunny morning for a visit aboard the Jeanie Johnston famine ship in Dublin, Ireland. I’ve driven by the ship many a time and always wanted to check it out. Amazingly enough, this tall ship never lost a passenger on the grueling journey from Ireland to America during The Great Famine. Other tall ships were nicknamed coffin ships for the nearly 30% mortality rate of their passengers while on board.

Jeanie was very cool and I enjoyed photographing her with the view of the River Liffey and Dublin’s beautiful bridges in the background. The tour itself was a 6/10….our guide was nice and fairly knowledgeable, but the tour just seemed lack luster. Be aware of very creepy, realistic mannequins once below deck; my kids were terrified and I had to listen to our guide from the bottom of the stairwell.

I’d say visit the Jeanie Johnston only if you have any extra time in Dublin, but definitely don’t skip St. Patrick’s Cathedral or Dublin Castle to have a tour of Jeanie.  Save your time and money and take a few quick snaps from the edge of the Liffey and read her history online. Click here for more info.

Whether or not you decide to check out the Jeanie Johnston, I recommend reading up on the Irish Famine of the 1840’s before you visit this beautiful country, as that event certainly helped shape the Irish culture and landscape of today. It may be some dark history, but it is enlightening and something most Americans were barely taught about in school.




Travel is a Mindset

Skerries Windmill 2016

Travel isn’t about the distance, but rather the experience itself.

One of the best things about living in Europe is the ability to travel relatively cheaply to experience new cultures and scenery. While you might not be able to afford Europe or somewhere far off, remember travel is about the experience, not necessarily the distance travelled. Yesterday, I went about 30 km away from my house (4o minute drive) and found this pictured above,….not Holland, but the Skerries Mills just outside the gorgeous seaside town of Skerries, Ireland.

Skerries Beach 1 2016.jpg

We walked on another amazing Irish beach with the view of an Irish grid style pasture to the right and a stony ruin to the left.

The colorful village had a wonderful coffee shop and down on the other side of the water we ate some amazing Buffalo chicken wings at Blue Bar. Skerries Beach 5 2016.jpgOur day finished off with a tour of the Skerries Mills, which are several hundred years old. Truly an amazing day packed with local history and something to delight all five senses. All just a 40 minute drive from home!!!

Do a Google search near your home and get started on your summer local travel bucket list. Trust me folks, my tiny home town even has some cool historical places to visit, interesting buildings to photograph, and yummy Eastern European cuisine to be devoured.

Happy Hump Day!!!


As always, photos are my own, so if you love it then please share it, but link back to my blog.

Happy Memorial Day 2016


Happy Memorial Day everyone!!! A special thanks to all the brave men and women who have served or do serve in the military. Luckily, we arrived back into Dublin from Donegal just in time to explore the US Coast Guard Eagle before she left. What an impressive ship who is much older than I thought she was. I got snappy with my camera and took some pretty amazing shots featuring the Eagle with the stunning Dublin skyline as her background.

I’ve got to say I was very impressed by the crew; they were very smart and kind tour guides. The kiddos got to keep a little coin from the ship and a map explaining all the Eagle’s history and stats. Thanks to the crew for a lovely experience and for serving our country. Wishing them a safe journey back to the USA!

Bonus!!!! Loving the look of Old Glory against the background of the Dublin skyline.

US Eagle Ship dublin skyline 2016

As always all photos are my own…if you like this post then please like it below, if you love it please share it, but be sure to link back to my blog and if you gotta have it, then buy it here.



Best Cheeseburger in Dublin

Dublin Wowburger

One of the hardest things about leaving your home country is leaving behind the food you love. While there is always new, yummy food to be had wherever you move, you will no doubt get a hankering for stuff from home. I have been craving a good old fashioned American cheeseburger since crossing the pond back in 2013….the cheeseburger to me is a fast and dirty little treat. It is not something to be fancied up and sold for 20 bucks a pop! Sorry no garlic aoili or guyere cheese for this Yankee! I’ll take an ooey gooey cheddary version with juicy beef, fresh onions, tomato, lettuce and pickles. Ya that’s right, no good cheeseburger comes without dill pickle slices; the dill pickle is not something you will find readily available here in the Emerald Isle.

I have been to all the great names here in Dublin and found them to be tasty, but never could I find something like the famous Five Guys Burgers and Fries of my homeland. As said before, the cheeseburger is a casual affair and making it gourmet is tantamount to turning Canadian poutine or any other street food you fancy into a hoighty toighty affair.

I’d heard about WowBurger a few months back thanks to Lovin Dublin, but had yet to venture downtown to give it a whirl. Today was the day my friends….hopped up on some Guinness guzzled during an early morning Irish pub photography adventure, I was ready for some WowBurger.

