EC581789-D0BA-4DEE-964F-97CD1552916915 YEARS OF MEMORIES 2003- 2018                                                                                 

Dingle, Ireland, was established as a Santa Barbara Sister City 2003.

My husband Brian, myself and 3 others are co-founders of the Sister City between Santa Barbara & Dingle.

A Tale of friendship, family,  festivals & fun.
A Tale of cultures, concerts  & craftsmen.
A Tale of scenery, seascapes & surprises.
A Tale of Mayors, media  & mastering of minds.
A Tale of tourism & trades.

A Tale of Santa Barbara & Dingle.

79CD14F6-13CE-40C2-B50C-E479639BC5EBPhoto Credit : Pinterest

Brian and myself visit Santa Barbara every year. We love to keep in touch with family, my brother, old friends and make new friends.                                                       We love California. What’s not to love ? 💕💕💕💕💕

Is maith an scáthán súil charad” – A friend’s eye is a good mirror.

I don’t know where to start with this blog ???? 💡 💡 💡 So many trips, so many adventures,

Ok , I’ve narrowed it down for this blog. I will highlight two very different delegations with magical moments. Friendships strengthened. I have loads to share so Part 2 to follow……


2015  Santa Barbara Dingle Sister City Visit 13 Delegates


The 2015 – Delegation Formed at a meeting in Benner’s Hotel. 

Brian & Máiréad de Staic (Brian de Staic Jewellers),
Seán & Liz Daly (Dingle Crystal),
John & Maureen Moriarty ( Lord Baker’s Restaurant )
Ted & Kathy O’Connor ( Retired Real Estate)
Annette Cremin ( Retired Matron / Nurse)
Liam & Julie O Neill (Liam O’Neill Artist)
Patrick Wade & Stephen McPhilemy (Milltown House – Guest House)

Fantastic 5 days in beautiful Santa Barbara.

 2016  Santa Barbara Dingle Sister City Visit during Santa Barbara Film Festival (SBIFF)

Brian is on the board of the Dingle International Film Festival (DIFF ) and met Roger Durling Director Santa Barbara Film Festival in 2015 . He arranged for the two directors of both film festivals to get connected.

Roger Durling Executive Director Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) invited Dingle International Film Festival (DIFF) to present Irish Animated Short Films at 2016 SBIFF.

A successful outcome yippee California here we come 😎😎😎

The start : Dublin airport – excitement mounting – all good friends an amazing adventure guaranteed. Seán ( my son) & his wife Megan joining the group was an  extra special treat for me.

An eclectic Dingle delegation flew to The SBIFF. There were 7 in the delegation. Maurice Galway, Director of Dingle International Film Festival, Catherine Galway, DIFF, Mike Dowling, Sec.& Board member DIFF, Brian & Máiréad de Staic (Brian de Staic Jewellers) DIFF, Seán & Megan de Staic (Brian de Staic Jewellers)

The Mayor Of Santa Barbara Helene Schneider meetings in City Hall.

2016 -The representatives from Dingle International Film Festival attended a private meeting with the Santa Barbara Mayor, Helene Schneider at her office in City Hall.


Willie Quinn, President of the SB Dingle City city, Mayor of Santa Barbara, Helene Schneider and the Dingle delegation. We felt very welcome ☘️☘️☘️


President of the Dingle Sister City Brian de Staic addressing the Mayor & City Council



Willie Quinn, President of the SB Dingle City chatting with Catherine Galway DIFF



DIFF Director Maurice Galway gave a presentation on the DIFF Festival, our presence in Santa Barbara and our schedule whilst there. Presentations were filmed and streamed by City TV.

The Mayor referred to our presentations and our visit to City Hall at her opening speech at the 31st SBIFF to 2,000 people, welcoming us and inviting Santa Barbara festival goers to attend our screenings. Nice PR for Dingle Film Festival.

World renowned artist Liam O’Neill, Master craftsman Seán Daly, Dingle Crystal , & Award winning jeweller Brian de Staic make presentations to SB Mayor Helene Schneider at City Hall.

Mayor Helene Schneider is looking forward to making an official visit to Dingle.

The Private meeting with the directors of the Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau was very productive. Goody bags presented to all delegates- lovely 😊


TIP: The Santa Barbara Visitors Center located in a traditional adobe building, is your go-to resource to maximize your time in SB. The knowledgeable staff is available to answer questions, provide area maps and directions, and give you up-to-date information regarding hours of operation for Santa Barbara’s activities.



Two artists chatting & reminiscing. Lots of old friends greeted us in City Hall.       What a pleasure to catch up again with talented sculptor James “Bud” Bottoms!!    Bud was delighted to meet his Dingle friends.


James “Bud” Bottoms is the mastermind behind this massive sculpture found at Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara. Bud created the Dolphin Family in 1985. It depicts a water fountain with three happy dolphins made from bronze. His admiration for the intelligence and beauty of dolphins inspire his work. James “Bud” is a native Californian who lives in Santa Barbara.


ADB5231A-C105-410D-A696-F6E5CB16DC74Photo Credit : Patrick Comerford

Sculptor James “Bud” Bottoms donated The bronze dolphin sculpture of Fungie to the people of Dingle. Winter or Summer you will always see someone enjoying this Dingle landmark.



