What Our Clients Have Said...

Over the years we have received numerous emails from clients regarding their vacations -- so why not share them with you?

These comments are from eTAO Group, LLC, our company as a whole and not this particular website therefore you will see comments from Enchanting Ireland and eTravelAgencyOnline as well.

Jane & Michael H., Eden Prarie, MN (Aug 2010 Chauffeur) (08/27/2010)
Gene was awesome!!!  I have been meaning to send you an email to let you know how happy we were with your services.

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Debbie N., Arlington TX (May 2008 Fly/Drive Repeat Customer) (05/20/2008)
Chris, We are back and I did not wreck the car…a goal of mine forthe trip! Thank you! You did it again...helpedus have an absolutely unforgettable week in Ireland! We had such a wonderful time. The bonus part of the trip was that fornearly the full week we had sunshine every day. At the Cliffs of Moher on Thursday…I got sunburned! So badly, in fact, that my ears are peelingeven now. We traveled from Dublin to Trim to Newgrange to Athlone(where we stayed at the Shelmalier House – wonderful accommodations and great breakfast!) to Killeloe (beautiful little town – there we stayed at the Glocca Morra B & B run by Michael and John – great place with a spectacular view and great breakfast!) Then off to Galway to Limerick and Glin Castle (where we spent the night and it was beautiful– especially the grounds- the walled garden is a must see!) then Shannon and home. My daughter was very interested in the historical aspects; the castle sand ruins that live so close to the modern homes. She is a photog buff and brought two digital cameras with 1 gig cards. Needless to say we took over 1100 pictures. Each night we downloaded them to the laptop we brought and deleted the FEW bad ones we had and enjoyed the rest. We confirmed a few things we want to pass on to everyone who will be driving/traveling there for the first time: 1) fly into Shannon (learning to drive around there would be so much easier!), 2) bring some Irish music to listen to for the first few hours…the countryside will seem even more magical, 3) DO NOT try to follow the directions of the locals…they know what they are saying and they are trying very hard to be helpful, but they forget we are not quite used to their Irish brogue and we don’t know that what we think are roads or streets and what they think are roads or streets may be really different. DO USE your own good map, BUT… 4) try your best to stay off the ‘white’ roads on the map…they are not as well marked…as are most of even the streets in the large cities. 5) the cars coming at you are NOT as close as you think they are...and the lack of road shoulders abound there…you will get used to it. Think of it as rally car racing. 5) It’s a toilet not a rest room. 6) it’s easier to do all your credit card transactions in USD. 7) DO BUY a Heritage Card to use at all the historical attractions, it will save you money and you can stop at any and all of the historical sites you want. 8) Buy your typical touristy gift trinkets for home from the duty free shops at the airport, it’s cheaper. 9) Park your car and walk in the cities you want to see. Do the hop on hop off in the bigger cities. 10) IF you DO fly into Dublin,get cash airport, go to the tourist info counter and buy the bus tickets, get your car but leave it outside the carpark or at your lodging. All in all, take it in stride…give yourself plenty of time…what seems like a small distance can be a long drive when there is so much road work and ‘diversions’ in the country right now. Enjoy where ever you get lost! But if you have a B & B scheduled do try to allow yourself time to get there early. AND even though the sun sets late…try to get to sleep early…it can wear you out. Walk when you can…but remember if you are not used to walking…the Irish are…the ‘little walk’ can be tiring at the close of the day! Smell the air and remember…just because you WANT TO MOVE THERE doesn’t mean you’re going to!! CHRIS...a little personal business here…We actually paid for a GPS system and did not get one so I can not give any witness to if it is beneficial,or not. Can we settle up on that? We were so tired when we went back for the car and I was so nervous about driving there that I did not realize until we were well outside of the city and on our way to Trim (and LOST) that we didn’t get it. NOTE: Refund is on the way -- slip-ups occur now and then, SORRY! All in all you didanother fine job and I would do it again in a heartbeat. As a matter of fact I have had about 20people as me about getting group together to go within the next two years. Could you give me some information on putting a group together? And a NOTE: Why not add a forum where your customers can upload their travel shots! That would be awesome! NOTE: There are forums -- I'm checking to see if you can upload photos! Thanks again so much!! Debbie N
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Deidre L., Boston, MA (Chauffeur Tour April 2008) (04/27/2008)
Hi Chris! I just wanted to write you a little note to tell you what a wonderful job you did in planning me and my mother's trip to Ireland. We had a fantastic time. The hotels we stayed in were unbelievable, and our driver Pat Doyle, was just amazing. We got to see everything we wanted to, and the weather even played out in our favor. It was just great. Thanks very much! Deidre
