The Burren in County Clare Ireland

We have been taking a couple of short field trips while pet and house sitting here in western County Clare in Ireland.  Lisdoonvarna is considered the gateway to the Burren.  I had never heard of the Burren before.  It is a special area on the west coast of Ireland that was left without topsoil by the ice ages.   It is a place of stones, and almost no people.burren 5x7 net  There are prehistoric artifacts and tombs throughout the Burren.  We went to a stone ring fort (Catherconnell) that has been settled from the 7th century AD  and was used up to the 15th century.  Here is a model of what it might have looked like in the past.  ring fort model 5x7 netYou can see that there are thick stone walls around the settlement.  These walls were made in the simplest way with local stones just stacked up upon themselves.  burren rock wall 5x7 net  It was fascinating to see how people lived on this land. There are tombs that have been found from the neolithic period (4000-2500 BC). Later,  we drove out to this communal tomb called the Poulnabrone dolmen tomb. Poulnabrone dolmen tomb 5x7 netIt was dark, windy and cold when we walked up the stones to see this ancient monument.  It was quite moving.  It humbled  me to see how transitory our lives and problems are in the scope of the sweep of human time. There are dozens of these tombs around, and many more still buried and waiting to be discovered.

If you get to spend some time on the Burren, you will find it fascinating.

Sailing on the Celebrity Silhouette across the Atlantic ocean

We are about half way to Lisbon, Portugal sailing on the Atlantic Ocean. The ship is wonderful. I spend time in the gym and the Persian Gardens ( lying on the heated beds and taking a steam bath). David has been reading books.  The weather has been overcast but we got some sun today. Celebrity Silhouette Perisan Garden netCelebrity Silhouette pool netCelebrity Silhouette our balcony netCelebrity Silhouette sky bar netCelebrity Silhouette cabin net  We bought more internet time so I can post whenever I want.  Yeah!  We have had nice weather for the last couple of days.  Sunset is now around 8:30 pm which is nice as we can use our balcony for a longer period if time.  Here is David having room service lunch on our balcony. david eating on balcony netToday we had to stop in the Azores to let two sick people off the ship so they could go to a proper hospital.Azores city net  Now we are off to Lisbon and will be there in a day and a half.    Today is April 30, I do not know how to change the date.  More later.

Pet and house sitting across Ireland and England 2017

Our itinerary is almost complete for the Spring and Summer in Europe.   We will be leaving on a trans Atlantic cruise from Fort Lauder dale at the end of April and will arrive in Amsterdam on May 7.  This will be the beginning of six pet and house sits in Ireland and England that will last  until the end of September.  We are so excited that we get to spend 101 days taking care of sweet pets and meeting wonderful people. We will be taking care of all different kinds of animals from hamsters to kitty cats to dogs to chickens.  What a wonderful set of animals to love and give cuddles too ( well not the chickens).

Many people are intrigued about our pet and house sitting adventures and wonder how we do it.  We joined a website called Trustedhousesitters.  It costs sitters $110 a year and you get 2 daily emails with the newest listings for people who are looking for a pet and house sitter.  You contact the people you are interested in and wait to see if they choose you to talk to about their vacation plans.  We have excellent references from the six house sits we did last summer and of course this blog to let prospective families know who we are and that we are pet lovers.  Plus we are good people who take care of their home as if it was our own.  It is hard for someone to let a complete stranger into their home to take care of their precious pets so we try to make this selection as easy as possible for the people we sit for.

They normally choose two or more people to talk too on Skype and then make up their minds.  When we are chosen we add their dates to our calendar.

If you are interested in this and want to sign up for trusted housesitters, just use my name as a referral (Linda Donnelly) and you will get 25% off the sign up fee and we will get 2 extra months of service.  Here is their link;  trusted housesitters.Jody and David small    Street David & dogs smallErnie Eric dance smallcat eye small_DSC0052

Stunning sunset and a party at Hale Kai

Hale Kai is the small , intimate group of condos from the 70’s that has been rennovated.  It is right on the ocean and is only 2 stories high.  This type of small condos are quite unique for this part of Maui.  The northwestern part of Maui is dominated by large ritzy developments by big companies like Marriot, Ritz Carlton, and Hyatt etc.  The people who come to Hale Kai come every year on the same weeks.  They book their condos a year in advance and have made friends over the years.

One of their traditions is that every night at sunset people gather around the pool and have drinks and celebrate another day in paradise.  They blow conch shells like the old Hawaiians to announce the sunset, a birthday or a new comer to the group.  It is quite charming. maui-2-26-17-hale-kai-blowers-5x7

Here is the sunset that we were celebrating tonight. maui-2-26-17-sunset-5x7-closer-net-1maui-2-26-17-cloud-sunset-5x7-net  Since it was Sunday night we all got invitations to bring pupus ( little munchies) and make it a party with food. maui-2-26-17-hale-kai-party  The pupus were excellent and everyone is crowding around the snack table to try the tempting morsels. Ladies were asking for recipes and talking about their sea adventures here on the island.

We have met several really nice people.   What I really like are the moms and daughters that come back together every year.  Here are some photos I took of two of them.

maui-17-steph-and-patty-5x7maui-patty-and-steph-17

How lucky these women are that they can spend special time with their moms, I wish my mom could have done this with me.

Well, it is off to bed as a new adventure is calling us tomorrow. Aloha!

A sandpiper, and crashing waves and sick sea lion pups

Sadly, this has been a record year for starving sea lion pups who come to shore because they are tired and hungry.  We have seen 2 here at our beach. The first one we found dead on the beach a couple of days later.  It is difficult  here because the nearest rescue is in Ensenada so there is little that can be done for these sweet babies.   Today,we sent a donation to the Orange county rescue service that has 88 sea lion pups in its shelter ( there have been 1800 rescued off the coast of California since Jan. of this year).  FYI  here is a link to the story http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/16/sea-lion-pups-stranded-california_n_6876076.html  . I could not bring myself to take a photo of the last stranded pup we saw on Sat.  I just hope he rested , got back out to sea, and found some food.

Here are some happier photos that I took in the last couple of days.  It has been overcast here at the beach , but even when it is grey and somewhat stormy the ocean and its creatures are beautiful.  Here is one of the sand pipers standing on one leg, they seem to like to do that. sandpiper 5x7 small_edited-1Here is a photograph of the crashing waves on the rock point at the southern end of our beach. slow crashing waves 5x7 small_edited-1Since the waves have been more rough the last few days we have seen more sea weed wash up on shore.  Here is a photo of a large seaweed pod.seaweed on shore  And I wanted  to leave you with a sunset photograph taken on a cloudy day.black sun stream 5x7 small