Dublin Wowburger 3

Wowburger is a bright, colorful little place tucked upstairs in the popular Bison Bar located at 11 Wellington Quay (key) Dublin 2. The menu choices were reminiscent of Five Guys with all toppings free. I must say I loved the quirky decor and simple nature of the place. I ordered a mini cheeseburger (single patty of beef) and my hubby ordered a bacon cheeseburger (double patty of beef) with a side of garlic butter fries.

Our orders got reversed, so I had a double cheeseburger (no problem here) and had to share with the big man I brought. The burgers were juicy & fresh, not to mention, amazing. Just like Five Guys 🙂  The garlic butter fries were to die for, but fair warning, they are shoestring fries, not the giant freshly cut potatoes I was expecting. The two of us got out of WB for 20 euros; not too shabby for two burgers, fries, and a pint of Murphy’s red ale. My only criticism is they need to offer fountain cokes for the complete experience. I shall return, but in the meantime, if you find yourself hangry for an American style burger then make sure you stop in to this hidden gem in Dublin.




Happy Paddy’s Day Week!

Jameson Barrels

Happy Paddy’s Day week, everyone! SO excited to leave for Italy tomorrow, but sort of bummed to miss Paddy’s Day here in Dublin. It is an amazing week to visit just in case you were wondering :0 Also, it is St. Paddy’s Day not St. Patty’s Day, my fellow Americans…Make sure you spell it right.

Lucky for me I will be in Rome on March 17th, so I will be getting a selfie in front of a Colosseum that is light up green in honor of St. Patrick. Yes!!!!!

I am not a huge fan of touristy type adventures, but my trip to Jameson distillery was amazing not only for the knowledge I gained, but for the photo ops I got whilst on site. I loved the look of these whiskey barrels resting in rows.

Stay tuned and join us for our Italian adventure….starting tomorrow!




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Dublin Samuel Beckett Bridge

Dublin SB Bridge

One of the best spots to photograph for Dublin bound travellers…the Samuel Beckett Bridge. Named after a famous, Irish author, this white, cable-stayed bridge can swing sideways to allow ships to pass through. Supposedly, the sight of the Samuel Beckett swung to the side is quite impressive but rarely happens.

You can Dublin Convention Center_.jpgget some amazing shots of the SB bridge with the glowing Dublin Convention center in the background. The best time to photograph this beautiful bridge is in the blue hour just as dusk is beginning. Set up shop on Sir Rogerson’s Quay near Cardiff Lane. You can walk up and down, easily setting up your tripod, on the large walkways along the River Liffey. These photos were shot with my Canon 7D, which I have since replaced with a Sony A6000.

Famished after photographing? Stop by the Ferryman pub for some grub and a pint, it is conveniently located just across the street from Samuel Beckett Bridge.Before you cross the street take a snap of the Ferryman, itself. Ferryman Pub.jpg




Dublin Lighthouses: Poolbeg Lighthouse

Dublin Poolbeg Lighthouse Far_.jpg

*All photos in the post are mine, if you love them be sure to share them, just link back to my blog please.

Poolbeg Lighthouse located at The Great South Wall, Poolbeg, Dublin is just a few minutes drive from either Sandymount Strand or Ringsend. If you are a tourist staying in either of these areas and enjoy photographing lighthouses, then take a few hours and enjoy this gorgeous walk. Locals, if you haven’t been…Poolbeg Lighthouse is not only beautiful, but the 1.6km walk out is an enjoyable stroll. Expect to see runners, families with children, couples, and plenty of four legged creatures traipsing up and down the stone cobbled walkway. Take in all the sites from seagulls to cruise ships to the remains of an 1840’s swimming/bathing club (pictured bottom right).

I spotted this lovely, aqua tower below and as luck would have it seagulls started swooping in to sneak in just as I snapped this shot.

Dublin Poolbeg Lighthouse Seagulls Tower.jpg

The grounds are not rugged and you can also enjoy some beach walking if the tide is low. Make sure to pack a warm, windproof, water resistant jacket, runners, & a hat as the weather can turn at the drop of a hat and it tends to be quite windy,even when the sun is shinging. Pack a lunch or some snacks & something to drink, as there are no eateries anywhere nearby. There is a coffee stand near the lighthouse, but I am not sure of the hours (the stand wasn’t there on a this past Sunday afternoon.  I did not notice any public toilets in the vicinity, so prepare according.

Some close up details are a must…the view through this rusted out cogwheel was pretty neat.

These photos were taken using my new, mirrorless camera, Sony A6000. Wow, couldn’t be more impressed with the outcome. I’m not missing my Canon 7D one bit!

The landscape on the walk back was equally as impressive with the Poolbeg Towers and the Dublin port.

Dublin Poolbeg Towers_

Happy Monday,