“…I live in Ireland every day in a drizzly dream of a Dublin walk…”
― John Geddes, A Familiar Rain
The one thing Jeff and I are constantly berating ourselves for is the fact that we live in one of the major international travel hubs of the world, and yet we do not do a fraction of the traveling we should. Even within the UK there are countless adventures to be had, and yet we find ourselves pretty London-focused. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s a fabulous city, but it’s pretty shameful how little we get out of it.
Speaking frankly, for the first year and a half, this was largely down to finances and the constraints of freelance life. Despite that I was growing as a freelancer almost exponentially year to year, the currency conversion was backbreaking and I didn’t feel I could take a break. Meanwhile Jeff was putting in the first two years of his career with all the hours that implies. However in the past year, with new opportunities and smarter time management, many of those constraints have lifted and we’re now trying to make a conscious effort to travel more. After all, it’s one of the reasons we moved here!
A few months ago (I am shamefully behind…) one of my friends from university emailed me to say she and her husband were making plans to come to Europe and did we want to meet in Dublin? Did we! It took some coordination but we made it happen. On a side note, these friends succeed where we fail, they make it a priority to go on a trip at least once a year and have an adventure. We’re hoping to arrange a couple of future ones together because we had an absolute blast. Recapping on the flight home, Jeff and I got to talking and realised that almost all of the travel we have done in our lives has been with family–which is wonderful and I wouldn’t put it down for the world. But there was something so enjoyable about going on a trip with friends and we were glad to discover the pleasure of it. There was no “character building” to be done, or educationally required stops to make, we simply decided to enjoy the city in good company. While eating as much food as we possibly could.
I’ve made an art of the travel capsule wardrobe. You are looking at the sum total of what I took with me and I felt downright smug about it until I caught glimpse of my travel partner on the train platform…
Because Jeff was his irritatingly well-put-together self on just as little gear as I packed. The man is stylish, but infuriating in said stylishness.
Somehow, the weather gods were with us. I have no idea how we lucked into such a gorgeous spring weekend, but it only rained once and that was while we were snug in a Spanish restaurant eating tapas.
Seriously. The weather was freaky it was so lovely.
Kelsey and I actually first met on a study abroad program at university and our first leg of that program was a week in Ireland. It was a delight to return to a place where we had made so many good memories, with a couple of good looking gents in tow who were enjoying it for the first time. Our first stop for food was the famous Queen of Tarts, which you must go to if you are ever in need of a munch whilst in Dublin. It’s a gem of a place and the food is seriously impressive. Cardamon cinnamon rolls, guys, just saying.
Dublin is a very small city, but unlike many places in Europe, it’s remain largely untouched by the ravages of two world wars. Which is not in the least to say that it hasn’t had its share of troubles as a nation, but much of that history has remained available to view. Medieval, Georgian, Victorian, and modern architecture and design all live side by side and give you a sense of the depth of the past of the city.
Again, the weather. Frightening in its unrelenting goodness! Kelsey and I dragged the boys around Trinity College simply for the sheer joy of walking the grounds in the sunlight.
Dublin is a fabulous city for pedestrians, there is absolutely no need for public transport, which is something to take advantage of.
One of the places we traveled in Ireland was the Dingle Peninsula, famed for its traditional music and use of gaelic, and the home of Murphy’s Ice Cream. The ice cream is made from the milk of a cow breed from the peninsula and found no where else in the world (according to Murphy’s there are fewer of this type of cow than pandas left in the wild), fed on Dingle grass, and raised by Dingle farmers. The flavours include “brown bread” and “sea salt” (made from Dingle salt, of course), and all of them are delightfully unexpected and lovely. Kelsey, doing her research, discovered that since we were last in Dublin, Murphy’s had opened a shop, one of only four in the world, and naturally we had to insist on a visit. The guys had no complaints.