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Julie C., Somerville, MA (Oct 2007 Fly/Drive) (11/08/2007)
Hi Chris, Thanks for the email. I've been meaning to email you about the trip. Our group had an awesome time in Ireland. As you mentioned, the weather was absolutely beautiful. We stayed at three different B&Bs which all of them were friendly, clean and breakfast each morning was delicious! We went from Doolin to the Burren to Salthill to Commarea (sp?) to a bike trip on the Aran Islands which was absolutely spectacular! That was the highlight of the trip for us. If we were staying another night, we would have taken the boat back over to Aran Islands! I absolutely loved Ireland and can't wait to go back. I've mentioned your website to several of my friends. Also, I will need to work with you next Spring on trying to set up a trip for golfers and sightseers! I have several people who have expressed strong interest in going to Ireland to golf and some of there spouses don't golf. I am looking at the week of September 16 but am not sure how many days at the moment. I hope you will be able to help me with this. I found the perfect spot to retire too. It was Monk's Pub in BallyVaughn! The only problem is it rains to much for my liking. Best, Julie
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Sharon P., Maplewood, NJ (Oct 2007 Fly/Drive) (11/08/2007)
Hi Chris, Ireland was AMAZING! Everything was perfect, and we really lucked out with the weather! The whole week was wonderful but I especially enjoyed our crazy night out we wound up having in Galway, where we made some friends at a pub. Best meals were definitely O'Connors Pub in Doolin (I had the Irish stew and I know I'll never have a better stew than that one) and a wonderful birthday dinner for my friend Meghan in Cashel. We did a day out at Inishmore, which we all loved, a day in Doolin, we hit Bunratty, Cashel, Kilkenny, and Adare throughout the week, and we never felt like we were spreading ourselves too thin. Two days in Dublin capped off the week and we had a blast there as well. I also enjoyed driving while there - I was really nervous but it turned out just fine! The hotels in Galway and Dublin were perfect for us - loved Jurys Inn being so close to everything - and Kilkea was a blast too. The B&Bs we stayed at - one in Doolin and one in Cashel - were great too and the proprietors were so nice. Everything about the trip was great and I am already thinking about when I can go back! Thanks so much for everything. I'm trying to convince my parents that they would love Ireland and if they decide to actually go, I'll insist that they get in touch with you. Best, Sharon
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Terrence O., Fairfax VT (Oct 2007 Coast-to-Coast Fly/Drive) (11/08/2007)
Great time, at JFK we had access to the Oasis Lounge for 4 hours with priority seating and luggage, thanks to a friend, We were at Bunratty Castle and folk park 2 hours after we landed off to Limerick back to hotel then early start to Aran Islands , Castlebar, Dublin Guinness Breezy, Trinity and more finished with Medieval dinner at Knapoque. 1200 k on car and I didn't have to drive Thanks Terry
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Tom S., Greene, NY (September 2007 Fly/Drive) (09/25/2007)
Chris: Everything was better than anyone could reasonably expect. The weather was wonderful, usually a bit of rain early in the day (while driving), then clear later. Our room the first night at Green Isle Hotel was remarkable (big, new, Internet access) particularly after the tiny rooms we've had in Paris. Breafy House (castle-like) was beautiful, although the rooms not as posh as Green Isle. Clare Inn was more "Holiday Inn-like," but still with spacious rooms. The car (a Fiat, manual shift) was fun to drive and well-suited for the narrow roadways. The flight was relaxed and quite comfortable (no free beer or wine, though). We went to Paris in May on Air India...don't do it! The entire experience was, again, excellent. The reservations, airline tickets, car rental was fully in place, entirely hassle-free. One little caveat, or at least a heads-up for your trip, when using a credit card, several places asked whether US funds or Euro. I made the mistake of saying US one time...not only did they utilize an inflated exchange rate ($1.448 per Euro), but they charged a 3.5% transaction fee on top, a total roughly 7% higher than the prevailing exchange rate if the transaction occurred in Euros. [Note: I'm aware of this and thinking how to convey the issue. They typically take a few cents on the exchange when charging in US $ however it's usually the same as when your bank charges you a "foreign currency exchange" back here at home. I'm not aware of the 3.5% transcation on top of that though -- that I'm going to look into.] Thanks for the fine work you did. I will recommend your agency wholeheartedly and likely ask for your assistance again. I guarantee you'll be knocked out by Ireland. Make sure you get to the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. Takes your breath away. Tom S.
