Killarney, Ireland & Hot Springs, Arkansas

What does Killarney, Ireland and Hot Springs, Arkansas have in common?  More than you would expect!  Back on July 4, 2017 we were in Killarney, Ireland not expecting to be able to celebrate our countries Independence day but Oh my gosh! IMG_2442

We arrived at Killarney and checked into our hotel to find all types of celebrations starting up.  The hotel staff were so excited that we were from the States and would be there for the parade.  Parade? Yes, the city was putting on a parade!

I must say they did a pretty good job too!  Even had President Trump! Some how I can’t seem to find the pictures of the 50 state Flags that were paraded past, but I can assure you that when Arkansas past by they were aware there were a few Arkansans in Ireland!  So is it not fair that The First Ever 15th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade is held in Hot Springs, Arkansas? I should say so! So here is our “Thanks Back To Ya Ireland!”  “We Loved Our Time There”



242200_10150291677863082_4609966_oWhen someone says they are going to Honduras different images appear in my mind.  First and foremost images of Mission trips pop up.  Where church groups went to Honduras and helped build churches or homes,5074995_1435284524.3162  or taught vacation bible school to young children or even brought reading glasses and medical supplies. Unknown

But when we went to Honduras lately it was a magical place that was built by Carnival Cruise Lines for their customers.

IMG_5439Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Honduras 

Let me explain.  Roatán is an island in the Caribbean off the northern coast of Honduras. It is the largest of the Bay Islands of Honduras.


Mahogany Bay was built by Carnival Corporation, so there is plenty to do right at the port. How does the saying go? “Build It – They Will Come”  Carnival needed a place to dock so they built it and while they were at it they added a few stores and then a couple more and then how about a restaurant, oh let’s add chair lifts so no one has to walk, hey but if they want to walk, let’s make a really pretty nature walk with lots of flowers and plants.  And that folks is just what they did. There is a man-made beach within walking distance. There are a few bars and restaurants at the beach, but only one closer to the ships: Fat Tuesdays.

There are all the standard shops at the port, including Diamonds International (or Tanzanite International), Harley Davidson, a pharmacy, and several smaller local gift shops and specialty stalls. There is a zipline canopy tour at the port, as well as an ATV tour.

Once you disembark at Mahogany Bay, you will walk along the pier, through the Dufry Store, and uphill to the main shopping area. There is a local marketplace to the far left, while the chairlift and path to the beach and restaurants are to the far right. Diagonally to the left from the central fountain is a red-roofed building – that is your exit point from the port.IMG_5440

If you take a shore excursion or arrange for your own taxi transportation through the sanctioned taxi association at the port, you will exit through that building. To meet any other tours or transportation pick-ups, you will exit that building, walk to the left uphill, and at the bottom on the other side you will find all other tour options. These are tour companies or individuals who do not have contracts with the cruise lines, so they are not allowed onto the pier. Most SCUBA divers will be picked up from this area, as well as island tour companies that work with smaller groups.  I normally use Carnival to book my excursions so everything is covered, but there has been the rare occasions that I have ventured off course and used different sources.  In these instances I recommend researching the company throughly before booking.  Ask all the “what if” questions and be satisfied with the answers.


Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

My most favorite place in the world!  I have been to Rome several times and have visited all the well known sites; the Sistine Chapel, the Coliseum, the Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, the Parthenon; but just walking around and taking in the surrounding that have been standing for centuries is my all time favorite.  To imagine the world at a different time is like time travel.  Let your imagination soar.

Avignon, France

Avignon, you smell so nice!  We visited this French Village days after the Lavender harvest.  You could smell lavender everywhere.

Shop after shop had everything you could possibly image made from Lavender!


Pictured is the Pope’s Castle from the 1100’s.  Rome was not safe place during those times and the Pope was sent to live in this castle (known as the Papal Palace) until he could return to the Vatican City.  (It was occupied by several popes until 1791) It was used off and on for hundreds of years as either a permanent dwelling or a summer home.


The remains of the 12th century ramparts and the Bridge of Avignon over the River Rhine

Vincent Van Gogh

While in Arles we did take the time to have lunch.  And if you are in France where do you have lunch, nowhere but at Cafe Van Gogh. We sat outside and enjoyed our lunch and wine as we marveled at the sites.  It truly was a magical day as we sat in the very spot of Vincent Van Gogh and ate at the cafe that made his painting come to life.  Van Gogh created his oil on canvas in 1888, and the very spot he sat his easel on is marked by a copy of his painting.  Inside the cafe were more tables and a beautiful bar that was very ornate and truly French!


Arles, France


Arles, France was an absolute picture perfect French Village.  It was exactly what you see in the movies.  I think I could have stayed there for a long, long time.  But….we were only there for a little while, but in that time I tried to capture the essence of the place in pictures.