Dingle, Ireland –  I love sculpture and I’m a huge fan of James “Bud” Bottoms. Enjoying a “fresh” spring morning in Dingle. The child on the children bench.!!           A replica of one in Santa Barbara. Coming up – watch this space …..



Santa Barbara, California –Trying out The Santa Barbarian Fungie. The same sculpture – weather slightly sunnier 😍😎☀️ There’s another sculpture on the way …..



Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Tried my best but I couldn’t sit on this beauty 🤣🤣🤣

“The Friendship Fountain” (Dancing Dolphins Fountain) by James “Bud” Bottoms & Octavio González Gutiérrez (1987)

Puerto Vallarta and Santa Barbara are also Sister Cities . One of the reasons we went there. We spent 6 glorious days there ( Another adventure – another story – scéal eile)

Wine Tasting – an excellent pastime in Santa Barbara 

8744D420-E891-466D-AF02-76DF8395C3DDWillie, Máiréad, Megan, Seán & Brian. Great day 🍷🍷🍷

Willie brought us on a wine tasting trail. “Always a pleasure never a chore”,



3687 Sagunto St, Santa Ynez, Santa Ynez Valley, USA

“The one-horse town of Santa Ynez is home to this Harley-friendly honky-tonk dive bar with live country-and-western and rock bands, dancing and DJs.” Lonely Planet

Dollars bills hanging from the ceilings, fun posters everywhere  – great choice.

We were there during the day but I thought you’d enjoy this photo. The saloon by night.






We’ve visited foxen 7200 Winery several times with my brother Patrick.

TIP: Well worth a visit.  Scenic Winery with a large selection of wines to taste. Enjoy the ambience 🍷🍷🍷🥂🥂  Address :foxen 7200
7200 Foxen Canyon Road
, Santa Maria, CA 93454


5BB6CCAA-610F-4558-BAEC-8CA349CECF4BPhoto : Pinterest

Stopped in Solvang, a city in southern California’s Santa Ynez Valley. It’s known for its Danish-style architecture and many wineries.
Windmills galore, it’s a Danish City but as I haven’t been to Denmark , I was reminded of my holiday in Holland.
A fun place to see. The restaurants are good too.  A whale of a time had by all. Thanks Willie.

2015 Delegation Wine Tasting Near City Hall .


Liam, Liz, Maureen, Annette, Seán, Julie & Máiréad (front row)  – John, Kathy, Ted, Brian, Patrick & Stephen ( back row)

Lovely sipping wine in the sunshine 🌞 – Pouring rain at home.

Receptions for Dingle Delegations at La Arcada, Santa Barbara

The Official Mayor’s Dinner party reception in Santa Barbara for Dingle Delegations


Friends Forever : Máiréad, Julie, Maureen, Mayor of Santa Barbara Helene Schneider, Liz, Kathy & Annette enjoying Santa Barbara Hospitality



Willie and his daughter Aoife entertaining the Dingle delegation.


Two co -founders of the Sister City Dingle & Santa Barbara,  Erin Graffy de Garcia & John Moriaty at Lá Arcada. An evening of singing, dancing, music & fun


Jeweller by day Piper by night. Brian entertaining the troops. Bagpipes added to the festivities, fun, friends, fabulous reception.


Dinner Party at Steve & Maggie Wordell’s magnificent home overlooking Santa Barbara

Steve & Maggie Wordell are wonderful hosts. Delegates in the first official SB Sister City visit to Dingle. Brian and myself have shared wonderful adventures, parties, dinner parties, sing songs with this special couple.


Brian, Maggie, Steve & my brother Patrick


Steve & Maggie hosted a party for 2015 Delegation & SB Sister City Committee







The Mayor of Santa Barbara Helene Schneider, Annette, Máiréad, Kathy, Julie & Liz Máiread with the chair of the sister city Takako Wakita.




Dingle Rotarian President Julie & Past Presidents Annette, Kathy, & Máiréad enjoying Californian hospitality.


The Santa Barbara Mission 2201 Laguna St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, USA

Tip : Visiting Santa Barbara? The mission is a must. History, beauty, and views make it worthwhile. SB Landmark. Check it out at night to see it lit up . Great photo opportunities.


2015 Delegation- Mass in the Mission. Liz, Seán, Annette, Maureen, John, Brian & Máiréad. Mass at the mission was excellent. The priest welcomed us from the altar. Maureen and Máiréad brought up the Offertory Gifts.

Guided tour of the mission  – outstanding.

Great media coverage of the trip.
Interviewes in The Mayor’s Office for SB TV.
Live Radio Interviews with Gary and Catherine  – The “Gary and Catherine Show” has been on the air for over 20 years!

The Santa Barbara News – Press Article  by Erin Graffy



Next blog will celebrate Dingle Film Festival at The Santa Barbara Film Festival 2016🎟🎟🎟 ✨✨⭐️⭐️🎬🎬🎬

I hope you enjoyed this blog as much as I did reliving all these happy memories 😃

I’m new to blogging so I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment. Thank you ☺️






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