vacation

Travel log

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Jump-starting the blog after a long break is always a bit bumpy. Normally, I explain my absence with some dog-ate-my-homework-excuse and sum up the happenings during my blog silence.

Not this time. Instead, I’m jumping right back into Funny Farm…

…tomorrow or the day after. Certainly by the end of the week. Some new, wise words by Wednesday or Thursday for sure.

What’s another couple days of procrastination? In the meantime, here are a few snaps from our family vacation. After Christmas, we ditched the farm and flew to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Thanks to a boatload of snow, we skied our butts off.

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Here’s Cayden, shortly after he attempted to jump the snow-covered boulder behind him. I didn’t see him take flight, but I helped collect his skis and poles after landing. The folks on the lift got a great view of his tumble.

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I took lots of photos of trees, laden with snow…

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…and the glittery evergreens around town.

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Martin made it his mission to photo-bomb as often as possible.

He wasn’t very subtle about it.

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Six days of skiing, 165 trails and runs, and no broken bones or separated shoulders. Pretty sweet.

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Back to normal Funny Farm material later this week.

The blog is back!

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After 5 months of inactivity, “Funny Farm” is back.

(Is anyone still out there?)

Back in March when I quit the blog, I was smothered by commitments. Something had to give. And Funny Farm was an obvious choice for the chopping block.

Through the spring and summer, a few people asked what had happened, or when I’d post again. Mostly, I shrugged off their requests.

But then a certain individual prompted me to reconsider. The one person who shouldn’t be reading this blog:

Cayden, my 9 year old.

It was last week, while we were on vacation — staying at my grandmother’s beach house in California. That morning the house was quiet, with just the sounds of the waves and the occasional clink of a spoon against a cereal bowl. That’s when Cayden simply said,

“Mom, I think that this is a good time to bring the blog back again.”

I don’t know why this was a catalyst. Maybe it’s the way he said it. Not as a request, but as a statement.

So… here we go again!

Ireland at a gallop

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I’m posting a few more photos from Ireland, because past travel is more palatable than the current situation: snowed in and housebound with three antsy kids.

Ireland is not a popular winter getaway. No one ventures there in February to escape the weather. But I do. It’s good for fox hunting and the tourist population is minimal.

Weatherwise, I dodged a bullet. Martin texted this picture from Maryland.

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While he was shoveling snow, I was kicking around Ireland with Brynn and friends. (Home base was Kilcoglan Castle. My friend Karen owns it. I blogged about it last year, here.)

We spent two days in Co. Cork, near the southern coastal town of Clonakilty. While there, we got a dose of stormy weather and roiling waves.

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When the clouds broke, however, everyone spilled out onto the beach.

What a mob scene. Barely a square of sand to spare.

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Actually, the resort was packed with vacationers. It was mid-term break for Irish schools, and lots of families were on holiday. Brynn had plenty of company. Especially after dinner, when random kids roam the hotel, meet one another, and travel in packs.

They kinda reminded me of rodents: at first you wouldn’t see any, then you’d spot one loitering on the stairs, or one nosing around a bookshelf. They’d band together and suddenly you’d spy a herd of 4- and 5-year-olds. Then they vanish for 30 minutes and reappear again.

By 11 pm, they’d be out of steam.

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Back in Co. Galway, at Kilcolgan Castle, Karen (a.k.a, “Auntie Sheep”) put ‘Zilla to work walking dogs.

 

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There were plenty of dogs to walk.

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On Saturday, Auntie Sheep kindly watched Brynn while my friend Sarah and I went fox hunting with the Galway Blazers. Sarah drew a nice hireling named “Harvey.”

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I wasn’t quite so lucky.

My hireling — a dull-mouthed, chestnut monstrosity named “Jumbo” — pulled me at lightning speed over miles of countryside and oodles of obstacles. When a fox took us for a run, we ran… past everyone else. When riders lined up to jump a wall, Jumbo seized the bit, lowered his head and rushed forward, knocking aside anyone in his way.

“Sorry!” I’d scream over my shoulder. Once his hooves hit the ground, Jumbo was off again, apparently fueled by rocket propulsion.

We hunted for five hours. Occasionally my rubbery arms got a rest and I’d pull out my phone and snap a rear shot.

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All in all, it was a good day. It’s always a good day when you dodge injury.

Ultimately, there was no time to whine about the long drive from Clon, or five hours on a runaway horse. That evening we attended Blazers’ hunt ball.

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Pre hunt ball, in the castle

 

 

Later in the trip we stomped around Galway, Connemara and beyond.

It was a great jaunt. I wish I could be back there again.

Honestly, I’d take a teeth-clenching ride on Jumbo to escape the scene right here, right now.

 

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