My cousin Shannon and her husband Craig moved to Letterkenny, Ireland about six weeks ago. Given that Craig and Shan are two of my favorite people on Earth and presented me with free lodging, I decided I should hop over for a few days. This was a huge mistake.

A few days in Ireland did nothing but leave my liver hardened and my heart longing for a month in this magical place with these people I love so dearly.

I landed in Dublin on Tuesday afternoon and made the scenic three-hour drive northwest to Letterkenny with no trouble. However, it did take me about five minutes for my depth perception to assimilate to driving on the left while sitting on the right. The drive was beautiful and I was grinning from ear to ear the entire way.

Upon arrival I was greeted with a pint of stout, dinner and wonderful conversation. In the morning I woke up Wednesday morning and low and behold…I had turned 35. July 16 is my birthday and here I was in Ireland with the whole day in front of me. Sometimes it is really surreal to be me.

A quick thank you to everyone who sent me someecards, normal ecards, gerneral well wishes and to those who offered beer money for my time in Ireland… read on.

Shan, Craig and I set out for Glenveigh Castle northwest of Letterkenny. The castle itself while impressive, pales in comparison to the surrounding landscape and gardens. We strolled along the 4km road up to the castle and I took hundreds of photos of flowers, rocks, mushrooms, all the things I love to photograph. This was shaping up to be a perfect birthday.

Then we made our way as far north as we could go to the Fanet Lighthouse. It was raining buckets so while the vistas may not have been vast, they were still breathtaking. There is surf up here and many a brave Irish soul dons a wetsuit and takes advantage of it. I on the other hand have packed for Bali, and have been freezing since my feet hit the ground in London. No surfing for me.

Back to the house for a quick change and then off to a dinner of the best and freshest muscles I have ever had and a rack of lamb which seemed fitting, if only slightly disturbing, given the number of sheep we’d seen throughout the day. I imbibed in a few Guinness Stouts during this meal for all of my friends back home who asked me to have one in their honor. Later at the pub I imbibed in some Irish whiskey for the rest of you. I hope you appreciate all of my sacrifice because upon awakening on Thursday I felt about twice my 35 years.

The pub was all I imagined and Irish pub to be, complete with a band playing music that made me think for a moment I could dance a jig and not look like a complete idiot. Shane, a friend of Shannon and Craig’s made us all feel very welcome in this locals’ establishment. And a drunk man with a fantastic accent who asked me things like, “is your name as pretty as your face?” in that Lucky Charms drawl that makes me swoon. Never mind if that man was 80 and so drunk he probably could barely identify that I had a face, let a lone its actual characteristics… I was in a Irish pub on my 35th birthday and he had just topped off what had been a perfect day.


Anonymous said…
You rock. It was very nice to see/speak to you and Beth.

I love you and I miss you,


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