The Shannon Airport Has WiFi!

I'm updating temporarily until I can get home and say more about my great last three days in Ireland. Stay tuned...

Images Of Doolin Proper

coming soon

Driving To Doolin

coming soon

Touring The Galway Coast

coming soon

Last Night Out ~ Ashford Castle

What an unbelievable end to an incredible conference... A procession into
Ashford Castle, complete with bagpipe player and dancing waters. We collected for a cocktail party and then gathered in the main dining hall for an unbelievable four-course meal. Click here for a full tour of the evening.

The Editor Meet & Greet, Day Two

Whirlwind schedule today, with special apologies to Bruce at Via, who waited patiently for me while I made it from the opposite side of the lobby to the back corner of the g's upper level for our meeting! My schedule was brimming with awesome editors from:

Men's Journal
Robb Report
Via magazine (the AAA Travel Companion)
Body + Soul

Hotel Meyrick: big-screen TV, stage and dancing floor

The tour bus ferried us (what seemed like) 27 yards to our host hotel. Kicking off with a cocktail party and a gaggle of parading Elvises (I never thought I'd need Elvis in the plural; is it Elvi?), we moved into the dinner hall for a great dinner and lots of singing, drinking and dancing.

Champ was served, the wine flowed, nuttiness ensued.
Pictures here.

The View Outside Hotel Meyrick

Off To Dinner

We're having an off-site dinner tonight at Hotel Meyrick, hosted by Dublin City.

The Editor Meet & Greet

We had two panels this morning, both of which spurred me to furious notetaking. "Capitalizing on the Wellness Factor" discussed how the growing desire for healthy lifestyles is driving coverage; and "Travel Writing: Service vs. Story," discussed when a longer narrative wins out over providing a direct-connect between resource and reader. The message of that last panel is that striking a balance between the two is usually critical. As for the former topic, I've been living that practice for quite awhile (see previous entry on ESPA). For more, jump to the Travel Classics Agenda.

We're spending the afternoon in one-on-one meetings with
some of the editors, which I'm looking forward to big time.

Today's Agenda:

Portico Magazine
Travel + Leisure

A Room With A Galway View

Waiting For Registration

Registration, reception and dinner for Travel Classics will start in a few hours... Looking forward to meeting some cool new people.

The Irish Blueprint For The Rest Of The World

Bombings in Gaza. Misery in Iraq. I feel lucky to be in Ireland at a time of peace. Is the world paying attention?

Spa Treatment To End All

OK so admittedly, I'm a complete snob when it comes to spa treatments. Rightly so... If you open yourself up to being pampered (which more of us should do -- HELLO), then why not expect the best? "ESPA" at the g hotel was by far the best experience I've ever had. Here's why:

- The
Thermal Suite included things like a warm eucalyptus shower; a huge sauna and steamroom; a gy-normous whirlpool with ergonomic underwater metal lounge chairs with multiple jets; two high-powered shower nozzles that looked like the neck of a swan, only made of steel; and finally, shaped radiant-heated loungers made of glass tile.

- ...all that was before the
Pitta Pacifier, which is designed for people with sensitive skin and who are beaten up by hot weather. (I'm an Atlantan, after all, so that one made sense.) My goal was to reset myself after a long trip, and by God was it worth it. My only trouble was staying awake long enough the rest of the day so I could be a functioning human being the next morning. If you've not experienced a salt rub before, I highly recommend it.

- The spa day ended with me in what can only be described as a movie set -- contoured lounge chairs looking out of floor-to-ceiling windows with a view of 20-ft. tall bamboo shoots waving in the wind. Unbelievable. Soothing instrumental music played in the background while I snacked on nuts and fruit and sipped on bottled water.

I skulked back to my room and could hardly move...

Clip courtesy of The Homestead, a favorite destination of my parents in Virginia.

g Hotel. One Word: Swanky

see more g hotel pictures

Number Synchronicity: Room 126 At The g

Those of you who know me from my high school days know why this is important... Hint: brownstone address.

...And An Even Easier Drive To The g Hotel

Note to vacationers in San Jose: Driving on the left side of the street, through narrow roads and crazy roundabouts (aka "Idiot Circles") here in Ireland, is a *cakewalk* compared to driving in that esteemed Costa Rican town. The scenery was a skootch better, too.

I can't wait to go out and play in the countryside. And... shoot some pictures.

An Easy Flight From The ATL To Shannon...

The flight from Atlanta to Shannon was easy breezy... I sat next to a guy named (ironically) Matt who lives in Dunwoody with his family. Works in insurance operations. Nice chap, nice chat. The flight was over before I could even pull out my TV monitor, and I managed to not open my PowerBook the entire time! Someone should call the media that I spent seven hours in the air without making a single keystroke.