Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The inhabitants of my house would like to say "howdy" to all you fine folks out there in cyberspace.

(I should note that these are not photos I took, they're just good examples of what you see while living in Florida, especially in older homes.)

Ireland X

Ireland IX

Kilrush / Galway, June 12, 1999
We got up this morning, ate breakfast, got a picture of Mary and one of the hostel, then caught the 11:05 to Galway. It will stop at the Cliffs of Moher for an hour, but Jo and I will just catch a later bus so we can spend more time at the cliffs.

We returned to Crotty's our second night in Kilrush, but unfortunately were not able to stay up late enough for another session of Trad. The next day we were back on the road. Our plan was to go to Galway, and from there catch a ferry to the Aran Islands. On the way, we would stop to visit the justifiably famous Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland's most well-known landmarks and a place of awe-inspiring, intimidating views. Having always had a fear of heights and a tendency to experience mild vertigo made this visit adrenaline-inducing for me but I managed to enjoy myself even so. Pictures do not do justice to the cliffs.

Once we arrived in Galway, we discovered that the ferry to the Aran Islands only ran once a day, at 10:00AM. We decided that we would skip visiting the islands and simply spend an additional night in Galway, or perhaps move on to Oughterard, which had supposedly been home to some of our Irish ancestors. Galway is a very popular Irish town and we had a little trouble finding a place to stay.

Galway, June 12, 1999
After going to about 4-5 different hostels, we found lodgings at the Corrib Villa Hostel. It seemed decent at the moment... We were quickly to discover otherwise. There seem to be some long-term residents here, and one of them is the gol-durndest most annoying person! Fascinating in a sick way.

After checking into the hostel Jo and I called mom and then left to get food, cash and see a little of the city. We had lunch at McDonald's, which I like better in Europe because they offer a vegetarian sandwich made with a delicious potato and vegetable patty which did not offend me by trying to pretend to be meat. Galway was one of those "artsy" places that attracts a lot of artistically inclined people, especially students. It was a pretty place and boasted a section of town where people could stroll down the street and purchase an assortment of jewelry, trinkets and novelty items while being treated to a variety of street performances. We listened to one young woman sing, then a man of about thirty playing a mean bagpipe, afterwards watching another young man play balancing tricks with clear balls about the size of a baseball.

Afterward, we walked down to the river and sat watching the swans. Here we met Michael from Nigeria, whose wealthy father had sent him to college in Ireland. He was a very personable young man, frequently flashing a bright smile that exposed the large gap between his two front teeth, which I have since learned is considered a very attractive feature in his part of the world. He invited us to a party his neighbors were throwing that night and even though we tried to politely decline, we somehow found ourselves with the address and his phone number so that we could contact him and let him know if we would be there or not. Out of politeness, Jo called later to let him know we would not be attending, but he must have already left for the party as the phone was never answered.

Ireland I

Friday, July 10, 2009

I need to finish my latest installment but I have been -extremely- lazy the last two weeks.

In the meantime, I just wanted to say that I cannot think of anything that inspires as much joy for me as seeing my baby give me a huge, sunny smile as if there is nothing in the world she would rather see than me. People that choose not to have children have no idea what they are missing!