Day 9, hanging out together in Dublin

After our tasting experiences this morning, the adults headed off for a tasty lunch at the historic O’Neills pub. Then we met up with our kids and we hung out together for our last afternoon Ireland. We wandered along Graffton St, the main pedestrian thoroughfare, and enjoyed some final shopping and some lively street performers. The Singers even broke into song and sang for a busker to thank him for his great rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelijah. Just wow! 


Day 9 – our last day here

Today, the adults enjoyed tours of both the Guinness Storehouse and of the Jameson Distillery. The singers spent the morning visiting with other musicians at a local High School. We met up after lunch. Here are some of the photos from the Guinness tour. What an awesome building! The center of the building is built like a giant Guinness pint glass, 7 stories tall. We ended our tour on the 7th floor, enjoying a pint of Guinness (at 10:45am!!) and surrounded by glass walls and panoramic views of Dublin.


Next, it was on to the Jameson Whisky Distillery. Another fascinating tour, where we learned the difference between Irish whisky (3 times distilled), Scotch whisky (peated, and usually twice distilled), and what they considered American whisky (bourbon-once distilled). And then a tasting, of course. I think it was noon by now, but no one seemed concerned!


Day 8 – final concert tonight 

Today began with a bus tour of Dublin-fascinating, but the photos are rather blurry! What a neat city, steeped in history. After the tour, the singers and parents had lunch in downtown Dublin, and we had a bit of free time to explore. Parents had more time than the kids, as they had to head off to rehearse for their final concert of this trip tonight.   So, with a sunny afternoon in Dublin at my disposal, I enjoyed an ice cream cone while wandering around the beautiful St. Stephen’s Green.

This park was developed and built by the Guinness family, and then donated back to the people of Dublin. What a fantastic place to wander and enjoy! This evening, we were welcomed into a lovely modern cathedral-with astounding acoustics! The floral arrangement and the audience of 300+ people was such a wonderful way to end the performance part of this trip. It was so moving to hear the singers perform and hear the audience’s appreciation of their talents. They have really grown as an ensemble this week, and tonight showcased their talent!

Day 7, back in Dublin

We began our day with a long drive from Cork to Dublin. Since the weather continued to be glorious, the drive was lovely! We arrived in Dublin in time to hear the singers perform at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Wow! I can’t post videos in this blog (yet), but wait until you hear the way they sounded in this building. Just awesome!

   Also in attendance at this concert was Canada’s new Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin Vickers. After the concert, he mingled with the singers and chatted with them, posing for pictures. How exciting to meet him!

We stopped for a quick lunch (and a half pint of Guinness) and then headed on to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells. There are no pics allowed in the Book of Kells exhibit, but here are a few that I snapped of the Library at Trinity College, the oldest university in Ireland.



Day 6 in Cork

Today, we got to see the lovely seaside towns of Cobh (pronounced cove) and Kinsale. Our good fortune continues with the weather-another sunny day! As we drove out of Cork, we were treated to views of the solar eclipse! 


In Cobh, we toured around the lovely seaside town and visited the main port where most Irish emigrants left the island for a new life elsewhere, many coming to North America.

We also visited a museum that recreated the day of departure for the last passengers to board the Titanic from Cobh, on April 11, 1912. Here is where the first class boarded the tender for the Titanic.

From Cobh, we drove to Kinsale. 


This is the 2nd oldest church in Ireland in Kinsale, another seaside town. 

We ended the day  with a concert where the singers shared the stage with the Cork Youth Choir. They joined our kids on stage for a spontaneous but rousing rendition of “Happy”. What a treat!


 Day 7 preview – What a beautiful morning view of the River Lee as we say goodbye to Cork and head out for a long (3hr) drive to Dublin.


Day 5 kissing the Blarney Stone

After the performance at the Cork School of Music, we headed out to Blarney Castle. We enjoyed a quick tour if the grounds there, and then we climbed the tower and kissed the Blarney Stone.

Just a wonderful afternoon, full of history and fun times. The day wrapped up with a ceili back at the hotel. The singers were introduced to a variety of traditional Irish instruments, and learned a variety of Irish dance steps too.

Day 5, from Limerick to Cork

We drove from Limerick to Cork this morning, enjoying lovely scenery (and more beautiful sunshine!) along the way. The singers had a master class at the Cork School of Music this morning, and then they performed in the auditorium there. What an amazing place! Ceiling and wall panels all individually controlled and calibrated to deliver almost any acoustic experience you could imagine. 

Here’s our girl, singing her heart out 🙂

Concert at St. Mary’s Cathedral

Tonight, the singers performed with the Cantette Singers at the beautiful and historic St. Mary’s Cathedral in Limerick. This cathedral was built in 1168!

The acoustics were stunning! Just listening to their voices ring as they sang the 23rd Psalm in this building that has stood for 9 centuries…wow. Such an experience, after a day filled with Wow moments along the Cliffs of Moher.