Retreat, Yosemite, & Home

Following our week at family camp, I was able to spend a few days on retreat in Berkeley. It was a peaceful time reading, walking, and visiting the parish that sponsored me for ordination. Tomorrow will be my 30th anniversary of my priesthood ordination, making that visit all the more poignant for me.
 View from Grizzley Peak Vista.
Hike from CDSP to Cragmont Park.
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Berkeley.
The girls and I then trekked up to Yosemite for a short visit. I hadn't been to the valley since I was a kid, and had forgotten how incredibly beautiful it is to see in person!

Tunnel View of the Valley
Bridal Veil Falls

View from Glacier Point

We are now home, again, and getting ready for the girls to enter middle school at Dana's STEAM Magnet. It has been an amazing summer; the highlight of all the travel is to have spent it with Zoe and Lily! Looking forward to coming back to St. Peter's soon.

The Lair of the Golden Bear!

We returned to San Pedro a few days ago, rested, repacked for Family Camp at the Lair (up from Sonora, north of Yosemite,) and drove up yesterday. We will be here this week, after which I will have a  retreat, and then girls and I then visit my dad for a couple days before heading south again via Yosemite.

For more information on the UC Berkeley's camp see here - .

 (Photos by Cal Alumni Association)

Dingle and home, again

Our last stop in Ireland was on the Dingle Penninsula, southwest Ireland. A truly beautiful place, it had no internet and very poor phone coverage, so I've gotten behind on my posts. By that fifth week, we were getting pretty tired, in the best way. Overloaded with fun adventures, we took some quieter time here, enjoying local pub food and some local ruins. Our one big adventure was a boat tour of the Blasket Islands. A fascinating place, people lived without any utilities on them until the 1950's. You can learn more about them here - . Our tour also included a couple wildlife experts, so we enjoyed more birds, humpback whales, and dolphins.

Driving from Wicklow to Dingle took a while, thanks to a few sidetrips to religious sites:

Abbey ruins neaer Kilkenny
An unusual headstone 
Celtic High Cross
The Dingle countryside: View from our house
 Bee hive hut home.
View of coast
Photos from Boat tour of Blasket Islands: View of D…

Dublin & Wicklow

Ireland is getting the least time on our trip, and we are trying to enjoy every bit! First stop, Dublin and a pretty cramped little apartment.

 View out our bedroom window!
Our front door!
Dublin, though, is a beautiful city and we were in a great neighborhood. We were able to see the Book of Kells (an 8th century illuminated manuscript of the gospels), other sights, as well as a family-friendly music pub crawl.
Cover of book by Bernard Meehan, photos not allowed.
Old Library at Trinity College
 Lively Celtic music.
We visited with a friend of a friend, who used to live in San Pedro, learned some Dublin history, and saw Christ Church cathedral. That evening we saw Riverdance. Amazing!

 Christ Church Cathedral
Mary Icon
 Baptistry - includes pieces of all the marbles found in Ireland.

 Gaity Theater - Riverdance!

We headed for Wicklow in southeast Ireland yesterday, visiting the Powerscourt Gardens and Waterfall on the way.

The Highlands

The time is flying by! We can hardly believe we will be headed back to the states in a week. I both feel like I could do this forever, and miss home. Kids are likewise missing cats, birds, and their friends.

Our time in the Scottish Highlands was wonderful. My favorite for outdoor beauty yet! Although it was a lot of driving, we saw some amazing countryside in the time we were there. From Edinburgh, we drove north to Boat on Garten near the Cairngorms. A national park, it features the highest mountains on the isle. While nothing like we have in the states, they are still impressive. Rising up 2500-3000 feet in a short distance, they have their own weather. We went for a hike on one of them, witnessed how sheep dogs are trained, and got to hold 10 day old puppies. Very impressive and adorable respectively!

40 mph winds and an amazing veiw from Cairngorm
These dogs are incredible!
 Lily helping sheer a sheep
10 days old!
From there we visited Loch Ness and Inverness. A beautiful lake, b…