If You’re Irish


I’m the least Irish person I know, but I married into a family of serious Irish extraction – serious enough to have resulted in not one, but two family trips there, the first in 1997 and the second just these last 10 days. The first time, as we flew into the Dublin airport, I forced myself to look out the window (I dislike air travel) and was stunned to see that, yes, it was DAMNED green, as green as the songs said. We were meeting my in-laws in Shannon, so we flew back west in a mostly-empty plane at a relatively low altitude and I continued to stare, agog, out the window. The plane landed on a runway in the middle of a field of grazing sheep. The air was damp and smelled of ocean and moss and there were palm trees. PALM TREES. (Palm trees?)

This last time, we flew (eleven of us, ranging in age from 8 to 71) into Dublin and disembarked there at 5 AM. It didn’t smell as strongly of ocean and moss; Dublin is on the Irish Sea, but it’s a city. We were whisked out of town and went straight to Newgrange, a place we’d visited on the first trip. After running into the president of Mozambique (true story), we finally got to the monument. The B-Ks were at full derp due to lack of sleep and general excitement:


It was an amazing trip. I’ll have more observations about farms (plentiful), food (especially the dairy products), and gardens (fewer than I thought there’d be) soon. For now, have a foxglove, which grows wild along the roads up in the hills.


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