Discovering My Irish Roots in County Galway, Ireland

Kylemore Abbey in Connemara

Countless Americans make the journey across the Atlantic for one reason alone: discovering their Irish roots in the homeland of Ireland.

I’m no different.  When my father first told me that I was Irish (around six years old),  I went to the library and checked out every book on Ireland I could find.  Each page was filled with green pastures that stretched out to the ocean, castles dotting the rolling green countryside, and cobblestone streets in cute seaside villages.  As a young girl growing up in the deserts of coal-mining Utah, Ireland looked like the setting of a faraway fairy tale from a Disney movie. read more

Traveling Off The Beaten Path in Ireland’s Rugged Northwest

Off the Beaten Path in Northwest Ireland

Northwest Ireland is sadly passed over for its southern cousin.  Most people skip County Donegal, Mayo and Sligo and take a bee-line from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher in Southern Ireland, bypassing this part of the country entirely.

I’m here to tell you that Northwest Ireland is a must-see.  Thanks to the expert vacation planning of my husband, I was able to discover a charming and grossly underappreciated corner of Ireland.  The rugged northwest may be known as Ireland’s no-man’s-land, but after setting foot in the region I soon realized this is one of Ireland’s best kept secrets. read more

Five Must See Destinations in Northern Ireland

As someone who has roots from the deep-Celtic-south of the REPUBLIC of Ireland, my jaw hit the floor when my husband told me our first stop of the Ireland trip was Northern Ireland….aka, Great Britain.

The few times my grandmother talked about the old country, she always managed to slip in an insult about the British with a spit and went on a tirade about how they ravaged her homeland.  To say that I grew up with prejudice against “the north” is a vast understatement.  I was aghast.  I grew up telling myself I would never, god help my soul, go to the North. read more