Maureen Newman

Cooperstown, NY

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Maureen’s family in front of the majestic Cliffs of Moher


Maureen just got back from her lovely Self-Guided tour of Ireland! Learn more about her wonderful experience on her Self-Drive tour to Ireland below:

What made you want to travel to Ireland?:
“With a maiden name of McNally I always wanted to visit the country of my family clan, and combined that with bringing my granddaughter for her 13th birthday.When the others found out about the trip, it turned into me, my 13yr old granddaughter, my son and daughter in law, and my 11 yr old granddaughter. It was a trip of a lifetime!”

Who were your traveling partners on your Irish vacation?
“I went with my 2 granddaughters, son and daughter in law. We actually met my brother in law and sister in law there as they were traveling (on their own) in Ireland at the same time!”

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Biddy Early’s pub in Kilkenny, Ireland


What were the top places you wanted to see/experience while in the lovely Emerald Isle?:
“I wanted mostly to see the rural countryside and even in February it was breathtakingly gorgeous, the greens of the fields are not to be believed, the low sun in the winter sky made all the greens glow, and the colorful cottages and houses were like out of a magazine. The small towns and their people were very welcoming, a pleasure to walk around and go up and down narrow alleys with stone row houses and cobblestone streets and quaint shops. I definitely wanted to make the Cliffs of Moher a destination for sure, and the day we arrived was the most beautiful clear day, and we could see for MILES! And the cliffs themselves and the crashing waves below just left us awestruck with their beauty! My birthday girl was additionally excited because apparently Daniel Radcliffe had walked the same path we were on in making one of the Harry Potter movies…she practically swooned with excitement, lol. The Ring of Kerry tour didn’t disappoint, such unspoiled beauty, and was especially windy in Feb, which made the waves crash all the more spectacularly on the stone shores. We spent a night in “haunted” Kinnitty Castle and the accommodations were both medieval and sumptuous. The huge velvet curtained beds! The stone fireplaces! The beautiful decor! We also had a WONDERFUL dinner in their formal dining room complements of our very accommodating travel agent, Janet Dudley!. First rate! Their breakfast was also delicious, full Irish, or pick and choose from a very varied menu, everything delicious. I could go on and on, the shopping, the simple Irish shop food, the fish and chips! The B+B’s we stayed at, arranged by our agent, Janet Dudley, were all first rate. This vacation/trip to Ireland surpassed our expectations on many levels.”
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The Family enjoying an Irish dinner together!

What was the best part about your vacation?:

“I thought the best part would be being there with my granddaughter, but when the whole rest of the family decided to come, it was beyond my wildest dreams! To enjoy and see everything I mentioned above (with my family there too) was just a very emotional experience and made me very grateful that we were able to be on this journey together.”

What made you want to book your trip through Tenon Tours?:
“I choose Tenon Tours because I had heard good things about them from a few people I know. And then I found out another friend we have was a travel agent for them, Janet Dudley. She spent much time with me finding out what our needs and desires were and worked with me to develp a personalized itinerary that was perfect for us and the time we had there. She took into consideration the age of the girls and what they would enjoy too, and my 13 yr old granddaughter was asked to come up on stage and learn some Irish Step Dancing and had a great time! She also enjoyed the handsome Irish lads and did a lot of blushing.”

How was your experience with your personal Travel Specialist?:
“I can’t say enough good things about Janet. She went above and beyond to make our visit a trip of a lifetime. When a plan we had didn’t work out because of the time of year, she searched out an equally fun adventure to substitute. She is awesome.”

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A great shot of the Cliffs of Moher taken by Maureen

Do you wish you prepared better for any specific part of the trip?:
“Janet did a good job preparing us for what to expect, what to bring, money exchange, recommended places to eat….I really don’t think we could have been any better prepared, everything went very smoothly. The most stress we had was when we left a suitcase of ours at a B+B and left for the airport, but fate was with us (the luck of the Irish?) and my sister-in-law, who had a later flight, picked it up for us and got our bag to us!”

How was the weather in Ireland in February?:
“It is pretty chilly and every morning we did have some drizzly rain. Also windy…when along steep cliffs, keep back aways, heh. The weather did not dampen our spirits at all, in fact, after a long day of sightseeing and hiking, to step into a Pub and have the peat fires going and the happy fiddle music playing would warm us up pretty quick. The daylight is shorter in February in Ireland than in the US, so you have to plan your day to get the most of the daylight. It was not a problem for us, we saw everything we wanted to see in that beautiful overcast low light.”

Were you able to make any friends while traveling?
“We met many very friendly and outgoing warm people in Ireland, especially the Bed and Breakfast owners, who made you feel like you were family and went out of their way for you to be comfortable and very well fed.”

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Girls only photo!

What are your favorite souvenirs you brought home?:

“I brought home some beautifully hand woven wool scarves, a Belleek vase, Cloisonne jewelry, and handmade woolen socks and sweater for my husband, who stayed home and took care of our greenhouse and chickens. šŸ™‚ I brought him some traditional Irish foods also, and of course Barry’s Tea! My granddaughters got souvenirs from the Cliffs of Moher gift shop and beautiful woolen and fur handmade hats for back home.”

What destination is next on your list?:

“My youngest granddaughter will get to pick a trip for her 13th birthday, which will be June 2018. Scotland, England? We’ll see!”

Did the kids enjoy their Ireland vacation?:
“The girls were 11 and 13. They enjoyed The Cliffs of Moher, The sightseeing around Dublin on the Hop on Hop off bus tours, stopping at interesting points along the way, The Ring of Kerry tour, spectacular! Haunted Castle! Or any Castle! We went to Blarney Castle which was a fantastic experience for them. Staying with Nana in huge velvet draped beds in the castle! The live music at pubs in the evening, the delicious food.”

As you traveled with 5 people in your group, how did the planning process go?:

“We had 5 people in our group. Janet Dudley, our agent did all the planning for us as far as accommodations, etc. We (the family) got together ahead of time to plan our what we were going to bring instead of bringing duplicates of things we didn’t need to carry. Don’t forget to bring an international plug adapter and appliances that are multi-voltage (like switchable voltage blow dryer, phone charger, etc.that will run on 230 volts).”

“I think I’ve covered it. I could probably write a book of our family trip, we had so much fun.”

 

Thank you Maureen! We look forward to hopefully assisting you with your next vacation to the British Isles! šŸ™‚

See what Janet & Nicole‘s other clients have to say about them!

 

See Ireland Self-Drive Tours

 

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