|The view from Mairead's kitchen.|
On Sunday night, Mairead was in Sligo after her travels in London with the band. We ate dinner together, then went to the Hawk’s Well Theater to watch Altan perform. The show was brilliant, filled with fabulous songs and tunes from their new CD, The Widening Gyre. At the end of the second half, Sarah O’Gorman, the winner of the Fiddler of Dooney’s senior division, and myself, joined the group on stage to play two sets of reels. It was so much fun to perform with the band again. There is always great energy on stage with them.
After the show, Mairead, Ciaran, mom, and I traveled two hours back to Donegal where we spent a few more days with Mairead, Nia, and their friend Jillian. Over the next few days, we enjoyed attending sessions, walking on the local beaches, visiting the local radio, and having a s’mores party.
|In the boot!|
Mom and I said a very sad goodbye to our friends in Donegal. We traveled to Westport for a session at Matt Molloy’s Pub, where I was able to meet new musicians and play loads of tunes until the early hours of the morning. Then, we spent a few days in Clare with our friend Manus McGuire and his wife Jenni. They are lovely friends and fantastic hosts. I enjoyed sessioning at a local pub with Manus, Ged Foley, and several young musicians from the area. We toured the University of Limerick’s Irish World Academy where I met Niall Keegan, a wonderful man who informed me of the program UL offers for Irish music studies.
|What a lovely trash can!|
|The Coral Beach|
Our last stop of the trip was Dublin. I was very fortunate to have been able to meet up with a few friends from a camp I attended this past summer, Studio2Stage. Mom and I met Shannon, Michelle, and Siobhan at Butler’s Chocolate Café on Wicklow Street, where we conversed over some delicious hot chocolate and chocolate truffles.
Unfortunately, we had to make our way back home the next day. It was sad to leave, but we had a truly amazing time in Ireland, sharing memories and adventures with some of our greatest friends. I hope to do it again in the near future.