Ireland Working It. Hard.

Ireland, I see what you’re doing. Don’t think your efforts have gone unnoticed.

I have to give you a lot of credit. Even though I was obviously disenchanted with the thought of meeting you, and I couldn’t conjure up one ounce of excitement in the days leading up to my journey over, you didn’t take offense. You didn’t smite me with any issues at the border or other sort of travel mishap. Instead, you stepped up. You’ve been strutting your stuff right from the get-go and are notably going out of your way to make Pete and I feel like we belong here. And in some very unexpected ways…

You welcomed us with a festive bang! We stumbled along your streets and right into a beautiful parade of humanity.

We adore your beautiful blue skies. I am beginning to think that Irish rains are a myth. Only once have you sought to soak us, and we have not had to change our plans because the weather was not co-operating.

Ireland Blue Skies

We thought that when we departed Latin America, it would be hard to find people who could top
their warmth and hospitality. But I can see your attempts to prove us wrong, making our first couchsurfing experience an excellent one, and overwhelming us with strangers to offer help or even just a friendly hello.

We are becoming enamoured with your subtly charming towns and countryside that surrounds us. Colorful buildings, well-preserved ruins, the abundance of fragrant flowers and the vibrant, innumerable shades of green in the background. And, even when we happen to get lost on your maze of narrow concrete looking for one historic site, you plant another one on a road we probably would have never taken. A monastery turned castle from the 14th century, we enjoyed exploring every corner and watching the young Irish kids playing hide and seek within it.

Kids Frolicking in an Irish CastleKids playing hide and go-seek in the maze of the castle

Green Roads of Ireland

We love driving here.

You obviously did your research.  You know me well enough to plant a bottle of my favorite Canadian whiskey in our cottage cupboards. Coupled with the bottle of lemon cordial given to me by a generous neighbor, I now have a very tasty beverage to toast you with.

Fresh Lemon Cordial

Keep it up, Ireland
. You are well on your way to making two new besties for life.

29 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • Mom
    July 13 2011

    Very NICE !!!

  • Alouise
    July 14 2011

    Sounds like Ireland is rocking it. Glad to hear you’re having a great time.

    “I am beginning to think that Irish rains are a myth.” I think Ireland must have sent their rainy weather over to Alberta, around Leduc it’s been raining off and on for days.

  • July 14 2011

    Hahaha, I like the style you chose for this post 🙂 I’m glad Ireland is growing on you!
    Emily @travelated recently posted..The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: Living in Las Vegas

    • July 14 2011

      I kinda thought it would – but she’s really outdoing herself! 🙂

  • July 14 2011

    I know it’s been said, but it bears repeating – your “slow” style of travel (and especially house-sitting) is brilliant. Clearly the best way to get to really “know” a place.

    • July 14 2011

      I agree. But I might be a little bias… 🙂

  • July 14 2011

    Everyone here is so friendly! From the immigration officer to the helpful people in all the pubs and shops – love it!
    Andrea recently posted..A Taste of Porto

    • Pete
      July 15 2011

      They really are! I actually don’t think the immigration officer even spoke much to us, it was the easiest border ever!

  • Maureen at Vaco-Vitae
    July 14 2011

    I was in Ireland in 2005. Believe it or not, I got roped into going along on a n organized tour of Ireland with friends. As in, a tour bus. As in being herded like sheep among the Blarney Stone, The Book of Kells and the Waterford Crystal factory. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the 5 star hotels where everyone who worked there was from another country (anywhere BUT Ireland). I don’t think I even talked to an Irish person until day 5 of the trip!

    But before you ask, “What was I thinking?” let me tell you that I did manage to escape the confines of the restrictive etched-in-stone travel itinerary to get out and about on my own. (Yeah–i blew off the Guinness factory tour–not being a beer drinker) and WOW! What an amazing Ireland experience I had. I took the train out to a small town–I forgot the name of it, but it was where Maeve Binchy was from. Heaven!

