Friday, November 2, 2012

Penner's Spotlight - Morgan Tarpley - Ireland

Pens on a World Map
Penner's Spotlight
Penner: Morgan Tarpley of Louisiana
Location: Blarney, Ireland
Blarney Castle

Trudging up the path to Blarney Castle, one must pause to admire the scenery—an ancient stone relic surrounded by lush green grass and battlements near the fluffy treetops of a nearby forest. Our journey led up the castle’s cramped twisting staircase to the famous Blarney Stone, which a centuries-old legend states will bestow the gift of eloquent speech to its kisser.

Blarney Castle
To kiss the stone, you must sit and lean backwards to kiss it while upside down. There is no fear of falling, because there is a man whose sole job is to hold onto the kisser. The man there had held the job for 10 years. (I had to ask!)

Though that part of my safety was resolved, there was still a rumor to consider—that locals have peed on the stone at night. Even if it is true, it would not stop me for I had a plan. I smeared a thick coat of lip gloss on my lips, smacked the stone when it was my turn, and wiped my mouth off afterward. It had not come all that way to not kiss that stone.

Me kissing the Blarney Stone!
As we allowed for our “gift of gab” to set in, the castle’s extensive and tranquil grounds beckoned us with a quiet country lane lined by a low stone fence, a sparkling lake in view of the lovely Blarney House and the cool pathway of a shady forest trail. The castle was a must-see and I am so glad to have not only seen it but taken in its surrounding land. I would recommend the journey from Cork to Blarney to any traveler in the area for you may pick up more than just a bit more eloquent speech but an unforgettable experience. For more information about the Blarney Stone, visit this website.

Have you traveled somewhere just to take part of a local custom? Have you visited the Emerald Isles? We'd love to hear about it. Please join the discussion in the comments.

Morgan Tarpley is a Christ follower and an award-winning newspaper reporter and photographer in Louisiana. She is also a historical novelist currently seeking representation.

Besides traveling to over a dozen countries, her interests include reading, acting in her local theater, photography, and singing.

For more information about Morgan, visit her website ( and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Note: So this is an example of the "Penner's Spotlight." I hope there will be many of you who want to become "Penners." I'd love to see a glimpse of your travels. It doesn't matter if you write a few sentences or the full 300 words. It's just about sharing part of our journey with each other. For more on what to do for a "Penner's Spotlight," read this.


  1. You are more trusting than I am sis. What a fun story! I have none like this. I actually don't know that I have any traveling stories. Landry will love hearing all of these one day!

    1. I'm just more crazy than you are. lol. Thanks for reading and commenting! I'd love to tell Landry these stories someday! :)

      Also I would love for you to tell one of your travel stories. I know you have several. It doesn't have to be elaborate or overseas. It can just be you telling about a place you have been.

      Hawaii? San Diego? Vegas? Those would be interesting places to highlight. If you did Hawaii, you could tell about why you went (Alan). Just check out the site below for further info. Please consider sending me a post! Love you!

  2. Hi Morgan,
    I would love to visit Ireland and plant a kiss on the Blarney Stone! I have a story of my trip to Neuschwanstein Castle that I'd love to post. My first visit to the infamous Disney castle. Let me know what I need to do. I love traveling and since we're a military family-we do a lot of it.

    1. Hi Natalie! I'd love to hear about Neuschwanstein. I actually went there last year! It's AMAZING! That's great that your family does a good bit of traveling. I sent you an email with details on posting. Have a nice day!


  3. I've also kissed that stone! Who knows - the same man may have held us :)

    I loved Ireland - hope to get back there some day.