Wednesday, April 19, 2017

In which we tell tales of the Emerald Island

I spent a couple of weeks in Ireland, which is why I haven’t been blogging. I turned off just about all my connections to the outside world, with a couple of exceptions. I did post some pix of the trip on Facebook, for one thing. I haven’t done this in the past out of a fear that stalkers will immediately go to my house and break in and steal the family jewels. This ignores the fact that our Siamese cat is vicious enough to scare away even the most committed ailurophile. It also ignores the fact that, as far as I know, I haven’t befriended that many house burglars on Fb, at least not knowlingly. And the random ones who might come upon me by chance probably have bigger fish to fry.

I also allowed myself to read the Times every day, although, due to timing, one day late. So I got to follow the news enough to know what was going on, but not at the level that keeps my blood pressure above the boiling point, as compared to Twitter, where I can do things like read the tweets of our exec and his veep and cringe at having to tell people that I’m an American. Not that the issue came up, though. The tour guide on the group we travelled with, Americans all except for him, made us promise never to discuss politics. Apparently he’s been on this trip before.

The first week of our visit was on a small van, a 14-seater with AWD that could boldly go where no normal tour bus could even imagine. The tour was promoted as being fairly physical, with lots of hiking and available extras like horseback riding and biking and kayaking and visits to a distillery. We marched all over creation, in forests and on bleak hills and through sheep farms and along cliffs and into peat bogs and out onto islands. We performed a successful pagan ritual to stop the rain (of which we had remarkably little, given the nature of the island). I banged my head a couple of times on my way through Blarney Castle where I, no surprise to the VCA, had no intention of kissing that stone nor any other. I’m not a stone kisser. After a week, we had really been around, seen a lot, and enjoyed every bit of it.

After that, it was Dublin. Nice city, and we kept busy, seeing this and that, including a train ride to the south, traveling along the shore. We always like cities, and most of our vacations prioritize that sort of thing, so we’ve gotten pretty good at waking up whenever, finding a light breakfast (last hot cross buns of the season), hitting something cultural, walking through gardens, dinner, and occasionally hitting a play or concert. You can do all that in Dublin, although not as well as, say, London or New York, but then again, London and New York are London and New York.

Anyhow, now it’s over, and we’re back. And coming up is the New York State Finals, which looks to be quite the prospect, now that registration has closed. We’ll get to that next time.


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