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An Unexpected Journey

It all started with a joke.

“You know, I have a passport.”

We all laughed. I was meeting with Rebecca and Joe about shooting their reception here in the states after they return from their wedding in Ireland. They had both been to Ireland before and really wanted to return there for their vows. The reception afterward was so their friends here could celebrate with them.

Over the next couple of weeks Rebecca and I exchanged emails about plans for the reception and how to choose her photographer to hire in Ireland. Then, one afternoon, I got the email that led off:

“I know we’ve been joking about this…”

Suddenly I am checking my passport and planning logistics to shoot their ceremonies on both sides of the Atlantic, a dream trip and opportunity. Now, instead of me advising Rebecca on hiring a photographer, she’s advising me on where to stay cheaply and rental car rates. Even as I write this it all still seems a little surreal. But, it’s happening.

Their wedding day is all planned in the County Limerick, a picturesque, rural part of the country. Much of the day will be centered around the village of Adare, known for its thatched houses, castles, golf…and weddings. It’s a popular tourist spot.

But we are traveling there in the off season, and so when I went looking for a place to stay that fit my needs, I found two things: accommodations were pretty reasonable, and the people extremely friendly.

I wanted this trip to be as far off the beaten path as I could get, so I looked for rooms or B&B’s on the outskirts of Adare. It sounds a little silly to say that, knowing what I know now, because Adare is a small village surrounded by lush countryside. Less than a mile from the center of town you are in the midst of farms.

So I started contacting places, and asking questions, and, through internet conversations, began getting to know a few of the local innkeepers there. Nora was sorry to inform me that her B&B was full that week, but pointed me to two others she thought might have openings.

Bernadette, the owner of one of those two recommended by Nora, was happy to offer me an apartment she had which had just opened up, but wanted me to know I would have to be okay with her two dogs.

Eamonn had an authentic, period-restored, thatched house in town he would rent me. He also had a cell phone and GPS unit he would loan me for the week.

Bryan had a cottage outside of town on his dairy farm which he rents out, but as luck would have it, it was only available for part of my stay. As much as I wanted to stay there, and as great a rate as he offered me, I couldn’t work it logistically. However, Bryan is going to give me a tour of his farm while I’m there, and he put his personal number, along with an invitation, in his last email to me.

At some point in the midst of all this I met Joan, whose place looked incredible and I thought was likely out of my needs and range. But I emailed her just the same and asked if maybe she had a gap week she needed to fill, with only one person renting. I thought it was a long shot, but maybe possible during the off months.

Joan emailed me back with a more than reasonable offer to rent her old, stone barn converted into a cottage. She also recommended a store in town where I could pick up some groceries, told me I could go for long walks (or runs) on the roads of her 140 acre farm, can roam the farm with their three dogs all I care to, and she said I shouldn’t worry about driving while there (“must remember to stay on the left…”) because the roads won’t be busy.

So it’s decided I’m staying at Joan’s farm. Here is my home away from home while there.

Photo: Adare Traditional Cottages
Photo: Adare Traditional Cottages
Photo: Adare Traditional Cottages
I know, It's going to be rough.

I thought this trip might be a good way to launch the blog I’ve been meaning to start on the web site. Consider this the first entry. I’ll try to share some of the wonders of the area with you here, and shots and behind-the-scenes stuff about Rebecca and Joe’s beautiful destination wedding. And since I plan to spend some time getting lost, I’ll try to share a little of my adventures (or misadventures), and the resulting shots.

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