Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The land was green and lovely

I am pretty sure that is the start of an Irish song, but if it isn't, it certainly should be.  Wow! 
Well, clearly I am back from my trip to Ireland and it was amazing.  It was fun and gorgeous and inspirational and I drove on the wrong side of the road.  Really, what more can one ask for in a vacation?  (If I were nitpicking, I suppose one could ask for Diet Coke to taste the same as it does at home, but other than that- GRAND.)  My thoughts are still more than can be lucidly written about, so please pardon my stream of consciousness ramblings.  Life is so unhurried there that it took me a whole day to stop feeling like someone was playing a trick on us.  My sister, Caitlin, is the fastest walker on earth and she looked insane compared to the meandering locals.  Caitlin and her betrothed are wonderful travel companions and we were so lucky to be with them (right up until they got the super flu, but even then they didn't give it to us- so cheers!).
There are so many cows.  And they are all laying down!  We were amazed by this.  Cows in the U.S. (I started calling it America three days in because that is what you do there) stand up, at least the ones I have seen.  I guess our cows have more pressing matters to attend to.  Or they are all anxious.  We even saw horses laying down.  I thought they were dead.  They weren't; they were having a rest.  Dogs just walk across main roads by themselves.  I know I am going on and on about animals, which is weird, but really there were a lot of animals.  The proprietor of our first B&B (in Galway) is an Elvis impersonator and he comes to the U.S. regularly to perform at weddings in the southern states.  We were all baffled by this for several reasons, the main one being that there is no shortage of American Elvis impersonators, but a close second was the fact that having a thick brogue means you don't sound much like Elvis.  My favorite day was the one we spent on the smallest of the three Aran Islands where we rode rented bicycles around all day. My favorite meal was a lunch we had at a pub we found in the middle of a rainstorm in the tiny south coastal town of Glandore.  My cousin got married near the end of our trip outside Dublin and both she and it were lovely beyond words.
While I did not have a lot of free time to write (or revise), I did a lot of reflecting and was able to reform some key parts of An Unexpected Kingdom in my head.  I am working on getting those revisions down on paper this week.  I will expand on that in another post.  For now, I need to continue the unending cycle of post-vacation laundry.


  1. I'm so glad you had such a wonderful time. Good luck getting back into the swing of things :)

  2. @SarahPearson: Thanks! I think the trick is to throw myself into a routine. No slow entry into the water!

  3. One day I will get to Ireland!
    My dream from younger years was to bike across the country. At least I had the dream.

    I have a folder on my desktop where I save trip info. My mother was of Irish descent – Father’s name: Patrick Bushmiller – some relation to the Bushmills whiskey family.

    In Norway ‘Kjell Elvis’ is the country’s ‘Elvis’ and Scandinavia’s only full-time impersonator. It must have been a treat to hear an Irish one.

    Glad you had a wonderful time. Welcome back!

  4. @RoyceARatterman: I hope you do get to Ireland! What a gorgeous country to ride across- but beware of the cars, there is a lot less road to share over there if you're used to riding here. :)

    1. My son moved to Ireland and I visited in fall of 2014 - he will marry next June in 2016 - had a great time in Cork.
      His fiancee is the great-granddaughter to Teddy "Timothy" O'Sullivan - of the 1916 uprising founders.


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