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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Labor Day Deals

Happy Labor Day Weekend Everyone!!

I have some great labor deals for anyone who loves to travel. Whether you are travelling currently or have future plans here are deals for travel and travel accessories.

                    Travel Gear and Accessories:

REI- up to 30% off August 22- Sept 1 at
Merrell- Up to 50% off with free shipping. Visit the site at
Dicks's Sporting Goods- up to 75% off summer sale at
Ebags: 70% off backpacks and luggage. Expires September 1 at
Backcountry: Up to 50% off all fall outdoor gear and clothing. Expires September 2 at
North Face: Free shipping with a minimum of $50 purchase at
Sierra Trading Post- 25-30% off at
Amazon: 70% off. Expires September 1. Visit at
Walmart: 40% off items.
Books a million: up to 50% off summer sale.
Barnes & Nobles: Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook $179.
Books a Million: Up to 50% off summer sale. Books are great travel companions.
Shutterfly: 40% off everything. Promo code: LABORDAY40. Free shipping on orders of $39 or more. Code: SHIP39.

                   Travel Deals:

Travelocity: $50 off participating hotels. Promo code: GO50 ends 8/31 up to 30% off


Macy: 20% off entire purchase. Free shipping on orders of $75 or more.
Eddie Bauer: up to 50% off on order. Free shipping on orders $99 or more.
Lands End: 25% off order.
Sports Authority: $10 off $50 or more, $20 off $100 or more. Up to 75% off and free shipping on orders of $49 or more.
L.L Bean: 10% off entire purchase. Code: LABOR DAY.


Payless Shoes: 15% off shoes.
Famous Footwear: buy one get one 1/2 off.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Knappogue Castle

Knappogue Castle is a 15th century tucked away in County Clare. The castle was built in 1467 by the Macnamara Clan, who also built Bunratty Castle. The castle was confiscated in 1659 by Cromwell, and returned in 1670 when the monarchy was restored to power. In the early 20th century Knappogue was used as headquarter for the Free State Army in Ireland's fight for freedom. This castle has gone through so much history, and I love the stories behind the history. We happened upon this charming castle as its tucked out of the way.

Road to Knappogue Castle

Your first glance of the castle is following the curved driveway until you are along side the front of the castle. It's an excellent view of the castle. You continue driving around to the side of the castle where there is a free parking lot.

First glance of Knappogue Castle

The entrance is at the front of the castle, where you enter a gift shop. You can browse to your pleasure and pay the entrance fee. Again, student id's will give you a discount! Exiting the side door of the gift shop leads you to inner bailey of the castle. It's so easy to imagine a group of riders cantering through the bailey door and bringing their horses to a halt.

Door to inner bailey

Inner Bailey
Once you cross the bailey and go up the stairs you will enter the main floor of the castle. You are able to access most of the castle, however there are locks barring you from certain areas. One thing I loved about this castle is they have snippets of the history of Knappogue and time around the castle. I thought this was very interesting and added insight to the time period.

Snippets of history
There are also beautiful formal gardens on the castle grounds. By the time we had finished touring the castle it was pouring out. Unfortunately, we did not visit the gardens on the account of the rain. Overall I think this castle is worth the visit. It was lovingly restored in the 20's and has been taken care. This is another castle run by the Shannon Heritage and they do a wonderful job preserving these pieces of history. For anyone interested you are able to rent a room at this castle, it's just going to significantly empty your pockets. The going nightly rate is a whopping 900 EUR a night! Knappogue also offers a medieval banquet at night.

                        Entrance Prices:
Adult 6 EUR
Child 2.50 EUR
Senior 3.50 EUR

You can buy tickets at Knappogue or online at

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Doolin Cave

Doolin Cave is located in the Burren north of Doolin Village. This cave is home to the "Great Stalactite" and is considered a world class natural tourist attraction. I love visiting natural attractions like this. Nature always amazes me.

