As I write this I'm having breakfast in this charming hotel in Cork, Ireland that looks like it's straight out of a Ghibli movie. There's even a little waterfall in the back next to the cafe!

I spent my first few days in Ireland in Dublin. The first thing I did was go out and play music in a pub called Cobblestone, which is a very famous traditional Irish folk music ("trad") bar north of the River Liffey. Trad is played in sessions in bars, which are sometimes run by a musician who regularly attends but will be a mix of anyone local who wants to sit down and play. 

(Can you make out the pub? It's towards the left off in the distance, with a red sign.)

I brought my fiddle to Ireland to sit and play in sessions like this one above at McHughes. 

I also visited galleries and museums in Dublin! The National Gallery has several branches (art, archaeology, natural history, clothes found in peat bogs - yes really!) and most are in downtown Dublin with free admission. 

After Dublin I headed south to Cork on a beautiful, scenic train ride. 

After spending a couple days in Cork I'll be heading out to the west coast. 

I had every intention of writing and queuing up quilting blog posts for while I was on vacation, but I'm afraid this is one of those "life gets in the way" moments - my grandmother took quite a bad fall off a second story balcony shortly before I left for Ireland, and everything on my to-do list went out the window. (She'll be alright eventually, but she's broken quite a few things and will be in physical therapy for months; keep her in your thoughts please.)

For the time being I'll be posting every so often from Ireland, and then when I get home early September we'll return to your regularly scheduled quilt blogging! I've got a long to-do list of WIPs to tackle.