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15 in 5: Ireland

July 23, 2012

Because I love a list. Especially a random list.

1. I’m writing from Ireland. It’s been rainy, but because it rains all the time, everything is green. It’s gorgeous.

2. Yesterday we visited some monastic ruins that date back to the seventh century. What’s amazing is that they are still standing. More incredible still is that these buildings were all built without cranes and other modern technology.

3. Everyone drinks a lot of beer here. If they’re not drinking beer, they’re drinking whiskey. The only time they’re not drinking either, they sip tea.

4. Pog Mo Thoin = Kiss My Ass in Gaelic

5. The first place we stayed, you had to really go out of your way to use the wireless internet. Like, you had to actually leave your room (and remember the whole rain thing). I promise everyone would live, and some of you might even enjoy the quiet.

6. The fact that the Irish (and many people around the world) drive on the left side of the street is especially scary as a pedestrian who is used to driving on the right.

7. The only time it might be scarier is as a passenger in a car approaching a roundabout.

8. Everyone who lives here will meet the president, Michael Higgins, at least once during his term. It’s not uncommon for him to attend a birthday party or wedding if you send him an invitation. He seems to be a popular, well-liked man. Anyone want to tell me about any time in our history when the general sentiment regarding the POTUS was so positive?

9. We have a driver this week. His name is Owen. His grandfather was the first in his county to have a driver’s license. He was the personal chauffer to W.B. Yeats. If you don’t know him, look him up. He was one of the great Irish poets.

10. The Man and I are chaperones to 12 teenagers. We’re twice their age, but I’m still not sure I feel old enough to look out for them. We haven’t lost one yet.

11. All of them were taught from an early age to say yes/no ma’am/sir. Yesterday, they were told by a priest that it’s considered bad manners to refer to anyone as sir or ma’am here. The kids are trying, but it’s not an easy habit to break.

12. Today was likely the warmest day Dubliners will see this year. We sat outside all day, and so did much of the city. Many natives complained about the heat. Once we told them about the 100-plus degree (38 Celsius) days we’ve had in Augusta, they understood why we could never agree.

13. Friday, we’re attempting the hike to the top of Croagh Patrick. Look it up. It’s not all that high, but it’s steep and rocky. We’re supposed to have great weather that day, too, so the conditions will be in our favor, and the views from the top promise to be spectacular. I hate to even admit that we’re trying it, just in case I wimp out and can’t make it. I’ll let you know.

14. I hope that The Man and I survive that day without bickering the whole way up the mountain. He’s a little more of an experienced climber, and I’m a sore loser. Fingers crossed.

15. I feel pretty lucky that I’ve been able to use my passport twice in one summer. That certainly isn’t a regular thing. Thanks to everyone who’s kept (and dealt with) The Kids while we’ve been gone. One of the hardest parts of this was leaving them. One of the best parts of this trip was the break from them. Slainte!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Colleen permalink
    July 23, 2012 9:34 pm

    Love it! Happy you went. Glad you’re home safe! Love.

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