Monday, June 18, 2012

"May the Road Rise to Meet You"

Hello friends, family and readers of our Ireland tour blog! Thank you for tuning in to our last-night-in-Ireland blog post. :)

Today was a pretty amazing day, if I do say so myself. We began with breakfast at the hotel, which included a wide array of hot breakfast items, cereal, bread, fruit and juice. After breakfast, we all loaded the bus to begin our morning tour of Dublin.

The first stop on the tour was at Trinity College to see the Book of Kells. The reason this is such an awesome opportunity is because the Book of Kells is a 9th-century gospel manuscript that is famous all over the world. The craftsmanship those scribes had to put into their work is incredible.

Learning about the history of Trinity College
We also were able to walk through the library, a magnificent room with thousands upon thousands of books. There, some of us got to see the Proclamation of Ireland, which was signed in 1916. The room was full of history and knowledge. It was a neat experience.

After leaving the Book of Kells, we took a small tour, led by Peter, of Trinity College campus square. We had a little time to take a few pictures of the group in front of the archway. Peter told us the superstitions the students have about walking under the arch. If they walk under it, they won't graduate. They follow this rule closely and never pass through until after graduation.

The Group at Trinity College
We boarded the bus after touring Trinity College, and drove to St. Patrick's Cathedral. This cathedral dates back to 1220. Even stepping inside the doors was an amazing experience. The church was absolutely beautiful.

Our concert began a bit loud because people were taking tours of the church, talking over each other, and probably not realizing it was an organized event. However, soon after they realized we were singing, and sounded very good, they quieted down a bit. :) The acoustics in the church were fantastic, and we had chance to have this concert recorded!

The tour group in St. Patrick's Cathedral
After the touching concert, the group boarded the bus, changed back into our street clothes, and got ready to explore the city! Most of the group went shopping for souvenirs and even practical every-day clothing from fashionable stores. Many girls found jewelry at little stands on the sidewalks. 

When it came time to board the bus again it was right before dinner time. We headed back to the hotel where we had a few minutes to freshen up before going down to the restaurant for dinner. On the way, Tour Manager Megan D. had us sign framed pictures of the group and our bus driver, Dave, and tour guide, Peter, for them to keep. They were so good to us, and they deserve every bit of praise. 

We also each signed the journal Megan bought for Peter. Some wrote poems, some wrote limericks, and others merely said "thanks". Peter, if you read the blog, I just want to let you know that from all of your Chicago "daughters", we truly enjoyed spending time with you. We appreciate Peter and Dave so much and we're so glad they were able to be our guides on this trip!

Ty and Benna were also wonderful on the trip. They were truly our biggest fans everywhere we went. I could look out at any point and see at least one of them beaming or singing along to our songs. :) They were sweet enough to buy us chocolate bars special from Ireland. We're very thankful to have had them on the tour with us!

After a heartfelt farewell dinner, the group split up to explore Dublin, head to a nearby pub, or settle down for the night. It was a remarkable and memorable last night in Ireland, and I couldn't have asked to have spent it with anyone else but the wonderful Women's Chorale ladies. :) 

Thank you for reading, and I hope you all enjoy your evening! "Slainte!"


  1. I've enjoyed your blog! Loved checking in to see what had happened during the day and see the beautiful scenery and ever smiling faces. Your writing captured the spirit of the tour. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  2. You took us with you on your remarkable musical journey thru Ireland with your wonderful blog! Thank you SO much for the stories, photos and descriptive details. We're thrilled that your choir has a week's worth of shared memories that you will NEVERRRRRR forget! What happened in Ireland, stayed in Ireland, right?? ;-) Safe travels!! Karin (Daina's mom) Welsh

  3. Thank you, Mary and Karin, for reading and following our adventures in Ireland. :) it was a pleasure to write the blog for the trip.