Love is in the Air!

“Memories made together last a lifetime.”

It’s February and that means “love is in the air”. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.  Who is your special Valentine, your sweetheart, the one who will receive a special greeting or a treasure that reflects your love on February 14th?  I can tell you who has stolen my heart! It’s definitely this cutie pie!

I love spending time with our grandson. He has the sweetest personality and is so much fun. Whenever he visits, it’s like preschool. We make cookies, play Lego’s, go for nature hikes, play at the park, and ride bikes. But one of my favorite things to do is creating footprint art projects together. Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, I couldn’t help but reflect on how much fun we had painting these masterpieces a few years ago. One was shaped into a heart and the other like a ladybug. It was fun hearing him laugh when I dabbled paint on his feet because the bristles from the brush tickled his toes. These little treasures are wonderful memories of how tiny and cute his feet were way back when!

It’s a match made in Lisdoonvarna!

While many consider Paris the “City of Love”, there is another gem of a place that Allan and I discovered on our adventure through Ireland a few years ago. As we were driving through the lush, green countryside, we came upon a quaint town in County Clare. We noticed the beautiful murals painted on the buildings and the signs of love and peace throughout the town. So, we decided to stop and take a look around.

Does Lisdoonvarna sound familiar? To our surprise, this gem of a find is famous for 2 very large festivals that attract thousands of people every year.  One is for music and the other for matchmaking! Imagine that!

“In life it’s not where you go, it’s who you travel with.”

Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match. Find me a find. Catch me a catch…in Ireland that is.

Quite a catchy tune! I’ll bet you’re singing along.  After all, it is February…the month of Love and Romance.

Matchmaking has been a long-standing Irish tradition that began over 150 years ago in Lisdoonvarna, a rural spa town located in County Clare on Ireland’s Atlantic coast.  On the Emerald Isle today, it’s synonymous with only one thing: love.

“Traveling in the company of those we love is home in motion.”

Every fall, the town is home to a huge matchmaking festival, where thousands of people (like 20,000…wow!) flock to find “The One.” This fun-filled tradition began years ago when upper class visitors came to Lisdoonvarna to enjoy the mineral spas and to find a suitable match for their children. The parents would take their children to social gatherings, sporting events and musical evenings with the hopes that courtships would blossom.

Lisdoonvarna was developed around The Royal Spa Hotel, a historic landmark that opened in 1832. In 1887, the West Clare Railway Station opened and contributed towards the development of the town. From that time onward, until the invention of an automobile, tourists travelled from the train in pony and trap to ”The Spa”.

Who is Irelands most famous Matchmaker?

Well, you can’t have a match without a matchmaker! Meet Willie Daly, a third-generation Irish matchmaker who LOVES love! He is passionate about helping hopeful singles, of all ages and nationalities, find a life partner.

What’s his secret to success? He believes in the old-fashioned method of gathering the couples together for a conversation and then encouraging them to dance. He feels it’s the best way to get the passion flowing.

Interestingly, Willie carries around a notebook that he affectionately calls his “Lucky Book”. This ancient matchmaking book has special romantic powers. It also has a collection of love-seeking profiles dating back 150 years. Now that’s some real record keeping! Imagine the profiles from then until now! I’d love to see what treasures and advice he has on the pages of his book.

Willie claims, “If you touch this ‘love ledger’ you’ll be in love and married inside of six months. If you are already married, you will recreate the honeymoon period you first had”.

WOW! Now that is some secret sauce!

Willie’s track record is pretty impressive. Since he started out as a matchmaker 50 years ago, following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, he has matched over 3,000 couples. Matchmaking is in his blood and he knows instinctively what makes a good match. He surely has the hang of this!

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier!” Mother Theresa

So, in honor of Valentine’s Day and Willie Day, Ireland’s most famous matchmaker, let’s partner together to plan a trip to Ireland for September 2023….just in time for the next Matchmaking Festival! You never know what kind of spice he will add to your life!

After all, love makes the world go round. Spreading more will benefit you, those around you and the whole world!

“Travel opens your heart, broadens your mind and fills your life with stories to tell.”  -Paula Bendfeldt

As February 14th approaches, take time to let your friends and  loved ones know how much you appreciate them!  Send a card. Give them a call to say hello! Lend a helping hand to someone who may need it!

And take time to reflect on your dream destinations! What places and moments would you like to experience and what memories would you like to cherish long after you return from your adventure?

As your Travel Advisor, I’m here to help you dream about your next adventure! I call it putting “HOPE on the calendar”!  When you are ready, let me know! I personally can’t wait to travel to my next far off distant land to experience a new culture! These memories will forever be a part of my travel experiences!

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Hi I'm Lisa, founder of XOOM Tours

And I believe, whole-heartedly, that YOU deserve a travel journey that wows you every step of the way. I’m here to design just that, just for you.


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