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Dennis S., Arlington VA (September 2007 Fly/Drive) (09/25/2007)
Chris, We are back. The trip was great. We spent two nights on the Ring of Kerry but one of them was in Ballinskeeligs area -- away from it all. The Slea Head drive was spectacular and a sunny day. We enjoyed the Mizen head area as well. We heard an excellent trad session in Clonakilty. The only thing I am wondering about is that we had to change a tire after hitting a ditch. We left a note with the dan dolley drop off at kerry airport, but never heard anything. When we picked up the car, there were several scratches/dents. They were not noted in writing but the dooley rep told us he had written them down. So, we will see if we hear anythng? [Note: Waiting to find out what the charges will be on the flat tire and will post back when I hear.] The Irish are really great and kind people. It was fun seeing different areas this time such as Dublin, Kilkenny and Counties Cork and Kerry. Cheers. Dennis (& Michael)
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Shanin G., Evanston, IL (September 2007 Fly/Drive) (09/25/2007)
Chris, I had such an amazing time!!!! I could easily live there. Somewhere in the North or outside of Limerick on Lough Derg. Connemara was stunning. We really went all over the country/island. We missed the match festival so I guess we will have to go back! They really should put time instead of distance on the maps though. It is VERY deceiving. The only big snag was that when we went to pick up our car from Dan Dooley, there were no cars available. We had to wait at the airport for over 2 hours for them to get a car in for us. [Note: I am looking into this as it is very abnormal for Dan Dooley] Also, we had prepayed for a vehicle with GPS and there was not one available. [Note: the GPS was a special where it was free with the car... couldn't get a refund since it was not actually paid for] Is there anyway to be reimbursed for that cost? Also, I am not sure if it is just an Ireland thing, but we were charged an additional 200 euros in insurance even though my insurance covers rental cars. [Note: U.S. car insurance will not cover abroad. I list this online and in the Hints and Tips but somehow this slipped through.] I didn't have to purchase extra when I rented in Scotland. They told us it was mandatory for us to purchase it. Can you confirm this? If so, you might add a little note with the rental car quote. All in all, it was a fabulous trip!! I can't wait to go back and I will most definitely be going through you to do it!!! You really made the planning for this painless and enjoyable! Thanks for all of your dilligence and personal touches that is a true example of what customer service should be. Once I get my images posted I will forward you the link to them. Also, since I am a graphic designer, I will be making a coffee table book of this trip. Take care Chris and thanks again! Shanin G. (Sionainne Gleann)
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Matthew A., Las Vegas, NV (June 2007 Fly/Drive) (08/14/2007)
Dear Chris, First of all, thanks for setting everything up- it was great on the reservations. You were correct that it rained every day. Most of it was light and intermittent so we payed very little attention to it. We brought gortex and used it when needed. The entire country was extra-green from the rain and the locals were great. Bed and Breakfasts are definitely the way to go. I'll give you my random list of how it went below: 1) Big cities are getting very touristy and even a bit money hungry. This is similar to other touristy countries. The small towns and out of the way places are just the opposite- friendly, helpful, and lots of fun. 2) Ireland is a conglomerate of many small surprises- ruins, barrows, history, pubs, food, cliffs, etc. There did not seem to be any one spectacular sight, but the overall feel was great. 3) Undeniably the most marvelous sights were: the Aran Islands, the Connemara, and the Giant's Causeway for natural beauty. 4) The best historic sights were the city of Derry/LondonDerry (better than Belfast), Carrowmore Megalithic Center, and of course Newgrange/Bru na Boine. 