May the Roads Rise to Meet Ya!

Trip Start Sep 27, 2005
Trip End Oct 26, 2005

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Flag of Ireland  ,
Sunday, October 9, 2005

So let me start off my saying that I love my country and think it's the greatest nation in the history of the world. However, if I were to award a second prize for awesomeness, Ireland would be strong in the running. Between the people, the history, the landscape, and the easy-going attitude there, I was so excited to see the place I practically ran off the plane.
Waiting for me was my beloved Claire Treacy, also one of my favorite people ever and from the same group as Laura. After heading to Naas (suburb of Dublin) where Claire lives, we met her family and the Ryan family (her cousins) who live 3 doors down. All of them were the sweetest folks ever and it was brilliant to see Emily, Kate, Michelle, and Colin again as to meet Pat, Mary, Mike, Ann, Donal, and Frances.
Before long it was time to go out to Time, the local nightclub. It was a good craic (that's how the Irish say "fun") until the bouncers disagreed that dancing on the stage was in good taste and pretty soon we were out of Time. Back at home, the party never stopped and I got to have an awesome late/early chat with Frances the World Traveler.
The next day, with the Irish crew, I went to my first Gaelic Football match ever! It's a mix between soccer, rugby, and basketball, and it's quite awesome. The game was especially thrilling because it was the finals, between a large and perennially successful town club and a team from a small village (Tree Mile Haus) that doesn't even have a pub (which in Ireland pretty much means you don't get to be on the map) where the roster is just a copy of the village census. In any case, underdog comes back from a 7-3 deficit at halftime to tie 7-7 with a few minutes left and go ahead with the winning goal with not more than 10 seconds on the clock. Pandemonium erupted and you couldn't help but feel good for the scrappy lil' guys. I think I'll take up Gaelic Football when I move to Boston.
After a stop to see Sinead #1, a drive through lush green hills, a lovely dinner at the Ryans', my first real pint of Irish Guinness, and a late-night chat with Detective Treacy, it was time to visit the sugarplum fairies.
The next day was Dublin tourist day for me, with Dublin Castle, the Book of Kells, and the real Ireland Harp on the itinerary before dinner with Claire and Eimear Walsh and an early night so I could catch my 6:30AM flight back to London.
Ireland was all I hoped it would be. The only way I've found to properly cross an Irishman is to confuse Ireland as part of the UK, but other than that they are some of the sweetest and funniest people around. Slancha! ("Cheers" in Gaelic)

Moral of the story: Ireland is so much more than great people, beautiful views, Gaelic football, and meaty Guinness. They have Jameson's as well.
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