    And all kidding aside, there were other parts of the tour that made me fall in love with Ireland–the Cliffs of Moher, Dingle, the pubs (they let me drink wine or Baileys w/ cream…ahhhhh good times)

    Your posts make me ache to go back (without the bus this time!).

    • July 14 2011

      Ahhh, we all do those kind of tours (at least once). Pete and I did one back in 2003 of Italy, Spain and France. We had a blast, but it wouldn’t be my choice of transport anymore, obviously! I can’t wait to get out and see some of the coastline. And we’re heading into Dublin tomorrow to do the Guinness factory. 🙂

  • July 14 2011

    Sounds like you are having a great time!
    jade recently posted..Best Summertime Snack

    • Pete
      July 15 2011

      Thanks Jade! Ireland is treating us well!

  • July 14 2011

    have wanted to go and see where my ancestors are from for so long and you’re making it impossible to put it off for too much longer with all these great posts dalene & peter! so glad you’re having fun 🙂
    Lorna – the roamantics recently posted..The 1 Minute Project

    • Pete
      July 15 2011

      You would love it here Lorna, especially if you have roots here. The people are really great, and the country is really showing off for us! 🙂

  • July 14 2011

    Glad you like Ireland, it has its own style indeed, the countryside is really enchanting.

    • Pete
      July 15 2011

      I’m so glad we’re situated in the middle of the country with a car to get around. We love exploring the back roads and countryside…I think that might be our favorite part of being here.

  • Jeremy Branham
    July 14 2011

    I haven’t visited Ireland but it seems like it has been a gracious host so far. So nice of them to offer blue sky and sun! I think I would love visiting there. Believe it or not, I have yet to visit the UK!

    • Pete
      July 15 2011

      We haven’t either! When we get over to Scotland in Sept, it will be our first time!

      • Jeremy Branham
        July 15 2011

        I didn’t mean to imply that Ireland was part of the UK (northern Ireland is) but that’s just one area of Europe I haven’t explored. Just wanted to clarify! 🙂

        • Pete
          July 15 2011

          And I didn’t mean to correct you either! Just saying that I think it’s weird we haven’t been there either. 🙂

  • July 15 2011

    I’ve loved every single of your Ireland posts so far. I think I’m going to enjoy your guys’ stay ;).

    When we were there (in March) it did not rain. We kept saying that we must be so lucky or else everyone was full of shit because it was beautiful when we were there! Only one day in Galway were we forced to jump into a pub for a quick downpour (I know… bummer).

    Glad you are enjoying your stay and that Ireland is impressing you!
    Annie recently posted..Lesson #12: Don’t Be Such a Mama’s Boy!

    • Pete
      July 15 2011

      Thanks for your kind comment Annie! No rain in March? I am beginning to think that everyone is full of shit too! How is that possible?? Today we head into Dublin though and the skies aren’t looking that nice…hopefully now we don’t get it out of spite. 🙂

  • Abby
    July 17 2011

    Two of my fav blogs have landed in Ireland. Love it!

  • July 18 2011

    What a cute post! I hope I can love Ireland as much as you do one day 🙂

    • Pete
      July 19 2011

      It’s pretty easy to get comfortable here that’s for sure. The people, the scenery, the history, it makes our 2 months stay seem really short… I’m already wishing we had more time.

  • July 19 2011

    I loved the way you narrated this. Very beautiful. I have never been to Ireland before but I have heard great things about it. I know from my experience and others that I talked to that when you feel a country is welcoming you in, you get a warm feeling inside.
    Bob Crunch recently posted..Why a Master-planned Community?

  • July 24 2011

    So glad you are enjoying yourselves. I dream about an open ended trip somewhere (maybe even around Ireland!)

  • July 28 2011

    woot!! i love ireland!
    wandering educators recently posted..How to Do a Digital Detox

  • March 10 2012

    I love Ireland. I proposed to my wife in Ireland.. completely surprised her while she was there on vacation with her parent’s in 2010. They were there for 3 weeks, I got to be there for four days and what I saw in those 4 days made me want to go back.. so freakin beautiful!

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