5) We loved most of the sites- Waterford Crystal Factory southern coastal road, Dunbrody famine ship, Rock of Cashel, Kilkenny Castle, towns of Cobh and Kinsale, Dingle and Sheep's Head peninsulas (Ring of Kerry way overhyped and touristy), Killarney nice but crowded, Galway great for shopping and food/pubs- far better than Dublin, cliffs of Mohar- overrated, Wicklow Mtns. and Glendalough good but again- crowded, Ulster American Folkpark fun, Kylemore Abbey great, Irish National Stud, and way too many other small nice places to list. 6) Irish driving/roads- all paved, most very narrow with no shoulders, many with no center lines, bushes/trees and stone walls come directly to the edge of the pavement, poorly signed for attractions- great for B+Bs, truckers and bus drivers great, locals and tourists bad drivers, accidents not recommended- lots of paperwork, Garda nice, etc. 7) Europcar/Eurocar not good to rent from in Ireland. Poor paperwork, rushed, understaffed 1 out of 2 staff rude or poorly trained, lots small and crowded, poorly signed, etc. 8) When flooding occurs, don't drink local water- diarrhea- recommend beer! I strongly recommend people get off the main roads (carefully) and see the real small town Ireland. It is disappearing. Thanks again for all your work, Matt Aten P.s. The spas and resorts you and I booked were great fun and a reasonable value when booked midweek specials- Brehon in Killarney and Killashee House Hotel in Naan.
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Kristina & Douglas D., Kennesaw, GA (July 2007 Fly/Drive) (07/24/2007)
Hi Chris! The trip was awesome, despite all the RAIN and COLD. And, yeah, we heard from a few locals that they had never seen so much rain- do we get a refund for no sun? We drove out to the Cliffs of Moher. It wasn’t raining, but the fog was so dense that we could not see ANYTHING. The fog was so thick, that literally, you could not see your hand stretched out in front of you. I thought it was even difficult to breathe in that air. Though we were sorely disappointed to have missed that attraction, we were still pleased to have seen the little towns along the way out there. Belleek Castle was nice. The dinner was to-die-for and the staff was top-notch. It was hotter than Hades inside our room, however. The muggy rain and no fans (or a/c) was a touch uncomfortable. The castle itself had a very authentic feel to it, but sadly, the gentleman that owns the castle passed away a few days before our arrival. So, as a result, the staff informed us that things may be changing around there. What a shame…. Anyhow, we really enjoyed the trip. The folks at Dan Dooly were great, and we appreciate the information on the tax and gas refunds. Those dollars helped with the expensive fuel and food costs…. We have already started building a roster for the next trip. Do you book to Istanbul? Thanks-a-Million Doug and Tina D.
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Allan M., Burtonsville, MD (July 2007 Fly/Drive) (07/23/2007)
Chris, Thanks for checking back with us and apologies for delay in response. We actually arrived back the evening of 7/13, after a couple of nights in Dublin following our B&B tour through you. We had a very good time and appreciate you car rental and B&B system! The car rental place was very nice - they even got permission for Allan to be a driver, in spite of age 75! It may have been because someone higher up in their office was named Pamela Mulligan! Anyway, they were willing to ask, at our request, and it was granted..... We ended up cutting out some of our ideas of destinations during the day because, as you had said, one cannot pack in as much as one expects ahead of time. All B&B's were really nice, with varying degrees of conversation of the part of host/hostess. All most hospitable, our favorite individual being proprietor / hostess Josephine Garvey on our last night at Greenhills B&B (Castletown, p. 79 in book.). She was lovely and very sharing of family and experiences..... We did double back unnecessarily from night if July 5 in Lisdoonvarna at Fermona House back to July 6 at McCabe's B&B outside of Limerick in Clonmoney. We had perceived that before we had left, but did not have the time to deal you about with that. No matter; it all worked out! Everything else was great, the driving was scary! The Irish people were the best anywhere - so very friendly, helpful, fun. They were the best part, as well as, of course, the countryside, cows and sheep, Rock of Cashel, Cliffs of Mohr, Aran Islands......and more. We would certainly vouch for your services any time. Thank you for all them along with your patience and help to us at our last minute planning! Thanks again, Helene and Allan M.