 We arrived early in the day and had a small tour group. It was my friend and I, a couple from New Mexico and their driver. We had a great tour guide, Jim, who was extremely knowledgeable about the cave and surrounding area. The tour starts out by entering the cave and descending about 80 feet underground. At the bottom of the entrance everyone is given hard hats before continuing further into the cave.

The cave is low in some spots and you have to occasionally bend over. There were a couple times where my hard hat scraped against the cave. There is a reason for those hard hats! The stalactite is around 23 feet long. We learned that it is the longest free hanging stalactite in the northern hemisphere. It's quite a thing to see. It's amazing to walk into the cavern and see it hanging from the ceiling as if it's a chandelier. The stalactite is definitely the centerpiece of the room. At the top of the room everyone poses for pictures with the stalactite in the background. The tour guide was kind enough to take pictures of everyone.

There is a platform at the bottom of the cavern that everyone is able to walk down to and take more pictures. Unfortunately, I didn't have the flash attachment on my camera and had to rely on my friend for all the pictures. Our guide informed us that they are opening another cavern and was hoping to have it finished by November of 2013. If I'm every in the area again I will have to stop and see the new cavern. This isn't a strenuous or challenging walk through the cave. I think anyone could do this, except very small children and older people who are not in shape. The only things I could see presenting a challenge would be the amount of stairs you have to climb up and down, bending over and the metal walk ways are wet and slippery.

This is an attraction that you want to wear comfortable, closed toe shoes. I wore my Merrell hiking shoes for most of this trip. Remember it is always cold in caves, so dress accordingly. At one point you are about 200 feet below ground. Chilly! Once the tour is over (about 45 minutes to an hour long) there is a nature trail you can walk or enjoy food at their café.

There is a café, gift shop and bathroom facilities on site. We chose not to walk the nature trail, because we had a busy day ahead of us. Flash photography is allowed: don't forget your flash attachment like I did!

The cave is opened from March to November from 10am until 5pm. Tour times are at 10am, 11am and every half hour starting at 11:30am.

                             Tour Prices:
Adult: 15 euros
Child: 8 euros
Family: 50 euros

If you book your tour online there is a discount. I was able to get a student discount off my prices with an id. It's not advertised, but I would ask. Doolin Cave is truly a hidden gem and I highly recommend stopping if you are in the area. Check out their website:

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Cliffs of Mohr Hotel

Cliffs of Mohr Hotel is located in Liscannor, Ireland. It's two miles from the Cliffs of Mohr and 50km from Shannon Airport. I had originally booked our stay at Logues Liscannor Hotel. A week before our arrival I received an email from the hotel. They were having construction done on the hotel and moved us across the street to their sister hotel for the same price.
This was the second place we stayed on our trip. I was pleasantly surprised by this hotel. We arrived just as the weather was taking a nasty turn for the worse. There was a little bit of confusion at check in. They were having a hard time finding our reservation, but I had brought every confirmation with me, and they were able to find our reservation with that. I received the impression that they were a fairly new hotel and were still working out the kinks.

There weren't a lot of people staying and they weren't very busy. The check in guy was also working in the restaurant. He was the only working staff member that we saw. We ate dinner in the hotel restaurant. The restaurant was small and cozy. There was a fireplace in the bar area, surrounded by two tables. In the other room there 5-6 tables. The food and beer were really good, and it was a cozy refuge from the storm.
The following morning we ate breakfast (included in our stay). They had several cold breakfast options. I was impressed with their spread and options. The fruit was fresh, they had several cereal and drink options. You are also able to order a hot breakfast. The waiters were very helpful. They were willing to answer any questions we had and were very knowledgeable about the surrounding area.

I was impressed by the rooms. They were very spacious and modern, something I wasn't expecting in Europe. The bathrooms were spacious, modern. It was refreshing! Overall we enjoyed our stay here. The fast was friendly and helpful. The amenities were great, but the wifi in the rooms was spotty.


There isn't much to do in the town of Liscannor. There is one bar in town, but they do not serve food during the week, and the other restrauarant closes early. There is a town within 10 minutes from this location that has plenty of food and shopping options.