Friday, March 15, 2013

Peat Fires & Friendly Faces

I didn't tell anyone except for the Day Job, because you know they, like, insist upon knowing when you're gonna be gone for long periods of time or whatever, but DH and DS and I are on vacation. Or, as the locals here like to call it... holiday. If you're unlucky enough to know me on a personal level, then hopefully you'll understand why we had to sorta-kinda keep it a big secret (although it's been planned since last July) and why you more than likely won't see pictures going up on Facebook or Twitter. Sad truth, but a truth all the same.

Enough of that. Let's get on with things, shall we?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Day 2 in Ireland.

Of course we had a day one. No, I didn't miss it. I'm of sound enough mind to honestly say I don't think you could miss much in this country. For one, it's small. Quaint. Gorgeous beyond comprehension. Oh, yeah. That's probably two. The gorgeousness of it all. As an American, when you think of Ireland, you think green, right? So much so it's become rather cliche over the years. But seriously. It's green, green, green. We're in mid-March, where back home the ground is still dead and brown and crunchy. But not here. It's green like spring time. Beautiful and lush and damp.

Number three of what makes this place so memorable? The people. Folks, you think southern people are friendly, and I hate to be a traitor to the roots of my raisin', but these people... wow. Super friendly and eager to help. The guy next to us on the Aer Lingus flight to Shannon made sure we knew where we were going and that we didn't need any help before bidding us good day and safe travels. I can't remember the last time someone did that in the States. They don't look at us as two crazy Americans making an imposition--yet--but as travelers eager to learn and discover the land they casually call home. We could definitely take several pointers from their hospitality.

Rain comes in spurts all day, never lasting for more than maybe fifteen to twenty minutes before the sun peaks out from behind the clouds again. Stone walls are a common site, stretching for several meters, serving as barriers to rich lawns and lovely houses. Homes do not appear much different from America's, although DH noticed they have more windows. When traveling, the scenery goes something like: house, house, chapel, pub, house... oh look, there's a stone tower from the 15th century... pub, pub, house. You get the idea. All set against this amazing backdrop of hill after hill after rolling green hill. Reminds me a lot of San Luis Obispo, California. So, if you've been there, you're already drawing a great picture in the old noggin.

Our cottage is lovely and small. Freezing beyond what my Southern Girl bones are used to. We keep the peat fire going (well... as best we can. It's hard!) and at least a gas burner lit while in the living area. The view from Mountshannon (County Clare--where Patrick Cavanaugh from Betrothed & Enraptured is from!) is of Lough Derg, a gorgeous body of water that houses the Holy Island. In the summer months, one can take the five minute boat ride to the island, where its owner specializes in massage therapy. I know, right? How cool would it be to own an island in Ireland?

Last evening we drove into the small village of Scarriff, where we ate fish & chips (naturally, DH acquired a delicious cheeseburger, because even in Ireland he's still my all-American boy) and found a small grocer selling fresh meat and delicious-looking loaves of bread. Oh, and Cadbury chocolate. Tons of it. Mmmm.

Where was I? Oh! So, that was our day yesterday. Went to bed at 7:00 Ireland time (2:00 PM back home) and woke up around 4:00 this morning. Thank goodness for the electric blanket. No wonder the owner of the cottage made sure we knew about it before handing over the keys.

I've already wondered aloud about the cost of living here. DH didn't object to the idea.

Peace, Love, and Junior Mints,



Anonymous said...

I am so super excited to be reading this! Love it! Can't wait to read more, I will be waiting by the computer. This is Jenn btw! Love yall!

Andrew Leon said...

I have such envy!
And, um, is something going on that would prevent you from doing things like posting pics. Your statement sounded ominous.
(You can actually email me if you can't post an answer.)

Have a great "holiday"!

Alyssia Kirkhart said...

@Jenn thanks, girl! Love you, too!!

@Andrew you would definitely love it here. Mean people prevent a lot of things. I just choose to pick my battles, know what I mean?

Anonymous said...

Hey Ya'll!!!
I lOVE THE PICS AND THE BLOG!!!! I can't wait to see your upcoming posts. It looks BEAUTIFUL!!!

<3 Kelsey Lou Who

Anonymous said...

So you know how I am... I wanna see every pic you take. Inside of pubs, inside cottage, wanna see the rent car you have. Silly I know. I am so happy for yall! Have a great time! Jenn again

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