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Diana G., Disputanta, VA (June 2007 Fly/Drive) (07/10/2007)
Hello! Despite the rain and cold we had a great time! We managed to see and do quite a bit. Ireland was brilliant. What a beautiful landscape! Dromoland was beautiful as well. We found out an Irish American named Bernard McDonough bought it in the 60's and turned it into a hotel. McDonough is my maiden name! What a coincidence! Thanks for all of your help in planning our trip. My daughter is marrying next June and she and her fiancé are interested in somewhere in Greece, or a Greek Isle. Do you have any information on that area? Let me know if you do and I will put her in touch with you. Cheers! Diana
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Travis D., Elkton, DE (June 2007 Fly/Drive) (07/10/2007)
Everything was wonderful. The weather was not pleasant but its Ireland and I expect rain. It wasn't enough to dampen the fun. Everything but the flights went smooth, the car was great, St Stephens was a nice hotel (thanks) and the people were as hospitable as ever. We are very pleased with our overall experience. Thank you for your help in all of this. Travis
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Elaine & Michael E., Memphis, TN (June 2006 Fly/Drive) (06/28/2007)
Hi Chris, Just as one would expect, we had our share of minor bumps. But, most importantly, we all had a great time!! We have wonderful weather and actually only experienced rain on three of our 15 days. Of those three days, two were very easy to deal with, and the other day was just one of those days where it rained for about 24 straight hours. We really researched and were prepared for the trip, but the beauty of Ireland really caught all of us off guard. I mean, around every turn there was something new and amazing to see....we were just in awe of the coastal and mountain scenery. My personal favorites were Waterville (Ring of Kerry) and Glendalough. Everyone did indeed return safely and we are all back to work. But, we are just starting to get our photo albums together (took over 1400 pctures and filled 7 dvd movies) and many friends and family members are anxious to see the great movies and pictures of the trip. We met my wife Elaine's Irish relatives down in Castletownbere and spent the afternoon with them tracing out the family's ancestory. We learned that of wing of the family (the O'Sullivans) were actually very prominent in Irish history (particularly around the Beara Peninsula) and we can trace them back now to the 1640s. It was neat learning their history and their involvement in the 'Dunboy' seige by the English. Our castle stays were very nice. Although Glin Castle as famous as some others, I have to say that their staff treated us like royalty......and the food was well worth the price. It was amazing!! Dromoland was much more regal, but it didn't have the charm surrounding it like Glin Castle. The accommodations were first rate and the grounds were beautiful! For the most part, our B&B experience was neat. We all enjoyed getting to learn about our hosts and their families. All seemed like very nice people. Our only set back occurred when I booked (in advance by several weeks) a place in Kenmare called the Muxnaw Lodge. When we arrived, we were informed that the no longer were able to take vouchers, and we'd have to pay with cash. Well, to be very honest about it.....the place wasn't very clean and we were already thinking of leaving because of this. Luckily, we found another B&B just outside of town at Tara Farms and things worked out just fine. And the stay on the Aran Island of Inishmore........the most peaceful place I have been in my lifetime. We stayed at the "Man of Aran" Cottage (where the documentary was filmed) and Joe treated all of us like family....and his wife Mary (who was once a chef at Buckingham Palace) made our meals and each one was just great! I highly recommend to everyone going to Ireland to visit the Aran Islands and to try and stay with Joe and Mary. First class people!! Our only negative to the entire trip was with the dealings with Dan Dooley. In my opinion, they are nothing more that con artists. As our flight left early in the am, and fuel stations were not open that early, I filled up the vehicle the night before to the max. We drove straight to the airport (less than 8 kms) and these people charged us 25 euros and said that the vehicle was an 1/8 tank less than full. Plus, they said that we had lost a wheel cover....which just wasn't true. All four of us checked our the car before going over to the airport to return it, and it was there. So, they charge us another 25 euros for this. I have to say that I will never do business with that group of thugs again and will not recommend them to no one I know. [EI Note:] I've used Dan Dooley for over 13 years without an incident and I am looking into this client's experience. ~Chris So, Chris we did indeed enjoy our trip and thank you for your help in setting things up for our vacation. It was wonderful and we are already planning our next trip to either Italy or Alaska. I'm for Alaska, daughter and wife are for Italy. We will see.. Bye for now, Michael Elkins PS - can you get any hotel deals in Vegas (going there in October 2007)?
