Last week, I returned from an amazing trip throughout Ireland.
This trip represented a life-long dream and every moment of it is now a treasure. I smile every day when I think of it.
Tom McDonald was the driver and guide for this experience. l shared the journey with my adult son, Tom, a professional photographer who lives and works in the state of Oregon. Neither of us had ever been to Ireland before. We agreed that my son would fly from Oregon, and I would fly from my home in Buffalo, New York, to Dublin. We then worked out an itinerary that gave us 12 days to see northern Ireland, the north shore, and parts of western Ireland.
Tom McDonald arrived to pick us up at our Dublin hotel on September 23, and we set off to begin our tour.
Each day of the journey Tom McDonald arrived at the hotel where we had stayed for the previous evening, and each day he shared his knowledge and good humor with us. He knew the best places for photographs and patiently waited as we photographed each beautiful setting. Tom McDonald knew the best restaurants and unique settings that the average visitor to Ireland would not have known. Near the end of our trip, he drove us to a festival in Dingle for a lunch of fish and chips that was outstanding. As Irish musicians played traditional music, town residents danced and visited with each other along the colorful streets of the village.
In the evening, while staying at the hotels, I met several travelers who were stressed out from driving on extremely narrow, unfamiliar roads; one couple had even had an accident with their rental car. It was at times like those, that I was especially glad that Tom was our driver and guide.
It was hard to leave Ireland. I waited a lifetime to go there, but I hope it won't be too long before I can plan another family trip. My son has traveled around the world, and he joins me in saying that this was one of the best travel experiences ever, largely because of the professionalism and expertise of a Rural Experience and Tom McDonald.
Buffalo, NY (USA)