My Travel Blog

Journey to Ireland!

We’re off to Ireland. Ireland had never been on my radar, but I have to say both Lisa and I were pleasantly surprised. There were two parts to our trip.  The first was with the Rubicon Theater.  The Rubicon is a small gem that shines so brightly in Ventura County, California.  The auditorium seats less than 200, and yet the Rubicon puts on some of the most amazing, professionally produced, unique productions imaginable.  Many have gone on to Broadway and toured the country.  They also do theater tours, and like everything else they do they are first class.  We’ve been to New York three times with them, but this time we went to Dublin for a taste of the Irish theater.

The first show we saw was River dance. The production has been running for 21 years, and has been all over the world. I had assumed it was mostly performers with arms at their sides dancing.  Boy was I wrong. Talk about some great entertainment.  The dancers were some of the finest athletes I’ve ever seen.  Their conditioning and athleticism was amazing.  I can’t say enough about the skill, strength, and precision it takes to dance at such a high level.  As much as we enjoyed the show the best part of the evening was meeting the two lead dancers after the show.  These two incredibly talented entertainers were absolutely delightful to talk to, and enjoyed sharing with us what it was like to be part of River dance production. And that was after one of the most strenuous workouts imaginable.

A rehearsal prior to the performance.

Lisa and I with the stars of the show.

Having fun after the show with Karlyn from the Rubicon Theater.

Behind the stage where they do makeup.

Somerset Maugham wrote the next show we saw in 1926. I enjoyed The Constant Wife, especially when you consider the subject matter and when it was written. Once again after the show we got to meet the actors.  I was so surprised when I met these bigger than life people in person.  Watching them on stage I couldn’t help but think how tall they must be.  When we met the cast in the theater bar after the performance the actors were all rather petite.  How do they do that?

Here is that bigger than life lead actress.

The last performance we saw was a difficult play to watch but performed extremely well.  It wasn’t my cup of tea, and I have to say I was a bit disappointed with the ending.

Along with attending three performances we did a little sightseeing.  The first place we had to go was the Guinness factory. Actually it was the second place we went.  Lisa insisted that we first go to Grafton Street for the shopping. After we checked out the shopping we went to the Guinness factory. It’s a must see tour and well worth it.  The best part was at the end of the tour. We were directed to a rooftop bar where we were given a pint of Guinness.  What I don’t understand is that I’ve tried Guinness in the states and didn’t care for it at all. In Ireland I really enjoyed my daily pint of Guinness.

Dublin is installing a new light rail system. Melting two pieces of rail together.

Inside the Guinness factory.

Lisa and I enjoyed our pint of Guinness from their rooftop bar.

A statue of Oscar Wilde. He is looking at the home he grew up in across the street.

The Rubicon also arranged a full day bus tour for us. The highlights were the old abbey of Glenda lough and the Powers court estate.  Glenda lough was founded by St. Kevin in the sixth century, and flourished for over a thousand years. While the Irish have many saints the Roman Catholic Church never canonized them and therefore does not recognize any of them including Saint Patrick. Powers court was built by the 1st Viscount Powers court in 1730.  In 1974 a major refurbishment of the house was completed. The night before it was to be presented to the public a fire broke out and burned everything except the stonewalls.  Eventually the home was rebuilt and in 1997 President Mary Robinson opened it to the public.

The Glenda lough cemetery.

The remnants of the church at Glenda lough.

The Powers court estate.

Some of the beautiful gardens at Powers court.

-Tom Miller

Author of “The Wave”  and “When Stones Speak”– Chuck Palmer Adventure novels


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.