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Betty H., Gadsden, TN (Fly & Drive June 2007) (06/21/2007)
Hi Chris, The trip was fantastic! weather was great, Just quite a bit warmer than I expected. It rained on the day we arrived and was cloudy on one of the days in Dingle. otherwise, the sun was bright and it was absolutly beautiful. We had a bit of bad luck on the start..our bags got left in JFK and did not arrive until later. Mine came on the 4th day and Marilee's on the 5th. Just a bit of inconvenience! Southern Ireland is as beautiful and varied as the North. Next time I will try for the West Coast!!! Thanks for all your advice and assistance. We are giving out your name and phone number to all the people we know! The 'real world' was ready and waiting for me when I arrived! My desk is piled high at work and home is running a close second. Maybe I will be caught up by next vacation. thanks again, best, betty
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Lona O., Boca Raton, FL (June 2007 Fly Drive) (06/13/2007)
except for the driving and the exchange rate (not under your control) it was terrific! the weather was actually too sunny. i missed those moody overcast days. we even got sunburns on the boat trip to aran islands. b&bs were all good, including the beds, a big change from my last visit 20 years ago. the burlington was very classy. their breakfast buffet was so plentiful that we were sad that we had to leave so early on sunday morning to catch the plane and didn't have time to eat it. i did not find my fairy-inhabited forest in doolough, connemara (i hope they did not build a housing development on it!) so i guess we will have to go again! the driving was very challenging for mark, and limited his enjoyment. he had much more fun after we returned the car in dublin. i wish there was such a thing as a hop-and-go bus that took in the whole country and not just dublin. thanks for all your help and personal service and if any of your future customers wants to contact us, please feel free to connect them with us.
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Stephen B., Berea, KY (May 2007 Fly/Drive) (06/04/2007)
Chris, Thanks to your most excellent service, we are basking the afterglow of a fabulous trip. Or perhaps it is simply dealing the reality of coming back to temps and humidity in the 90's after the gorgeous weather we had in Ireland. We ended up completely changing our travel plans once in country and spent the the entire time north and west, in Galway, Mayo and Sligo. The sw region is now described as "little America" because Kerry and Cork has so many US tourists. I am really glad we chose not to go there as the crowds were much less and scenery even more spectacular. To say much has changed in the almost 5 years since our last trip would be the understatement of the century. Ireland is clearly dealing with the benefits and ills of being the Celtic Tiger and it's membership in the EU. Prices are up significantly across the board. I was shocked at the cost of real estate and even so the growth of building. While not experienced so much in the west country, crime is up significantly. We were warned on numerous occasions by our B&B hosts and folks we met, to be careful where we went and what we did. While it is likely unfair to say at some level, the increase in crime clearly is related to the increase in immigrants to Ireland. From what was reported in the media and the coverage of the national election which took place while we were there, the legal and illegal immigration is greatly effecting the country. Eastern European immigrants are everywhere. You are much more likely to have a waiter Ior waitress from Poland, Ukraine or Romania than you are from Ireland. Health care, housing shortage, the immigration issue, and the feeling of an impending SIGNIFICANT economic correction were the primary issues in the election and virtually the sole topic of discussion in the pubs. I have to say that in many respects, Ireland looked and acts more like the US than ever before. That was unexpected and somewhat of a disappointment. American culture is certainly making it's presence known over there. Enough of that social issue stuff. We did meet some lovely folks and stayed at some very nice B&B's. The roads seem to be better marked than they were 5 years ago, although I would again strongly recommend that anyone driving take a good map with them as well as a compass and have a designated navigator. The best part of this trip for us was we had no agenda. While we covered a bit over 1000kms, we pretty much went whichever way the wind took us. We also relied on advice from locals as to what we should go see and do. Of course the road conditions as ever factor in the time of travel but having been over before we were prepared and adjusted our plans accordingly. I would advise friends to skip the larger towns and stick to the smaller ones. That would apply somewhat to some of the major attractions as well. For example we so came back south along the coast to the Cliffs of Moher on the last day in country. The Cliffs are spectacular but they have turned it into a bit of a Disneyland. They have completely re landscaped the area put in a HUGE new underground visitors center and series of shops, relocated most all of the walking