Happy Halloween Blackrock!


The beach 20 feet from the front door of Ivy House…and the view from my window


Yes, unintentionally but ever so appropriately I’ve landed in a town called Blackrock. It is a small suburb of a slightly larger town called Dundalk in Co. Louth. This is just below the border of Northern Ireland. I booked a B&B here merely (or so I thought) as a connector between the Giant’s Causeway and Dublin. But regardless of how many times I relearn this lesson, this is not merely a connector but a place for peace and serenity and exactly what I had needed and wanted my Halloween weekend to be like. Blissful I tell you, just absolutely blissful.


Carmen and I outback of Abbey Court in front of the fabulously colorful rock artist mural

Now, a bit about my lovely stay in Dublin and Abbey Court hostel. The lovely city of Dublin grabbed onto me like a freakin’ fish to a line. I relished in it’s bustling, multi-cultural, anciently carved, steeped in history streets. Every day waking up and deciding to book just one more night in my comfy bunk bed. I bus toured, I pub-crawled, I sang, I walked, I wrote, I ate and most importantly I met and made some wonderfully international friends. My second night there turned out to be Carmen from Spain’s birthday. We bought some canned beverages to drink in the common area of the hostel and the night ended with a crowd complete with Irish, Polish, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Australian, Canadian and American kids sitting on the back porch of this hostel singing and playing guitar for each other. I decided to sing a little ditty on my own

My free Guinness at the top of the Guinness Storehouse

when all the guitar players went inside and no one else was playing music. This sparked Bea (the Spanish form of Beatrix or Bea, but pronounced Bay-Uh) to ask me to sing Whitney Houston songs…clearly I don’t know all the words to basically any song, so I sang two lines, “And Iiiii-eeeee-iiiiii will always love you-ooo-ooo…” and when prompted for more, “Oh I wanna dance with somebody, I wanna feel the hEAt with somebody.” Dane from Florida, who was here with his Christian missionary group, told me God gave me this gift in order to open doors for myself.


Most of my nights ended this way, on the porch playing music and talking, which was a beautiful thing. I’d make dinner or go out for a bite, a pint and a walk but always end up out there in the end late into the wee hours of the morning. Especially when the Christian group decided to have gospel time in the common area. About 20 or so people sitting in a large circle yelling, chanting, singing, crying, laughing, stuttering, convulsing…they were all from Florida and thoroughly freaked out all the people from other countries who remained outside with me during this show. We all open-mindedly decided, “Hey, to each their own,” and that this would be considered a different form of alternative lifestyle and that’s just fine – though it made us all uncomfortable enough to not want to stick around.


The tallest thing in Dublin and a wonderful piece of art in the middle of O’Connell Street


I realized a lot about myself during this 5-day-stay in the city. One thing that really shocked me is that I am pretty damn good in awkward, multi-national, social situations on my own. Not quite single-handedly but without much help, brought the international group together merely by introducing myself and asking questions about another person’s life and travels. Some people were very open to it right away, others it took a bit more persistence, but unflinchingly, I continued the conversation as if the other were not acting uncomfortable with talking to a

The Museum of Modern Art in Dublin

complete stranger and soon enough we’d become friends or at least acquaintances. My favorite display of this was spending an entire afternoon with a very sweet French guy, Antoine, who could speak little to no English. The only thing we could both really understand was the fact that this was a hopelessly funny situation to be in and so we’d both end up cracking up hysterically in the middle of a sidewalk or stairwell with his French to English dictionary open. Absolutely Priceless.


Dublin refreshed and rejuvenated me. Gave me the freedom of transportation (and sidewalks) that I needed and yearned for in order to continue my journey through the much smaller towns and villages of Ireland. Now, today, I woke up in this wonderful B&B run by two guys that couldn’t be more than 27 in this wonderful little suburb with a superb view of the sea and the tide that has removed the water from the shore for at least a miles distance. I have booked 2 nights here and had planned to head north to the Giant’s Causeway, but I think, again, that my plan will not include this tourist attraction. Rather I’m feeling the pull towards the West again. I’m thinking Co. Leitram, Co. Donegal, Co. Sligo, Co. Mayo and then back to my home-away-from-home Co. Galway.

Short and sweet this time. Enjoy!

With all of this new found love and joy in my heart,


Seaside, reading on a rock and taking in the chilly fall air and beautiful sunshine in Blackrock, Co. Louth



Shannon 🙂


Will someone puh-lease carve a pumpkin for me!



3 Comments Add yours

  1. is everything gorgeous in ireland or are you just taking gorgeous photos??


    1. Shannon says:

      haha everything is just gorgeous in Ireland, especially when the sun is shining!


  2. Mom says:

    Shan, your pictures are amazing. We will have to put a slide show together when you get home! Thanks for sharing. Loved the Antoine story:)


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