trails and closed off the old cliff top trail system. It also costs 8E to park and 5E per person to enter the site. Definitely we would go back up north and west next time. We visited the National Museum of Country Life in Castlebar, Co. Mayo. I would put that high on my recommendation list. It is a quite fabulous museum of life and culture. The weekend we were there they were having a living history fair of craftspeople. The Conamara and the Burren are unlike any area I have been in before. I would also recommend the drive from Clifden, Co. Galway to Roundstone, Co. Galway and the Atlantic Coast Drive from Westport, Co. Mayo to Achile Island. Our favorite pub was O'Donahues in the village of Kinvare, Co. Galway. Pat O'Donahue is the 4th generation owner of the pub which is the only one in the village. He and his wife Maria graduated from the Culinary institute in Toronto and besides a really homey pub, served the best food we ate ofn the trip. So good in fact that we detoured back that way at the end of the trip just to eat there again. The weather was overall excellent with many days of sunshine, some cloudy days and 2 days of rain. We did get stuck in a 20 minute hail storm just as we were leaving the museum in Castlebar, but pulled into a parking lot and took a nap till the storm passed. The only negative is American Airline. I wouldn't use them again if possible. Really poor customer service overall. Or maybe it was just a lazy attitude about serving their customers. We detoured to Belfast on the out bound flight because they did not put enough fuel on board to delay our arrival in Shannon due to traffic. That ate up half of the first day. On the flight back, there was also the issue of a small electrical fire in the wiring at Holli's feet. Let's just say it was a little exciting, visions of "Lost" flashed through my head. Dan Dooley Car Rentals were great overall. Good customer service, fast and efficient in getting out on the road and checking in. My only suggestion to them is not use the Daihatsu Terius for a rental in the future. This was our car, it was sort of like a mini SUV. Lots of power and room, fun to drive and pretty good gas mileage. My only complaint is it's suspension because it is an SUV is awfully stiff for the roads in Ireland. We really bounced around sometimes. Oh yea, most B&B's we stayed in still don't provide wash clothes, take your own. And one last aside to you as more of an fyi for someone in the travel industry, we didn't have our vouchers refused by any place in the book, but did have several seem rather reluctant to accept them, sort of a "Oh, well I suppose a voucher will be ok." response. One host I spoke with told me that the Irish Tourism Board was not very prompt in reimbursing the B&B's which may be the source of this. Finally, again we had a grand fabulous time. Still very much going through withdrawal being back home. Thank you for making this happen so smoothly and quickly. Let's hope the next trip won't be so long in coming! Cheers, Steve and Holli
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Holli H., Berea, KY (May 2007 Fly/Drive) (06/04/2007)
Chris, We had a wonderful time touring the northern coast Claire, Mayo, Sligo. We stayed in Fanore, Cliften and Roundtop where actual highlights of the trip, wonderful food and the B&B where excellent. I will send you the names of the B&B's we stayed in so you can pass them along to others. We attended a festival in Castlebar where local craftsman and vendors demonstrated their trades, very interesting. This festival was the site of the Museum of Country Life, which gave detailed accounts of the social, cultural and economic history of the Irish People. The only negative was American Airlines, we lost half of the first day because of plane did not have enough fuel to circle Shannon until we could land. So we had to fly to Belfast to refuel and then fly back to Shannon. On the return flight we had a short in an electrical panel next to my sit, which exploded and billowed smoke, not a good time. But we are back safe and sound and missing the Isle already. I took lots of digital pictures, so I will send you a few. Thanks again, Holli
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Trinka I, Westbury, NY (April 2007 Fly/Drive) (05/31/2007)
hi chris i've been meaning to write you and thank you for all your help. as soon as we came home we were on our way on another mini vacation(tough life this month!) we loved ireland!!! doolin was my favorite (as well as the burren) our car was perfect and our room at jurys was outstanding (see photo) we will be going back! we even got to go to a concert of the doolin school of traditional irish music at a church (somewhat akin to attending someone else's kid's recital but much to our surprise really good) the weather was pretty fun (fog the first day and 80 k winds the next) but it added to the wildness of it. also got to the cliffs and connemara and the pubs at night. we really got lucky in galway when one of the bouncers on quay st. sent us to the crain(spelling?) on the other side of the bridge and were treated to great irish music blended in with some bluegrass and grateful dead...had a ball thanks again. -- xo trinka Trinka I, Westbury, NY (April 2007 Fly/Drive)
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